D.C Public Charter School Board
3333 14th Street, NW Suite 210
Washington, DC 20010
August 20, 2012
Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (Chair); Mr. Don Soifer; Mr. John “Skip”McKoy (Vice Chair); Darren Woodruff; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Ms. Sara Mead
Mr. Jones called the public hearing to order at 7:30pm
Public Hearing on three proposed board policies
Mr. Jones welcomed the audience and introduced the agenda for the public hearing. He asked for public speakers on the following three board policies:
• Paul Public Charter School Charter Amendment
• Definition of School, Campus and Facility
• Update the Language and Terms Used for Data
Proposed Charter Amendment for Paul Public Charter School
Monique Miller from PCSB staff gave a summary of the amendment.
Paul representatives present were Jami Dunham (Head of School), Roberta Colton (Board of Trustees Member), and Josh Kern (Ten Square)
Ms. Miller informed the board of that Paul Public Charter School currently serves grades 6-9 and is located in Northwest Washington, DC. They are currently seeking to expand through 12th grade starting next fall of 2013 by adding 10th grade and every year adding a grade until they reach full capacity.
Ms. Dunham made the following points:
• Paul PCS is currently seeking to expand to grade 12. After nearly two years of exploring the idea Paul contracted in 2010 with FOCUS and Ed-Ops to conduct feasibility study. This study analyzed the school enrollment trends, historical student performance data and the current market. After presenting this study to the Paul board in June, 2011, staff and board continued to develop an action plan to address funding options and amending the school's charter. Coupled with the school feasibility study and the IFF study that was released in January, 2012, the Paul Board of Trustees voted to pursue and submit a charter amendment request at its February, 2012 board meeting. Among the most compelling data points in making the final decision to move forward were:
1. Nearly 2000 ninth graders were enrolled in under performing schools at the time in Wards 1-6.
2. From the IFF study-11, 600 spaces are needed in high performing high schools
• Paul’s middle school program currently extends to the ninth grade academy.
• Thus far Paul has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to support their planning year.
• Paul has secured a supporting resolution from the local ANC. In January, 2012 Paul partnered with Charter Board Partners to strengthen and build board capacity. In June, 2012, Paul partnered with Ten Square to assist with facilities planning and development. Paul has entered an agreement with Shinberg Levinas to conduct an architectural assessment of current space.
• Paul plans to continue due diligence and planning during the 2012-2013 school year and expand to grade 10 in the 2013-2014 school year, expanding one grade per year until reaching full capacity of 850 students in the 2015-2016 school year.
• Paul’s current site can accommodate the expansion.
• Paul’s mission is to educate our students and develop responsible citizens and independent thinkers and leaders. The high school will continue to fulfill this mission with the emphasis on global awareness and integrated technology as a means to access the global community. Paul’s mission’s specific goal is to increase global awareness using several key strategies:
1. Integrating a cultural connection and technology curriculum;
2. Developing a two week capstone experience that is driven by the UN Millennium goals, connecting community service experiences to those specific UN Millennium goals; and,
3. Developing a study abroad experience for each student.
• In addition to their mission-specific goals around global awareness Paul has identified rigorous academic goals to ensure that their scholars are prepared for college. As a middle school Paul has been very successful at placing students at high-performing college preparatory schools. Staff has visited several successful school models that are aligned to Paul’s goals and programs.
• Paul seeks approval of the charter amendment to engage in earnest to plan for the grade expansion in 2013-14.
• Paul understands the need for high school students are very different from middle schools and are taking the necessary steps to position the school to provide a comprehensive college preparatory program.
Mr. Jones asked about the financing plan for the expansion and what their contingency plan is.
Ms. Dunham answered that five year projections were created during the feasibility study. These projections included an analysis of the number of students needed to be financially viable. Because expansion through grade 10 will be on the current site, the need for expensive capital improvements is deferred. The board has created a high school expansion committee that includes the finance chair to ensure the expansion is financially viable..
Mr. Woodruff asked Ms. Dunham what would be the two or three major challenges growing into 10th-12th grade.
Ms. Dunham answered that the main challenges would be how to accommodate new students that come to Paul, and how to accommodate special needs students.
Mr. Woodruff asked Ms. Dunham what the partnership would look like with Ten Square and what that would lead to.
Ms. Colton answered that Ten Square is providing facilities consulting. This includes negotiating an amendment to the building lease with DGS (Department of General Services) as well as planning and financing for the renovation and expansion of the building.
Mr. Woodruff asked what would be the difference between a middle school and high school curriculum.
Ms. Dunham answered that a part of their philosophy is to provide students with an individualized approach. That will continue in the high school. This includes offering students access to world languages and becoming part of a consortium of international schools.
Mr. Woodruff asked when the high school staff would be brought on board.
Ms. Dunham replied that they would begin in the 2013-2014 school year.
Mr. Soifer asked how the school plans to complete the curriculum in time for the school year.
Ms. Dunham answered that they have developed staff-level and board-level action plans. The school has developed clear benchmarks and due dates. The school is also recruiting additional strong board members.
Mr. Jones asked if anyone from the public would like to comment on Paul PCS public hearing. There was no public comment.
Definition of School, Campus and Facility
Naomi DeVeaux from staff introduced the issue, summarizing the board memorandum.
Mr. Jones asked the audience for public comment. There were no comments.
Update the Language and Terms used for Data Collection
Ms. DeVeaux explained the policy, summarizing the board memorandum.
Mr. Jones informed the audience that the information on submitting written public comments on the proposed policies would be available on PCSB’s website.
Hearing no public comment, the public hearing was adjourned.
Board Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (Chair); Mr. Don Soifer; Mr. John “Skip” McKoy (Vice Chair); Mr. Darren Woodruff; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Ms. Sara Mead
Mr. Jones asked if they are any public officials that wished to be recognized- No public officials were announced.
Approval of the Agenda
Mr. Soifer moved to approve the agenda and Mr. Woodruff seconded.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the agenda.
Approval of the July 21st 2012
Ms. Mead moved to approve the board minutes and Mr. McKoy seconded. The board voted 6-0 to approve the July 21, 2012 board minutes.
Submission into the record of Administrative Contracts
Mr. Jones submitted into record the list of contracts valued over $25,000 entered into by charter schools.
Preliminary Opportunity for Public Comment
No Public Comment was submitted.
Notification to Open in a New Location
Eagle Academy Public Charter School
Eagle Academy’s representatives were: Joe Smith (CFO-COO); Cassandra Pinkey (Executive Director)
Ms. Miller presented Eagle Academy’s notification to open in a new location. The issue was summarized in the board memorandum.
Ms. Mead asked if Eagle Academy had third graders enrolled this past school year.
Mr. Smith responded that 2011-12 was the first year Eagle had a third grade class.
Ms. Mead asked if Eagle Academy had received DC CAS data for those students.
Mr. Smith responded that 2011-2012 was the first year Eagle had a third grade class.
Ms. Mead asked what Eagle Academy’s plan is to develop a relationship with the elementary school in the community they intend to move to.
Ms. Pinkey responded that Eagle Academy would be working with Achievement Prep.
Mr. McKoy asked if it presents a challenge that Eagle Academy ends in the third grade requiring parents to find schools that start in fourth grade.
Ms. Pinkey answered that the challenge isn’t going some place else to find fourth grade but the challenge they are having is leaving Eagle Academy. Many students have been with Eagle since they were three so the parents are concerned with moving their children.
Mr. Smith said Eagle has 1,300 applications for 610 spaces.
Hospitality Senior High Public Charter School
Representatives of Hospitality were: Rodney McBride (Principal); Maggie Wang (Director of Finance Operation)
Ms. Miller presented Hospitality Senior High notification to open in a new location. Hospitality submitted correspondence notifying Public Charter School Board of its intent to relocate its 4301 13th Street, NW in Ward 4 to 1851 9th Street, NW in Ward 1 effective June 2013.
Mr. McKoy asked the percentage of students that go into the hospitality industry.
Mr. McBride answered that 33% of their students go into the industry or major in that field in college.
Mr. McKoy asked what percentage go to college.
Mr. McBride answered that 10% go into the industry and the remaining percentage go to college. This number is misleading because many of the students go into the industry to make money to go to college late.
Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts
Representatives of Richard Wright were: Marco Clark (Executive Director); Gregory Adams (Board Member)
Ms. Miller from PCSB staff presented Richard Wright notification of intent to open in a new location. Richard Wright PCS submitted correspondence notifying the Public Charter School Board of its intent to relocate its Benning Campus at 100 41st Street, NW in Ward 7 to 770 M Street, SE in Ward 6 effective August 27, 2012. The purpose of the relocation is to accommodate the anticipated growth of the school as it expands to serve the grades authorized in its charter.
Ms. Miller introduced the issue, summarizing the board memorandum.
Ms. Mead asked if the students would have an easier commute to the new location.
Mr. McBride answered that the students take public transportation to Benning Campus. It is short commute based on the survey that the parents submitted to the school. The walk from the metro station to the school will be shorter now and there is more safety in the new location.
Ms. Meade asked what their relationship is with the new neighborhood.
Mr. McBride answered that flyers were passed around in the neighborhood. Staff had conversations with businesses up and down H Street and Eastern Market to build relationships. The school invited the community to various forums to introduce themselves.
Bridges Public Charter School’s Request for Full Approval for Charter Amendment
Representatives of Bridges were: Olivia Smith (Principle); Patrick Shaun (Assistant Principle)
Carolyn Trice from PCSB staff presented Bridges‘s request for full approval for charter amendment. Staff recommended that Bridges receive full approval to expand its program to serve in kindergarten through fifth grade as it has satisfied all terms outlined in its conditional approval granted in March 2012. In accordance with the amendment, Bridges will add two inclusion classrooms and one non-categorical special education classroom per grade every year beginning with kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year until it reaches full capacity of 442 students for the 2017-2018 school year. Should the board vote to fully approve Bridges charter amendment, staff will conduct a pre-opening visit to document readiness of the site for student and staff occupancy prior to the opening date.
Mr. Soifer moved to approve the full approval and Mr. Woodruff seconded the motion. The Board voted 6-0 to grant full approval.
Request to Lift Notice of Concern for Compliance for Maya Angelou Public Charter School and Washington Math, Science and Technology Public charter School
Representatives of Maya Angelou: Chris Tessom (COO); Lucretia Murphy (Executive Director)
Charlotte Cureton from PCSB staff presented a recommendation that the board lift the notice of concern issued to Washington Math Science and Technology (WMST) and Maya Angelou for failure to obtain a valid Certificate of Occupancy. Both schools have submitted to PCSB valid certificates, documenting that each site is able to accommodate the school’s current occupancy load.
As of August 15, 2012 both schools have received a valid Certificate of Occupancy.
Mr. McKoy moved the motion to lift notice and Mr. Soifer second the motion. The Board voted 6-0 to lift the notice of concern.
Approval to Open Public Comment on Proposed Board Policy Updated the Language on PCSB Monitoring of Schools.
Ms. DeVeaux recommended that the Board vote to open for comment a new policy that more clearly defines PCSB’s role in monitoring. For example “Program Development Reviews” will now be replaced with “Qualitative Site Reviews”.
Mr. McKoy motioned for approval, Ms. Mead seconded. The Board voted 6-0 to open proposed policy for public comment.
Approval to Open Public Comment on 2012-2013 Charter Renewal Guidelines.
Ms. Miller recommended that the board adopt for expedited public comment new guidelines for renewal of charter schools whose 15-year charters will expire during the 2012-2013 school year. Due to the need to begin this process quickly, staff recommended the board implement and expedited public hearing process that would extend through September 7, 2012 with a goal of adopting new guidelines at the next scheduled board meeting on September 17, 2012.
The nine schools up for charter renewal in school year 2012-2013 have the opportunity to prepare for the charter renewal process by reviewing the draft guidelines and can then finalize their submissions once the final guidelines are voted on in September. The nine schools up for charter renewal are:
• Community Academy Public Charter School
• Carlos Rosario Public Charter School
• Cesar Chavez Public Charter School
• Friendship Public Charter School
• Maya Angelou Public Charter School
• SEED Public Charter School
• IDEA Public Charter School
• E.W. Stokes Public Charter School
• Washington Math, Science and Technology Public Charter School
Mr. McKoy asked if PCSB could renew a charter based on the 15 year review and then vote to close an individual campus of that charter if it merited that decision.
Ms. Miller answered that would require consulting PCSB’s counsel.
Mr. Jones asked for a motion.
Mr. Woodruff moved to approve the public comment and Mr. Soifer seconded. The Board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.
Approval to Open Expedited Public Comment on Early Childhood Performance Management Framework Pilot
Rashida Kennedy from PCSB staff requested the board PCSB’s pilot Early Childhood Performance Management Framework for SY 2012-2013. This framework will be used to hold early childhood programs serving Pre-Kindergarten through second grade accountable to a common set of standards.
The task force will analyze data and feedback collected during the pilot year to determine if and how the framework requires adjustment before it is scheduled to officially replace the current Accountability Plan system for all early childhood programs in SY 2013-2014.
Those schools who sign up for voluntary PMF will also be signing on to CLASS Pre-K site observations in the pilot year.
Ms. Mead motioned for the approval of public comments and Mr. McKoy seconded the motion.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.
2013 Application Guidelines for Experienced Operators
Ms. Miller stated that on June 18, 2012 the board voted to open public comment on draft guidelines for Experienced Charter Operators. The purpose of these new guidelines is to provide an expedited process for high quality experienced operators who wish to apply to open a D.C. Public Charter Schools as well as to include in the application a request for information unique to an experienced operator such as their track record at existing schools.
PCSB received several comments that were summarized in a spreadsheet. One particularly extensive set of comments was submitted by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.
Based on these comments, PCSB staff revised the guidelines that were submitted to the board for approval. With these guidelines the application period will immediately be opened to experienced operators for fall, 2013.
Ms. Mead moved to approve and Mr. Soifer seconded.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the policy.
2012 PMF Floors (revision)
Ms. DeVeaux recommended that the board vote to increase some of the floors on the PMF, according to the PMF policy, which states that floors and targets will be reassessed yearly based on the most recent year of data.
The policy states that targets should not be reduced in the event the charter community scores decrease. The policy had been opened to public comment and no comment was submitted.
Ms. Mead moved to approve and Mr. Soifer seconded. The Board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.
Pre-Kindergarten Language Adoption
Naomi DeVeaux recommended that the board adopt “Pre-K” as the standard language for Early Childhood Education Programs that serve pre-kindergarten aged children, whether in classes for three year-olds (formerly called “preschool” now called “PK-3”) or for four year-olds (formerly called “PK”, now called “PK-4”). This aligns the nomenclature with that of OSSE.
Mr. Woodruff moved to approve and Mr. Soifer seconded.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.
Elementary School / Middle School Performance Management Framework Attendance
Staff recommended that the board vote to re-convene the Standard Elementary and Middle School PMF Task force with the charge of altering the attendance calculation, which could result in a change in the PCSB Performance Management Framework.
Specifically staff seeks to explore changing the attendance rate for elementary and middle schools from “Average Daily Attendance” (ADA) to “In-seat Attendance” (ISA).
These attendance rates differ in that ADA is inclusive of excused absences accrued by a student while in-seat attendance only includes days when the student is physically present in the school.
The collection and monitoring of in-seat attendance would promote more attendance interventions for students to improve the percentage of students actually receiving instruction on a daily basis. It is also the rate that is used by the District of Columbia Public Schools in their School Score Card. Using it in the PMF would better align the two accountability systems and provide consistency across the education sector for parents.
Ms. Bloomfield made a motion for approval and Mr. Woodruff seconded.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the proposal.
High School Performance Management Framework
Staff recommended that the Board vote to re-convene the Standard High School Performance Management Framework Taskforce with the charge of altering the attendance calculation and adding career readiness indicators, which could result in a change in the PCSB High School Performance Management Framework (HS PMF).
Mr. Woodruff moved to approve the motion and Ms. Bloomfield seconded.
The Board voted 6-0 to approve the framework.
Mr. Josh Kern from Ten Square commented on the proposed timeline for the 15-year charter renewal guidelines.
Mr. Kern recommended that the board move the hearing from August 27th to September 10th, giving school leaders more time to receive the guidelines and give thoughtful comments.
Mr. Jones thanked Mr. Kern for his comments and said the Board would take them under advisement.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:38pm.