City Collegiate Public Charter School Relinquishes Charter

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For Immediate Release:  December 23, 2009
Contact: Audrey Williams  202-328-2748

City Collegiate Public Charter School Relinquishes Charter
Public Charter School Board Approves Other Requests & Proposals

Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB), at its December 21st Board meeting deliberated over an array of requests and policy proposals regarding charter schools.  Most significant was the decision to approve the request by the leaders of City Collegiate Public Charter School to relinquish their charter effective June 2010.  “We are closing at the end of the school year because our low enrollment will not allow us the per-pupil funding we need to make staffing and curriculum improvements for the 2010-11 school year,” said Julie Klingenstein, Co-Chair of City Collegiate’s Board of Trustees. “We will be in operation through June of 2010 for our current students and ready to complete a successful school year after the holidays, focusing on improvement in both reading and math scores for the DC CAS.”

City Collegiate, which opened in the fall of 2006, expected to have 100 students enrolled this school year, but currently has only 70 students. The school serves students in grades 6 through 8 and is located at 2001 S Street, NW in Ward 2.  PCSB staff will work with the school’s leaders to ensure an orderly transition and help parents find alternative schools for the fall of 2010.
The PCSB also approved new policy guidelines regarding the timeline for the opening of new charter schools.  The new policy establishes a 15-17 month timeframe for the opening of all newly authorized charter schools, including the conversion of D.C. public schools or existing private or independent schools in the District of Columbia to public charter school status.  “The fifteen-month window allows new charter schools to be appropriately included in the city’s budget,” said PCSB Chair Tom Nida.  “It also provides schools the necessary time to address any conditions identified in the application, recruit staff and students and as needed, time to secure a suitable facility.”  The PCSB also uses the time to conduct trainings and to familiarize schools with the Board’s expectations for oversight prior to opening.

The PCSB also approved requests from Hyde Leadership and AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter Schools to operate in new locations.  Although no public hearing was required, the Board heard comments from the public in support of AppleTree’s request to operate in the 12th Street, NE location, as well as those in opposition. Written testimony was also considered before the unanimous decision to conditionally approve the request.  The school’s request for an increase to their enrollment ceiling also was granted.

Before the PCSB considers requests for expansion and replication, schools must meet the following criteria:
  1. completed four years of operation;
  2.  have an average rating of “proficient” or above on the two most recent Program Development Reviews;
  3. have access to a facility to accommodate expansion/replication plans as documented by a letter of intent, purchase agreements, and /or construction timelines;
  4. evidence of demand for an expansion/replication campus as demonstrated by waiting lists and /or collection of parent signatures;
  5. currently not under PCSB corrective action; and
  6. evidence of financial capacity to support expansion/replication efforts as demonstrated by criteria outlined in the PCSB’s Fiscal Policy Handbook.

The Board also gives additional consideration to the rationale for expansion/replication, relationship of request to AYP (adequate yearly progress) status, and the school’s accreditation status.

The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 57 public charter schools on 99 campuses, serving approximately 28,000 students living in every ward of the city.  Public charter schools now serve 38 percent of all public school students in Washington, D.C.

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