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Meeting of the Board of Regents | July 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 




signature of Johanna Duncan-Poitier



Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools: Proposed Revision to the Initial Charter for Harlem Success Academy Charter School



July 27, 2009


Goals 1 and 2






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed revision to the initial charter for Harlem Success Academy Charter School (New York City)?


Background Information


We received a request from Harlem Success Academy Charter School (HSA or “the School”) to revise its initial charter.  The School is located in Community School District (CSD) 3, in the Harlem section of Manhattan and is authorized by the Board of Regents.  The School seeks the following revisions: to create a “developmental kindergarten” program, change its admissions policy, and modify its enrollment configuration (see Attachment 1).


The School seeks approval to allow students that turn four years of age by August 1st to be admitted to the School.  Student placement would be based on a test of developmental maturity rather than age.  After admittance students would be assessed during the summer.  The School seeks to enroll 136 kindergarten students in academic year 2009-2010, which includes 36 students in developmental kindergarten with a class size of 18 students.  Each class would have a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.  The School would continue to have four regular kindergarten classes with 25 students each, with one lead teacher and one assistant teacher. There are also two teacher aides for kindergarten.  The School proposes an increase in enrollment with 502 students in grades K-4 in Year Four and 578 students in grades K-5 in Year Five.  Additional information and data concerning this proposed revision can be found on the Regents website: .


Staff has determined that the program described:

  • Constitutes a pre-kindergarten program based on the selected vendor created curriculum (Success For All, Inc.’s Curiosity Corner for literacy), which is not aligned with the New York State (NYS) kindergarten English language arts standards and performance indicators.
  • States that creating a developmental kindergarten program “will prepare students for [HSA] regular kindergarten program.”  The goal of the developmental kindergarten is not to prepare most students for the first grade but rather to advance to kindergarten the next year.
  • Offers students in the developmental kindergarten a school day that is shorter than that provided to students in the regular kindergarten.


The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 3 on Monday, March 16, 2009 regarding these proposed revision.  Four verbal comments were made and one written comment was received, supporting the revision.  A parent responded to a question of whether the School would offer pre-kindergarten services, stating that “developmental kindergarten was another word for pre-K.” 




VOTED: That the Board of Regents deny the revision to the initial charter of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School.


Timetable for Implementation


The Regents action for Harlem Success Academy Charter School will be effective immediately.