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, Ms. Sara Mead , Will Marshall , Ms. Emily Bloomfield and Mrs. Josephine Baker.
Board Chair Mr. Brian Jones called the meeting to order at 7:45p.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 August meeting. Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved the motion, and Mr. Skip McKoy seconded the motion. The agenda was approved by all Board members present.
Approval of the July Minutes
Mr. Jones presented the July minutes for approval. Dr. Darren Woodruff moved the motion to approve the minutes, and Mr. Don Soifer seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by all Board members present.
The contracts for July 2010 for more than $25,000 were received by the PCSB and were read into the record.
2010-11 Charter Review Criteria – Early Childhood and Adult Education/GED Programs
Dr. Darren Woodruff read a statement about the charter review criteria. The PMF is well-suited to determine the academic and non-academic performance of standard schools during the fifth year charter review as there are common performance assessments across indicators. Conversely, non-standard (early childhood, adult education, and GED) programs/schools lack common assessments and thus, different, yet relevant indicators of success are needed to fairly and effectively conduct the fifth year charter review. To make certain that all schools are held to performance standards relative to their target population, it is proposed that a set of alternative criteria be put in place to address the unique educational offerings for AppleTree, Early Childhood Academy, Bridges, and YouthBuild Public Charter Schools.
The proposed Charter Review Performance Standards for schools serving adult learners, GED students and early childhood populations would be as follows:
? The school must have passed their Preliminary Charter Review;
? The school must submit an analysis (quantitative and qualitative) of student performance data;
? The school must have an average rating of “adequate” in each of the major components for the most recent Program Development Review;
? The school must pass the most recent PMF Compliance, Governance, and Financial Reviews;
? The school must not be under PCSB corrective action; and
? The school must be accredited or at least a candidate for accreditation.
Dr. Woodruff stated that the criteria were a result of the work done by the taskforce.
Mr. Will Marshall asked if the schools agreed with these criteria.
Mr. Russ Williams, Executive Director at AppleTree, stated that the general consensus from the schools is that the criteria seemed to be going in the right direction.
Dr. Darren Woodruff moved a motion to approve the criteria. The motion was seconded and approved.
Mr. Skip McKoy abstained.
New Policy Statement –High School Graduation Requirements
Ms. Charlotte Cureton, PCSB School Performance Officer, gave an overview of a new policy statement regarding high school graduation that the Board would discuss. Ms. Cureton stated that teams of auditors reviewed the academic record systems of the secondary schools and found that most high school record systems needed to be refined. Subsequently, reviews of student transcripts identified areas where students’ Carnegie Units were not recorded accurately; nor were student schedules reflective of the number of Carnegie Units required for a recognized high school diploma from a DC public school.
Ms. Cureton stated that the policy statement would include the following: To receive a DC Public School diploma, students who enroll in 9th grade for the first time in School Year 2007-2008 and thereafter must earn 24.0 credits (or Carnegie Units) as stated in the DC Municipal Regulations Title 5 Chapter 22 (as of May 2007).
All diploma granting schools must follow the individual school’s board policies that identify and approve course design, course description, course sequencing and the standards that delineate the successful completion of all appropriate prerequisite course work. All instructional programs and student scheduling of courses for Carnegie Unit credit must be based on the minimum 24 Carnegie Unit graduation requirement.
All secondary school transcripts and/or report cards must contain information that accurately reflects the student’s academic credit history. School leaders will further verify all information entered on student transcripts through official documentation for each student enrolled.
Board members engaged in a lengthy discussion about the graduation requirements. Ms. Emily Bloomfield inquired about the percentage of schools that satisfy these graduation requirements. Ms. Cureton said that while all schools should satisfy these requirements, many schools don’t follow the requirements. Dr. Woodruff asked if the policy would take effect this school year. Ms. Cureton stated that the staff would look at transcripts and ask schools to send a list of those students who need remediation to the Board by November and not wait until spring. Ms. Cureton said that the problem of insufficient credits was mainly in the high school. Mr. Don Soifer asked how strict would the policy be if a student experienced extenuating circumstances. Ms. Josephine Baker stated that there are always exceptions to the rule and that the policy would be flexible. Mr. Will Marshall asked if two of the Carnegie units would be college credits and in fact they would be per DC law. Ms. Cureton stated that she didn’t anticipate any hardships except that it could mean a student would not be able to graduate on time. She believes that could be remedied with summer classes, night school or online classes. Dr. Woodruff suggested that the Board spend more time reviewing this policy. Mr. Brian Jones tabled the policy for a later date.
School Oversight Committee – Requests to Operate in a New Location
Appletree Early Learning PCS
Russ Williams, executive director for AppleTree, represented AppleTree
PCSB School Performance Officer Marissa Mikoy presented Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School’s request for conditional approval to operate in a temporary location at 1700 East Capitol St NE, for the 2010-2011 school year. Delays have prevented AppleTree from completing construction of the two additional sites on time at 2017 Savannah Terrace SE, located in Ward 8, serving 72 three and four year old children; and 138 12th St NE, located in Ward 6 and serving up to 60 three and four year olds. A contingency plan with DC’s Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM), offered a temporary location for both campuses on the grounds of Eastern High School, located at 1700 East Capitol St NE, for the 2010-2011 school year. Russ Williams, executive director for AppleTree stated that the federal government has caused some delays in the financing of their bond application and that resulted in delays in completion of the new permanent sites. He said that the temporary location at Eastern High School is unique in that there is land space between the high school and where Appletree would be located. The location has a separate entrance for drop off and pick-up, and is away from the high school. Dr. Darren Woodruff inquired about the status of the other new permanent facilities and Mr. Williams stated that he expected to close by mid-October. Mr. Will Marshall moved that the Board grant conditional approval to locate at the new location. It was seconded and approved. Mr. Skip McKoy abstained.
Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
Candy Hernandez represented Carlos Rosario.
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School’s request to relocate its satellite campus at 1501 Columbia Road, NW to 2001 S Street, NW, effective for 2010-2011 the school year. On April 19th, 2010, the Board authorized the Carlos Rosario School to increase school-wide enrollment from 1,550 to 1,750. The school has a waiting list, and is in good standing, per its charter. In the 2008-2009 SY, the school received 31 exemplary ratings in 32 areas of the Program Development Review; the remaining area was rated “proficient.” Carlos Rosario operated four morning and four evening classes in the National Baptist Church during School Year 2009-10. The National Baptist Church site and the main campus were unable to accommodate this approved increase in enrollment. The school’s leadership identified a site available for the 2010-2011 School Year in the DuPont Circle neighborhood. This site has adequate square footage and the appropriate configuration to accommodate all students previously served at the Baptist Church site, as well as 200 new students. The program start date is August 16th, 2010 and approximately 150 students will participate in the day session and 150 students will participate in the evening session as prospective student candidates for the GED. By the fall of 2011, Carlos Rosario will have completed renovation of the third floor at the Harvard Street main campus. This will enable the school to consolidate all classes at the main campus. Dr. Darren Woodruff moved to approve the request. It was seconded and approved.
School Oversight Committee – Proposal to Lift Notices of Concern – Truancy
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented the proposal to lift notices of concern for truancy for Howard Road Public Charter School – Penn Campus, Center City Public Charter School – Shaw Campus and Center City Public Charter School – Congress Heights Campus.
The policy states that in order to avoid Board action charter schools must maintain 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 ’09-’10 final attendance report, these schools have met the truancy requirements for the 4th quarter and should have their notices of concern lifted. Ms. Emily Bloomfield asked if there was a data issue or a shift in truancy as a reason for the improvement. Ms. Cureton stated that the schools were more conscientious about imputing their data and doing interventions to reduce truancy. Dr. Darren Woodruff suggested that the Board make this process automatic. Ms. Josephine Baker said that sometimes there are circumstances why kids don’t come to school and when you call attention to it, it gets more focus. Dr. Woodruff said it was not clear when the Board would not apply the notice of concern and maybe the policy should be changed. Dr. Woodruff moved to lift the notices of concern. It was seconded and approved.
School Oversight Committee – Proposal to Lift Notices of Deficiency – Truancy
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented the proposal to lift notices of deficiency for IDEA Public Charter School. The policy states that in order to avoid Board action charter schools must maintain 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 ’09-’10 final attendance report these schools have met the truancy requirements for the 4th quarter and should have their notices of deficiency lifted. Mr. Will Marshall moved to lift the notice of deficiency for IDEA Public Charter School. It was seconded by Sara Mead and approved.
School Oversight Committee – Proposed Notices of Concern – 4th Quarter Truancy
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented the proposal for notices of concern for truancy for the following schools. The policy states that in order to avoid Board action charter schools must maintain 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 ’09-’10 final attendance report the following schools fall above the required truancy threshold:
School Attendance (85% +) _____ Truancy (below20%)_
Arts and Technology PCS 92.27% 26.27%
Booker T. Washington 88.99% 24.79%
Center City/Cap Hill 91.79% 30.29%
Cesar Chavez/Cap Hill 87.42% 21.94%
Cesar Chavez/Parkside 88.41% 21.38%
Community Academy/Amos 89.25% 29.27%
Early Childhood Academy 92.59% 28.57%
Excel Academy 87.63% 21.96%
Friendship Junior/Blow Pierce 92.06% 21.86%
Friendship PCS-Tech Prep 90.05% 26.97%
Hyde Leadership/Lower 91.44% 22.99%
Imagine Southeast 85.43% 31.76%
Maya Angelou/Evans 83.23% 33.33%
Potomac Lighthouse 89.06% 23.43%
William E. Doar/Lower 90.04% 30.94%
William E. Doar/Upper 87.79% 27.23%
Mr. Will Marshall stated that if a school is at 21% or 42% for truancy, it would be good to hear from schools why they are struggling. Ms. Cureton stated that the staff heard from the schools and if they do have truancy issues for the 1st qtr, they would implement interventions. Mr. Brian Jones moved for a notice of concern. It was seconded and approved. Mr. Skip McKoy recused himself from the vote.
School Oversight Committee – Proposed Notices of Deficiency – 4th Quarter Truancy
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented the proposal for notices of deficiency for truancy for the following schools. The policy states that in order to avoid Board action charter schools must maintain an attendance rate at or above 85% and a truancy rate at or below 20% on a quarterly and annual basis. The DCPCSB ’09-’10 final attendance report shows the following schools fall above the required truancy threshold:
School Attendance (Req. 85 %+) Truancy Req. Below (20%)
Community Academy/Rand 86.31% 32.14%
Hope Community/Lamond 84.36% 37.07%
Howard Road Academy/G St 90.86% 45.95%
Howard Road Academy 89.55% 42.47%
Howard Rd Academy/MLK 85.40% 21.71%
Hospitality PCS 86.74% 26.92%
Ideal Academy 88.44% 36.54%
Maya Angelou/Middle 88.86% 44.76%
Maya Angelou/Shaw 85.95% 36.81%
Mr. Will Marshall stated that these schools had notices of concern. Ms. Emily Bloomfield moved for a notice of deficiency. It was seconded and approved.
School Oversight Committee – Proposed Continuance of Notice of Deficiency – 4th Quarter Truancy
PCSB School Performance Officer Charlotte Cureton presented the proposal to continue the notice of deficiency for truancy for National Collegiate Prep. The policy states that in order to avoid Board action charter schools must maintain an attendance rate at or above 85% and a truancy rate at or below 20% on a quarterly and annual basis. The DCPCSB ’09-’10 final attendance report shows National Collegiate fell above the required truancy threshold:
School Attendance (Req. 85 %+) _______ Truancy (Below 20%)
National Collegiate 87.74% (meets req.) 23.16% (does not meet req.)
Dr. Darren Woodruff asked what would happen if National Collegiate Prep continued to be deficient. Ms. Cureton stated that the school would get a continuance and if there was no change, then the school would be put on probation. Ms. Cureton stated that the school is struggling with truancy. Ms. Josephine Baker stated that the school just opened and there should have been more interest and energy in the school. Ms. Cureton stated that the problems are deeper as the school is struggling with the first year of school. However, the school will have a new school leader next school year. Ms. Sara Mead moved to continue the notice of deficiency and it was seconded and approved.
School Oversight Committee – Request to Replicate Elementary and Middle School Programs
DC Preparatory Academy Public Charter School
School Representative: Emily Lawson, Founder & CEO
PCSB School Performance Officer Monique Miller presented the proposal to replicate elementary and middle school programs at DC Prep in a single campus in Ward 8; an elementary school beginning in fall 2011 and a middle school in 2016. DC Prep proposes to open the elementary school with 130 Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten students in seven classrooms. The school would grow one grade each year until the students reached 3rd grade, at which time DC Prep would open its second middle school growing up to 8th grade in 2020. At full capacity this campus (two schools) would serve 663 students in Pre-School through 8th grade. The schools would be co-located, with aligned and sequential educational programming, but with two separate principals.
DC Prep has completed its seventh year of operation and has 72% Proficient or Exemplary Average of performance according to PDRs conducted in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years. The school is working with Building Hope and has identified the Hendley Annex as a possible location for the school and is exploring additional options. The school has consistently come within 90% of meeting its enrollment projections for the last two years and has had waiting lists for all three campuses. DC Prep is not under corrective action with the PCSB and currently has a PCSB financial report card grade of “B”. The school has received a pledge for $400,000 from the New Schools Venture Fund which would be paid upon the new campus opening and would apply for startup funding from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) in the amount of $250,000. The school has received awards for each of its new school openings from the WFF.
Dr. Darren Woodruff was concerned that if the Board approved the replication, it would be approving a school that would not exist for four years. Ms. Sara Mead asked for clarity on the rationale for two campuses instead of a K-8 campus. Board members Bloomfield and Woodruff asked if there would be separate PDRs and separate PMF for the two campuses. Ms. Miller said that the separate schools would have separate funding. Dr. Woodruff asked if the facility would have enough space for the pre-school through middle school. Ms. Lawson stated that the school would continue to look for other space. Dr. Woodruff stated that he would feel more comfortable withholding approval of the middle school until a later date. Mr. Brian Jones asked for a motion to just approve the pre-school through 3rd grade and delay the approval of the middle school. Dr. Woodruff made a motion to just approve the pre-school through 3rd grade program, and it was seconded and approved.
Mr. Brian Jones opened the floor for any public comments and there were none. He adjourned the meeting at 8:45pm.