Zakaria Erritouni 0

BRCPS Amendment Support Letter_February 2013

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We are writing to support the request of the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School’s Board of Trustees to amend and rescind the outdated student attrition mandate. This amendment will stop the devastating cuts that jeopardize progress in the school’s academic mission and threaten the school’s financial viability. If the Board does not approve the school’s application, over $990,000 will have to be cut next year, continuing to weaken academic programs and services. Renaissance now finds itself in a “Catch 22” situation – expected to improve its academic performance and meet the myriad of academic, social, and emotional needs of economically disadvantaged children from eleven Boston neighborhoods, while being restricted by an outdated decision that mandates a reduction in student enrollment. The state’s past action of reducing student enrollment to 880 is now working in opposition to the original intention for the Renaissance’s success. Renaissance has already lost millions in revenue as a result of the Board’s mandate, causing the school to cut more than 50 positions over the last three years. The rationale to continue to reduce Renaissance’s enrollment is no longer valid: Renaissance has made strong academic gains over the past several years and has moved into a new state-of-the art facility that provides an unparalleled set of academic, cultural, social, and emotional programs that service underprivileged students from eleven Boston neighborhoods. Over 700 Renaissance students qualify for free and reduced lunch. MCAS 2012 Evidence* • 18% more students scored proficient or advanced in English and 8% in math compared to sending district averages (across all grades) • 11% more low-income students scored proficient or advanced in English and 11% in math compared to low-income students attending sending district schools (across all grades) Among Hispanic Students  Boston Renaissance ranked in the top 25% of schools statewide in English and math in Grades 3-6 based on percentage of Hispanic students who scored proficient or advanced Among African-American Students  Boston Renaissance ranked in the top 25% of schools statewide in English in Grades 3-5 and math in Grade 3 based on the percentage of African- American students who scored proficient or advanced When you look at the MCAS performance, Renaissance’s Level 3 status is misleading. While MCAS scores are an important measurement, they should not be the sole assessment of the quality of a school. Renaissance places a heavy emphasis on global awareness and developing the whole-child by exposing students to a rigorous academic curriculum coupled with vibrant enrichment activities that include vocal and instrumental music, piano, movement, state-of-the-art technology, fine arts, and dance. Over 500 students are presently being taught to understand, speak, and write Mandarin. The school has outstanding on-site partnerships with The New England Home for Little Wanderers, which offers psychological and social services, a Vision Center with the New England Eye Institute which supplies eye-glasses and prevention treatment, and a dental clinic provided by Tufts Dental School. We beseech the Board to restore the necessary seats required for the continuation of proven academic viability and success. Sincerely, Petition of Stakeholders CC: Commissioner Mitchell Chester and the Massachusetts Charter School Office *Data provided by Dr. Bruce Bean, Data Manager of The Community Group

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