On February 27, 2017, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted on proposals for new charter schools and expansions of existing charter schools.

New Charter Schools

  • Hampden Charter School of Science-West* (Westfield, Holyoke, Agawam, West Springfield)-5 yes, 3 no, 1 abstain
  • Old Sturbridge Village Academy (Sturbridge, Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield, Wales, Webster) – 5 yes, 4 no
  • MAP Academy Charter School (Plymouth, Carver, Wareham) – 8 yes, 1 no
  • Equity Lab Charter School (Lynn) – Not reccomended by Commissioner.

Increase in Enrollment to Existing Charter Schools

  • Alma del Mar Charter School (New Bedford), Increase by 90 seats to 450,  7 yes, 2 no.
  • Community Charter School of Cambridge (Cambridge), Increase by 360 seats to 420, 6 yes, 1 no, 2 abstain
  • UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester-Horace Mann (Boston), Temporary increase of 70 seats to 810, 9 yes, 0 no
  • Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (Pioneer Valley region), 2 Yes, 7 no.

Other Charter School Expansions Approved By DESE

Expansions approved by BESE to date include:

  • Boston Collegiate Charter School (Boston) – Increase by 35 seats to 700
  • Boston Preparatory Charter Public School (Boston) – Increase by 300 seats to 700
  • Foxborough Regional Charter School (Regional school) – Increase by 400 seats to 1,700
  • Sturgis Charter Public School (Regional school) – Increase by 50 seats to 850


ICYMI – the BESE meeting was live streamed and included extensive public comment on the proposals. The full set of meeting documents is available online.

*Hampden Charter School of Science-West is an additional location for the Hampden Charter School of Science in Chicopee. The approval of this school was required under a quirk in the charter cap rules to permit approval of the other schools up for votes. No approval for Hampden Charter School of Science-West automatically cancelled the votes for the other two schools.

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