Expansions, renewals and one new charter school proposal. Tis the season for charter school approvals in Massachusetts! The Innovators Charter School, 7 charter amendments and 14 renewals are all up for public comment. And save the date for a public hearing on December 15. Votes on the new charter school and requested expansions are expected in early 2022.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has opened public comment on the requests for one new charter school, seven amendment requests and fourteen renewals.

Public comment is due by Friday January 7, 2022.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
c/o Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148

or by email to charterschools@doe.mass.edu

Innovators Charter School – New Bedford/Fall River area

Innovators Charter School would serve up to 735 students* in grades 6-12 in Fall River and New Bedford. The original Letter of Intent is available here. You can also review the full application for Innovators Charter School and the proposed budget.

*These 735 charter school seats would be in addition to the 100 additional seats requested by Global Learning Charter Public school in New Bedford.

The application process includes interview of the applicant group, a public hearing, and a review of public comments submitted to DESE. The public hearing will at  Wednesday, December 15, 4:00 – 6:00 at the Kilburn Event Center, third floor at the Kilburn Mill, 127 West Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford.

Commissioner Jeffrey Riley will decide whether to recommend the proposal to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in February 2022. 

Applications for Renewal of Charters

Charter schools are required to apply for renewal every five years. In 2021-22, 14 charter schools have applied for renewal. Public comment on the renewal are due December 1, 2021.

Charter Amendments

The Department has also received seven requests for amendments to existing charter schools this year. Public comment is also due by January 7, 2022.

Name of Charter SchoolCurrent DistrictsGradesMaximum EnrollmentProposed Amendment
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public SchoolAuburn, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Sutton, West Boylston, and WorcesterK–121426Clarify region by adding Wachusett Regional School District which includes Holden
Community Day Charter Public School-Prospect; Community Day Charter Public School-Gateway; and Community Day Charter Public School-R. Kingman-WebsterLawrencePK–8400 each;
total of 1200
Consolidate 3 charters
Global Learning Charter Public SchoolNew Bedford5–12500Increase enrollment by 100 seats
Hampden Charter School of Science EastChicopee, Ludlow, Springfield, and West Springfield6–12560Add grades K–5 and increase enrollment by 264 seats
Learning First Charter Public SchoolWorcesterK–8666Increase enrollment by 36 seats
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolBrimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield (East Brookfield, Spencer), Sturbridge, Tantasqua (Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Sturbridge, Wales), Wales, and WebsterK–8360Add grades 9–12 and increase enrollment by 420 seats
Salem Academy Charter SchoolSalem6–12480Increase enrollment by 30 seats

As a reminder, Charter schools are funded by billing the sending school district of the students. Charter school educators are also not required to hold licensure or have any educator preparation experience to be employed as a teacher or administrator. It has also been nearly 14 years since DESE last updated the model “best practices” that charter schools are required, by law and regulations, in order to earn a renewal of its charter. 

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