D.C. Public Charter School Board Conditionally Approves Four New Charter Schools

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Contact: Audrey Williams  202-328-2748
Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) voted April 19th to conditionally approve applications to create four new public charter schools. The proposed charter schools are: Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, Munde Verde Bilingual School, Shining Stars Montessori Academy and Richard Wright School for Journalism and Media Arts.  These schools received conditional approval and must satisfactorily address the required conditions outlined by the Board before they can be granted a charter to open in the fall of 2011.  Six members of the Board voted on the applications with its newest member, Emily Bloomfield, abstaining.  Nine school applications were denied.
“An incredible amount of time went into reviewing these applications,” said PCSB Board Member Don Soifer. “This Board read and considered every piece of mail and comment that came from the public.  Rest assured that these decisions were made on the merits of the applications and the structure set up to review them,” he said.
The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, a professional learning community of master teachers and teacher residents, will ensure that a diverse group of students achieve their potential as accomplished learners, thoughtful citizens, and imaginative and inquisitive problem solvers through a demanding, inquiry-based curriculum. The school plans to serve pre-school through 8th grade, but will open with pre-school through 3rd grade.
Mundo Verde Bilingual School aims to foster high levels of academic achievement among a diverse group of students by preparing them to be successful and compassionate global stewards of their communities through an engaging curriculum focused on sustainability and biliteracy.  Mundo Verde will initially offer preschool through 1st grade classes and will add classes each year until it serves students through the 8th grade. 
Shining Stars Montessori Academy plans to offer a quality Montessori education infused with culturally inclusive principles to guide children to develop to their fullest potential.  In Phase I, the school will have pre-school, pre-K and kindergarten, and Phase II will expand to accommodate 1st grade through 6th grade.
Richard Wright School for Journalism and Media Arts aims to transform students in grades 8-12 into well-versed media contributors by providing a student-centered environment that connects them to the classics and modern languages and a curriculum focused on strong writing skills and vocabulary.
“After a lengthy, rigorous and time-consuming process, the Board is pleased with the new charter school selections and we look forward to working with the new school leaders as they take in their first class in a little over a year from now,” said Board Chair Brian Jones.
The Board will begin negotiations of the charter with the four applicants who received conditional approval. The PCSB adopted a new charter school opening timeline policy in December 2009, which establishes a 15-month timeframe for opening of all newly authorized public charter schools, including the conversion of D.C. public schools or existing private or independent schools to public charter school status.  This 15-month window allows schools to be included in the City’s budget and provides schools the necessary time to adequately prepare for opening a new school.
The PCSB received 13 applications in February and conducted a rigorous review process before deliberating and voting during the April 19th meeting.  During the review process, each applicant received a technical review as well as interviews with the founding groups and proposed principals.  Public hearings were held to allow applicants to present their proposals to the Board and the public, and to solicit input from the community.  All applicants will get extensive feedback from the Board on their applications.
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% of all public school students in Washington, DC.

2010 CharterSchool Application Decisions   



Applicant School Name


1st yr Grades

# students

Approval with Conditions



Bertha B. WilliamsAcademyPublicCharterSchool

Reading, Math & other core subjects


150 students




Inspired TeachingDemonstrationPublicCharterSchool

Reading, literature & the arts, math, science

Pre-S – 3

152 students




Middle School for Boys

6th grade

100 students




Bilingual Spanish elem/middle

Pre-S – 1st

142 students



DC TechnologyAcademy

Elem/middle with an online component

K-4 & 7-9th

320 students





College prep

Pre-K to 5; 420 students





Academy for Young Minds


Inclusion and gifted and talented



110 students





Naylor Road
Public Charter School


Text-based intensive curriculum



225 students






Shining  StarsMontessoriAcademy Public Charter School

Montessori education with culturally-infused principles


Pre-S 3 To 5yr/K;

54 students





University High Public Charter School

College h igh school with democratic studies theme


9th Grade

60 students






The HouseAcademy Public Charter School


College p rep m iddle school



162 students





Richard Wright Public Charter School 

Student-centered high school focused on the classics, modern languages; literacy/literary skills



150 students





Kuumba Public CharterSchool

Early childhood with integration of arts & African themes

Pre-S 3-K

120 students