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Agendas/Minutes/Board Decisions
May 17, 2010
DC Public Charter School Board
Board Meeting Minutes
Public Hearing on Charter Amendment Request to Add Pre-School 
The Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School
School Representatives
Errick Greene  - Head of School & Marva McClure testified.
Board members in attendance:
Mr. Brian Jones, Chair, Ms. Sara Mead, Mr. Don Soifer, Mr. Darren Woodruff, Ms. Emily Bloomfield, and Ms. Josephine Baker, Ex-officio, and Secretary.
Board members excused:  
Will Marshall & Skip McKoy

Mr. Brian Jones called the meeting to order at 7:35 pm for the public hearing and 8:05pm for start of regular board meeting.

Acknowledgement of Public Officials
Mr. Brian Jones invited elected officials to stand and be acknowledged.  There were none present.

Approval of the Agenda
Mr. Brian Jones presented the proposed agenda for the May meeting.  The agenda was accepted by all Board members present.  Emily Bloomfield moved the motion, and Darren Woodruff seconded. Agenda was approved.

Approval of April Minutes
Mr. Brian Jones presented the April minutes and asked for changes to the Inspired Teaching.  A motion was posed by Emily Bloomfield and seconded by Darren Woodruff. The minutes were approved with noted changes.

Approval of April Minutes
Mr. Brian Jones asked that the minutes be changed on page 3. It should read - agreement instead of law.  Mr. Don Soifer asked that his comments about University High be changed:  to incredible amount of time the staff spent on this candidate. 

Administrative Committee
Approval of contracts- submitted for the record.  Mr. Don Soifer posed the motion. Mr. Darren Woodruff seconded.  The motion was approved.
The contracts were reviewed and approved.  Mr. Brian Jones said that PCSB’s review of the fiscal relationships with contracts would continue, but we don’t need to review contracts line by line. All that is changing is the detail of the review. 

School Oversight Committee – Proposal to Issue Notices
Attendance and Truancy
Dr. Rob Mayo, PCSB school performance officer, presented the report on attendance and Truancy policy report.  Schools must attain an attendance rate at or above 85% and a truancy rate at or below 20% on a quarterly and annual basis.

According to the DCPCSB Academic Year ’09-’10 3rd Quarter attendance report the following schools fall below the required truancy threshold:
School Truancy (at/below 20% Required)
Center City - Congress Heights 31.09
Center City - Shaw 20.29
Community Academy - Rand 20.24
Hope Community - Lamond 23.26
Hospitality 31.32
School Truancy (at/below 20% Required)
Howard Road Academy - Penn
Howard Road Academy - Howard
Howard Road Academy - MLK 21.71
IDEAL - Peabody Street 24.04
KAMIT 21.61
Maya Angelou - Evans Middle
Maya Angelou - Shaw 28.67

According to the DCPCSB Academic Year ’09-’10 3rd Quarter attendance report the following schools fall below the required truancy threshold:


School                                         Truancy (at/below 20% Required)
IDEA 28.32
National Collegiate Prep 32.63


PCSB would issue notices of concern when schools don’t maintain the required truancy rates.  Emily Bloomfield asked if rates were for the entire year?  Dr. Mayo responded that it is cumulative? Emily Bloomfield asked if these schools had other academic issues?  Dr. Mayo said that history says that they could go hand in hand.  Don Soifer posed a motion to issue a notice of concern. Sara Mead seconded. Motion was approved.

School Oversight Committee – Requests
to Operate in a New Location and Increase Enrollment Ceiling

Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
Carolyn Trice, PCSB school performance officer, presented this report.  Washington Yu Ying requests authorization to temporarily expand two grades to 501 Riggs Road NE for the 2010-2011 school year. The school plans to move the entire operation for the 2011-2012 school year, after the current lease has expired. Yu Ying currently shares the same building as another charter school, with plans to move at the end of the lease. ANC notification has been submitted and the school is awaiting the lease agreement.  School plans to move the entire school to this location 2011-2012.
Darren Woodruff asked if the school wanted to house 2nd and 3rd grade at this location this fall?  Caroline Trice said yes and the school has the opportunity to obtain this location for this fall.  The school will be operating under two leases.  Potomac Lighthouse plans to take over the entire building.  Brian Jones asked why representatives of the school were not present.  I’m inclined to table this until next meeting because they are not here.  Mr. Jones said that in light if the fact that the enrollment increase is off the table, then we can go ahead and vote.  Sara Mead posed a motion to request to operate in a new location. Don Soifer seconded. The motion was approved.

School Oversight Committee – Requests to Increase Enrollment Ceiling
Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
Jeremy Williams, PCSB Director of Business Oversight, presented.
Allison Kokkorus, principal & Candy Hernandez represented the school.

A school must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for an enrollment ceiling increase request:
  1.  at least a satisfactory rating on all areas of the Program  Development Review for the two most recent reviews;
  2. access to a facility to accommodate the projected enrollment (as demonstrated through a lease);
  3.  a history of meeting enrollment projections (within at least 80% of enrollment projections for the two most recent years);
  4. currently not under corrective action;  and
  5. at least a satisfactory rating on 3 of the 5 Fiscal Management criteria outlined in the  Charter Review Framework.
Additional consideration will be given to the following:
  1. size of the requested increase;
  2. rationale for the requested increase;
  3. years in operation; and
  4. if beyond Year Six of operation, accreditation status (or at least a candidate for accreditation).

Maximum enrollment- school property has the capacity to accommodate the enrollment; school has satisfactory rating on PDR on two recent reviews.  Additional consideration given to size of increase, 3 yrs in operation and the school has been accredited by Middle States.  The new ceiling will be 1750.  Allison Kokkoros said there is increasing demand for the school.  We had 1000 people on the waiting list.  We have an additional site at the National Baptist Church – which has 4 classrooms.  We will move to Harvard site once the 3rd floor is complete.  We can easily add 8 classrooms.  We can accommodate 200 students.  The current enrollment is 1550.  We have a dynamic enrollment process.  Sara Mead asked if the enrollment ceiling would change to 1750 for the future years.  Ms. Kokkoros said yes.  Darren Woodruff posed a motion to increase the enrollment ceiling.  Don Soifer seconded.  The motion was approved.

DC Preparatory Public Charter School
David Leahy – CEO DC Prep
Same consideration – DC Prep is asking to increase its enrollment to 930 from 881.  The audited enrollment is 845.  School has satisfied all 5 criteria.  David Leahy said the school will grow by adding a grade. Sara Mead asked if the Board was considering the request for each year.  Darren Woodruff said it makes sense to approve 930 which holds for the future.  Darren Woodruff posed a motion to increase the enrollment ceiling.  Emily Bloomfield seconded.  The motion was approved. Jo Baker asked on which campus was the expansion.  David Leahy: Benning campus would be adding a grade for 1st 2nd 3rd grade.

Eagle Academy Public Charter School
Cassandra Pinckney, Executive Director
Eagle Academy PCS requests an enrollment increase to 520 from 490.  2010-2011 is 510. School has not yet achieved a satisfactory rating on 2 areas. School is accredited.  Corrections are under way.  Ms. Pinckney said they will be corrected. Darren Woodruff said the school’s curriculum assessment was adequate.  Jeremy Williams said the school needs to have a satisfactory rating. 08-09 was limited with respect to curriculum.  Brian Jones said the school’s rating has to be adequate for 2 years.  Ms. Pinckney said the discrepancy on the curriculum we were using was corrected.  Brian Jones said the standard is 2 years of satisfactory reviews.  Emily Bloomfield said the school’s certificate of occupancy was limited.  Cassandra Pinckney said UPO is leaving the building and we will have more space.  Emily Bloomfield said that it would be good to have the new certificate of occupancy.  Brian Jones said the Board will table this request until next month when we have the data.

EL Haynes Public Charter School
Brian Jones said E.L. Haynes PCS needed to be present to consider this request, so the Board will table this until the next meeting.

Excel Academy Public Charter School
Kay Savage Founder and CEO of Excel Academy
Excel Academy PCS is requesting an increase to its enrollment ceiling to 333 from 253 -297.  School has satisfied 4 of 5 criteria.  School is in the process of obtaining accreditation. Brian Jones asked for clarification on the data.  Jackie Scott-English said it was limited, limited, adequate.  Kay Savage said the school recently brought in a fulltime director to differentiate pre-school program.  Trying to grow base through pre-school program.  Seen a difference academically and behaviorally.  Gotten additional financial resources thru pre-K for-all grant.  Building on base of pre-school.  Bringing students in as early as possible to close the achievement gap.   Unless you get in Excel at pre-K you won’t be able to get in.  Looking at adding 10 pre-k classrooms.  Brian Jones asked how do you respond to the concern of expanding enrollment by more than 10 percent will make you take your eye off the ball?  Kay Savage said you can clearly see the academic growth over time.

Darren Woodruff asked what would be the negatives to waiting another year?  Kay Savage: I am a tenant in a building and will be co-locating with another tenant.  We are the primary tenant in the building.  I am concerned that another school would take over the space.  We had concerns that a high school would be using the basement.  We want to be in a situation where we have control over the building.  We are trying to maintain the fidelity of the building.  Brian Jones asked if criteria were developed as policy.  Tamara Lumpkin, PCSB Deputy Executive Director said it was developed as policy.  Kay Savage: Originally the charter was written for 140.  Demand has exceeded that amount.  We have students from every Ward except Ward 3.  People are doing the reverse commute.  Emily Bloomfield said the school is impressive but the struggle is how do you ensure that the school will consolidate.  We want to see the evidence.  Concerned that growth will undermine the school.  Don’t want to put you in a position to grow too fast.  Kay Savage: We asked for guidance as to the best way to go with the expansion.  It has been hugely helpful to think through this process.  We have had three-year olds who were not even talking yet.  Emily Bloomfield asked if it were not for the building would you be asking us to expand.  Kay Savage: Probably not.  It’s a tough decision.  Give us 3 or 4 years and we’ll move this process.  Sara Mead said she wanted the better understand the PDR areas.  I want to make sure we are careful about quality.  Kay Savage suggested that she would have an interim report to the Board to help convince board members.  I am hiring right now and don’t want to wait until June.  We are basing our budget at 326 enrollment.  Darren Woodruff: 50% growth.  Sara Mead posed a motion to approve the request for enrollment increase. Don Soifer seconded.  Emily Bloomfield wants to take up the offer to review the data.  This is a big step to deviate from our policy.   Motion was approved with 3 ayes and 2 no’s.  Motion carries.

Mary McLeod Bethune Public Charter School
Linda McKay- Executive Director for school.
Mary McLeod Bethune PCS is requesting an enrollment ceiling increase to 350 from 314.  The school is limited on 4 of 5 areas.  Linda McKay said the school had a dilemma regarding facilities.  This was our first year in a school building.  We were in churches before.  We have had a major increase of walkers to school.  Early childhood has foreign language emersion.  Art, PE, strong parent involvement.  We are leasing building from DC govt.   Students are from Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.   Sara Mead asked if  projected enrollment is 380 and the ceiling request is 350?  Linda McKay: We do have the application to support.  Jo Baker said the 2009 DC CAS results were not stellar.  Linda McKay said the school worked on those areas this year.  Jo Baker: Where will the energy be put to increase proficiency?  Linda McKay: It’s been a process in developing curriculum. We will infuse more quality. Bringing in STEM.  Students have a lot of technology. Jo Baker: Sounds like you have a lot of bolstering to do.  Darren Woodruff said he wanted to encourage the school’s efforts to improve curriculum.  Do you see any negative if we asked you to wait one year?  Linda McKay: We could handle it with our current enrollment.  We have a building now. We would do with 314.  Don Soifer said his inclination would be to maintain the current growth pattern. Can you speak to staff retention?  Linda McKay: We have strong staff retention.  We invest in professional development.  Linda McKay: We will withdraw the request until next year.

Next Step Public Charter School
Julie Myers – Executive Director of Next Step
Next Step requested an enrollment increase.  PDR – not rated ; 08-09 adequate on 4 of 5 indicators
School was accredited by middle states.
Julie Myers: We are a bilingual, GED program in the day.  We added an evening program.  We will not be able to move until 2011. Maximum students will be 84 day and 88 at night.  Looking for space for 120 day and 120 night.  Emily Bloomfield said she didn’t know how effectiveness of GED programs are rated.  Julie: Some students come in at all levels and may not be ready to take the GED.  Julie Myers said the school rewrote its charter in 2008.  School grew out of a social service program.  Wrote standards to align with DC standards and adopted a new curriculum.  The school is projecting to hire a fulltime curriculum specialist.  Sara Mead: Are you planning to grow the night program?  Julie: Night program now is 30 and we are asking to increase that to 84.   Motion posed by Don Soifer to increase enrollment. Sara mead seconded.  3 ayes votes to 2 no’s.  Motion was approved.

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.