Leaders of Tomorrow Charter Public School, Final Application

By James Roberts,2014-08-17 14:15
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Leaders of Tomorrow Charter Public School, Final Application


    Proposed School Name: Leaders of Tomorrow Charter Public School

Grades Served At Full Capacity: 6-8

    Number of Students At Full Capacity: 270

    Proposed School Location: Worcester

    Proposed Opening Year: 2010-2011

    Regional? No

    Proposed Sending Districts: Worcester

    Mission Statement:

    The mission of the Leaders of Tomorrow Charter Public School (LofT) is to prepare youth st(middle school) from Worcester with the secured 21 century skills needed for high school, college and career success. The focus of the LofT Charter Public School will be to provide a high

    quality, standards based education for every child in order to meet or exceed state targets. This

    will be accomplished by developing each student’s abilities in all core subject areas through the promotion of leadership and integration of college and career exploration. At LofT, there will be

    a focus on leadership at all levels; student, teacher, parent, administrator and board of trustees.

    The (LofT) Charter Public School will support leadership of all its stakeholders, but most thththimportantly student leadership. Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will engage in a three tier academic/leadership program. Tier I: All students will be offered a rigorous academic program stwith Science, Technology, Engineering and Math focused academic offerings and with 21

    century standards identified, and assessed in all classes. Tier II: Leadership Training Tier III:

    Application of leadership through a social service project.

Curriculum Synopsis:

    ; Internally generated curricula for all subject areas that are thematic, and integrated and

    align with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.

    ; Extend student learning by capitalizing on areas of strength. st; Develop 21 century skills, with STEM focused enrichment opportunities.

    ; Career and college exploration and leadership enrichment internships.

    ; Embrace a spiraling philosophy that will allow students to be introduced to an array of

    standards that build on one another and are revisited various times throughout the year

    and from year to year.

    Mission, Vision, and Statement of Need

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; None. ; The Mission and Vision Statements are filled

    with jargon and make it difficult to determine

    meaning. Neither the Mission nor Vision

    serves as a clear organizing principle

    throughout all sections of the application.

    Ideas are mentioned in these sections but are

    not fully developed in the application. (AP

    Section I. A. 4 and 5 and II. 4 and 5)

    ; Although the application gives general

    information about the needs of middle school

    students, this Statement of Need does not

    clearly describe the students the charter

    school intends to serve and the needs of the

    population in Worcester. The academic data

    is limited and difficult to read. There is no

    description of how the founding group

    assessed parent demand within the proposed

    areas of service. It does not provide a

    specific rationale for how this school will

    enhance or expand educational options

    currently available to this population. (AP

    Section I.C. 2, 3, and 5)

     Educational Philosophy, Curriculum and Instruction

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; The application indicates a commitment to ; The interview provided some clarifying professional development for teachers. It has information about aspects of the educational

    been determined that the school will utilize program; however, the Educational Philosophy professional learning communities. as a whole is not clear. It is not fully integrated Professional development opportunities will into a comprehensive educational program. It include, but not be limited to: internships in the does not show evidence that this approach will STEM field, leadership development, and lead to high academic achievement. (AP training in sheltered English immersion. The Section II.A.1, 2, and 5)

    application also explains the process for teacher ; The Curriculum and Instruction section is evaluations. The interview provided more multifaceted and states that the school will information about how professional build a thematic-integrated academic program development will be determined when the that includes capitalizing on areas of strength, school is up and running. (AP Section II. B. 13 instruction in each of 6 major content areas, stand 14) developing 21 century skills, career/college

    exploration, and leadership enrichment

    internships. The curriculum documents in the

    attachment section come from the

    Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.

    However, the section is confusing. It is not

    clear how all these components will be

    developed, structured, and operationalized to

    function as an integrated educational program.

    Also, the application provides very little

    research to demonstrate the curriculum will

    result in high academic achievement. (AP

    Section II.B. 2, 4, 5, and 11)

     Assessment System, Performance, Promotion, Graduation Standards

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; Through the interview, the applicant group ; While the MCAS is mentioned in other parts of clarified the performance, promotion, and the application, it is not discussed in the graduation standards. (AP Section II. C. 3) Assessment section. (AP Section II.D. 3)

     ; The interview helped clarify the connection

    between the portfolio competencies, the

    students’ professional development plans, and

    the needs of students as related to the safety net

    courses. However, it is not clear how the

    school’s mission and the range of aspirations

    mentioned throughout the application are

    translated into concrete outcomes that are

    measured and effectively tracked in the

    Assessment System. (AP Section II.D.4)

School Characteristics, Special Student Populations and Student Services

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; Through the interview, the applicant group ; The interview provided more information about provided more information, indicating how the founding group is establishing knowledge regarding processes and procedures meaningful relationships with community

    for identifying and serving special education agencies that will be serving as “Community students and English language learners. (AP Learning Organizations” who will provide the Section II. F. 1 and 2) “leadership enrichment” component of the

    school. However since this is such a large component of the educational program, it is

    inadequately articulated in the application. (AP

    Section II. E. 14)

    ; The application provides limited information

    about school culture. It describes the culture of

    the proposed school as revolving around the

    concept of professionalism, including dress

    code, being on time, being prepared, and being

    fully present. It does not provide a clear plan

    for establishing a school culture and norms. It

    does not provide a clear plan for mentors and

    advisors. (AP Section II. D. 9 and 10)

    ; The application states that it will encourage

    family involvement, but there is very little

    information about building and maintaining

    effective family-school partnerships and no

    information about gauging parental satisfaction

    and publicizing results. (AP Section II.E. 12

    and 13) Enrollment and Recruitment

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; None. ; The enrollment section needs further

    clarification. The application does not provide

    a specific rationale for a viable and sustainable

    size and growth strategy. (AP Section III.A. 2) Capacity, School Governance, and Management

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; Although, it might be difficult to manage with ; With four out of the eight founding group

    the Director of Schools and the Director of members intending to work at the proposed

    Curriculum and Instruction both being on the school, it is not clear that the board of trustees board, the governance model provides a clear has enough members or the range of skills

    workable reporting structure with the Director necessary to create and sustain a successful of Schools reporting to the board of trustees. charter school. (AP Section III.B. 3)

    (Section III.C. 3)

     Finances and Action Plan

    Primary Strengths Primary Weaknesses

    ; None. ; The Action Plan restates the check list from the

    Opening Procedures Handbook. There is no

    information about hiring, curriculum

    development, and/or enrollment. The Action

    Plan is not specific to this charter school. (AP

    Section III. G. 2 and 3)

    ; Reviewers had many questions about the

    budget. Some of the assumptions in the budget

    are not realistic. It was not clear how they came

    up with tuition revenue of $439,510 during the pre operation phase and it was not clear how they determined $2,000 for testing and assessment of general education and $0 for special education. The budget didn’t provide evidence of knowledge about some of the practical matters relevant to the operation of a charter school. (AP Section III F. 4 and 5)

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