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School Board set to decide on Chipman charter Tuesday

Submitted by on 1, December 15, 2009 – 6:00 amNo Comment

71-300x225The School Board is slated to make a decision tonight on a charter proposal put forward by parents and teachers who hope it can replace Chipman Middle School. District staff is recommending approval.

If approved, the charter is anticipated to open to students in fall 2010. The charter approval would be good from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2015 – unless the school failed to open by 2012.

The proposal was put together because Chipman has failed to meet all its federally mandated testing goals for four years running. The next step in the process under the No Child Left Behind law requires the school district to consider a handful of options for the school, including closing it and firing all the teachers who work there. Recasting the school as a charter is another option, and the one that parents and teachers at the school ultimately chose to pursue.

District leaders said the Academy of Alameda Middle School charter petition meets all the elements required of it under state law. That means the school board would have no legal reason to deny the petition.

The charter petition was handed in to the board on October 27 and a public hearing was held on it on November 10. Last Tuesday, December 8, the board received a presentation on criteria for charter application approval, denial and possible impact to the district’s existing schools.

Closure of Chipman and a decision on whether the new charter would be placed in its current Pacific Avenue home are separate decisions to be made at a later date.

The special meeting is to be held at 6:30 p.m. today at the Alameda High School Little Theater, corner of Walnut and Central.

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