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Appendix - Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Charter Renewal Conditions for Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School

Conditions put on the school as part of its charter renewal.

Table of Contents

February 2013 Charter Renewal Review

Because of instability in governance and financial oversight at Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School (DLA), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) imposed the following conditions on DLA’s board of trustees:

  1. Beginning in March 2013 and until further notice, [DLA] . . . will submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education . . . board meeting agendas, materials, and minutes prior to each board meeting at the same time these items are sent to [DLA’s] board members. . . .
  2. By May 31, 2013, the Board of Trustees . . . will engage in a comprehensive self-evaluation of its own capacity and recruit additional members who have the needed expertise.
  3. By September 30, 2013, the Board of Trustees . . . will engage in training, conducted by an external consultant, accepted by and approved in advance by [DESE], on the roles and responsibilities of a charter school board of trustees.

February 2018 Charter Renewal Review

DESE renewed the school’s charter but, because of poor conditions in governance, financial oversight, and academic program performance, placed it on probation with the following conditions:

  1. Until further notice, DLA must submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education . . . board and committee meeting agendas, materials, and minutes prior to each board meeting at the same time that these items are sent to the school’s board members. Additionally, if board materials do not already include this information, the school must also submit monthly financial statements. The documents must reflect adherence to the Open Meeting Law.
  2. By March 30, 2018, the school must establish an escrow account in an amount determined by [DESE] in consultation with the school to pay for any potential closing, legal, and audit expenses associated with closure, should that occur.
  3. By April 18, 2018, all members of the board of trustees must participate in training on the Open Meeting Law offered by the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, all members of the board of trustees must participate in training on state ethics offered by the State Ethics Commission.
  4. By May 31, 2018, the board of trustees will work with [DESE] to obtain approval of its bylaws.
  5. By June 1, 2018, the school must submit to [DESE] a comprehensive evaluation of its mathematics, English language arts, and science programs. Such comprehensive evaluation must be conducted by an external consultant(s) acceptable to and approved in advance by [DESE].
  6. By June 29, 2018, the school must submit to [DESE] for approval an action plan to improve academic performance. Such action plan must specify the strategies to improve mathematics, English language arts, and science performance for all student groups. The action plan must set clear and specific implementation benchmarks, with a clear timetable and deadlines for completion of key tasks sufficient to allow the school's board of trustees and [DESE] to monitor implementation.
  7. By July 1, 2018, the board of trustees must assess its capacity and expertise, taking into consideration current term limits for existing board members, and add membership that will allow the board to fulfill its governance duties.
  8. By December 31, 2019, the school must demonstrate that it is an academic success by providing evidence that the school has exhibited significant and sustained academic improvement in mathematics, English language arts, and science.
Date published: November 19, 2018
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