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Reports from Policy Analysts

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Approves Three New Charter Schools

Submitted On: Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Analyst: Poe, Mya

Feb. 27, 2017

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to approve three new charter schools in Massachusetts. According to the MA DOE, the new schools are:

Hampden Charter School of Science – West, which will open in 2018, initially serve 252 students in grades 6-9 from Agawam, Holyoke, Westfield and West Springfield, and grow to serve 588 students in grades 6-12. It would be located in Westfield. Like the existing Hampden Charter School of Science in Chicopee, the new school would have a math and science focus.

Map Academy Charter School, which will open in 2018, initially serve 130 students in grades 9-12 from Carver, Plymouth, and Wareham, and grow to 300 students. It will be located in Plymouth. It would serve students who have dropped out of school or who are at risking of dropping out and would offer a flexible schedule.

Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School, which will open this fall; initially serve 160 students in kindergarten through grade 3 from Sturbridge, Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield, Wales and Webster; and grow to serve 360 students in K-8. It will be located in Sturbridge and will offer project-based learning, an emphasis on character development, and daily access to museum resources at Old Sturbridge Village.

Three additional new charter schools were not invited to submit proposals or their proposals were not approved.

In addition to the approval of charter schools, the Board approved over the last six months a request from Foxborough Regional Charter School to increase its maximum enrollment by 400 seats, Boston Collegiate Charter School (an increase of 35 seats), Boston Preparatory Charter Public School (an increase of 300 seats), and Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis (an increase of 50 seats).

This month, the Board approved three schools' requests to increase enrollment: Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford (an increase of 90 seats), Community Charter School of Cambridge (an increase of 60 seats) and a temporary increase in enrollment of 70 seats for UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester, a Horace Mann school in Boston. The school and the Boston School Committee requested the seats in order to address unanticipated higher enrollment.

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