Washington, D.C. — The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has accepted eight applications to open new public charter schools in Washington, DC. If approved, the charter schools would open in school year 2015-16.
The applications, due March 3, include two middle schools; a middle and high school weekday residential boarding school for students in foster care; a high school combining hands-on public service with a digital learning component; an early childhood school; an adult education school; and two elementary/middle schools, one with a focus on special needs children and the other an Arabic immersion school.
By law, PCSB’s seven-member board can approve up to 20 charter schools a year, and will vote on all applications.
"We are not just looking to open more charter schools. We will be looking for new charter schools that will create high-quality education options for DC students and families,” said Board Chair John H. “Skip” McKoy.
After accepting the applications, PCSB staff will evaluate them based on the extent to which the applicant group meets the standards of approval in the 2013-14 Application Guidelines to Starting a Public Charter School in the District of Columbia. As part of that process, PCSB staff will review each application, conduct a capacity interview, and, if applicable, visit existing programs or schools run by the applicant group.
PCSB has also notified all Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs) throughout the District describing the education programs, school size and where the schools are proposed to be located.
PCSB is accepting public comment on the applications. To submit written comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th Street, NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010. PCSB will also hold a public hearing on the applications in April, at a place and time to be determined.
“Charter schools play an important role in providing educational choice to DC students,” said Scott Pearson, Executive Director. “The input of the ANCs and public is important as we review these applications.”
The PCSB Board plans to vote on the applications at its monthly public meeting on May 19. A summary description of each application is listed below. To read the full applications please the Start A Charter School website page.