October 8, 2013 John McCoy, Chairman D.C. Public Charter School Board 3333 14th Street, NW Suite 210 Washington, DC 20010 Dear Chairman McCoy: As neighbors of Options Public Charter School (Options), we are writing regarding the recent recommendation to revoke the school’s charter. The findings of the Public Charter School Board-Office of the Attorney General’s investigation, as well as recent Washington Post reporting, are disturbing but unfortunately not surprising in light of our past interactions with Options administrators. Long before the reports of financial mismanagement became public, the neighboring community experienced security issues involving Options students’ behavior in the neighborhood. Options topics have made the ANC agenda on various occasions, and we’ve been disappointed with Options administration’s responses both publicly and individually to our concerns. Among notable incidents is the 2012 opening of the Options Academy which occurred without community notification, further exposing the inadequacy of the Options administration. There have also been numerous reports about Options student behavior ranging from bullying to outright threats; public drug use to theft; race baiting to attempted assault. The administration’s response has been inadequate. While we have noticed an increase in Segway patrols on the streets and in alleys, security measures have largely been reactive and inconsistent, with increased security instilled for limited periods of time and only in reaction to incidents of students’ misbehavior and to community pressure. This has put the families in this neighborhood at risk; the administration's ineffective control over some students’ off-campus behavior has compromised our sense of security. As a community, we also have concerns about how this recent financial turmoil will impact an already deeply troubled facility. Specifically, we would like to be kept apprised of how the new or interim administration will successfully execute the school’s mission while ensuring that students have positive and non-threatening interactions with community members. We are all committed to making this a great place to live, do business, and raise families. While Options has unfortunately not been a reliable partner in this effort to this point, we do hope that the neighborhood can be involved as decisions are made about the future of Options and the community. We welcome further discourse with the Board on this matter. Sincerely, Options Community Residents
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