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June 18, 2012
D.C. Public Charter School Board
Board Meeting Minutes
3333 14th St., NW Washington, DC 20010
June 18, 2012 7:30pm

Public Hearing

Board Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (Chair); Mr. Don Soifer; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Dr. Darren Woodruff; Ms. Sara Mead; Mr. Scott Pearson (ex-officio). Mr. Brian Jones called the public hearing to order at 6:37pm.

Mr. Brian Jones: I hereby call to order the public hearing. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive public comment on two policies. These policies have been on our website for comment. The first policy is the FERPA policy relating to our treatment of private information. No one commented on the FERPA Policy The Enrollment Increase Policy. No member of the public spoke on the said policy.

The policy will be available on the website until June 20th. Mr. Brian Jones adjourned the public hearing.

Approval for the Agenda
Mr. Brian Jones asked for approval of the agenda. Hearing no objection, the agenda was approved.

Approval of Minutes from May 21, 2012
Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to approve the minutes from May 21, 2012. Mr. Don Soifer moved the motion and Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Administrative Committee
Mr. Brian Jones entered into the record the contract packages received from LEAs and reviewed by PCSB staff for the time period of May 1, 2012 to May 31, 2012.

Request for Full Approval: DC Scholars Public Charter School
Representatives- Jon Ryblea Ms. Monique Miller from Staff introduced DC Scholars PCS’s request to be granted full approval to open in the 2012-2013 school year. Ms. Miller stated that the school has satisfied all conditions to open including having plans to operate in a facility located at 5601 East Capitol Street, SE. The school will be co-located with the University of the District of Columbia at a former D.C Public School facility and will be housed on the ground floor. Board Member Sara Mead excused herself from the motion to vote. The board voted to fully approve DC Scholars.

Request to Operate in a New Location: Shinning Stars Montessori Academy Public Charter School
Representative- Malcolm Woodland (Chairman of the board) Ms. Theresa Garcia from Staff introduced Shinning Stars Montessori Academy PCS’s request to relocate to 1328 Florida Ave., NW, Washington, DC, for the 2012-2013 school years. Mr. Don Soifer inquired about the reason for the request for a new location. Ms. Theresa Garcia answered that the school needs new space. After a short discussion the board voted to approve the school’s request to operate in a new location was approved.

Revised Accountability Plan: Eagle Academy Public Charter School
Ms. Rashida Kennedy from Staff introduced revisions of the Eagle Academy PCS’s approved Accountability Plan for 2011-2012 school years. The revisions included revising weekly targets, replacing inappropriate assessments, and adjusting established targets. After some discussion the board approved the motion to revise Eagle Academy’s accountability plans.

Special Education Review Findings: Roots Public Charter School
Representative- Winifred H. Wright (Director of Program Compliance), Bernida Thompson (Principal) Ms. Naomi DeVeaux from Staff introduced the Special Education Review Findings for Roots PCS. Ms. DeVeaux stated that during the month of January 2012, Roots Public Charter School had an overall student enrollment of approximately 120 students of which none had been identified as eligible for special education services.

As a result of this finding the PCSB conducted a special education review of Roots PCS to determine the degree to which the school provides a free and appropriate public education to students who are eligible for special education and/or related services pursuant to IDEA.

In addition, the special education review examined enrollment procedures for the past four school years to determine if they were any exclusionary practices against special education students. The review team found that Roots PCS is in compliance with IDEA in that it provides special needs students with a free, appropriate, education and does not employ enrollment practices that discriminate against students with disabilities. Evidence gathered from documents reviews, classroom observation, and the interviews with staff, a Roots PCS board member, the school’s leadership team and parents did not reveal that the school implemented discriminatory practices against students with special needs. The review team found some areas for the school to work on to ensure that they remained in compliance and suggested some recommendations. Mr. Brian Jones asked what other processes had be implemented as a result of the findings. Ms. Naomi DeVeaux answered that the staff, leadership team and parents of Roots PCS were interviewed. Mr. Brian Jones asked if any mystery shopper activities were conducted on Roots PCS. Ms. Naomi DeVeaux answered yes and added that everyone who was interviewed had good comments about Roots PCS.

Notice of Concern Related to Data Submission Representative: Jami Dunham, Montrell Sutton Ms. Kimberly Worthington from Staff read that based on the attendance and discipline data policy approved by PCSB in April, 2012, the following schools are out-of- compliance for timely submission of attendance and/or discipline data:

• LAYC- Youth Build PCS
• Paul PCS
• Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS

PCSB staff recommended that each of the identified schools be issued a Notice of Concern with the requirements that all data issues be remedied by July 1, 2012. Ms. Worthington stated that Paul PCS was currently uploading data and each of the identified schools were issued two formal notices requesting that the data be submitted.

Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if an extended deadline was given to the schools for submission. Ms. Kimberly Worthington answered that July 1st was a reasonable deadline for final submission. Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to extend the submission deadline. The board agreed to the motion. The motion was carried.

Approval to Open Public Comment on Proposed Policies Pre-Kindergarten Language Adoption Policy

Ms. Naomi DeVeaux from Staff introduced the proposal recommending the change to adopt Pre- K as the standard language for Early Childhood Education Programs that serve “Pre-k age children” children who are three (3) years of age on or before December 31 of the academic year of which the child is being enrolled, four (4) years of age; or five (5) years of age after September 30.

New Performance Management Framework Floors for Standard Schools
Ms. Naomi DeVeaux from Staff read that in November 2011, PCSB published the School Year 2010-2011 Performance Management Framework (PMF), which contains school performance reports based on common measures and is used to tier schools into three performances categories: Tier 1 (high-performing), Tier 2 (mid-performing), Tier 3 (low-performing).

In preparation for the 2012 PMF release, and as part of the PCSB’s continuing accountability, PCSB staff recalculated the floors using the most recent data available, per the policy, changes to 2010-2011 Performance Management Frameworks: Floors/Targets and Tier Cutoffs previously approved by the PCSB Board. This policy, approved July 7, 2011, states that:

“Floors and targets will be reassessed yearly based on the most recent year of data. Targets will not be reduced in the event the charter community scores decrease.”

The 2013 Application Guidelines for New Charter School Start Ups and Experience Operator
Ms. Naomi DeVeaux More questions are asked; the format is different with bulleted statements as opposed to paragraph form. Ms. Sara Mead asked if they were any areas that have fewer questions in their application. Ms. Naomi DeVeaux answered that the question were more simplified in the application. Mr. Don Soifer asked if the demographic analysis was mention on the document.

Ms. Naomi DeVeaux answered that experienced operators should know their population and track their students by subgroups.

Mr. Brian Jones announced that all three of the proposals will be up for public comment for 30 days on PCSB website.

Final Approval for Oversight Fee Increase
Mr. Scott Pearson introduced the proposed oversight fee increase as the principal source of PCSB’s revenue is a 0.5% oversight fee charged to each charter school in DC. The School Reform Act permits the PCSB to assess this fee on a school’s budget. PCSB has historically assessed this fee only on a school’s local public revenues.

Were this to be expanded to include all revenues other than philanthropy (including federal and OSSE grants), this would result in approximately $500,000 of additional annual revenue to PCSB, and cost schools approximately $16 per student or one tenth of one percent.

We received two public comments and both comments raised concerns that the increase would adversely affect by schools. Mr. Don Soifer motioned for the approval of the fee increase. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded the approval of the fee increase. After some discussion with the board members relating to school closures, Mr. Scott Pearson added that for next fiscal year PCSB has budgeted $150,000 for school closure purposes. The motion of approval was carried and the fee increase was adopted.

Approval to Propose Change to Charter Agreements Allowing Single Campus Closure
Mr. Scott Pearson stated that neither the School Reform Act nor PCS charter agreements allow for the closure of a single campus. PCSB only has authority to revoke the charter of and LEA. PCSB’s mechanism to close a single campus is to threaten the closure of an entire LEA and put pressure on the school’s board to close the low performing campus (es).

This is a messy and unpredictable process that can cause collateral damage to the schools other campus. The policy was open for public comment and no comments or suggestions were made. Mr. Don Soifer voted against the policy, singling out the one provision whereby the agreement would be made mandatory at the time of a school’s charter renewal. He expressed support for the proposed policy’s other provisions, noting that he believes schools will find it in their own best interests (as well as PCSB”s best interest) to sign voluntarily. The motion passed.

Public comment
None. Meeting adjourned at 9:05pm.