DC Public Charter School Board
Board Meeting Minutes
Board Members in attendance: Mr. Brian Jones (chair); 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.
Mr. Brian Jones introduced the board members and mentioned that it is Mrs. Josephine Baker’s last board meeting tonight. He said that it is not every day that you get to work with a legend. He added that Mrs. Josephine Baker was the first chair in the history of the PCSB and is the backbone of the staff and the backbone of the entire charter school movement here in the District of Columbia. Mr. Brian Jones noted that the District of Columbia has one of the leading charter school sectors in the country today and much of that is a testament to Mrs. Josephine Baker’s vision. He asked for those in attendance to give her a round of applause.
Acknowledgement of Public Officials
No elected officials were present.
Approval of the Agenda
Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to approve the board’s agenda for the evening. Dr. Darren Woodruff moved the motion and Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of the April Minutes
Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the April meeting. Mr. Will Marshall moved the motion and Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The contracts for May 2011 for more than $25,000 were received by the PCSB and were read and accepted into the record.
School Oversight Committee- Request to Approve Technology Plans- KIPP DC
Mr. Don Soifer moved to accept the technology plan submitted by KIPP DC. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Performance Management Framework
Ms. Clara Hess from staff read a brief background of the Performance Management Framework (PMF) and then introduced proposed changes to the 2010-11 PMF including: using median growth percentile as the student progress measure; using new weights to distribute points for the indicators on the PMF and combine the elementary and middle school frameworks; include ACT performance in addition to SAT performance as a high school gateway indicator; include International Baccalaureate passage rate in addition to Advanced Placement exam passage rate as a high school achievement indicator; exclude the mission specific indicator; use accountability plans for programs in the non-standard frameworks; remove the three-staged process for the governance review and include governance requirements outlined in the District of Columbia charter law in the compliance review; and remove several compliance indicators from the compliance review. Ms. Clara Hess added that these changes are not inclusive of all changes to the 2010-2011 PMF, and that there are several issues still to be determined.
Mr. Brian Jones asked Ms. Clara Hess to discuss the stakeholder involvement in the process and how that has played out. Ms. Clara Hess said that there has been significant stakeholder involvement through the mission specific taskforce, an early education taskforce and an adult education taskforce. She added that there is also a school advisory committee that meets monthly.
Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that tonight’s vote on the PMF is the final step of the process that began in October 2010, and that by creating this new framework the PCSB has created a better product. He also wanted it to thank Ms. Clara Hess, PCSB staff, and school leaders who have worked on and added input to the PMF.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked that in looking ahead that the Board ask high schools that offer vocational training to be assessed for their rigor and offerings in the PMF.
Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion. Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to accept the proposed changes. Mr. Don Soifer seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Request to Approve Accountability Plans
Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that the accountability plans that the Board will be voting on are part of the revised PMF. He stated that he wished to speak to and vote on The Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts and Septima Clark Public Charter School separately, but that the other schools with accountability plans for consideration be voted on as a bloc. Dr.
Darren Woodruff then moved to approve the accountability plans for all of the schools being considered as a bloc. Mr. Will Marshall seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The schools considered as a bloc were:
• AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School
• Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
• Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School
• E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
• Friendship Public Charter School
• Howard Road Academy Public Charter School
• Roots Public Charter School
• Two Rivers Public Charter School
School Oversight Committee- Request to Approve Accountability Plan- The Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts
Representatives: Ms. Diane Ables, Adult Education Program Coordinator; Ms. Oralyn Bevineau, Virtual Enterprise Coordinator.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield stated that she had some questions about the school’s accountability plan and student advancement of levels compared to other GED programs and proficiency expectations. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau stated that the school takes students as they are when they come in and added that the school serves a population of adults who are highly mobile and come to them with many issues that they as a school attempt to address. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau went on to add that they lose students in their programs due to the students’ own various personal reasons. Since adult education is not compulsory, students will move in and out of their programs.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked how many students who enter actually pass the GED test. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau added that students might pass all parts of the practice test but fail portions of the actual GED.
Ms. Diane Ables added that not all students who enter the school are trying for their GED, and that some come for adult education courses. She added that most of their students are unemployed or underemployed and that the school’s programs help students seek employment that is appropriate for them based on their life skills.
Dr. Darren Woodruff said that it seems that the majority of the students are not passing the GED. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau answered that many of them are leaving for employment or family reasons. Ms.Diane Abel added that some also do return.
Mr. Don Soifer asked if there are other life skill goals other than the GED that students can work on. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau answered that they give students a list of goals and that they focus on three but they often times achieve many more.
Mr. Don Soifer asked if there is a matrix of life skills that students work on Ms. Diane Abel answered that there is a goal sheet where students must list their goals and school follows up in six months to see how much progress they’ve made in reaching those goals.
Ms. Oralyn Bevineau added that the school’s goal is to have students make it to the next educational level, whether that is to enter vocational training or to enter post secondary school.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked how the program works if one already has a GED. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau answered that they offer courses such as computer literacy skills.
Mrs. Josephine Baker asked if the technology program the school keeps track or records the successes that the students have had and if students are able to keep their jobs after completing the program at the school. Ms. Oralyn Bevineau said that they are required to follow up with them by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). Ms. Diane Abels added that some students who have completed the program even come back to speak to current students as a form of encouragement.
Mrs. Josephine Baker asked if they have the data to record their success rate. Ms. Diane Ables answered that yes, they have an automated system.
School Oversight Committee- Request to Approve Accountability Plan- Septima Clark Public Charter School
Representative: Jenny DuFresne, Founder and Head of School
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked how Septima Clark arrived at the target benchmarks in their accountability plan and what the process was. He added that performance indicators for first and second grade are that 30% of students will score at or above the 50th percentile in the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-10).
Ms. Jenny DuFresne thanked the board for being offered the opportunity to address them. She then stated that the school has made their third move in 5 years and that they have increased in size. Their most recent move sent them from one side of Ward 8 to the other, where they lost 45 students in the transition but added 138 new students. She also added that they are an all boys school and that many boys come in behind grade level.
She went on to add that at least 80-85% of their scholars are scoring below the SAT-10’s 80th percentile. Ms. Jenny DuFresne said that they take performance and their mission very seriously and that the school knew that moving from the 30th to 50th percentile would be a big push.
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if given the reality of the school having so many scholars below proficiency, what the prospects are moving forward. Ms. Jenny DuFresne answered that they are organizing themselves now to partner with the lab school to provide tutors and continue interventions with their lowest performers and that they are using Wireless Generation protocols to monitor student performance. Ms. Jenny DuFresne added that she anticipated an increased burden on their special education population. The special education population of the school has recently tripled.
She went on to add that academic intervention coordinators are working with students daily to push their performance and that every member of the staff has a scholar that they work with daily on boosting performance.
Ms. Jenny DuFresne stated that they have partnered with a professor from the University of Virginia who specializes in boys’ education since boys require fundamentally different methods of instruction even when girls are removed from the classroom. These different methods include voice modification and speaking in a very direct manner.
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if the staff is mostly male. Ms. Jenny DuFresne answered that the staff is mixed.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if being an all boy school, if parents are coming to them looking for something particular. Ms. Jenny DuFresne answered that many parents come to the school because they’ve gotten the feeling that other schools don’t look at their students as the type of scholars that can achieve and learn. She says that her school sees an entire continuum of boy from quiet boys to the ones who can’t sit still.
Mrs. Josephine Baker mentioned that the school has many new students, and asked if continuing students have been able to continue to make progress over time. She added that one size does not fit all, and asked how the school allows for variations in temperament and personality?
Ms. Jenny DuFresne answered that a little over 50% of their first class are still with them and that the first class is always the most difficult class, and that they still continue to see modest growth from them. She added that the students who are new to the school are able to pull even with those students who have already been there, and they need to focus on making progress with their continuing scholars.
Ms. Jenny DuFresne said that in regards to the continuum they have a much faster paced instruction. They exercise their scholars at least twice a day and that helps to bring their energy down. They have set times when all students must be sitting, but other times, as long as the student is not distracting others and getting their work done, its fine for them to be moving around.
Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to approve the approval plans for The Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts and Septima Clark Public Charter School. Mr. Will Marshall seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Lift Notice of Concern-Attendance-Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School
Ms. Kimberly Worthington from staff gave background on PCSB’s attendance and truancy policy. She stated that currently Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB) is under a Notice of Concern for attendance, but that LAMB has been able to increase their attendance rate to 94.95%, above the 85% required threshold to lift a notice of concern and proposed that the Board lift the Notice of Concern.
Mr. Will Marshall moved to accept the recommendation to lift the notice of concern. Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Issue Notice of Deficiency- Hope Community Public Charter School- Lamond Campus
Representatives: Niyeka Wilson, Principal; Michael Depass, Regional Director for Imagine Schools
Ms. Niyeka Wilson said that today they had an opportunity to meet with Ms. Kimberly Worthington to discuss their attendance and truancy numbers. She added the school makes sure that those parents of students have 7 opportunities to learn where their child’s attendance sits.
Ms. Niyeka Wilson added that much of the problem comes from the Pre-K population since they are not required by law to be in school.
Ms. Kimberly Worthington said that Pre-K is not counted in the truancy rate, and that it is only counted in the attendance rate.
Dr. Darren Woodruff said that he was confused and asked if the school has a dispute with the data. Ms. Niyeka Wilson said that the data the Board sees is not the same data that they see at
the school. She added that after speaking to three different staff members at PCSB she received three different answers.
Mr. Will Marshall asked why they don’t have the data that we have. Ms. Kimberly Worthington answered that she can’t see a school level view from OLAMS, but she should be able to pull a full report. PCSB measures attendance the same way OSSE does, and stated that she thinks that there is a bit of a disconnect between PCSB and schools into how the calculation is made measuring attendance. Schools may calculate differently, and the schools might measure it later.
Ms. Niyeka Wilson said that she would like more clarity on how this is done so that the school can be clearer in tracking attendance.
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if they have an idea from their own statistics on where the school stands. Ms. Niyeka Wilson answered that yes they do, and that the numbers still remains high.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield added that the school was up last year before the Board as well for the same reasons.
Mr. Brian Jones asked if there was a motion on the table. Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to issue a Notice of Deficiency. Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Proposal to Issue Notice of Deficiency- William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts (Upper Campus)
Representatives: Mary Robbins, Principal; Marco McMillian, Board Chair; Dr. Maia McKinney, Executive Director
Dr. Maia McKinney said that after receiving the notice of truancy the school did a significant analysis to see where the drops in attendance were. When she analyzed the data she said that if they aligned their schedule with DCPS, that it would keep from miscounting students as truant in many instances, such as when they were on winter break.
Dr. Maia McKinney added that the school has come up with a comprehensive plan to address their truancy issues and want to join the city’s truancy taskforce with PCSB and to start an attendance committee. They also want to create an incentive plan to make students want to come to school.
Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to issue a Notice of Deficiency. Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Schools Oversight Committee - Notice of Concern for Attendance and Truancy
Mr. Will Marshall moved to issue Notice of Concern for Attendance and Truancy for the other schools identified. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Those schools were:
Notice of Concern for Attendance
Excel Academy Public Charter School
Imagine Southeast Public Charter School
IDEA Public Charter School
Two Rivers Public Charter School- Middle School Campus
Latin American Youth Center Youthbuild Public Charter School
Notice of Concern for Truancy
William E Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for Performing Arts (Lower Campus)
Hyde Leadership Public Charter School
Ideal Public Charter School- Peabody Campus
School Oversight Committee- Request to Delay Opening- Youthbuild Public Charter School
Representative: Arthur Dade, Executive Director
Ms. Charlotte Cureton from staff introduced the matter before the Board and stated Youthbuild’s request to delay their opening until September 2012 due to difficulty in securing space.
Mr. Arthur Dade explained that the school is trying to introduce legislation before the city council for a 40 year lease. He said that the nature of the program that they offer, providing housing for and focusing on students who have dropped out or have been expelled, have led to problem in securing support for a site. He added that there is support for the charter school component of their program, but not the housing. Because of that Youthbuild is seeking an alternative partner to seek a portion of the building that LAYC was supposed to use to house vulnerable youth.
Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to accept the request to delay opening. Mr. Will Marshall seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Request to Relinquish Charter- SAIL Public Charter School
Representative: Rick Offner, CEO
Mr. Rick Offner began by saying that this is a sad day for him and for his school. He gave a brief history of SAIL and said that when he became CEO 2 years ago they moved to look at the business of their charter school, both academically and fiscally. He said that they are a small school that has attracted special education students. He said that the school has always had over
a 50% special education enrollment rate. He added that as a business you need to look at the financial impact and the viability of the organization. With the small school and enrollment-driven budget, they just don’t have a financial plan to keep the school viable and lack the adequate financial resources to operate.
Mr. Brian Jones brought up that there were talks to work with another charter school to ease the financial burden and asked if those have fallen through. Mr. Rick Offner said no, those are ongoing and positive, but the decision to relinquish their charter is independent of those discussions.
Mr. Brian Jones said that he just needed it clarified for the record and commended him for taking a responsible action.
Mr. Will Marshall echoed Mr. Brian Jones’s thoughts.
Mr. Rick Offner thanked them both and said that the school can house a very specific type of program at their location.
Mr. Will Marshall moved to accept the relinquishment of the SAIL charter. Ms. Emily Bloomfield seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Petition for Charter Renewal- Options Public Charter School
Representatives: Dr. Charles Vincent, Deputy Director; Steven Hook, Data Accountability Officer; Robert Allen, Principal
Mr. Clarence Parks of staff introduced the issue of Options Public Charter School’s (Options) petition for charter renewal to the Board. He stated that Options has been awarded a federal School Improvement Grant and opted for the turnaround model. He added that Options has opened an additional campus for students with profound emotional disabilities.
Mr. Clarence Parks went on to add that while the school performed well on the renewal rubric, there are some concerns about Options’ compliance with IDEIA. In addition, Options has improperly fused an interim alternative educational setting for students who have violated the student code of conduct.
Mr. Robert Hook said that Options takes opposition to two of Mr. Clarence Park’s allegations. Mr. Robert Hook stated that Options has two separate programs in separate locations and they do not have one program as Mr. Clarence Parks stated. He went on to add that Options sent a letter detailing this. With regard to the noncompliance issues alleged from OSSE, he stated that those were notifications to remedy identified issues, and in every incident they were corrected. He
added that in many instances the issues were corrected even before receiving notification from OSSE.
Mr. Robert Hook also stated that even if the alleged violations were true, they still do not amount to reasons for termination of their charter.
Mr. Clarence Parks responded by stating that the fusion issue of the two programs was not an allegation but an observation.
Mr. Robert Hook reiterated that Options has two separate and distinct programs. He said that there is nothing in IDEA that says that those two programs cannot be run out of the same location.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if it is clear to students’ families which program the students are in? Mr. Robert Hook said that the students do not mingle with the possible exception of their lunch breaks. The two programs have different instructors and academic programs.
Mrs. Josephine Baker stated that information on the second site has not unfolded in the proper manner, since the PCSB originally did not know that it had existed until after the fact, and that it is only fair to ask questions but not accusations to seek better information.
Mr. Robert Hook said that they were never provided with documentation to those concerns and that he wanted further information than what was in the draft report because there was nothing in there of substance for them to respond to.
Mr. Clarence Parks added that the Board’s learning of the second location came from a parent complaint, which led to a conference call between Options and the PCSB. In that call, Mr. Clarence Parks stated that he asked Options if they had opened a second location. Options’ response was that they had not opened it but that they were about to the Friday of that week. They had submitted a draft proposal to the board for Options Academy. PCSB received the draft and did not hear more about the proposal until Options testified at the first public hearing to open the second location, whereby they cited to a plan that was different than the one they submitted to the board originally.
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked if the incidents of noncompliance that OSSE found been corrected. Mr. Robert Hook answered that they had been.
Dr. Darren Woodruff then asked how Options is getting to non-compliance in the first place. Mr. Robert Hook answered that Options has a rate of over 70% who are special education, a large proportion who are Level 4. He went on to state that with the population of special education students they have, three violations is almost none.
Dr. Darren Woodruff said that the Board is mindful that they do not have a large number of schools in their portfolio that meet the needs of students that Options serves, but that Options needs to be mindful to work harder.
Dr. Charles Vincent said that the school has an audit system that identifies problems that PCSB never even becomes aware of and corrects them.
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked for the record how they feel their growth will look in the future with the PMF.
Mr. Robert Hook said that as part of the growth performance in the future they see average growth. Given the students psychological profile they expect to see three years growth in a large proportion of their scholars, if they’re compared with students in their cohort.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked about the three OSSE issues and if it was a sample that OSSE pulled. Mr. Hook said that OSSE came in and pulled 50, and that three were out of compliance, giving them a 97% compliance rate.
Mr. Don Soifer asked if the notices in February have been corrected and filed. Mr. Robert Hook said he was not aware of any notices. Mr. Don Soifer brought up a specific example, and Mr. Hook said that if there was one then it was corrected.
Mr. Will Marshall moved that the board renew Options charter but would like to do so with stipulations. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded.
Mr. Will Marshall stated that the metrics are not aligned with the reality of their school, but that shouldn’t be a free pass for the school. The challenge here is for Options to work better with the Board to develop better metrics. He stated that he would like to spend the next year to develop a better and more refined set of measures. He just didn’t want them to think that if they do renew their charter they automatically get another 15 years.
Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that Options serves students with significant disabilities and that the Board should take that into consideration when holding them accountable for serving a different population. There are some degrees of noncompliance that need to be addressed and the school always ranks as a bottom performer. These are serious issues, and there is a need to develop a better set of metrics.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield added that she agrees with her colleagues. She said that it is very important to see growth next year because there has not been any growth at the school. The
Board hears from all schools about students who are behind, but 30% of the students at Options do not have IEPs and the Board needs to see how they’re doing and developing.
Mr. Brian Jones echoed his colleague’s points. He wanted to echo Mr. Will Marshall and say a vote for renewal today is not a free pass. He added that the compliance issues trouble him. If quarterly reports come up and they show further compliance issues he would be willing to revisit revoking their charters.
Mr. Don Soifer said that he agrees with colleagues. He said that it is a critical time to show growth, and for Options to stay in touch with the Board to monitor progress and growth.
The motion on the table is to renew the charter, but with stipulations worked out between PCSB staff and Options. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School Oversight Committee- Proposed Charter Revocation- Ideal Public Charter School
Representatives: Emory Calhoun, Board Member; William Newsome, Board Member; Kevin Ajenifuja, Board Member; Dr. George Rutherford, Principal
Ms. Charlotte Cureton from staff introduced the proposal before the Board and summarized the reasoning behind the Board’s decision to begin the revocation process.
Ms. Charlotte Cureton added that Ideal Public Charter School (Ideal) has offered to relinquish their high school.
Mr. Jeremy Williams summarized the financial situation of Ideal. He stated that the high school constituted 20-30% of the school’s revenues. The school has proposed to him a plan to raise the school’s enrollment to remain financially viable. They have proposed a budgetary solution to close the high school and keep their elementary and middle schools operational.
Dr. George Rutherford said that by closing the upper school Ideal will be able to use more money to focus on students in the lower school by investing in instructional resources and supplies.
Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that with the PMF they are looking for growth. He added that Dr. George Rutherford said he will use the money for books and staff development, but wondered if he could speak to moving students towards proficiency.
Dr. George Rutherford said that Ideal will be sending students to summer school and have tutoring work.
Mrs. Josephine Baker asked where the money comes from for summer school.
Dr. Rutherford answered it will come from their summer school program.
Mrs. Josephine Baker asked how Ideal will pay for the new students that they believe will enroll into your school. Where does that money come from?
Dr. George Rutherford answered that he will just have to find the money.
Ms. Emory Calhoun said that they can structure the summer school to get all the teachers on board based on their pay schedules.
Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to propose the closing of the high school. Mr. Will Marshall seconded. Dr. Darren Woodruff stated that the board does not take the decision to shutdown the school lightly.
Mr. Brian Jones noted for the public that the board takes the financial stability of the schools they support very seriously.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Don Soifer then moved to reject the proposal to revoke Ideal’s charter. Dr. Darren Woodruff seconded. Ms. Emily said that there is a distinction between the performances of the two schools.
Mr. Don Soifer said that he was the one who initiated the revocation proceeding. This is the first time that he’s seen a revocation moving forward being pushed back.
Mr. Brian Jones added a personal note that these decisions are never easy, but having sat through the public hearing it was clear that Ideal made a compelling case. He then thanked Ideal for their professionalism and said that it was a pleasure getting to know the school community. He said that Dr. George Rutherford and everyone else he has dealt with at Ideal have been consummate professionals.
The motion passed unanimously.
Schools Oversight Committee-Status Report- William E Doar Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts
Representatives: John Goldman, CFO; Andrea Shorter, Board Treasurer; Mary Robbins, Upper School Principal; Ken Robinson, Vice Chair; Marco McMillian, Board Chair; Dr. Maia McKinney, Executive Director
Ms. Charlotte Cureton from staff introduced the notice of conditional continuance background before the Board.
Dr. Maia McKinney said that the Board’s decision to not have a final vote on the status of William E. Doar Jr., Public Charter School for the Performing Arts (Doar) tonight, that the Board is essentially consigning the school to closure because they would not be able to have the enrollment numbers necessary to remain open.
Mr. Brian Jones asked if that means that Doar has no new information to present.
Dr. Maia McKinney answered only that the school is now financially viable.
Mr. Brian Jones said that it would be helpful for the Board to take the information that Doar presented tonight and to have time to make a thoughtful decision rather than just take it and vote on it. He added that there is no suggestion here that Doar has not been doing what they have supposed to be doing.
Mr. John Goldman stated that the plan the school undertook was detailed and comprehensive and that the entire school was involved. It was followed step by step on a weekly basis. They negotiated with their landlord and United Bank and that those negotiations have been successful. Doar has also come up with new and innovative ways to come up with educational deliverables. The result of these plans has been to come to a secure fiscal position while not sacrificing education, which has included the landlord giving Doar a $300,000 rent concession.
Mr. Jeremy Williams stated that there is no reason for staff to believe that Doar cannot remain solvent.
Dr. Darren Woodruff said that one of the proposals for continuance was progress on the DC CAS. Dr. Maia McKinney said that Doar has been testing their students on Scantron so they can measure progress. There has been increased performance across the board in reading and in math in their testing and expect that to be shown in DC CAS as well.
Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if they could go over assumptions of enrollment.
Mr. John Goldman said that they’ve shown modest growth and that the school has done an extensive marketing campaign to try and increase enrollment. He believes his own numbers to be moderately conservative, and that even in those, the school meets their enrollment goals.
Mr. Marco McMillian asked for permission for a parent board member to speak. The parent board member from Doar wanted to take the opportunity to reiterate the staff’s preference in having a decision be made tonight rather than down the road. She said that families want to be at Doar and to not have the fate of their children hang in the balance.
Mr. Brian Jones said that he appreciated that and her perspective but that he wants to be fair to Doar by not having his colleagues vote for something that they only saw for the first time today. He said that he will defer to colleagues on whether there is a motion.
Mr. John Goldman asked for an interim decision.
Mr. Brian Jones answered that there needs to be notice of a public meeting for a vote to be made.
Mr. Brian Jones thanked Doar for submitting their information and said that they will consider it closely at the June board meeting.
Mr. Ken Robinson said that the Board had initially decided to vote on this issue today and that teachers will leave tomorrow if the Board doesn’t make the decision today.
Mr. Brian Jones stated again that he appreciates Mr. Ken Robinson’s thoughts but that the Board needs to deliberate over the issue and that the issue is closed.
Mr. Marco McMillian asked if there was a request by the Board to ask staff for advanced information.
Mr. Brian Jones stated that as a deliberative body it is reasonable to expect them to deliberate.
Mr. Brian Jones opened the floor for public comment.
Ms. Jessica Wodatch the Executive Director of Two Rivers Public Charter School (Two Rivers) stated that today Two Rivers was issued a notice of concern. They did not submit all of their data on time and that is embarrassing, but they have never missed their attendance or truancy targets, and that this type of mistake will not happen again. She then asked if the Board will differentiate a notice of concern between having poor attendance and a procedural error.
Mr. Brian Jones said that he will enter her letter into the record for this evening. He understands the difference between a procedural error and truancy issues.
Mr. Ken Adams, Doar Board Member, asked if each Board member would accommodate Doar by sharing their thoughts on the issue moments ago.
Mr. Brian Jones reiterated that this is a time only for public comment.
Mr. Brian Jones adjourned the meeting at 10:46pm