By C.N. Staff Writer
On January 28, 2013 the DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB) voted to begin the revocation process for the charter of Imagine SE Public Charter School. Parents, teachers and school administrators were present at the meeting to voice their public disdain for the board’s decision.
The board stated that it made the proposal to revoke the charter based upon Imagine’s failure to meet the goals and academic achievement expectations set forth in the school’s charter. As required by the School Reform Act, the review of the Imagine’s charter took place as part of the five-year review plan.
After the vote by the board, Imagine presented a turnaround plan ultimately asking the PCSB not to revoke the charter. In the turnaround plan the school commits to undertake an improvement place to address its low academic performance and incompliance, close grades 7 and 8 by the end of the 2013 school year and commit to transferring the school to a high performing operator or relinquish the charter if the school does not hit certain Performance Management Framework (PMF) benchmarks.
According to the board, the school has remained on the lower spectrum of a Tier 2 charter school since the PMF was instituted in 2010-11. In 2011 the school’s average attendance was the lowest of all the Ward 8 elementary and middle schools and its reenrollment rate has remained below 70%, which indicates that parents are not satisfied with the school, according to the boards findings.
However, the chair of board for Imagine, Dr. Barbara Brazon, was present at the meeting and stated that the board has already begun to institute a new plan to get the school back on track. They have begun to bring in outside help and members from Imagine Charter School’s national leadership team. Imagine Southeast is a member of Imagine Schools, a full-service charter school management organization that operates 75 schools in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
Another SE charter school was discussed at the board meeting, Howard Road Academy.
Howard Rd. Academy is a public charter school that has 3 campuses, with the main school located on Howard Rd. SE and two satellite campuses on MLK Ave. SE and Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
The school’s Executive Director, Dr. Latonya Henderson was present and presented the board with a charter amendment for Howard Road. Dr. Henderson along with the advisory board requested the DCPCSB’s approval to amend their mission statement and terminate their contract with Mosaica Education, Inc. and serve only prekindergarten-3 through kindergarten students beginning in the 2013-14 school year and grow a greade each year until they reach PK-5.
This amendment would mean that the academy would close the two satellite campuses of MLK Ave. SE and Pennsylvania Ave. SE and discontinue offering grades 1-6 at its main campus.
One of the DCPSCB board members commended the advisory board members from Howard Road stating, “I admire your passion to serve the community and I think what you are doing is great for the community.” Another board member chimed in stating that she agreed that this charter amendment is ambitious and great, but also wanted the Howard Road board to realize that they would be displacing lots of students from a quality school and many parents will have to figure out where to send their children next year.
Howard Road Academy was doing well until the PS
Pre school through 6
Closed Washington Academy and the PCSCB highly encouraged Howard Road Academy to accept the students.