EMSC-VESID Committee



James A. Kadamus


Charter School Application



May 11, 2005



Goals 1 and 2





Executive Summary


Issue for Decision


            Should the Regents accept the staff recommendation to approve the charter of the South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts?


Reason for Consideration


            Required by State statute.


Proposed Handling


            This question will come before the EMSC-VESID Committee on May 16, 2005 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action on May 17, 2005.


Procedural History


Under the New York Charter Schools Act of 1998, the Board of Regents is authorized to make recommendations on proposed charters submitted by another charter entity.  Upon receipt of a proposed charter submitted by a charter entity, the Board of Regents shall review such proposed charter in accordance with the standards set forth in the Charter School Act. The Board of Regents shall either (a) approve and issue the charter as proposed by the charter entity or (b) return the proposed charter to the charter entity for reconsideration with the written comments and recommendations of the Board of Regents. If the Board of Regents fails to act on such proposed charter within sixty days of its submission to the Board of Regents, the proposed charter shall

be deemed to have been approved and issued by the Board of Regents at the expiration of such period. 


Background Information


We have received one proposed charter from the Chancellor of the New York City that will be presented to the Board for action in May.  The proposed charter is for the South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts.  The following table summarizes the number of new charters that may still be issued by charter entities in New York:


SUNY Board of Trustees

All Other Charter Entities




The New York City Chancellor has also approved eight conversion charter schools and the Buffalo City School District has approved one conversion school, all of which do not count against the statutory ceiling. 




VOTED: That the Board of Regents approve the proposed charter for the following charter school based upon the information contained in the attachment and upon a finding by the Board of Regents that (1) the charter school described in the application 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) granting the application 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:


·        South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts


Timetable for Implementation


Charters that the Regents approve will become effective on the date of the Regents action.  If approved, the school is scheduled to open in September 2005.



New York State Education Department


Summary of Proposed Charter


Name of Proposed Charter School:  South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts (SBCSICA)


Address:      339 East 139 Street, Bronx, NY 10454


Applicant(s):  Richard Izquierdo


Anticipated Opening Date:  September 2005


District of Location:  CSD 7/Region 9


Institutional Partner(s):  The charter does not intend to have a partner organization.


Management Partner(s):  Victory Schools, Inc.


Grades Served:  K - 1 (K – 5)


Projected Enrollment:  150  (450)


Proposed Charter Highlights




The lead applicant, Richard Izquierdo, is currently the Chief of Staff in the Office of New York State Assemblywoman Carmen E. Arroyo; he has worked in this office for the past 11 years, serving a variety of roles.  In June 2005, he plans to earn an Associate in Public Administration degree from Hostos Community College.  Mr. Izquierdo is the Community Education Council President in District 7.  He was the President of the Community School Board 7 for four years where he served as a Board member for the four years prior to becoming its President.   Mr. Izquierdo claims that through his work, “he has gained valuable experience in educational oversight, including assessing the effectiveness of schools and teachers and the impact of educational policy on student achievement.”  Mr. Izquierdo wants to improve the South Bronx community, where he works to develop partnerships with a number of non-profit organizations.


Institutional Partner(s)


The charter does not intend to have a partner organization.       


Educational Management Organization


Based in New York State, Victory Schools, Inc. (Victory) currently provides education management services to 12 public schools, serving nearly 5,400 students in New York and Philadelphia.  (See Attachment 1 for the performance results at NYS charter schools managed by Victory.)  Victory’s main role at SBCSICA will be to support the School in attaining the student achievement goals and ensuring financial viability.  They will report to and will be supervised by the Board of Trustees.  Victory ‘s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: supporting classroom learning; providing financial and accounting services; and assisting the School with reporting and charter school law compliance.




§      The mission of South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts is “to provide youngsters with a model of excellence through a constructivist and child-centered curriculum.”

§      SBCSICA expects to produce critical thinkers and problem solvers.

§      The SBCSICA application states that the standards-based curriculum will be enriched with an international perspective, the arts, and a dual language program.

§      The main reading component of the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum will be Scott Foresman Reading. 

§      The main writing component of the ELA curriculum will be the Great Source’s Write Source series.

§      SBCSICA will employ the Everyday Mathematics program.

§      The main component of the science curriculum will be McGraw Hill’s Science series.

§      E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Series will be the main component in teaching social studies.  Macmillan/ McGraw Hill’s social series Adventures in Time and Place will be used as a supplementary source.

§      The main resources used to teach physical education will be the following:  Elementary Teachers’ Handbook for Indoor and Outdoor Games and Moving and Learning Across the Curriculum.

§      SBCSICA plans to teach international cultural awareness across the curriculum.

§      The main components for its arts curriculum include Dale Seymour’s Learning to Look and Create:  The SPECTRA Program (visual arts), Silver Burdett Ginn’s The Music Connection (music), and Dale Seymour’s Live On Stage! Performing Arts (theatre and dance).

§      The main component of the foreign language curriculum will be Amigos:  Spanish as a Second Language, published by REI America.

§      The School will administer all New York State and City assessments.  In addition, SBCSICA will administer the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to students (K-2), the Scott Foresman End-of-Year Assessment (K-5), El Examen de Lectura en Espanol (3-5), Everyday Math End-of-Year Assessment (K-5) McGraw Hill End-of-Year Social Studies Assessment (3-5), McGraw Hill End-of-Year Assessment (2-5), and El Sistema de observacion de la lecto-escritura (K-3).

§      SBCSICA will use the arts to promote excellence in the following areas: cognitive, social, emotional, and moral.  The School states, “Our discipline-based arts education teaches students to express their creativity and to experience satisfaction and accomplishment.”

§      The School proposes a dual language program that integrates native English speakers and native Spanish speakers and provides instruction to both groups of students in both languages.

§      The School will implement a “side-by-side” dual language model with three classes per grade level.  The school will follow a sequential literacy model, during which time students will be grouped according to their native language.

§      English language learners (ELLs) whose native language is not Spanish will receive English as a Second Language services in accordance with all applicable laws.

§      The School will serve 25 students per class with a .5 teaching assistant in each classroom.

§      SBCSICA will have an extended day (8:00 – 4:00).

§      The School will provide at least 180 instructional days for students and 190 days for teachers.

§      Teachers will meet in horizontal and vertical teams.




§            The administrative organizational structure of SBCSICA will consist of the following:  the Board of Trustees, principal, business manager, and Victory School, Inc.’s educational business and administrative support team.

§            SBCSICA’s Board of Trustees will maintain ultimate governing authority for the School.  The Board’s primary responsibilities will be to carry out the mission and vision of the School and exercise “final authority for policies and operational decisions of the school.”

§         Board Counsel will be independent from the management company; they will advise the Board on all legal matters pertaining to the School.

§         The number of Trustees constituting the entire Board of Trustees after the first annual meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be nine (9), but in no event shall the entire Board consist of less than five or more than eleven Trustees.

§         Trustees will be elected to serve terms of five (5) years.  All Trustees shall be eligible for re-election.

§         The Board of Trustees shall meet at least bi-monthly during SBCSICA’s school year and as appropriate over the summer recess.




§            SBCSICA will serve 150 kindergarten and first grade students in the first year and 450 kindergarten through fifth graders in year five.

§            SBCSICA intends to serve students with similar demographic profile as CSD 7; the CSD 7 serves largely a minority student population (predominantly Hispanic), approximately 69%, and enrolls a significant free- and reduced-lunch population, approximately 92%.  The ELL population is about 17% and the special education make-up is approximately 17.5%.

§            The students will be selected by a blind, random lottery.  Preference will be given to students living in the New York City School District.  Students with siblings enrolled in the School receive preference over waiting list candidates who do not have siblings enrolled. 




§            SBCSICA plans to incubate in an existing school facility, PS 49, which is located at 383 East 139th Street in CSD 7.  The New York City Department of Educatiuon (NYCDOE) has committed the space for SBCSICA for two years.  In this facility, it is likely that the School would be in a contiguous line of eight classrooms, two smaller multi-purpose service rooms, and an office.

§            The SBCSICA Board has begun looking for space to lease to implement year 3 of the charter; SBCSICA will only relocate over the summer to eliminate disruption to the academic program.

§            The School does not anticipate spending more than 10 percent of its budget on rent/lease; the School expects the NYCDOE will provide facility space for the first two years; facility costs have been included in the application for years 3-5.

§            The first-year budget anticipates total revenue to equal $1,545,855 and year five to equal $4,710,173.

§            Anticipated expenditures include Victory management fees, which are budgeted at $2,000 per student/year; fees will total $300,000 year one and $900,000 year five.

§            SBCSICA anticipates a surplus of $14,228 at the end of year one and a surplus of $53,712 in year five.

§            SBCSICA does not anticipate needing a loan; in the case that Victory provides a start-up loan to the school, the interest rate will be 9.85%.

§            The School anticipates accruing a contingency fund of $165,000 over a five-year period.

§            The School expects a cash surplus totaling approximately $57,000 over a five-year period to create an additional buffer from unforeseen expenses or revenue shortfalls.

§            SBCSICA has budgeted to receive a $75,000 start-up grant as well as additional supplemental funding from the City of New York at $391 per elementary school pupil and $443 per middle school pupil enrolled.




§         In year one, the School’s instructional staff will consist of six teachers, .5 special education teacher, three teaching assistants, one specialty teacher, and a .5 Title I teacher.   The number of staff will grow incrementally each year; in year five, the School’s instructional staff will consist of 18 teachers, 2 special education teachers, 1 substitute teacher, 12 teaching assistants, 2.5 specialty teachers, and 1.75 Title I teachers.

§         The School’s leadership staff will consist of one principal/director.  In year two, the School will add an administrative school aide.  In year four, the School will employ an instructional supervisor.

§         The School’s administrative staff will consist of one business manager, one administrative assistant, and a .5 custodian. The administrative staff will grow gradually; in year five, the School will have one business manager, two administrative assistants, 2.5 custodians and a security officer.

§         In year two, a .5 guidance counselor will be hired; this position will become full-time by year 5 of the charter.

§         The School’s instructional support staff will be hired by contract.  The services to be contracted for include the following: counseling, outreach, special needs, professional development, student testing, and technology.



Fiscal Impact


Potential Fiscal Impact of

South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts

(New York City CSD 7/Region 9- Bronx Borough)

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact





















*Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the district’s budget from a 2001-2002 base of $12.5 billion and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil, per year from the 2003-2004 final average expense per pupil of $7,848.


§         Programmatic and fiscal audits will comply with all requirements made of public schools.  The School will employ a New York State licensed public accountant or certified public accountant to perform the fiscal audit.  In addition, the school will ensure that the audit is conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) issued by the U.S. Comptroller General.


Community Support


§      SBCSICA has collected 173 parent signatures from interested parents whose children entering kindergarten and first grade in September 2005.

§      Letters of support have been submitted from the following persons:  Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, U.S. Senate; Alex Diaz, 40th Precinct Community Council; Carmen E. Arroyo, State Assemblywoman, 84th District; George Rodriguez, Chairman, Community Planning Board One; Dolores M. Fernandez, President, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College; Carmen Allende, Executive Director, South Bronx Action Group, Inc.; Maria C. Aguirre, Executive Director, South Bronx Community Corporation; Tom Early, Executive Director, Health Plus.




Approve the application.


Reasons for Recommendation


1) The charter school described in the application 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) granting the application 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.







Attachment 1


Performance on ELA and Math State Assessments by all Charter Schools

in New York State Managed by Victory Schools, Inc.



Percent of Students Scoring At or Above Level 3 on State Grade 4 Exams

Charter School and District of Location








Gr. 4


Gr. 4


Gr. 4


Gr. 4


Gr. 4


Gr. 4



Roosevelt Children’s Academy

























Children’s Academy






















Merrick Academy