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March 18, 2013

D.C Public Charter School Board Meeting Minutes

3333 14th Street, NW Suite 210

Washington, DC 20010 

March 18, 2013 7:30pm

 

Public Hearing

 

BoarMembers in attendanceJohn Skip” McKo(Chair)DarreWoodruff (Vice Chair)EmilyBloomfield, BriaJones, Sara Mead, Don Soifer; Scott Pearson (ExOfficio).

Mr. McKocalled the public hearing to order at 7:38pm. PublicHearing on ProposeBoard Policies: Data Management

No member of the public wished to address the board during this hearinand the public hearingwaadjourneat 7:39pm.


Public M
eeting

BoarMembers in attendanceJohn Skip” McKo(Chair)DarreWoodruff (Vice Chair)EmilyBloomfield, BriaJones, Sara Mead, Don Soifer; Scott Pearson (ExOfficio)

Mr. McKoaskeif thewerany public officials thawished to be recognized. No public officials were announced.

Approval of the Agenda

MrWoodruff moved to approve the agenda; Ms. Bloomfield seconded the motion. The board vote6-0 to approve the agenda.

Approval of the January 10, 2013 Board Minutes

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the minutes; Ms. Mead seconded the motion. The board vote6-0 to approve the minutes.

Approval of the February 25, 2013 Board Minutes

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the minutes; Ms. Mead seconded the motion.

T
he board vote6-0 to approve the minutes. Submission into the record of Administrative Contracts
Mr. McKoaccepted into the public record the list of charter schools’ contracts valued over $25,000.

PolicVotes: SpeciaEducation Audit Triggers

Staff RepresentativeAvni Patel, Equity & Fidelity Team

Ms. Patel summarized the board memorandum tharequested that the board vote to accept the proposed PCSB SpeciaEducation Audit PolicyThBoard had previously voted to open the proposed policfor public comment and held a public hearing on the policyThrecommentswerreceived.

MrWoodruff congratulated PCSB staff on taking the lead in developing this policyThe concerns thaarofteraised in the communitare thacharter schools are not doing everything thecan to serve all students in the communityespeciallchildrewith disabilities. MrWoodruff hopes that PCSB caaggressively get the worout on the speciaeducation triggeraudit policy.

Ms. Bloomfield askeMs. Patel to incorporate twadditional items into the policy:

  • Schools must demonstrate that manifestation hearings were held before expelling or suspending students for whom manifestation hearings are legally required.
  • The timeliness of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.

Ms. Meaaskefor clarification of the policy presented before the board. Ms. Meawanted to be sure that nothing in the policwould require schools to routinely submit data to us that they do noalready submit. She also wanted to clarify that this policy does not indicate any specificconsequenceas a result of these triggers, only greatescrutiny.

Ms. Pateanswereyeto both points of clarification.

Mr. Soifer moved to approve the policyMrWoodruff seconded. The board vote6-0 to approve the motion.

Renewal Decision: Integrated Desigand Electronic Academy PCS

 Staff RepresentativeNaomi DeVeauxDeputDirector

IDEA PCS Representatives: David Owens, Chair of the Board of Trustees; John Goldman,Executive Director.

Ms. DeVeaux summarized the board memorandum tharecommended thaIntegrateDesigand ElectroniAcadem(IDEA) PCScharter not be renewefoanother 15- year term based on the schoolfailure to meet its goals and student academic achievement expectations as seforth in its charter and subsequently developeaccountability plans.

PCSB staff instearecommends to the Mayor that, pursuant to the School ReforAc(“SRA”) §38-1802.12(d) (5) (B)IDEA PCS be placed on probation, subject to the terms and conditionsrecommendeby PCSB.

The recommended terms of probation are:

1. The school is required to continue executing the restructuring plan as enumerated in the May 2012 report to the board.

2. The school must show progressive improvement on its Performance Management Framework (PMF) score for three years as follows:
1. SY 2012-13: IDEA must score within 1 percentage point of 40.0%
2. SY2013-14: IDEA must score within 1 percentage point of 45.0%
3. SY2014-15: IDEA PCS must score within 1 percentage point of 50.0%

IIDEA PCS does not achieve one of these targets, the probationarwill enand the school will be closeat the end of the subsequent school year.

1. 
IDEA PCS must not commit any material violations of state and/or federal special education law during the course of the probation.

2. 
Throughout the probationary term, IDEA PCS must annually report on its progress in a March public hearing before the PCSB Board.

If the school meets these terms over the course of threyears, the school will be eligible to applfor charter renewal in the fall of school year 2015-16, and should submit aapplication for renewaaccording to the provisions detailed in the SRA.

 
  For the duration of IDEA PCS’ probation, the school must submit regulareports to PCSB detailing its turnaround effort, which must include results from
  interim student assessments to gauge student progress towards mastery of standards and readiness for the DC-CAS. 

MrOwens stateconcerns that the PMF requirements arvery high. GiveIDEA PCSHigh School 2011-12 PMF score of 28.4%he suggested that the 40% goal is a very substantial increaseNo other charter high school haachieved sucan increaseeven among Tier 1 schools; the highest PMF increase to date is seven percentage points. MrOwens hopes that the targets outlineby the charter school boarwould be reasonable.

MrOwens also informed the board that the actuarestructuring of the board took effect in September 2012. The conditions for restructuring were agreed to in February 2013, at which point the existing staff was still in placeAt the time, MrOwens wachair of the restructuring team, not chair of the board. The students werbeing taught by the prior staff thawas in a state of chaos. The job of the restructuring chair was to terminate underperforming staffas a result two-thirds of teaching staff were terminated.

MrGoldman stated that he shares Ms. DeVeaux’ s confidence in IDEA PCSability to meet the 40 point target. IDEA PCSs 10th grade is testing at 54% proficient in English, a significant increase from last year’s proficiencrate in the low 40s. Additionally, 73% of that group is reaching 60% on the English test, meaning 70% of the students are proficient. The school provides Saturday math tutoring in preparation for DC CAS, and a Spring Break Math AcademyThe schoolattendancrate is over 90% ancollege acceptance ratearexpected to be at 100%.

Mr. Woodruff asked how the parent/family community is responding to the new changes. Mr.Goldman answered that the community is very excited and the changes are being well received. The culture is very positive with a clean environment; the students are excited.

Ms. Bloomfield askeabout the changes to stafretention in administration.

MrGoldmaanswerethat he harecently surveyed their stafand 95% intend to return. Stafwill be evaluated, and performancevaluations will be based on data and performance, includinstudent growth. MrGoldmafeels confident about the stafchosen to teach the students aIDEA PCS.

Ms. Bloomfield askeMrGoldman to speak more on the administrative staff.

MrGoldmaanswerethat majority of the administrative staff habeen lego.  Resumearcurrently beerevieweand applications have beeaccepted since the beginning of the year. A finarevieof applicants and decision making should be completed in the next six to eight weeks.

Mr. Soifer askeabout the current state of student attendance.

MrGoldmaanswerethat their attendancrate iat 90%.

Mr. Soifer askefor more clarification on the number of 9th graders on track to graduate during SY 2011-2012 increasinfrom 3% to 81%.

MrGoldmaanswerethat he was not at the IDEA PCS at the time but became the executive director in August 2012. From his knowledge, the prior scheduling did not have a systematic march towards graduation. The schedule has now beerevampeand 9th graderhave beeregrouped so students to take the classerequired to be on tracfor graduation.

MrOwens sayhe is verconfident that the goals can be achieved. MrOwens is concerned that the boarwill automaticallclose IDEA PCS if the goals are not met. Mr. Owens is aware thahwould have to demonstrate that there habeen substantial improvement to their academic performance.

Mr. Goldman spoke of his concerns that a 12-point increase is an unrealistic expectation. Mr. Pearson responded to Mr. Goldman by informing him that the PMF has only been released twice, so the history of gains is only one year. In the history of the PMF, some schools, though not high schools have seen gains larger than the 12 point target, including one with a gain of more than 20 points. It is the clear view of staff that the IDEA PCS turnaround began when the PCSB board approved the turnaround in early 2012. The IDEA PCS board had represented both at board meetings and staff meetings about the major efforts that will be undertaken immediately to improve the school’s results, including graduation rates, 9th grade on track rate, reenrollment rate, and attendance rates. There was a confidence expressed that IDEA PCS could make an immediate improvement in the PMF score; that didn’t happen. The IDEA PCS board expressed their high degree of confidence and acceptance that they would be held to the standards of the 15 year renewal process, just like any other school. Evaluating IDEA PCS like any other school would mean the school would be closed right now, rather than put on this probation. PCSB believes that IDEA PCS has had two years to improve, not one. The school missed its first year growth expectations and now has a more difficult challenge. From the 2011-12 PMF score to 40 points is approximately five points.

 

MrOwens responded to Mr. Pearson that monthly milestonewere sefoIDEA PCS. The milestonerequireaevaluation of all the teaching staff, the onlresponsibilitwagiven to him to reevaluate the teaching staff and this took place between March through May timeframeThchanges thawere necessary to bring the PMF scores up werchanges in facultycurriculum, boarcomposition, school leadership; in February througJune those changewere enacted. Mr.Owens said he had no authoritand could not implement any of those elements with the existing staff.  Thactuallrestructuring of the school took place in the beginning of SY 2012-2013. The new staffnew board, necurriculum were in place in September 2012.

Ms. Bloomfield said in February 2012 the issuewerent newTherhad been manwarnings. She understands that turnarounds arhard; the boartakes a birisk but sets the terms and accepts nothing less. Ms. Bloomfielwould not have agreed to this turnaround if she didnthink IDEA PCS could get to 40 points in 2013. If MrOwens had said 38 points waachievable by 2013, it would have been a No” vote. Ms. Bloomfield haconfidence thaIDEA PCS will achieve 40 points but it is important to sticwith these goals.

MrOwens points out that he had no understanding that there were PMF targets seas performance measurewhen the turnaround waagreed to. Hseeks to be able to appeal to the board if the school does not meet the 40 point target.

Mr. Pearson expresseconcern thaIDEA PCS might in the futurchallenge the probationarconditions, noting thaIDEA PCSattornewas in the audienceHe suggested that the boarconsider not grantinIDEA PCS probation terms aall but instead denying their charter completelybased on the schoolrepeated statement of intent to combacand appeal the closure if they dont meet their targets.

MrGoldmaresponded thaAttorney Steven Marcus attended the meeting at his owaccorand he is a regular attendeat PCSB board meetings. MrOwens assured the board thaIDEA PCS has no intention to litigate this matter aall or push it beyond these proceedings. Mr.Goldman is asking that the board judge their performance holisticalland in contexwith some discretion, rather than there beinaautomatic decision.

MrWoodruff moved to accept the stafproposal to 1) not renew the charter and 2) recommend to the Mayor probationary status as proposeby staff; Ms. Mead seconded the motion. The board voted 6-0.

Public Comment

T
herwas no public comment and the meetinwaadjourneat 8:23 pm.