‘More Great Seats for Kids’ Newsletter: Mitigating Missed Learning

By Susie Miller Carello 

Dear School Leader,

Last year was a monumental achievement. We know that. You, as leaders and as educators, did all you could in the wake of so much ambiguity, so much uncertainty, to maintain not just educational continuity but academic excellence.

But we also know the reality of the situation as we grapple with a third consecutive year of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity & ambiguity). This VUCA?  The disruption to instruction and learning (and ‘regular’ growing up too) have combined to leave students in many areas without predictable, consistent supports for academic success. The data is there. Missed learning and the social and emotional toll of the past year and a half is real. Students across the country, especially those from vulnerable populations, have experienced a significant setback in terms of both their academic achievement and SEL compared their counterparts from years past, in many cases by a substantial amount.

This year we will be tested on our ability to mitigate this missed learning among our own students and set them up for success this year and for the years to come.  It won’t be easy. But our experiences over the past year plus provide a roadmap.  (more…)

Temporary Waiver of Open Meetings Law Requirements

On September 1, 2021, the Legislature passed a temporary amendment to the Open Meetings Law as part of Chapter 417 of the Laws of 2021, which the Governor signed the next day.

Through January 15, 2022, the following rules apply to charter school education corporation board of trustees meetings:

  • Meeting must still be noticed in accordance with the Open Meetings Law but the notice does not have to include the location of every trustee who may be participating via videoconference or conference telephone.
  • The meeting notice must include how the public will be able to access the meeting via telephone or videoconference (weblink).
  • The meeting must be recorded, and later transcribed, with such transcription to be available through the N.Y. Freedom of Information Law.

As a best practice, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute recommends using a school site as a videoconference location for those who do not have computer or internet access.

Earl Monroe School in the Bronx designs academic curriculum around basketball

Earl Monroe New Renaissance School – a brand-new charter school in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, has a curriculum built entirely around basketball.

Watch the video on News 12 Bronx.

A Plan from the Heart: How Genesee Community Charter School Brings a Systematic Approach to Whole Child Education

Genesee Community Charter School, located on the campus of the Rochester Museum & Science Center in Rochester, New York, exists to help a diverse student body to develop intellectual rigor, respect for diversity, and a sense of responsibility to the community — but it doesn’t just happen. To nurture all students to be reflective questioners, articulate communicators, critical thinkers, and skilled problem solvers, the school takes a systematic approach that marries the science of learning and development with the staff’s heartfelt dedication to its students.

Read the full case study published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. 

2021 Proposals to Establish New Charter Schools – Round 2 Cycle

The SUNY Charter Schools Institute, on behalf of the State University of New York Board of Trustees (the “SUNY Trustees”), in its capacity as a charter authorizer, has received the following proposals to establish charter schools in response to the July cycle of the 2021 SUNY Request for Proposals (“RFP”) by the July 12, 2021 deadline. A proposed school’s appearance on the list below does not indicate the SUNY Trustees have approved or will approve the proposed school.

All information listed was reported by applicants at the time of submission and may change based on updated information. For further information on the public list, please contact Maureen Foley at (518) 445-4250 or [email protected] To provide comments on any pending applications, please email [email protected]

The Institute has reviewed the applications for completeness and quality. The following applications were complete and met the minimum eligibility requirements of the 2021 RFP:

The following application did not meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the 2021 RFP. It has therefore been withdrawn from consideration.

Open Meetings Law Update for June 29, 2021

With the expiration of the Governor’s executive orders related to COVID-19 on June 24, 2021, the remote meeting flexibility charter school boards of trustees have enjoyed with respect to the New York Open Meetings Law comes to an end.  Going forward, charter school trustees must:

  1. be physically present at the physical location listed in the board meeting notice; or,
  2. be present via videoconference at a location:
    1. listed in the meeting notice; and
    2. at which the public can attend.

Trustees will not count toward quorum or be able to vote if they only participate in the meeting by telephone.  Trustees will also not be able to participate via videoconference from home or work unless their home or work addresses are listed in the meeting notice and the public can enter their homes or work places to attend the meeting.

As a reminder, if a board streams its meetings over the internet or conducts them via videoconference like Zoom, the board must list the website address for the meeting in its public meeting notice per N.Y. Public Officers Law § 104(5).  Also, trustees not physically present at the meeting location, or present from a video location listed in the public meeting notice where the public can attend, may not vote on any matters before the board.

Please contact the Institute with any questions.

AG Letitia James speaks at in-person 5th grade graduation in Brooklyn
New York Attorney General Letitia James spoke at an in-person graduation for fifth graders at Community Partnership Charter School Thursday. Derrick Dunlap, the principal of the school, says the past year was tough for students and staff. He says it was relief when they were able to go back in person this year.
Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy sends first ever graduating class off to college

And the high school seniors are off! But not without some swag.

Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy (BELA) Charter School, an all-girls high school on Stuyvesant Avenue, held a “college shower” on Monday for their seniors, the first graduating class in the school’s history.

Read the story on Patch.com

Tiempo: Entire senior class at International Leadership Charter High School accepted into college

Plus, the entire senior class at a high school in the Bronx got accepted into college.

Ninety percent of those students are Latino and so many of those students represent the first generation in their family to attend college.

The school, the International Leadership Charter High School, was one of the first re-open during the pandemic.

Joe talks to CEO Dr. Elaine Ruiz Lopez and senior students Joel Beltre and Briana Molina about how they persevered and their formula for success.

Watch the full interview at ABC 7 (starts at 11:54).

New Roots recognized nationally as Green Ribbon school

Ithaca’s New Roots Charter School has been deemed a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, celebrating its “school curriculum, culture and practices.” New Roots is one of just 33 schools chosen for the honor nationwide.

Read the full story on the Ithaca Voice.