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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School



April 7, 2009



Goals 1 and 2





Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed charter for John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School (New York City)?

Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the EMSC Committee in April 2009 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action in April 2009.


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities.  The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations. 


The Board must act on a proposed charter submitted by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York (“the Chancellor”) or other school district within 90 days of its submission or the proposed charter will be deemed to have been approved and issued by operation of law at the expiration of that period.


If the Board chooses to return the proposed charter to the Chancellor or school district, as the chartering entity, with comments and recommendations, the Chancellor or the school district must reconsider the proposed charter, taking into consideration the comments and recommendations of the Board.  The Chancellor or the school district may resubmit the proposed charter to the Board without modification, resubmit the proposed charter with modifications agreed to by the applicant in writing, or abandon the proposed charter. 


If the Chancellor or the school district resubmits a proposed charter to the Board of Regents, the Board of Regents may, within 90 days of resubmission, either approve or again return the proposed charter to the Chancellor or to the school district for modification.  There is no limit to the number of times the Board of Regents can return a resubmitted proposed charter to the Chancellor or to the school district.


Background Information


We have received a proposed charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York for the establishment of the following charter school:


  •  John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School


The John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School (JWLPCS or “the School”) will be located in Community School District 31, in Staten Island.  The School will open in September 2009.  Initially, the School will serve 75 sixth graders and grow to serve 350 students in grades 6-10 in the fifth year of the initial charter.  The School's mission is “to provide a rigorous college preparatory education that equips and empowers students for success.  The School expects all students to graduate with a foundation to attend and succeed in college and in life.  The School welcomes all students, including those living with emotional disabilities, and will integrate all students in its classes and activities.  Full integration of students empowers them to break down barriers through the power of their daily academic and social experience, enabling them to develop the academic skill, emotional fluency, and confidence required to be successful students today and thoughtful, open-minded leaders tomorrow.  In fostering both the academic and emotional growth of all students, the School will serve as an innovative, holistic educational model for other high-performing schools.”









              VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including April 21, 2014.


Reasons for Recommendation


              (1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicant can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law.


Timetable for Implementation


The Regents action for the John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School is effective immediately.



























New York State Education Department


Summary of Proposed Charter


Name of Proposed Charter School: John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School (JWLPCS or “the School”)


Address:  TBD


Applicant: Kenneth Byalin


Anticipated Opening Date: September 8, 2009


District of Location: New York City Community School District (CSD) 31, Staten Island


Charter Entity: Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York (“the Chancellor”)


Institutional Partner(s):  N/A


Management Partner(s): N/A


Grades Served:                      2009-2010: 6

2010-2011: 6-7

2011-2012: 6-8

2012-2013: 6-9

2013-2014: 6-10


Projected Enrollment:         2009-2010: 75

2010-2011: 150

2011-2012: 221

2012-2013: 288

2013-2014: 350


Proposed Charter Highlights




              The lead applicant, Kenneth Byalin, Ph.D. is the founder and president of the Verrazano Foundation. A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Byalin has been professionally involved in social work for the past 40 years.  As a clinician and an administrator, he played a leading role in the development of the Brookdale Community Mental Health Center, one of the first in New York City to receive federal funding.  As a consultant, he helped develop both adult and children’s services at the South Beach Psychiatric Center.  In addition, Dr. Byalin has taught social work and sociology full-time at the college level and maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Brooklyn and Staten Island for over 20 years. 


Institutional Partner




Management Partner






  • The School will provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 New York State (NYS) learning standards.
  • JWLPCS proposes a uniform staffing teacher to student ratio of 1:8.
  • The School’s program will include small class sizes, not to exceed 17 students; dual certified teachers in special education; educational assistants who will follow each cohort of students; constructivist teaching to engage students in thinking about big concepts and  themes while engaging them in individual and small group projects; and individually prescribed computer assisted instruction.
  • Teachers will act as guides and facilitators of learning, utilizing individual and small group learning experiences, to help students recognize and effectively identify their preferred modes of learning.
  • The School states that it will prepare students for college by providing a rigorous academic curriculum that will lead to an advanced Regents diploma.
  • In mathematics, emphasis will be placed on mathematical reasoning and problem-solving to accelerate the development of students who are below grade level.
  • The School’s visual and performing arts curriculum will enable students to develop modes of creative self-expression.
  • JWLPCS will implement a wellness curriculum to equip students with the attitude, knowledge and skills to enable them to effectively manage the challenges that confront them in their lives.
  • The School will utilize the following programs: Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), and Ramp Up Literacy and Mathematics.
  • The School proposes a 191 day extended school year from September to the end of June.
  • The School will provide instruction from 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. 









  • The number of Trustees shall not be fewer than (5) and shall not exceed (15).
  • Trustees will be elected to serve three-year terms.
  • Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees will be held ten times each calendar year.
  • The initial committees of the Board of Trustees shall be executive, finance and audit, governance and nominating, and education and accountability.




  • JWLPCS will serve 75 students in grade six in Year One and will grow to 350 students in grades 6-10 by Year Five.     
  • JWLPCS will reach out to the community through community-based partnerships with the Russian American Council of Staten Island, the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Americans for Political Progress, the Staten Island Asian Coalition, the Staten Island Latino Civic Association, and the Staten Island Pakistani Civic Association, to attract and retain English language learners.
  • The School anticipates that the ages of students enrolled in grades six through ten will range between 11 and 15.
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community, which in 2008 was: 77 percent White; 12 percent Hispanic; 10 percent African-American; one percent Asian or other nationality; 10 percent English language learners; and 40 percent Students with Disabilities.  Fifty percent of the area public school children participate in the federal free/reduced lunch program.




  • The School’s Year One revenue will be $2,015,328 and will grow to $8,372,095 in Year Five. 
  • The School anticipates $250,000 in fundraising contributions in Year One.
  • The Year One budget anticipates total expenses of $2,010,718 and by Year Five to equal $8,366,903.
  • The School anticipates an ending fund balance of $4,610 at the end of Year One and $14,309 at the end of Year Five.
  • The School intends to have $70,000 towards its dissolution fund by April of the third year of operation.
  • The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below.  Please note that these projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from NYC and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.



Projected Fiscal Impact of

John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School  

(New York City – CSD 31, Staten Island)

2009-10 through 2013-14

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact





















* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.




  • The School will be led by a president, who will be directly accountable to the School’s Board for academic success, rigorous and vibrant culture, financial stability and on-going organizational viability. 
  • The work of the president will be supported by a principal, who will be directly accountable to the president for ensuring the effective implementation of the School’s educational program and for ensuring that all students have the opportunity to meet school standards for academic and personal development; a director of finance and administration, a director of operations and an office manager.
  • The School will employ the following staff in its first year of instruction: one president, one principal, eight dual certified teachers, seven crisis assistants,  one English second language teacher, and one health nurse, .  In Year Five, one operations manager, one assistant principal, 37 dual certified teachers, 36 crisis assistants, one English second language teacher, one guidance counselor, and one additional mental health worker.
  • JWLPCS will offer an intensive, year long training program for founding teachers in year one, an annual two-week training institute held prior to the opening of school, a mid-year retreat, and a series of on-going professional development workshops.


Community Support


  • The School provided 123 signatures of parent support to satisfy its target enrollment. 
  • The School has received support from the following community leaders, foundations, and community organizations: Council Member Michael E. McMahon - Assembly District; Minority Leader James S. Oddo – 56th Assembly District; Senator Diane J. Savo – 23rd Assembly District; Borough President James P. Molinaro; Senator Andrew J. Lanza – 24th Assembly District; Council Member-Elect Vincent Ignizio; Assemblyman Michael Cusick – 63rd Assembly District; Assemblyman Matthew J. Titone – 61st Assembly District; Assemblyman Louis R. Tobacco – 62nd Assembly District;  Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer – 60th Assembly District; Madeleine Borg Community Services; Freedom From Fear; Families Together in New York State, Inc.; College of Staten Island; Art Lab Inc.; Staten Island Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Committee, Inc.; Staten Island Mental Health Society, Inc.; Behavioral Network, Inc.; and South Beach Psychiatric Center. 


Public Opinion


  • The New York City Department of Education sent a letter and posted the notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in Community School District 31 of the proposed application for John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The public hearing was held in CSD 31 on Monday, May 5, 2008.  No comments were made or received.