One application for a new charter school is moving forward. Public comment is open on applications to renew the charter agreements for 19 existing charter schools and three requests to expand existing charter schools. There isn’t much information to read on the DESE website so we will try to help them out by posting the updates here.
New Charter School Proposals
Three organizations originally submitted letters of intent to open new charter schools by the August 1, 2022 deadline. Final applications were due to DESE on November 1, 2022.
Only one application is moving forward in the process – the Worcester Cultural Academy Charter School.
|Proposed District/Region||Proposed Enrollment||Proposed Grade Span|
|Worcester Cultural Academy Charter School |
Executive Summary of Proposal
List of Proposed Members Board & Staff
Summary of Interview
Summary of Final Application Review
Charter Application Review Process
Criteria for Review
List of Reviewers
Public Comment Submitted
A public hearing on the proposed Worcester Cultural Academy Charter Public School was held on Friday, December 9 from 4 pm – 6 pm at the Hebert Auditorium, Surprenant Building, Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester.
Written comments submitted by Wednesday, January 4, 2023 to: 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 email@example.com are linked above. More information about the hearing is also available here.
|Unsuccessful Proposals||Proposed District/Region||Proposed Enrollment||Proposed Grade Span|
|Apollo Charter School |
Not invited to submit a final application by DESE
|TBD (Chelsea or Lawrence?)||500||Grade 8 only|
Not eligible for charter
|Worcester, Shrewsbury, Northborough, Southborough, West Boylston, Boylston, Holden, Sterling||616||K-12|
Amendments to Existing Charter Schools
UPDATE: The Commissioner rejects the amendment requests for Mystic Valley and Old Sturbridge Village Charter Schools. A recommendation to approved the expansion request for the MAP Academy Charter school is up for vote at the Februrary 2023 BESE Meeting. See the memo here.
Three charter schools submitted requests to expand their current charters to add additional communities to the existing region or add additional grade levels to the school.
The Map Academy Charter School does not currently have any students on the waitlist for enrollment.
The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School currently claims to have 1,609 students on their waitlist for enrollment. Addition Woburn to the charter region for the school does not guarantee any students from Woburn would be enrolled in the school.
The Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School is seeking to add an addition 420 seats by expanding into the high school level. Public comments on the proposed expansion were due October 18. Once a copy of the comments are available, we will add them to the chart below.
BESE is planning to discuss these proposals at
the November 15, 2022 at a future meeting and potentially vote on the proposed expansions at the February 28, 2023 meeting.
Comments may be submitted to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
|Current District or Region||Grade Span||Maximum Enrollment||Proposed Amendment to Charter||Public Comment Deadline|
|Map Academy Charter School|
UPDATE: The request to amend the charter is recommended for approval to the BESE at Feb 23 meeting.
No increase in seats as only 251 students currently enrolled.
|Carver, Plymouth, and Wareham||9–12||300||Add Bourne, Marshfield, Middleborough, Pembroke, and Silver Lake to charter region||December 1, 2022|
No comment received by DESE.
|Mystic Valley Regional Charter School|
UPDATE: The request to amend the charter was rejected by the Commissioner.
|Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield||K–12||1,900||Add Woburn to charter region||December 1, 2022|
|Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School|
UPDATE: Commissioner Riley has declined to recommend the charter amendment request.
|Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield, Sturbridge, Tantasqua, Wales, and Webster||K–8||360||Add grades 9–12 and increase enrollment by 420 seats||October 18, 2022|
Applications to Renew for Existing Charter Schools
All charter schools are required to submit annual reports and apply to renew their charter every five years. The SY2023 cohort of charter school renewals includes two schools who are also seeking to amend the geographic region of their charters (Map and Mystic Valley, as noted above).
BESE is planning to discuss the applications to renew at either the January 24, 2023 meeting or the February 28, 2023 meeting.
While DESE is only formally calling for written comments from the superintendents in the sending districts, we are not going to discourage anyone who is not a superintendent from submitting written comments.
Comments may be submitted by December 1, 2022 to: 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 email@example.com .
|Current District or Region||Chartered Maximum Enrollment||Chartered Grade Span|
|Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School||Auburn, Leicester, Millbury, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Sutton, West Boylston, Worcester, and Wachusett Regional||1,426||K–12|
|Baystate Academy Charter Public School||Springfield||560||6–12|
|Boston Collegiate Charter School||Boston||700||5–12|
|Boston Day and Evening Academy Horace Mann Charter School||Boston||505||9–12|
|Collegiate Charter School of Lowell||Lowell||1,200||K–12|
|Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers Horace Mann Charter School||Boston||448||9–12|
|Excel Academy Charter School||Boston and Chelsea||1,400||5–12|
|Four Rivers Charter Public School||Frontier, Gill-Montague, Greenfield, Mohawk Trail, Pioneer Valley, and Ralph C. Mahar||220||7–12|
|Foxborough Regional Charter School||Attleboro, Avon, Brockton, Canton, Easton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Norton, Norwood, Plainville, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, West Bridgewater, and Wrentham||1,700||K–12|
|Hampden Charter School of Science West||Agawam, Holyoke, West Springfield, and Westfield||588||6–12|
|Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School||Boston||216||6–8|
|Map Academy Charter School||Carver, Plymouth, and Wareham||300||9–12|
|Mystic Valley Regional Charter School||Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield||1,900||K–12|
|Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School||Chicopee, Holyoke, South Hadley, and West Springfield||320||9–12|
|Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School, Lawrence||Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen||250||9–12|
|Pioneer Charter School of Science II||Danvers, Lynn, Peabody, Salem, and Saugus||858||K–12|
|Rising Tide Charter Public School||Barnstable, Bourne, Carver, Duxbury, Falmouth, Freetown-Lakeville, Marshfield, Mashpee, Middleborough, Old Rochester, Pembroke, Plymouth, Sandwich, Silver Lake, and Wareham||700||5–12|
|Sturgis Charter Public School||Barnstable, Bourne, Carver, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, Monomoy Regional, Nauset, Plymouth, Provincetown, Sandwich, and Wareham||850||9–12|
|UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester||Boston||750||PK–8|
All applications to expand, renew and open new charter schools in Massachusetts are submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. There is open discussion on each step of the process at Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meetings but many of the initial proposals and invitations for public comment seem to be happening behind closed doors.
Public comment and participation is not only good practice; it is required by MA G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89. We will update this page with documents, events and key votes as the details become available.