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October 18, 2010
DC Public Charter School Board
Board Meeting Minutes

Board members in attendance
Mr. Brian Jones, Board Chair, Mr. John “Skip” McKoy, Vice-Chair, Dr. Darren Woodruff, Mr. Don Soifer, Mr. Will Marshall, Ms. Emily Bloomfield.
Ms. Sara Mead and Mrs. Josephine Baker were not in attendance as they were attending the NACSA conference.
Mr. Brian Jones called the public hearing to order at 7:55 p.m.

Public Hearing to consider two on proposed policies (see transcript)
Mr. Brian Jones called the public meeting to order at 8:07 p.m.
 
Acknowledgement of Public Officials
Mr. Jones invited elected officials to stand and be acknowledged. 
 
Approval of the Agenda
Mr. Jones presented the proposed agenda for the October meeting.  Don Soifer moved the motion and it was seconded.  The agenda was approved by all Board members present.
 
Approval of the September Minutes
Mr. Jones presented the September minutes for approval.  Mr. McKoy moved the motion and it was seconded.  The motion was approved by all Board members present. The September minutes were approved.
 
Administrative Committee
The contracts for September 2010 for more than $25,000 were received by the PCSB and were read and accepted into the record. See the list of contracts.  The Board does not actually approve them, but accepts oversight.  The contracts were approved by unanimous consent.
 
Request to Operate in a New Location
Education Strengthens Families Public Charter School (ESF)
Christie McKay- executive director of Education Strengthens Families represented the school.
Dr. Jackie Boddie, PCSB academic performance officer introduced the request.
Education Strengthens Families Public Charter School was chartered in 2005 and opened in September 2006.  Its mission is to provide a high-quality education for adults and children through a culturally sensitive family literacy model. The program includes adult education and pre-school education for children ages 3-4.  Job certification programs are also offered. ESF is the only school program of its kind in the District of Columbia meeting the needs of both parents and children. It is a model program.  ESF was ranked number 1 in 2009 out of 50 public charter schools for general performance assessment by PCSB in 2009. Annual enrollment has increased from 123 students in 2006-2007 to 226 students in 2009-2010.  Staff has received three teaching awards from Toyota and the National Center for Family Literacy. The school requests permission to add a location to house 100 students. This additional site has larger classrooms and state-of-the-art equipment for adults and young children. The additional space would allow the school to put existing students in smaller classes of twenty adult students per class instead of twenty-five students per class. ESF will continue to partner with Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care to provide comprehensive health, education, and social services to ESF families at the new 3901 Georgia Ave NW site. The new location will be leased from Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care Inc.  The new space would be occupied and operational by July 1, 2011.  Proposal is for conditional approval.  Christie McKay stated that 30-34% of ESF students live in Ward 4 and that’s why the school wants to move to that location. Mr. Will Marshall moved a motion to conditionally approve.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded.  It was approved by all board members present.
 
School Oversight Committee – Proposed Policies
Dr. Darren Woodruff introduced two proposed policies: Expansion/Replication Policy and the Enrollment Ceiling Increase Policy.
 
Expansion/Replication Policy
The Expansion/Replication policy applies to all authorized public charter schools in the PCSB portfolio.
Policy Statement
Charter schools must meet the following criteria in order for the request to be considered:
1. Completed a charter review cycle (5 years of operation).
2. Pass all non-academic components of the PMF (compliance, governance, and financial).
3. Be in Tier I. Once three years of PMF academic data are available, the school must be in Tier I for the three most recent PMF academic reviews.
a. For schools currently in Tier II or having been in Tier II during the past three years:
i. An average rating of “proficient” or above on Program Development Reviews over the past three years.
b. For non-standard schools:
i. Score 75% or higher on the school’s individual accountability system.
4. Be fully accredited or a candidate for accreditation.
5. Currently not under PCSB corrective action.
6. Demand as demonstrated by the school meeting or exceeding enrollment projections over the previous three years.
7. Access to a facility to accommodate replication plans as documented by a letter of intent, purchase agreements, and/or construction timelines.
8. Feasibility Study that looks at the following metrics:
a. Financial capacity to replicate the school’s model. 
b. Governance capacity explaining how the school’s Board plans to replicate: recruitment and training plans for school leadership and instructional staff to bring about similar academic and organizational outcomes demonstrated by the original campus.
9. For charters with multiple campuses. All campuses must meet the academic criteria above to be considered for replication.
 

Timeline:

Request

Deadline

Public Discussion

Board Decision

Effective Date

Replication

Feb. 1st

March

April

Next school   year


Ms. Emily Bloomfield proposed the Board eliminate the AYP requirement as this will soon go away with NCLB. Ms. Bloomfield clarified that the Board would require recruitment and training plans for schools seeking expansion and replication. Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that the Board wants to ensure the school has the capacity to expand. 
Ms. Emily Bloomfield stated that the Board should be mindful of unintended triggers regarding compliance with PMF.  Ms. Bloomfield asked if the Board would be looking at successful charters differently. She asked why the Board was proposing this policy now and how is it different from what is done today.
Mr. Skip McKoy asked if there were any campuses that would pass these requirements today. Ms. Jackie Scott English, director of the school performance team, said she wasn’t sure.
Mr. Will Marshall said that he wanted to make sure replications are of the existing campus and not something different.  He said that if a school wanted to add a new campus they would come before the board but they wouldn’t be asked these stringent details.  He suggested that there ought to be further discussion on this.  Mr. Skip McKoy stated that if a school had a special population, would the Board expect it to perform at the level of the current campus?
Dr. Darren Woodruff introduced the proposed policy for enrollment increase requests.
Enrollment increase requests must coincide with the OCFO’s budget cycle. Requests must be made within the following timeframes:
 

Type of Request

Deadline

Public Discussion

Board Decision

Effective Date

Enrollment Ceiling Increase

Oct. 31st

November

December

Next school year

 
Enrollment increase requests must coincide with the OCFO’s budget cycle. As such, the following timeframes by which to propose enrollment projections and make enrollment ceiling increase request will be followed:
 
Type of Request
Deadline
Public Discussion
Board Decision
Effective Date
Enrollment Ceiling Increase
Oct. 31st
November
December
Next school year
 
Charter schools requesting an enrollment increase must meet the following criteria:
1.  PMF Tier I performance for the two previous years, or
a. Tier II performance for the two previous years and a satisfactory or average rating on all areas of the two most recent Program Development Reviews.
b. For schools where no consistent or reliable PMF data are available during the past two years:
i. at least a satisfactory or average rating on all areas of the Program  Development Review for the two most recent reviews; and
ii. Meeting of the majority of academic goals as outlined in their respective accountability systems.
2. Access to a facility to accommodate the projected enrollment. If a new facility is
      required, the school will have three months from approval to obtain the lease;
3. Demand as demonstrated by the school meeting or exceeding enrollment projections over the previous two years; 
4. Not currently under PCSB corrective action; and
5. Passage of financial GPA analysis according to the PMF standards.

 Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if a satisfactory rating on the PDR is equal to Tier 1.  Ms. Jackie Scott-English stated that there is a difference between PDR, which is qualitative, the PMF which is quantitative.
Dr. Woodruff said that the public will have 30 days to provide written comments to the PCSB or they may provide oral comments at a scheduled hearing before the Board. The PCSB will consider the written and oral comments and vote on the proposed policy or a revision to an existing policy within 60 days of reviewing public comments.
 
Revised Charter Application Guidelines
Ms. Jackie Scott-English presented the revised charter application guidelines for 2011. The guidelines will be released on November 1, 2010 and the deadline for applications will be February 1, 2011.  She stated that modifications have been made to the charter applications guidelines regarding students with special needs.  The curriculum guidance section was removed and will be put on the PCSB website.  The guidelines will also include the per pupil formula and the school reform act.  Mr. Skip McKoy asked if the same guidelines applied to applicants applying for a specific type of school. Ms. Jackie Scott English stated that there are no special guidelines for specific schools.  There is an open enrollment policy.  Mr. Don Soifer moved a motion to approve the guidelines. It was seconded.  The motion was approved by all board members present.
 
New Business  - Two administrative items
Credit card limits
Staff requested the limits on two credit card accounts, belonging to Josephine Baker, executive director, and Tamara Lumpkin, deputy executive director, be increased to $4,000.  These cards are the means by which the board charges travel.  Mr. Brian Jones moved the motion.  It was seconded by Mr. Skip McKoy.  The motion was approved by the board members present.
 
PMF implementation date 
For the record, Board met with charter school leaders on Friday October 15, 2010, at the request of the DC Association of Chartered Public Schools and FOCUS.  There was a healthy exchange at the meeting. They discussed a letter signed by 36 school leaders asking that the Board delay the implementation of the PMF based on the validity of the data and the burden schools were facing.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved that the Board pilot the PMF this year and that the results remain in the school for this year. She stated that in light of the information the Board heard, there needs to be a complete review of the process and verification of the integrity of the data. The results would go live with the next set of DCCAS results, sometime in August 2011.  Ms. Bloomfield stated that DCPS was supposed to launch their evaluation system this year and they have also postponed their implementation.  Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that the goal is to have accuracy and the Board should take whatever time was needed to be accurate. 
Mr. Skip McKoy stated that the process should be transparent and clear to the public. He stated that if it’s not clear, he supported the motion to wait until August, but wanted more discussion on timing.
Mr. Will Marshall stated that he was not sure how long it will take, but he was not committed to a year.  He stated that he was inclined to defer to end of the year (2010).  He said the Board has made a lot of progress on the PMF and there were three meetings held with school leaders.  He stated that school leaders have brought objections to the Board and that this has been a collaborative process.  In the end we won’t agree 100% Mr. Marshall said, but he was in favor of suspending until the end of the year.
Mr. Don Soifer stated that he wanted the implementation moved back to ensure that the data being used is accurate. 
Mr. Brian Jones agreed that a delay makes sense.  He stated that if the Board does not move to PMF implementation this year, we are not without tools to evaluate schools.  Mr. Jones’ sense is that there are real fundamental issues relating to data and burden on schools.  He said he was not sure suspending to end of the year would correct all the issues. This has to be a collaborative exercise and we’ve been deliberative in our approach he said.  Mr. Jones stated that he was inclined to support the motion to wait the year.
 
Mr. Skip McKoy was concerned that there might be issues next year thus preventing PCSB from going live with the PMF.   He suggests waiting until March.
Mr. Will Marshall stated that there will never be a perfect system. He believes the Board looses the good hard work of school leaders and the staff by delaying a year. 
Ms. Emily Bloomfield doesn’t expect there will be issues as the reputations of schools and the PCSB are at stake.
 
Mr. Brian Jones stated that the Board just wants to make sure the data is verified, the systems are checked and there is further review by legal counsel.  The PMF will allow us to be more data driven. The work the staff has done is tremendous he said.  But he was not sure two months was enough time to resolve the concerns.  He stated that waiting a school year would allow the Board to be much more comfortable with the PMF.  Mr. Brian Jones posed the motion to do a one year pilot so the results stay with the school and the public launch is with the DC CAS results next August. It was seconded.  Five board members voted yes, while Mr. Will Marshall voted no. The motion was approved.
 
Mr. Brian Jones opened the floor for public comments.
 
Adjournment
Mr. Jones adjourned the meeting at 9:01pm.