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Meeting of the Board of Regents | December 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 9:00am

sed seal                                                                                                 





John B. King, Jr.


Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School


December 8, 2009


Goals 1 and 2





Issues for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter for Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School (New York City)?

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 Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School (“the School”).  The School will open in August 2010.  Initially, the School will serve 100 students in grade five and grow to serve 470 students in grades five through nine in its fifth year of operation. The School's mission is “to empower students in Inwood and Washington Heights to become agents for change through community focused leadership, character development and college preparedness.  Our teachers will regard our student leaders as burgeoning assets to their community and help them develop the tools they need to be successful in college and beyond.”  

              The School does not have a management partner.  The School will provide instruction from 7:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for 200 days per academic year.  Along with a goal of preparing students for college, the School’s program will incorporate a special focus on students becoming leaders in their communities.  

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 6 on July 23, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  No public comments were made or received.

Additional information concerning this initial application may also be found on the Board of Regents website at


              VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Inwood Academy for Leadership 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 December 14, 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 applicants 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 Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School is effective immediately.










New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School:  Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School (IALCS or “the School”)

Address: TBD

Applicants:  Christina Hykes and Matthew Mahoney

Anticipated Opening Date:  August 2, 2010

District of Location:  New York City Community School District 6, Manhattan

Charter Entity:  Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York

Institutional Partner(s):  N/A

Management Partner(s):  N/A

Grades Served:                      2010-2011:  5

2011-2012:  5-6

2012-2013:  5-7

2013-2014:  5-8

2014-2015:  5-9


Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011:  100

2011-2012:  200

2012-2013:  295

2013-2014:  380

2014-2015:  470


Proposed Charter Highlights


              Christina Hykes holds a masters degree in Educational Leadership from Columbia University Teachers College.  With four years of middle and high school classroom experience in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, she is currently an educational specialist with World Vision, an international faith-based organization working towards community development in New York City.  She is a certified trainer for the Assets in School Communities curriculum and is active in community youth programs.

              Matthew Mahoney is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a New Jersey teaching certificate.  He taught for one year in England and, upon his return to the United States, began teaching at I.S. 52 in the Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.  At that time, he joined Operation Exodus Inner City as a volunteer, and has been the executive director of this organization for the past six years.  He has taken graduate classes at Bank Street College, and participated in the Executive Education Program at the Institute for Non-Profit Management of Columbia Business School

Institutional Partner


Management Partner





  • The educational philosophy of IALCS is built on three core values: character, community focused leadership and college preparedness.
  • IALCS students will be provided a curriculum aligned with the 28 New York State Learning Standards.
  • The School will use the Core Knowledge curriculum as a framework for its school-wide educational program. 
  • The School’s curriculum focuses on skill building from a base of knowledge. 
  • The School will develop individualized student success plans based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) method.
  • Students in grades 5 – 8 will take a daily 35-minute problem-solving class.
  • Students in grades 5 – 8 will study Latin; students in grade 9 will study Italian.
  • Students will be required to participate in a monthly project geared towards leadership through service in the community.  Promotion and graduation are not contingent on this requirement.
  • As part of the leadership and service curriculum, students in all grades will use the Service Learning Project Planning Toolkit.
  • The School will use assessment data to inform teaching and to assign remedial help to underperformers. 
  • Students in grades 5 – 6 will have two core subject teachers: Math-Science and ELA-Writing/History. These two teachers will team with a specialist in either literacy or English as a second language, or both, depending on the needs of the students.
  • Each team of teachers in grade 5 will continue with their students to grade 6.
  • In addition to all New York State exams, IALCS will assess students through weekly teacher-developed assessments and the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress, which will be conducted three times per year.
  • Special education students’ individual education plan (IEP) requirements that cannot be addressed by School personnel will be met via the services of the New York City Department of Education. 
  • The School will address the needs of students with disabilities (SWD) through an inclusion model of instruction. 
  • Students with disabilities will be removed from the regular classroom only if the nature of the disability is such that the goals of the IEP cannot be achieved satisfactorily with the use of supplementary aids and services within the classroom.
  • The School will employ a process of structured English language immersion for English language learners (ELL).
  • Hours of instruction for grades 5 – 8 will be 7:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.  Grade 9 will begin instruction at 8:00 a.m.
  • The after-school program will meet daily, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. All students will be required to participate in the Leadership Seminar which meets 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., three days per week.  The remaining time will be mandatory for students needing targeted assistance, and will be voluntary for students wishing to participate in extra curricular activities. 
  • The School proposes a 200-day school year from August to the end of June, including Summer Academy and Saturday sessions.
  • IALCS will hold ten mandatory Saturday sessions during the year.  During these sessions, students will be able to connect with their community through service projects and a special local leadership lecture series.
  • Students will not be required to attend Saturday sessions if participation interferes with their religious practices.




  • The number of trustees shall be no fewer than seven and shall not exceed 11. 
  • Trustees will be elected to serve three-year terms. 
  • Standing committees will include the following: executive, finance, audit and educational accountability committees.
  • Officers of the Board of Trustees will be: chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer.  The Board may have other officers as needed.
  • In addition to the annual meeting which will be held in the month of June, regular meetings of the Board of Trustees will be held nine times throughout the year.  
  • Trustees must have experience in one or more of the following: school development, curriculum and instruction, data and assessment, finance and operations, law, real estate, fundraising, community development.




  • IALCS will enroll new students in grades 5 – 6 only.
  • The School will serve 100 students in grade five in the first year of instruction and will add one grade in each of the following years.  IALCS will grow to 470 students in grades 5 – 9 in the fifth year of the charter.
  • The School will enroll 100 students per grade, to be divided among four classes of approximately 25 students each. 
  • The student teacher ratio will be 25:1.
  • The School anticipates the ages of students will range between 10 – 15 years old.
  • The School’s recruitment strategy includes the following: mailings to residents of CSD 6; flyers and notices posted in local newspapers, supermarkets, community centers, apartment complexes, and communities of faith; open houses conducted at public and private elementary schools, after-school programs and youth centers; visit to local organizations in surrounding neighborhoods, and; canvassing neighborhoods.
  • In its outreach efforts to families of ELL, the School will provide applications in Spanish and will have translation services available to all families in need.   
  • The School will hold special open houses for and conduct one-on-one meetings with parents of students with disabilities, and will disseminate information in advertisements about the special education program.  
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community: 89 percent Hispanic, seven percent Black, two percent White, one percent Other, 38 percent ELL, 83 percent eligible for free/reduced lunch.




  • Due to the scarcity of unused public school space in the Inwood section of Manhattan, the School is seeking to lease or purchase private space for its operation.
  • The School anticipates rental costs of $400,000 in Year One and $1 million in Year Five of the charter.
  • IALCS anticipates a Year One budget of $2,002,887 and a Year Five budget of $7,812,071. 
  • The School will operate with a balanced budget, with equal total expenses and revenues, for the duration of the charter.
  • For Year One, the School anticipates $120,000 in grants. 
  • The School will create a dissolution fund of $70,000 over the first three years 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

Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School

(New York City – CSD 6 – Manhattan)

2010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact



 $ 1,281,600




 $ 2,640,096




 $ 4,010,966




 $ 5,321,668




 $ 6,779,525


*Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $18.035 billion in 2010-2011; and a 3 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2010-2011 rate of $12,819.



  • The School will be led by a School Leader in Years 1-3.
  • In Year 4, as IALCS prepares to expand its instruction to ninth grade, the school leader will transition into the director of curriculum and instruction and will be replaced by an executive director.  A middle school principal, director of development and dean of students will be hired.
  • The following personnel will be reportable to the school leader: director of operations, director of school culture, teachers and specialists.
  • In Year 5, as IALCS starts a ninth grade, a high school principal will be hired.
  • Year 1 instructional staffing will include five classroom teachers, one special education teacher, one ELL teacher, and one social worker. 
  • Teachers will be evaluated on an ongoing basis through observation, peer reviews, student and parent surveys, and student achievement data.
  • IALCS will utilize merit pay, tuition reimbursement, and ongoing professional development to build the capacity of the teaching staff.
  • Each staff member will have an individualized professional development plan.
  • Each teacher will be provided with a budget of $1000 to be used for classroom resources and/or professional development opportunities.
  • The School will help teachers grow professionally by arranging observation visits to other successful schools and reimbursing IALCS teachers for up to half of the cost to attend Teacher U at Hunter College. 
  • IALCS will have early dismissal every other week on Wednesday for teachers to participate in professional development offerings.
  • The daily schedule will allow collaborative planning time for classroom and specialty teachers. 

Community Support


  • IALCS provided signatures of interested families sufficient to fill the number of seats proposed for 2010 – 2011.
  • Letters of support for IALCS were received from 21 individuals including Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (72nd District), Bruce Link and Lourdes Hernandez-Cordero of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Democratic District Leader Mayra Linares.
  • On July 23, 2009, Community Education Council (CEC) 6 passed a resolution in support of the establishment of IALCS.


Public Opinion


  • The New York City Department of Education sent a letter and posted a notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in Community School District 6 of the proposed application for Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 6 on July 23, 2009, concerning this application.  No public comments were made or received.