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Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools: Proposed Revisions to the Initial Charter for Hyde Leadership Charter School



March 10, 2009


Goals 1 and 2






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed revisions to the initial charter for Hyde Leadership 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 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 revision submitted by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York or other school district within 90 days of its submission or the proposed revision 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 revision to the Chancellor or school district, as the chartering entity, with comments and recommendations, the Chancellor or the school district must reconsider the proposed revision, taking into consideration the comments and recommendations of the Board.  The Chancellor or the school district may resubmit the proposed revision to the Board without modification; resubmit the proposed revision with modifications agreed to by the applicant in writing, or abandon the proposed revision. 


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


Background Information


We received a request from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York to revise the initial charter of the Hyde Leadership Charter School (HLCS or “the School”) retroactive to July 30, 2008.  The changes to the charter are intended to support student achievement goals, and to clarify job application, job descriptions and hiring practices.  These changes will allow the School to provide a program that is more closely in line with its philosophy and overall objectives. Specifically, the School seeks approval of the following changes:

  • Delete all references in the charter to Harlem and replace them with the South Bronx.
  • Revise the language for admissions policy to reflect recent changes in charter law thereby giving required preference to students residing in Community School District (CSD) 8. 
  • Lengthen the school day from 30.5 hours per week to 36.5 hours per week. 
  • Revise and update daily and weekly schedules to reflect the longer period of instruction in all 28 New York State (NYS) learning standards. 
  • Change textbooks to more closely match NYS learning standards and assessments
    • In math, from Saxon Math to Pearson Math;
    • In the elementary writing program, from Collins Writing Program to Teachers’ College Writer’s Workshop;
    • In middle school science, from The Story of Science (J. Hakem) to Delta Science hands-on kits. 
  • Employ a more targeted approach to remediation that more closely addresses students’ needs by changing the remedial reading materials from Language! to Wilson Fundations, Rewards,  and The Six-minute Solution:  A Reading Fluency Program.
  • Update the charter assessment tables to reflect the following:
    • Change the early childhood assessments from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) and Terra Nova, to the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. 
    • Change all internal assessment materials to those that come with the new textbooks.  Teachers will also work with math consultants to develop internal math diagnostics and benchmarks.
    • Change the reference to the Regents Exams for math for incoming ninth grade students from Sequential Math One and Sequential Math Two to Integrated Algebra, or Geometry, or Algebra 2/Trigonometry.
  • Eliminate the summer challenge program due to the lack of available staff and insufficient time to conduct the program after summer school ends.
  • Clarify the application processes, hiring practices and job descriptions. 
  • Change the language that describes the teachers that the School will employ from “master academic” to “highly qualified and certified.” 
  • Allow the special education coordinator to act on behalf of the head of the school in matters concerning day-to-day contact with New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), the local Committee on Special Education (CSE) and other daily responsibilities for the special education program. 
  • Use forms and procedures for special education consistent with those used by the NYC DOE.
  • Submit regular IEP reports to the CSE upon request, rather than when report cards go out to general education students.  The CSE does not automatically want IEP reports submitted in that manner.
  • Change the name of the Parent Teacher Advisory Group to the Parent Advisory Group. 
  • Revise the schedules for Family Day programs to include both Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings to encourage more participation in their child’s education. 
  • Revise accountability goals to align with the revised NYC DOE goals template.


              The School is located in Community School District (CSD) 8, Hunts Point area of the South Bronx.  The NYCDOE held a public hearing in CSD 8 on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 regarding these proposed revisions to the charter for the School.  No public comments were made or received.




VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves the revisions to the initial charter of the Hyde Leadership Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.






Reasons for Recommendation


              The proposed revisions to the School’s charter, along with the other terms of the charter: (1) meet 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) are 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 Hyde Leadership Charter School will be effective immediately.