Category Listing
Smiling children looking up towards camera
Find a Charter School
Choose a school type from the menu below to begin your search.
Get Connected With PCSB
Agendas/Minutes/Board Decisions
Back
November 19, 2012

 D.C. Public Charter School Board

Meeting Minutes

3333 14th Street, NW Suite 210

Washington, DC 20010

November 19, 2012

7:30 pm

Public Hearing

Board Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (Chair); Mr. Darren Woodruff; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Mr. Don Soifer; Ms. Sara Mead; Mr. Scott Pearson (Ex–Officio)

Mr. Brian Jones called the public hearing to order at 7:38 pm.

Public Hearing on Proposed Board Policy

The following individuals addressed the Board:

Anne Abbott – Policy Analyst at DC Alliance of Youth Advocates

A distinction should be made between programs offering alternative pathways to success and schools under consideration for alternative status for PMF reasons. Both are called “alternative” but distinctions should be made.

Eduardo Ferrer – Board Chair at Next Step PCS

The Next Step should be considered for alternative PMF, as it should be based on the students served rather than the credential offered.

Lori Kaplan – Executive Director of Latin American Youth Collaborative

The definition of disconnected youth is a young person between 16–24 who is not engaged in school or work. Many of these youth have been mismatched. There are 3 national organizations who would be happy to meet with PCSB.

Ken Robinson – Board Chair of LAYC Career Academy PCS

The board should include full-time GED programs into the definition of alternative school. LAYC offers students the opportunity to get college credits, A+ certificate or nursing certificate. There is a huge need for students with this credential. They will become employed taxpaying members of society.

Andrea Hinson– Principal at LAYC Youth Build PCS

Read the testimonies of Mark Jordan, Board Chair, and Arthur Dade, Executive Director. Mr. Jordan’s testimony noted that the proposed alternative PMF policy acknowledges that youth confront certain challenges, but the policy excludes adult education programs. Youth Build is not a diploma-granting program but neither is it a strictly GED program. Arthur Dade’s testimony noted Youth Build PCS serves youth 16–24 who have dropped out or aged out and 98% of whom are economically disadvantaged. Youth Build offers a non-traditional program that permits students to earn a GED and prepare for a career. Youth Build has successfully advanced 90% of students 2 grade levels or more. The proposed policy undervalues and marginalizes students who receive their GED credential.

Nicole Hanrahan – Acting Executive Director LAYC Career Academy PCS.

The proposed policy assumes GED is less valuable. The problem with this is many students will never consider a high school diploma; research shows GED is more valuable than dropping out; differentiate between traditional GED part-time and our schools which offer full-time programs.

Julie Meyer – Executive Director, The Next Step PCS.

Our students have dropped out or have been referred by other schools. GED is being redeveloped for release in 2014 and has greater rigor. Some states grant diplomas to GED recipients. We focus not only on GED, but also on life skills. The proposed alternative pilot does not consider the GED to be of value; it was written in a rushed process and not well considered; uses inaccurate data.

Cassidy Cole – Student at LAYC Career Academy PCS

A transgender woman found it hard to find a place that serves her. LAYC Career needs the proper funding to offer her a proper education. LAYC deserves PCSB’s funding. Most places have told me no; this place tells me yes.

Deja Hodge – Student at LAYC Career Academy PCS.

Deja left Anacostia High School, which was chaotic. Missed a year of school; ready for a fresh start, but couldn’t start school because of her age (18 in tenth grade). LAYC Career Academy gave her an opportunity to continue her education.

Walter Hernandez – Graduate of The Next Step PCS and representative of the Board.

The importance of the GED is huge, especially for people over 18 years of age.

Heather Wadington – Board Chair of Maya Angelou PCS.

Board processes relating to board decision made April 17 where it concluded that MAPCS and Options served substantial student bodies. The board statement said that it was exploring an alternate PMF and working with OSSE. It appears that the process is ongoing and therefore requests that the board withhold its decision to decouple the Maya Middle School from the definition of alternative until the final process is complete.

David Domenici – Co-founder of Maya Angelou PCS.

When we started MAPCS, we sought a high quality school for DC’s most at-risk students. After 8 or 9 years of hard work, we applied to open a charter middle school. Found that students entering the high school had fallen off of the wagon somewhere in middle school. We called this the first alternative middle school in DC.

Lucretia Murphy – Executive Director at Maya Angelou PCS.

We have an alternative designation for the high school but firmly believe we are serving an alternative population in the middle school. This is a place for students’ second or third chance. However there should be consideration of alternative risk factors at the middle school. She recognizes OSSE concerns about the use of SPED status to place students; this is not an issue in charter schools, which are schools of choice, and which must offer a least restrictive environment.

Corey Carter – Principal at Maya Angelou PCS High School PCS.

While it is good to know that the HS meets the standard, the need to reach a definition quickly should not trump the need to get it right. No definition at this time is due to the diversion of resources to the PMF. Now it was rushed and a list of indicators was arrived at without significant consultation with the school. PCSB’s definition appears to leave out middle schools. The requirement that the student body be “significantly” different ignores the unique factors in DC. The exclusion of poverty is inappropriate.

Steven Foster – Assistant Principal of Maya Angelou High School PCS

Has seen the drive and ambition of the middle school staff. Seen that the Middle School scholars are the younger versions of the High School students he serves. Without a home like the middle school, students will be forced to find a new home.

Yolanda Body – Staff Member at Maya Angelou PCS

She was drawn to Maya Angelou PCS as a family. Looking at the road to proficiency as an alternative path. This puts them on the road to success.

Lamont Geddis – Principal of Maya Angelou Middle School PCS.

Maya Angelou is a place where everybody is somebody. The campus is a place for second and third chances. Maya Angelou PCS reaches out to students who have struggled in other settings. Traditionally alternative schools rest on definition relevant to high schools. Indicators need to be expanded. 5% of the school’s students have been incarcerated; they also have pregnant teens, and typically three students each year in the Middle School are pregnant.

Madeline Collington – Parent of a Middle School Student.

Parent of a student academically on target but with behavior issues. The child is now on target. There are other similar success stories. Need to look at alternative designation. 

Abimbola George –Behavioral Specialist at Maya Angelou Middle School.

Mr. George sees students turning for the better at Maya. Students faced the same issues he did growing up – judged by where you are from rather than what you did. Don’t downplay standardized testing but when our kids are worried about their safety and nutrition, test results come second. 31% of Maya Angelous’ scholars are exceptional learners. Maya Angelou PCS is dedicated to serving the whole child. They want the opportunity to serve children most schools have given up on.

Nasser Mohammed – Teacher at Maya Angelou PCS.

Maya Angelou Middle School PCS is ideal for serving students who are behind. It should be designated as alternative.

Eugene Randall – Dean of Students of Maya Angelou PCS.

Has seen over the past 30 years the challenges faced in this neighborhood. Students who don’t finish High School end up in the criminal justice system.

Theodore Graham – Intervention Teacher, Maya Angelou Middle School PCS.

Has only been working at MAPCS for a year but has adopted the approach of meeting students where they are. It is one place where students are cared for, where they have a home, a place for their light to shine.

Harold Miles – Dean of Academics at Maya Angelou Middle School PCS

Has been at campus for four years and seen tremendous growth. Have a large percentage of students identified as exceptional learners. Maya Angelou Middle School serves a population that is most at risk of being underserved.

Katherine Turner – Assistant Principal, Maya Angelou Middle School PCS

We do not apologize for whom we serve. For our students, they should be considered alternative. History of tardiness; history of students who have failed in class; students who have repeated grades; behind grade level; students who have frequent suspensions, expulsions, or have been in multiple schools. Maya Angelou PCS is for teen parents, foster kids, kids with families in crisis.

Kaurega Bailey – Dean of Students at Maya Angelou PC

Says Maya Angelou remains the safest place in the neighborhood – from violence, for socio-emotional support. It is a place to achieve even though they haven’t demonstrated proficiency on tests. To take them from this place of safety is a risk not worth taking.

Erica Samuels – Teacher at Maya Angelou PCS.

Reflect how many lives have been changed. We pride ourselves in meeting students where they are and offering a quality education.

The public hearing was adjourned at 8:57 p.m. 

Public Meeting

Board Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (Chair); Mr. Darren Woodruff; Mr. John “Skip” McKoy; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Mr. Don Soifer; Ms. Sara Mead; Mr. Scott Pearson (Ex–Officio)

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 made a motion to approve the agenda. Mr. Woodruff seconded the motion. The board voted 6–0 to approve the agenda.

Approval of the October 15th 2012 Board Minutes

Ms. Mead made a motion to approve the minutes. Mr. Soifer seconded the motion. The board voted 6–0 to approve the October 15, 2012 board minutes.

Submission into the record of Administrative Contracts

Mr. Jones accepted into the public record the list of charter school contracts valued at more than $25,000.

Accountability Plans – Creative Minds Public Charter School

Staff Representative: Rashida Kennedy, Equity and Fidelity Team Manager

Ms. Kennedy summarized the memorandum, proposing the board approve a new accountability plan for the 2012-2013 school years.

Mr. Woodruff made a motion to approve the accountability plan. Ms. Bloomfield seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0 to approve a new 2012-2013 school year accountability plan for Creative Minds Public Charter School.

Accountability Plans – St. Coletta Public Charter School

Staff Representative: Ms. Avni Patel, Special Education Specialist

Ms. Patel summarized the board memorandum, proposing that the board approve the revised accountability plan for 2012-2013 school years. The revision includes an additional achievement target.

Ms. Mead moved to approve the motion. Mr. Woodruff seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0 to approve the new revised 2012-2013 accountability plan.

PMF Discussion

Staff Representatives: Scott Pearson, Executive Director 

Mr. Pearson stated that the results of the PMF report have not been formally discussed since they were released earlier this year. The review of the results is PCSB has 21 schools in tier 1 and 9 schools in Tier 3 and the remaining schools are in Tier 2. The nine schools in Tier 3 are:

• Arts and Technology Academy PCS

• Community Academy PCS – Amos III

• Howard Road Academy PCS – MLK Ave & Penn Ave

• Ideal Academy PCS

• Integrated Design and Electronic Academy PCS – Middle & High School

• Maya Angelou PCS – Middle School

• Booker T. Washington PCS – High School

Howard Road, IDEA, Community Academy Amos III and Maya Angelou PCS are in their second year as a Tier 3 school. PCSB’s policy is that schools that have been in Tier 3 for three years are subject to closure and schools that have PMF scores of below 20 or have dropped five points or more and remain in Tier 3 are subject to immediate closure. Only one school is in that category and that is IDEA PCS –Middle School.

Dr. Woodruff confirmed the understanding that only one of the schools in Tier 3

Have asked for a change in designation to become an alternative school.

Mr. Pearson answered yes.

Policy Votes

Updating the Language on PCSB Monitoring of Schools

Staff Representative: Naomi DeVeaux, Deputy Director

Ms. DeVeaux summarized the memorandum, asking the board to vote on the original policy that was introduced on August 20, 2012 and was approved to open for public comment for 30 days on PCSB website. Therefore, staff recommended that the board vote to approve this policy as it was originally received.

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the original policy. Ms. Mead seconded the motion.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the motion. 

Updating the Language and Terms used for Data Collection

Staff Representative: Naomi DeVeaux, Deputy Director

Ms. DeVeaux summarized the board memorandum, asking the board to vote on the original policy that was introduced on July 18, 2012. No public comment was given and no individual spoke at the hearing. Therefore, staff recommended that the board vote to approve this policy as it was originally received.

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the original policy. Ms. Mead seconded the motion.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.

Definition of School, Campus and Facility

Staff Representative: Naomi DeVeaux, Deputy Director

Ms. DeVeaux summarized the board memorandum, asking the board to vote on the original policy that was introduced on July 16, 2012. No public comment was given and no individual spoke at the hearing. Therefore, staff recommended that the board vote to approve this policy as it was originally received.

Mr. Woodruff moved to approve the original policy. Ms. Bloomfield seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.

Adult Education Performance Management Framework Pilot

Staff Representative: Naomi DeVeaux, Deputy Director

Ms. DeVeaux summarized the board memorandum to approve the pilot. The pilot includes feedback received from public charter school leaders, adult education consultants and advisors, and task force members.

Dr. Woodruff moved to approve launching the Adult Education PMF Pilot. Mr. Soifer seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0 to approve the motion.

Approval to Open Public Comment on Proposed Board Policies/ Documents

Discipline, Attendance and Special Education Audits

Staff Representative: Rashida Kennedy, Equity and Fidelity Manager

Ms. Kennedy summarized the board memorandum; staff requests the board to open public comment on a new data audit policy. This policy will determine flags that will trigger audits of submitted data. 

Dr. Woodruff asked if there have been any concerns from the schools.

Ms. Kennedy answered that there were no complaints or concerns with the data quality policy.

Dr. Woodruff asked if this policy will become more efficient as time goes by.

Ms. Kennedy answered that the number of errors in proactive and attendance has decreased with each passing month.

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the motion to be opened for public comment. Dr. Woodruff seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0.

Revisions to the PCSB Attendance and Truancy Policy

Staff Representatives: Rashida Kennedy, Equity and Fidelity Manager

Ms. Kennedy summarized the board memorandum; staff requests the board to approve revisions to the attendance and truancy policy based on new local laws that require LEAs to report truant students ages 5 to 13 at 10 or more unexcused absences. 25 or more unexcused absences for students 14-17 in high school. The expedited date for public comment is December 13, 2012.

Dr. Woodruff asked if they have been any letters of concern sent out to the school.

Ms. Kennedy answered that no letter of concern has been made by any schools.

Dr. Soifer moved to approve the policy. Dr. Woodruff seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0.

Policy on Charter Amendments for Revised Goals and Academic Achievement Expectations.

Staff Representatives: Scott Pearson, Executive Director

Mr. Pearson summarized the board memorandum, stating that the board opens for public comment on a new charter amendment policy concerning school goals and academic achievement expectations.

Dr. Woodruff asked if they are any schools that have submitted or requested changes to their charter goals.

Mr. Pearson answered that only one school has asked for guidance in updating their charter goals.

Ms. Meade asked how PCSB would handle a school that hasn’t applied and asked to change their goals after the policy has passed.

Mr. Pearson answered that the issue will be dealt with accordingly. 

Dr. Woodruff moved the motion to approve the revised goals and academic achievement expectations. Ms. Meade seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0.

Public Comment

No Public Comment

The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 p.m.