A Memphis chartered network is appealing the decision of Shelby County schools to reduce elementary school enrollment by nearly a fifth.
A successful appeal to the State Board of Education would mean the school could keep places for 135 students and avoid reducing its incoming class or telling some students that they have no more room in the classroom. ‘school.
In December, school board members cited Power Center Academy Elementary School’s poor performance on state tests and a new district policy in their denial of its extension request.
The primary school is managed by the Gestalt Community Schools of Memphis, which operates five schools. Network CEO Yetta Lewis said in his appeal that the school is already showing signs of improvement on the state of practice tests. She attributed last year’s decline to a “change in leadership, extremely new staff and a misalignment of the curriculum, which we are grappling with in the future.”
She also noted that the network had just completed renovations this summer at its Hickory Hill facility to increase the capacity of the elementary school and open up to 100 spaces to reduce their waiting list. The own district analysis of the district showed that Hickory Hill needed around 2,000 additional seats for elementary school students in one of the city’s fastest growing neighborhoods.
Lewis said she hoped the state would take into account the precarious situation charter schools find themselves in as the district implements the new policy, which takes school performance into account before allowing the expansion. . In the past, the district has not reported charter schools that exceeded the expected enrollment numbers described in their contracts with the district. When the board approved changes to the expansion policy last summer, school enrollment was already well underway.
âWe believe that withdrawing students for the next school year is not in the best interest of students, families or the community,â she said. “We also believe that the absence of a school district policy for charter changes and / or the application of a change policy by July 2019 should be taken into consideration regarding our appeal.”
The state council will hold a hearing in Memphis ahead of a vote in the next two months. The school board also denied requests for extensions to two charter schools operated by the Memphis Business Academy. That network’s CEO, Anthony Anderson, said he would not appeal to the state but would submit an amended application to schools in Shelby County in January.
Originally posted by Chalk beat, a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools, Dec.20.