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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


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



March 9, 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)?


Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


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


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents (“Board”) to review applications for both new charter schools and the renewal of existing charter schools that are submitted to it in accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision two of New York State Education Law §2852.  After review, the Board may either (a) approve an application and issue a charter or a renewal charter for a term of up to five years, or (b) deny the application. 


In addition, New York Education Law §2852(7) provides that revisions of charter school charters shall be made only upon approval of the charter entity and the Board of Regents in accordance with the provisions of the law applicable to the issuance of charters themselves.  With respect to charter schools directly chartered by the Board, it may either approve a proposed revision or deny it.


If the Board denies the application to revise an existing charter then the charter school may not implement the proposed revision(s).


Background Information


We received a request from Harlem Success Academy Charter School (HSA or “the School”) to revise its initial charter.  The School is authorized directly by the Board of Regents.  The School seeks to eliminate Success for All Foundation’s “Math Wings” program as its primary mathematics program.  The School asserts that the Math Wings program lacks rigor and does not meet the needs of its students; therefore, the School chose to discontinue the use of the program.  The School seeks to implement the enVision MATH program supplemented with Investigations math program in the second and third grades; additionally, the School proposes to implement the Investigations Math program with support from the Singapore Math program materials for the Kindergarten and first grades.  The revised math curriculum is aligned to the required learning standards for New York State.


              The School is located in Community School District (CSD) 3, in the Harlem section of Manhattan.  The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 3 on October 14, 2008 regarding these proposed revision.  No public comments were made or received. 




VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.


Reasons for Recommendation


              The proposed revision to the School’s charter, along with the other terms of the charter: (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will permit the charter school to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and; (3) 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 Harlem Success Academy Charter School will be effective immediately.