Hudson Valley Charter School for the Arts and Global Awareness
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Dear Members of State Education Department:
Public Education in the Hudson Valley is a successful and viable option for all children. Despite tough economic times, Hudson Valley School Districts have maintained high quality fine arts programs while maintaining rigorous academic opportunities for all students. The proposed Hudson Valley Charter School for the Arts and Global Awareness does not fill a need in the White Plains Region for the following reasons:
1. As an advocate of education who believes that high expectations promote high achievement, I find that the proposed charter offers NO plan to meet REQUIRED state guidelines for core subjects. There is no reference to our current shift to Common Core Standards of Literacy and Numeracy. I find that appalling.
2. As an advocate of education who believes that all people have intrinsic value, I find that the proposed charter offers no understanding of and capacity to meet federal and state requirements, specifically, Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154, Services for Pupils with Limited English Proficiency are not addressed. It is obvious that these students are after-thoughts. I find that appalling.
3. As an advocate of education who believes that every choice matters, I find no mention of compliance with Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) federal law, and state law. In particular, Commissioner’s Regulations Part 200, Students with Disabilities and Part 201, Procedural Safeguards for Students with Disabilities Subject to Discipline, are not addressed.There is no understanding of and capacity to meet state and federal requirements regarding the identification and education of students with disabilities. It is obvious that these students are after-thoughts. I find that appalling.
4. As an advocate of education who believes that embracing diversity enriches life, I find that the proposed charter will be a school of only 132 students in grades 9-12. There can not be the necessary certified highly qualified core content or special area teachers as mandated by part 100 of the commissioner regulations. I find that appalling.
5. As an advocate of education who believes that all people can learn, I find that there are no facilities nor plan to remodel the physical plant for appropriate minimal science lab requirements. The charter application does not address the science and social studies curriculum. I find that appalling.
6. As an advocate of arts education, I find in the charter for a school of arts and global awareness ABSOLUTELY NO facilities for the visual arts, such as are present in WPHS - no auditorium, no photo-laboratory, no facilities for ceramics. I find that appalling.
7. As an advocate of education who believes high expectations promote high achievement, I find that the charter does not address the expectations or requirements for staff other than teachers. What is the need for 3-4 district level administrators for a total of 132 students. What are the minimum requirements for these administrators. The charter is silent except for the number. Why?
8. As an advocate of education who believes high expectations promote high achievement, I find that the charter does appear to be a pre-professional training program for artists. The longer day is used for private lessons, rehearsals, not instructional time. The school year is the same (181) days and may even be less instructional time than other schools in Westchester County. I find that appalling.
As an advocate of education who believes that respect, honesty and trust empower, there is nothing in this charter that embraces these values. This is not a well thought out application. This is not a well thought out plan. It is not even a plan that has been proof-read. I am against the acceptance of this charter by the New York State Department of Education.
If - as we have been told - charter schools are developed to meet a specific need that the public school cannot address, there is nothing in this charter application that indicates that this charter school can offer any academic program or any arts program not currently available to any students in the Hudson Valley Region.
Please reject the application for the Hudson Valley Charter School for the Arts and Global Awareness.
A group of concerned parents, teachers and community members of the Hudson Valley Region