The D. C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has accepted 11 applications to open new public charter schools. According to a statement issued Feb. 7 by PCSB spokeswoman Audrey Williams, the schools, if approved, would open in fall 2013.
The applications offered a variety of program options: two elementary schools with language immersion (Hebrew and Arabic); four young adult education programs with one focused on job training in renewable energy technologies, one on preparing for postsecondary education and employment, another on alternative education targeted to at-risk youth and the other a virtual/online program; an elementary/middle school; a college prep high school; a Montessori program and a combined traditional and online K-12 program.
"The Board's expectations for new applications are extremely high," said PCSB Board chair Brian W. Jones. "We are committed to authorizing high-performing charter schools that reflect both the diversity of educational needs and interests in the District and that demonstrate great promise in preparing students for the 21st century."
During the next six weeks, PCSB staff will conduct a technical review and interview the founding group of each applicant. The Board will hold public hearings March 19-20 to allow applicants to present their proposals to the Board and the public, and to solicit input from the community. The PCSB will make decisions to approve or deny the applications during its April 23rd monthly meeting. The executive summary of each application and more details about the process are available on the PCSB website.
PCSB policy establishes a 15-month timeframe for opening of all newly-authorized public charter schools. This allows schools to be included in the City's budget and provides schools the necessary time to adequately prepare for opening a new school.
The DC Public Charter School Board currently oversees 53 public charter schools on 98 campuses serving more than 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Public charter schools serve 42% of all public school students in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the PCSB at www.dcpubliccharter.com.