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April 25, 2011
DC Public Charter School Board
Board Meeting Minutes

Board Members in attendance:
  Mr. Brian Jones (chair); Mr. John “Skip” McKoy; Ms. Emily Bloomfield; Mr. Don Soifer; Mr. Will Marshall; Dr. Darren Woodruff; Mrs. Josephine Baker (ex-officio)

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


Acknowledgment of Public Officials
No elected officials were present.


Approval of the Agenda
 Mr. Brian Jones announced that the proposal of charter revocation for Nia Community Public Charter School will be removed from the Board’s agenda and that the vote on proposed charter revocation will occur on Thursday, April 28, when the Board holds a public hearing for Ideal Academy Public Charter School.  Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved to accept the changes to the agenda, and Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded it.  The motion passed unanimously.


Approval of the February and March Minutes
Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to approve the meeting minutes for February and March.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved to approve the minutes and Mr. Will Marshall seconded it.  The motion passed unanimously.


Administrative Committee
The contracts for April 2011 for more than $25,000 were received by the PCSB and were read and accepted into the record.


School Oversight Committee- Petition for Charter Renewal- Next Step Public Charter School
Representatives: Julie Meyer, Executive Director; Juan Carlos Martinez, Assistant Principal; Alex Diaz-Asper, Board Treasurer; Ashley Simpson, Board Chair; Martha Sanchez, Special Education Coordinator; Susan Espinoza, Principal


Ms. Charlotte Cureton from staff introduced Next Step Public Charter School’s (Next Step) proposal for charter renewal before the Board.

Mr. Don Soifer asked the representatives from the school about their new facility.  Ms. Julie Meyer responded that they are actively looking for something in their target geographic location, but have not been able to find a suitable location yet.

Mr. Don Soifer asked Ms. Ashley Simpson how many board members that Next Step has.  She answered that Next Step has ten board members.  Mr. Don Soifer then asked her to explain governance changes within their board.  Ms. Ashley Simpson answered that the board has created committee structures where members can do most work in those assigned committees rather than have all items taken to the full Board.  Further, the board is implementing a strategic plan, and went through the Deep Dive Process with governance consultant BoardSource.  She added that Next Step’s board has one parent member and one alumni member which are different than the two parent board member used by other charter schools.

Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked Ms. Martha Sanchez for clarification of the composition of the special education staff at Next Step.  Ms. Martha Sanchez answered that they have a paraprofessional and a special education coordinator who work with general education teachers to meet the needs of their special education population and that Next Step’s administration holds meetings to make sure they are in compliance with special education laws..

Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion.  Mr. Will Marshall moved that Next Step’s charter be renewed, and Mr. Skip McKoy seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Request to Raise Enrollment Ceiling
Dr. Darren Woodruff proposed that the Board vote on approving the raising of enrollment ceilings for the schools on the agenda as a bloc.  Mr. Brian Jones agreed, but offered that Maya Angelou Public Charter School be voted on separately and that Eagle Academy Public Charter School be removed from consideration as they have withdrawn their request to raise their enrollment ceiling.  The Board agreed with Mr. Brian Jones request.

The schools the Board considered as a bloc for raising enrollment ceilings were:

       

School

Existing Enrollment Ceiling

Proposed Enrollment Ceiling

AppleTree Early Learning

504

630

DC Prep

930

1010

Education Strengthens Families

250

344

KIPP DC

2298

3114

LAMB

200

300

Mary McLeod Bethune

250

344

St. Coletta

225

250

Washington Yu Ying

326

368




Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to agree to the enrollment increase for all of the school’s being considered as a bloc.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  Mr. Skip McKoy recused himself from voting on AppleTree Early Learning, DC Preparatory Academy, and KIPP DC public charter schools.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Request to Raise Enrollment Ceiling- Maya Angelou Public Charter School
Representatives: Dr. Marian Whitehood, Director of Academics; Jose de Olivares, Principal; Corey Carter, Principal; La’Mont Geddis, Principal

Mr. Jeremy Williams from staff summarized the general requirements for the lifting of an enrollment ceiling that a school must meet before the Board, and described the hesitation that staff had in raising the enrollment ceiling for a new location as Maya Angelou has requested. 

Dr. Marian Whitehood stated that Maya Angelou has restructured their organization and now have a data director position and other appropriate positions to look into test scores and attendance.  They have innovative and experienced new principals in place who have been able to turn things around at their schools who have succeeded in making academic progress.

Mr. Corey Carter stated that the school had to go through a great deal of restructuring to build on a solid foundation of academic achievement, and that the school has to focus on attendance and truancy because they serve a population that is historically absent and truant.  He further noted that this should not take away from Maya Angelou’s academic achievement focus. He added that the school also uses data to continue building affective curriculum, and that they are aligning with the Common Core Standards. 

Mr. La’Mont Geddis echoed Mr. Corey Carter and said that they are working diligently to change the culture of their school and that he is working on building a curriculum to meet Race to the Top.  He added that he is focused on attrition of staff at the school, that as a principal he is focused on staying abreast of the situation of the students in his school and that staff is very committed to all the students at Maya Angelou.

Dr. Marian Whitehood told the Board that she is excited about Maya Angelou’s achievement program, and that they have changed their whole assessment strategy.  She stated that Maya now has new board members who are committed to improving the school and have created committees focusing on school climate, interventions, and other issues. 

Mr. Jose de Olivares stated Maya Angelou can hold at least 60 students at their current transitionary center to operate their young adult learning center.

Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if the school will need to absorb 180-200 students in the next few years.  Mr. Corey Carter answered that the new facility can hold 1500 students and will be fully able to absorb the new students being moved there.

Mr. Jose de Olivares added that the area set aside for the adult learning center is currently not being used by the middle school or high school.

Dr. Darren Woodruff asked for the logistics of how middle, high school, and adult would work together.

Mr. Corey Carter said that the young adult learning center would have a separate entrance from the middle and high school and that it would not have access to the middle and high school.  It would be structured to almost be a separate facility.  Adult learners would be in the basement, middle school students on first and second floor and high school on the top floors.

Mr. Jose de Olivares said that the young adult learning center has been approved as an adult charter school and that would be on a separate schedule than the middle and high school so that the adult learners would not be interacting with the younger students.  He added that the places where there will be real benefits will be in the academic program and an intensive workforce development program where field work will be done on the campus.  It would reduce maintenance costs of the campus because students would learn their trades by working on the campus itself.

Dr. Darren Woodruff asked what the security arrangement s are like at the school.  Mr. Corey Carter said they currently contract to Phoenix Security and work with School Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department.  He stated that they have not had major security breaches on the campus, but rather that the problems have been going on with students coming and going to and from the school. 

Mr. Jose de Olivares said they haven’t had a fight there in two years and hope that carries over into the new young adult learning center.

Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if they see the high school program as a source of students for the adult learning center.  Mr. Jose de Olivares answered he isn’t qualified to answer that.  He said that he wants the board to agree to transfer high school students to the young adult learning center with behavioral problems.

Mr. Corey Carter added that there are currently a lot of students in the high school population who could benefit from such a move.  Academically they might be ready to be back on track, but the timing of their re-entry into a school setting is what is causing the problems with them getting back on track and that’s when they begin to see truancy issues.

Mrs. Josephine Baker asked about moving students from the Shaw campus to the Evans campus and what accommodations are being made.  She added that there are “turf” issues amongst students that school leaders should take into account.  Dr. Marian Whitehood said that the school’s board created a transition team to deal with the logistics of this kind of move.  This Wednesday they are having a Shaw-Evans staff engagement session for staff and one on May 4 for students.  She added that school graduations for both campuses and field trips are already together, so the students have already been exposed to one another.

Dr. Marian Whitehood said that when Mr. Jose de Olivares moves into that building, his Seed Forever staff will all move in with him.  The building will have a parent program that is going to expand on their current one.

Mrs. Josephine Baker stated that the school has an open enrollment program so the students are not automatically being transitioned to the new school, and if the community is being made aware of that.  Mr. Jose de Olivares said that they fully intend to do an open enrollment process and that their students will be informed of how to apply. 

Mrs. Josephine Baker asked about the grant procedure for funding of the new move.  Mr. Jose de Olivares said that the Seed Forever foundation could decide to not fund the program, but since their students are potentially going to take those slots, they would likely fund it.

Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if they’ve broken ground on Evans.  Mr. Corey Carter said that it would begin in December of this year.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield then asked that they talk about the pupils in consolidating the learning center.  Mr. Corey Carter said that if renovation begins in December, the board at Maya Angelou has been working on identifying a “swing” space and other options in the meantime.  With the Shaw students coming over, they will not have an influx of students who are new to Maya Angelou.  He said that he feels that it will be a smooth transition for students, but there will be work.  He added that they have created student ambassadors for the transition to the new building.

Dr. Marian Whitehood said that the Board is very people oriented and has formed a human capital committee and have secured funds for more infrastructure.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion.  Mr. Don Soifer moved that the enrollment ceiling be raised.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.

Dr. Marion Whitehood thanked Ms. Charlotte Cureton and Dr. Jackie Bodie from staff for all of the work that they do.

All Board members voted in favor of raising the enrollment ceiling.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School
Before beginning voting on new charter applications, Mr. Brian Jones announced that the Board received a rich and diverse array of 18 applications, that there was a rigorous public hearing on the applications and that the Board did not make their decisions tonight lightly.  He added that all applicants will receive a written summary from the Board explaining their decision for approval of denial.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Bertha B. Williams
Dr. Darren Woodruff briefly summarized Bertha B. Williams Academy’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for comments from Board Members.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Mr. Will Marshall moved that Bertha B. Williams Academy’s application to open a charter school be denied.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded the motion.

Mr. Will Marshall wanted to make sure that the public understands that review of each school’s applications has been a truly exhaustive process and that schools will be debriefed and receive feedback from PCSB staff.

All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Don Soifer asked the Board Chair if applicants will receive a written summary on the Board’s decision.  Mr. Brian Jones answered that all schools will receive complete summaries on the decisions of the Board on each school.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- City of Trees
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized City of Trees’ application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments. Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Mr. Don Soifer moved that City of Trees application to open a charter school be denied.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Believe
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Believe’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved that Believe’s application to open a charter school be denied.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Monarch Academy
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Monarch Academy’s application proposal.
Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved that Monarch Academy’s application to open a charter school be denied.  Mr. Don Soifer seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Accomplish
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Accomplish’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for any questions or comments.  Hearing none he asked for a motion.  Mr. Will Marshall moved to deny Accomplish’s application to open a charter school.  Mr. Skip McKoy seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Renaissance
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Renaissance’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Mr. Skip McKoy moved to deny Renaissance’s application to open a charter school.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Washington DC Clean Energy Adult Education
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Washington DC Clean Energy Adult Education’s  application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Mr. Don Soifer moved to deny Washington DC Clean Energy Adult Education’s application to open a charter school.  Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Gerry P. Stephens STARS Academy
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Gerry P. Stephens STARS Academy’s application proposal.

Brian asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved to deny Gerry P. Stephens STARS Academy’s application to open a charter school.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Creative Minds
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Creative Minds application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Mr. Don Soifer stated that approving and denying applicants is a hard job and that he wanted to start a conversation on this school.  He said that he has a high degree of confidence in the applicant’s ability to have an academic plan for the lower grades, but inadequate confidence for one for the higher grades.  He added that he would like to introduce a conditional approval for the lower grades only and is interested to hear what his colleagues think.

Dr. Darren Woodruff agreed with Mr. Don Soifer.

Mr. Skip McKoy also agreed with Mr. Don Soifer.  He felt that the middle school students were not addressed adequately in the proposal.  He concurs with conditional approval.

Ms. Emily Bloomfield stated that the school should be commended for trying to reach that the population that they endeavor to serve, and that a conditional approval does not prevent them from opening middle school grades later.

Mr. Brian Jones agreed and reiterated that the middle school proposal was weaker than the elementary school proposal, and that a conditional approval does not stop them from operating a middle school down the road.

Mr. Will Marshall concurred with the general sense of his colleagues, but states that he does not think they should have a conditional approval, since the Board’s sense of caution should be enough to have them be cognizant of the weaknesses of their middle school program.

Dr. Darren Woodruff moved for a motion of conditional approval of Creative Minds application through 5th grade, without the middle school grades.  Mr. Skip McKoy seconded the motion.  All Board Members in attendance voted to approve a conditional application, except for Will who opposed.  Ms. Sara Mead’s proxy vote was for a conditional approval, but since she was not present to hear the conditions set forth by the Board in the motion, Mr. Brian Jones did not enter her vote by proxy.  The motion passed 5-1.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Latin American Youth Center Career Academy (LAYC)
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Latin American Youth Center Career Academy’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Dr. Darren Woodruff said that the Board was privileged to have other LAYC schools to look at as a track record, and that it is good to recognize good work that has already happened.

Mr. Skip McKoy said that he intends to vote in favor of this application and that he felt that LAYC’s application was strong even though they could afford to rest on their laurels with their proven track record of success operating charters in the city, but to their credit they did not rest on their laurels, and put together a strong application.

Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to approve LAYC’s application open a charter school.  Mr. Skip McKoy seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted in favor.  Mr. Brian Jones indicated that his proxy vote for Ms. Sara Mead would be for conditional approval but because he is not aware of the conditions she wanted met, he will not enter her proxy vote.  The motion passed 6-0.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Strengths Academy
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Strengths Academy’s application proposal

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions and comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved to deny Strengths Academy’s application to open a charter school.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Driven to Succeed
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Driven to Succeed’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions and comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to deny Driven to Succeed’s application to open a charter school.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- DC Scholars
Mr. Don Soifer summarized DC Scholars’ application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Mr. Will Marshall said that DC Scholars had a very strong and intriguing application.  He stated that the District of Columbia has several applicants from outside jurisdictions who have launched schools within DC and that that is a good thing.  He added that we should be open to people with a proven track record of success elsewhere.  He is intrigued by the application and plans to support it.

Mr. Skip McKoy agrees with the sentiment that we should be open to schools with a track record of success elsewhere and states that he would vote for conditional approval based on further development of their proposed curriculum.

Dr. Darren Woodruff moves for a conditional approval with the conditions regarding curriculum that Mr. Skip McKoy outlined.  Mr. Don Soifer seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for conditional approval.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for conditional approval.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Westminster Leadership
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Westminster Leadership’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a Motion.  Mr. Don Soifer said that this was not an easy decision for him and that if the Board were approving applications based on needs of city they would have approved a lot tonight, but that this school fell a little short on their education plan.

Mr. Will Marshall agreed with Mr. Don Soifer.  He said that it was in many respects a strong application but that he struggled to understand their educational philosophy and curriculum and that it could be better focused.

Dr. Darren Woodruff added that the application needed to show details on how schools will work on how teaching and learning happens and that he encourages applicants to look at their review summaries.

Ms. Emily Bloomfield motions to deny Westminster Leadership’s charter application.  Mr. Will Marshall seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Gilchrist Academy
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Gilchrist Academy’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked if there were any questions or comments.  Mr. Skip McKoy said he was impressed with the applicant’s mission.  He said that he was favorably impressed but that they were not able to move from a strong mission to a clear curriculum, and that he hope they apply again.

Dr. Darren Woodruff added that-if ever there was a mission needed in DC, Gilchrist Academy’s focus on educating males was one of them.
 
Mr. Skip McKoy moved to deny the application to open a charter school.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Ernest Green DC High School of Public Service
Mr. Don Soifer summarized Ernest Green DC High School of Public Service’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions or comments.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion.  Mr. Don Soifer moved to deny the application to open a charter school.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded the motion.  All Board Members present voted for denial.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy in favor of a motion for denial.  The motion passed unanimously.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- BASIS DC
Mr. Don Soifer summarized BASIS DC’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for any questions or comments.  Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that BASIS DC clearly has an exciting track record and that he wants to bring examples of excellence to DC, and that he is favorably inclined towards bringing them to DC.  He is however worried about how well they have thought out working with students who walk in on the first day of school and are not on grade level.

Mr. Will Marshall agrees with Dr. Darren Woodruff and said that there was a wide variety between the school’s technical review and his own experience.  He said that it is a strong application and a very strong model.    He added that charter schools are R and D of education and we need to bring strong charters to DC to show that their model can succeed.

Mr. Brian Jones concurred and said that they have an exciting application.  He also wondered how that the model used for teaching students from Arizona would be adapted to the DC population.

Ms. Emily Bloomfield said that it shows a strong model for the District but that the supporters of the school should understand that there is skepticism that it will serve a broader community besides the relatively affluent population of the Ward it hopes to locate in. 

Mr. Skip McKoy said that he struggled with this application more than the others because he agrees with the high standards that they hope to set, and that the school’s Arizona model has been successful.  He however said that he didn’t hear answers to his questions during the public hearing about how they would be able to adapt their model for DC’s demographic profile, and that there was not enough attention to the District’s different ELL population.  He said that based on those issues that he would not be able to vote for the application, but that he loves their model.

Mr. Will Marshall moved to grant conditional approval pending BASIS DC being able to show how their model will be adapted to the demographic profile of students in the District of Columbia.  Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded the motion.  All Board members present voted in favor, except for Mr. Skip McKoy who opposed.  Mr. Brian Jones voted in favor of conditional approval for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy.  The motion passed 6-1.


School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Open a Charter School- Cambridge Preparatory Academy
Dr. Darren Woodruff summarized Cambridge Preparatory Academy’s application proposal.

Mr. Brian Jones asked for questions and comments.  Ms. Emily Bloomfield said that this is an example of an outside organization doing excellent work elsewhere and that it was an interesting application but that there application wasn’t quite enough. 

Dr. Darren Woodruff echoed Ms. Emily Bloomfield’s sentiments and added that he felt that with this particular application that the school needed to do more homework on the specific needs of students in DC as opposed to simply transplanting a program here to DC.

Mr. Will Marshall said that he was impressed by the strength of leadership behind this application, and the school’s success in Florida.  He said that he is tilted by the strength of leadership rather than strength of application and that on balance he plans to support their application.

Mr. Skip McKoy said that Cambridge has proven that they have a model that gets high results.  However, it wasn’t the Board’s job to connect the dots of their application and that the application felt rushed.  He added that it is incumbent on people to take the application seriously, and to do all the work because they have enough time to do it.  He stated that he is right on the line in approving their application.

Mr. Don Soifer says that he concurs with his colleagues.  He says that Board Members have to trust the education plan and the leadership team of a proposed school before approving an application, and that the education plan isn’t strong enough to earn a yes vote. 

Mr. Brian Jones said that he agrees with Mr. Will Marshall and that he is struck by the distance between the technical review and “the facts on the street” of this school’s history of performance.  He said that it’s a strong model that has been very successful with a difficult population in another jurisdiction and that he will support the application.

Mr. Don Soifer moved to deny the proposal to open a charter school.  Mr. Skip McKoy seconded the motion. 

Ms. Emily Bloomfield said that she thinks people are aware that the Board has gone through a process the last couple of years to close schools, and that that process is very difficult for all of those affected.  Because of that there needs to be a focus on authorizing great schools.

Mr. Skip McKoy said that he thinks that this year they’ve had more applications from outside the District than any time before, and that he believes that to be a good thing and that the Board encourages that.  He added that he hopes that Cambridge applies again next year.

All Board Members present voted in favor to deny the application, with the exception of Mr. Brian Jones and Mr. Will Marshall.  Mr. Brian Jones voted for approval for Ms. Sara Mead by proxy.  The motion passed 4-3.


Public Comment
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Darrell Gaston said that he is disturbed by DC Scholars allegedly forging his endorsement and that the Board didn’t address this issue.  He said that it is a mark on both DC scholars and DC PCSB’s professionalism.

Mr. Brian Jones responded by saying that that the Board went back forth a lot on the forged letter.  He said that a person in the periphery of the leadership of the applicant group said that he received the letter directly from you, and that the applicant group took him at his word.    He added that upon hearing that the endorsement was a forgery, the applicant group asked that the letter be removed from their submission of letters in favor of their application.

Commissioner Darrell Gaston said that this member is a founding board member and not a periphery member.  He said that the school’s model might work, but that the Board is rewarding someone for lapse ethical factors.

Mr. Brian said that he was satisfied after speaking to Commissioner Darrell Gaston and the applicant group’s leadership that they were honestly misled.  He said that the Board all takes seriously the ethics of the applicant groups.

Commissioner Darrell Gaston said that he hopes that as part of their charter they will be moved into Ward 7 because they don’t have the ethics for Ward 8.

Laurie Kaplan from LAYC thanked the board for having confidence in their work.

Mr. Brian Jones adjourned the meeting at 9:30pm.