Argosy Collegiate Charter School



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Argosy Collegiate Charter School



A Proposed Fall River Public Charter School for Grades 5 Through 12

Application for Charter

November 14, 2012


Respectfully submitted for consideration to

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Argosy Collegiate Charter School Founding Board
Kristen Pavao, Lead Founder, Building Excellent Schools Fellow, Proposed Executive Director

Julie Almond, CEO, HealthFirst Family Cary Center, Incorporated

Paul C. Burke, President and Part-owner, Hadley Insurit Group Insurance Agency

Domenic DiNardo, VP of Strategic Marketing, Tuatara Corporation, Co-Founder & President, Valcourse

Michael Grimo, President, Cool Geeks, Incorporated

Israel Navarro, Nurse Supervisor, Brockton Area Multi-Services, Incorporated

Michelle Pelletier, Owner, Jefferson Realty

Lisa Rocha, Associate Attorney, Morrison Mahoney, LLP

Teri Theberge, Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Southcoast Hospital Group

Pamela E. Viveiros, President, Ultimate Marketing, Incorporated


Table of Contents
Information Sheet

4

Certification Statement

6

General Statement of Assurances

7

Statements of Assurances

10

Executive Summary

11

Public Statement

13

  1. Charter School Mission, Vision, and Description of the Community(ies) to be Served

14

  1. Mission Statement

14

  1. Vision Statement

14

  1. Description of the Community(ies) to be Served

16

  1. How will the school demonstrate academic success?

20

  1. Educational Philosophy

20

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

25

  1. Promotion and Graduation Standards

32

  1. Assessment System

35

  1. School Characteristics

37

  1. Special Student Populations and Student Services

47

  1. How will the school demonstrate organizational viability?

51

  1. Enrollment and Recruitment

51

  1. Capacity

53

  1. School Governance

54

  • Governance Structure

54

  • Roles and Responsibilities

55

  • Policy Development

56

  • Board Development

56

  • School Management Contract

57

  1. Management Structure

57

  • Roles and Responsibilities

58

  • Policy Development

58

  • Educational Leadership

58

  • Human Resources

58

  1. Facilities and Student Transportation

61

  1. School Finances

62

  • Fiscal Management

62

  • Budget and Budget Narrative

63

  1. Action Plan

67

  1. How will the school demonstrate that it is faithful to the terms of its charter?

69

  1. Process

69

  1. Goals

69

  1. Narrative

71

  1. Dissemination

72

  1. Attachments (Counts toward 40 page maximum)

74

  1. Draft Bylaws

74

  1. Draft Recruitment and Retention Plan

78

  1. Draft Enrollment Policy and Admissions Application

84

  1. Draft Organizational Chart

86

  1. Operating Budget: Projected Revenues and Expenditures

87

Attachments (Do not count toward 40 page maximum)




  1. Founding Board of Trustee Resumes

89

  1. Letters of Commitment

104

  1. High School Curriculum Outline

114

  1. 2014-2015 Argosy Collegiate Charter School Academic Calendar

126

  1. Letter of Financial Commitment from the Founding Board of Trustees (Header)

128

  1. Letters of Support (Header)

129

  1. Signatures of Support from the Community/Families (Header)

142

  1. Amelia Peabody Start-Up Funds Letter of Commitment (Header)

143

  1. A Day in the Life of an Argosy Collegiate Scholar

144

  1. Building Excellent Schools Proven Provider Documents

152


COMMONWEALTH CHARTER APPLICATION INFORMATION SHEET

This form must be attached to the letter of intent, prospectus, and final application. Please type information.
Name of Proposed Charter School: Argosy Collegiate Charter School____________________
School Address (if known):__To be determined______________________________________
School Location (City/Town REQUIRED): _______Fall River_________________________
Primary Contact Person: Kristen Pavao____________________________________________
Address: __207 Oliver Street, Apt #3_______________________________________________
City: ___Fall River______________________ State: _____MA________ Zip: ____02724___

Daytime Tel: (508)_982-6121______________________ Fax___(617) 227-4551_________


Email: kpavao@buildingexcellentschools.org________________________________________

1. The proposed school will open in the fall of school year:  2013-2014 x 2014-2015





School Year

Grade Levels

Total Student Enrollment

First Year

5

81

Second Year

5,6

162

Third Year

5,6,7

243

Fourth Year

5,6,7,8,

324

Fifth Year

5,6,7,8,9

397

2. Grade span at full enrollment: _____5-12_________________________________

3. Total student enrollment when fully expanded: _585 ____ _

4. Age at entry for kindergarten, if applicable: ___N/A___________________________


5. Will this school be a regional charter school?  Yes x No
If yes, list the school districts (including regional school districts) in the proposed region. Please only list districts that are included in Appendix B. (Use additional sheets if necessary.)

_____________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

If no, please specify the district’s population as reported in the most recent United States census estimate for the community the school intends to serve: ___88,857__. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall not approve a new Commonwealth charter school in any community with a population of less than 30,000 as determined by the most recent United States census estimate [available at http://www.census.gov/], unless it is a regional charter school. (MGL c. 71 § 89(i)(1).


6. For all proposed charter schools, list the districts that are contiguous with the proposed school’s district or region. Please only list districts that are included in Appendix B. (Use additional sheets if necessary.)

___Westport___­_________

____Somerset__________

______________________

___Dartmouth__________

______________________

______________________

___Freetown___________

______________________

______________________


7. Is the proposed school to be located in a district where overall student performance on the MCAS is in the lowest 10 percent, as designated in Appendix B? X Yes  No


8. Will the proposed school be located in a district or districts in which the 9 percent net school spending cap is, or could be, exceeded by 2012-2013 applications?  Yes X No
9. Is the applicant group currently the board of trustees of an existing charter school?  Yes x No
10. Is the applicant group/board of trustees intending to create a network of schools?  Yes X No
11. If the applicant group/board of trustees is intending to create a network of schools, how many applications is the group submitting in the 2012-2013 application cycle? __N/A___
12. Do members of the applicant group currently operate or are they employed by a private or parochial school?  Yes X No


Argosy Collegiate Charter School
Certification Statement

Proposed Charter School Name: _____Argosy Collegiate Charter School________

Proposed School Location (City/Town): ________Fall River___________________________
I hereby certify that the information submitted in this prospectus/application is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that this prospectus/application has been or is being sent to the superintendent of each of the districts from which we expect to draw students and from any contiguous districts. Further, I understand that, if awarded a charter, the proposed school shall be open to all students on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or academic achievement. I further understand that the information submitted in this prospectus/application serves as an initial application for start-up assistance funding under the federal Charter Schools Program grant. This is a true statement, made under the penalties of perjury.
Signature of

Authorized Person________________________________ Date__11-13-12__



(Please label the copy that has original signatures.)
Print/Type Name ___Kristen Pavao__________________________________________________
Address _207 Oliver Street, Fall River, MA., 02724
Daytime Phone __508-982-6121_______________ Fax ____617-227-4551_____________


GENERAL STATEMENT OF ASSURANCES

This form must be signed by a duly authorized representative of the applicant group and submitted with the final application. An application will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted if it does not include the Statement of Assurances.


As the authorized representative of the applicant group, I hereby certify under the penalties of perjury that the information submitted in this application for a charter for Argosy Collegiate Charter School to be located at Fall River, MA is true to the best of my knowledge and belief; and further, I certify that, if awarded a charter, the school:
1. Will not charge tuition, fees, or other mandatory payments for attendance at the charter school, for participation in required or elective courses, or for mandated services or programs (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(m), and 603 CMR 1.03(3)).
2. Will not charge any public school for the use or replication of any part of their curriculum subject to the prescriptions of any contract between the charter school and any third party provider (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(l)).
3. Will permit parents to enroll their children only voluntarily and not because they must send their children to this school (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 — Public Charter Schools Section 5210(C)).
4. Will enroll any eligible student who submits a timely and complete application, unless the school receives a greater number of applications than there are spaces for students. If the number of application exceeds the spaces available, the school will hold a lottery in accordance with Massachusetts charter laws and regulations (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71 § 89(n), and 603 CMR 1.06).
5. Will be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or academic achievement (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(m)).
6. Will be secular in its curriculum, programs, admissions, policies, governance, employment practices, and operation in accordance with the federal and state constitutions and any other relevant provisions of federal and state law.
7. Will comply with the federal Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
8. Will adhere to all applicable provisions of federal and state law relating to students with disabilities including, but not limited to, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and chapter 71B of the Massachusetts General Laws.
9. Will adhere to all applicable provisions of federal and state law relating to students who are English language learners including, but not limited to, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, and chapter 71A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
10. Will comply with all other applicable federal and state law including, but not limited to, the requirement to offer a school nutrition program (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 69, § 1 (c)).
11. Will meet the performance standards and assessment requirements set by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for all students in public schools including, but not limited to, administering the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(v), and 603 CMR 1.05(1)(i)).
12. Will submit an annual report to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on or before the required deadline (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71 § 89(jj)).
13. Will submit an accountability plan no later than the end of the first year of the school‘s charter, establishing specific five-year performance objectives as specified in the state regulations (603 CMR 1.05 (1)(j)) and guidelines.
14. Will submit an annual independent audit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of the State Auditor no later than January 1st of every year, as required by the charter school statute (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(jj), or at such other time as designated in 603 CMR 1.09 (3)).
15. Will submit required enrollment data each March to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by the required deadline (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(o), and 603 CMR 1.09(4)).
16. Will meet enrollment projections through demonstration of support for the proposed charter school in the communities from which students would be likely to enroll (603 CMR 1.05 (c)).
17. Will operate in compliance with generally accepted government accounting principles (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(jj)).
18. Will maintain financial records to meet the requirements of Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89 and 603 CMR 1.00.
19. Will participate in the Massachusetts State Teachers‘ Retirement System (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(y)).
20. Will employ individuals who either hold an appropriate license to teach in a public school in Massachusetts or who will take and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) within their first year of employment and meet all applicable staff requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71 § 89(ii), and 603 CMR 1.07).
21. Will provide the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with written assurance that a criminal background check has been performed, prior to their employment, on all employees of the school who will have unsupervised contact with children (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 38R, and 603 CMR 1.05(3)(d)).
22. Will obtain and keep current all necessary permits, licenses, and certifications related to fire, health, and safety within the building(s) and on school property (603 CMR 1.05(1)(p), 1.05(3)(g), 1.05(3)(h), and 1.09(6)).
23. Will maintain uninterrupted necessary and appropriate insurance coverage (603 CMR 1.05(3)(j)).
24. Will submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the names, home addresses, and employment and educational histories of proposed new members of the school‘s board of trustees for approval prior to their service (603 CMR 1.05(3)(a)).
25. Will ensure that all members of the school‘s board of trustees file with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the State Ethics Commission, and the city or town clerk where the charter school is located completed financial disclosure forms for the preceding calendar year according to the schedule required by the charter school office (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(u)). The disclosure is in addition to the requirements of said chapter 268A and a member of a board of trustees must also comply with the disclosure and other requirements of said chapter 268A.
26. Will recognize, if applicable, an employee organization designated by the authorization cards of 50 percent of its employees in the appropriate bargaining unit as the exclusive representative of all the employees in such unit for the purpose of collective bargaining (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(y)).
27. Will provide the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with a federal taxpayer identification number issued solely to the charter school and all required information regarding a bank account held solely in the name of the charter school (603 CMR 1.05(4)).
28. Will, in the event the board of trustees intends to procure substantially all educational services for the charter school through a contract with another person or entity, submit such contract for approval by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide for any necessary revisions and approval prior to the beginning of the contract period (Mass. Gen. Laws c. 71, § 89(k)(5)).
29. Will notify the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education immediately in writing of any change in circumstances that may have a significant impact on the school‘s ability to fulfill its goals or missions as stated in its charter (603 CMR 1.09(7)).
30. Will submit in writing to the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education a request to amend its charter if the school plans to make a change to its operations as defined in 603 CMR 1.11.

_________________________________ _November 14, 2014_______________



Signature Date
Argosy Collegiate Charter School

__________________________________

Affiliation

Statement of Assurances

Federal Charter School Program Grant

These additional assurances are required to ensure compliance with requirements for the federal Charter Schools Program grant:




  1. Will annually provide the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education such information as may be required to determine if the charter school is making satisfactory progress toward achieving objectives described in this application (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 — Public Charter Schools Section 5203(b)(3)).




  1. Will cooperate with the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in evaluating the program described in the application (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 — Public Charter Schools Section 5203(b)(3)).




  1. Will provide other information and assurances as the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education may require (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 — Public Charter Schools Section 5203(b)(3)).

___________________________________ ___________________

Signature Date


___________________________________

Affiliation



Executive Summary

Mission. Argosy Collegiate Charter School equips Fall River scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership.
Vision. Argosy Collegiate Charter School (“Argosy Collegiate”) is proposed for the City of Fall River. Educating students in grades 5-12, the school will open with 81 fifth grade students in 2014, use a slow growth model by growing one grade of 81 students per year, and reach full growth span in 2021. Serving a community with tremendous academic need and a significant population of first generation English Language Learners, Argosy Collegiate educates students in middle school through high school to remediate academic gaps experienced in elementary school and accelerate learning in high school, thus preparing every student to succeed in college, manage their financial independence, and access expanded professional opportunities.
The mission and vision are informed by the best practices of the highest performing charter schools across our state and nation. Currently in the Commonwealth, schools demonstrating strong performance are clustered around Greater Boston; we seek to bring such quality and trained leadership to the need in Fall River. Argosy Collegiate has the benefit, training, and network of Proven Provider Building Excellent Schools (BES), a highly respected national non-profit dedicated to the creation of high performing charter schools. Argosy Collegiate leadership and staff bring the benefit of extensive training and support in building a rigorous academic program and achievement-oriented culture, executing impactful instructional leadership, and detailed management of the operations, finance, and governance of a successful charter school. Our mission and vision have been tailored to meet the diverse needs of youth in Fall River and the school’s goals of closing the academic achievement gap, bridging the financial literacy gap, and developing student leadership as our young people prepare for the responsibilities and opportunities of college.
All students, regardless of race, socio-economic status, or home language deserve a quality, college preparatory education, and the foundation for high school must be established in the middle school years. For our most at-risk students, middle school accelerates academic decline into high school failure that must and can be prevented. We provide high-quality instruction within a structured, supportive school environment. Seven core beliefs guide our design:


  1. Academic achievement is possible for all students.

  2. Exceptional educators deliver exceptional results.

  3. A clear code of conduct consistently implemented ensures a school culture of respect, responsibility, and character.

  4. A seamless continuum between middle school and high school allows for strategic vertical planning and eliminates common transitional risk factors.

  5. Data is systematically gathered and analyzed to inform instruction and student supports.

  6. All operational, governance, and management decisions must optimize student achievement and ensure the realization of the mission.

  7. Frequent communication with families regarding students’ academic and behavioral performance supports student achievement and character development.

Three years from now, in 2015, fifth graders in Fall River’s most underserved communities will have the academic skills, content knowledge, and character to move successfully into the next grade, with measurable achievement results in the core subjects. In 2018, our inaugural fifth graders will seamlessly matriculate into our high school. In 2023, our first graduating class will have completed their first year at the university, and will be examples to all that success is possible. Families will have access to a seamless, structured, high quality 5-12 education for their children; teachers will have opportunity to develop their practice and be part of a mission-driven team; students will gain the opportunity to remediate gaps and accelerate their learning; and Fall River will have the vehicle by which it can realize and demonstrate the success of many diverse learners.


Need. Argosy Collegiate’s mission and educational program are in response to the significant need in Fall River for a public middle and high school that prepares students to excel in four-year colleges and universities. Fall River remains a chronically underperforming city, and is rated amongst the lowest 10% of districts across the Commonwealth. Four middle schools serve 2,255 students in grades six through eight. On the 2011 MCAS, middle school students average 56% proficient/advanced in ELA and 37% in math. Of the 2,255 middle schoolers, this means that 992 are not proficient in ELA and 1421 are not proficient in Math. Three public schools serve Fall River middle/high or high school students - Durfee, Diman Regional Vocational Technical, and Resiliency Preparatory. Grade 10 MCAS results for 2011 are outlined below.


School

# of students

ELA Proficient/Advanced

Math Proficient/Advanced

Resiliency Prep (6-12)

203

21%

16%

Diman RVTHS (9-12)

1350

84%

74%

Durfee HS (9-12)

2228

71%

56%

Total: 3,781

Average: 59%

Average: 49%

Yet these numbers do not capture a significant and pervasive problem in Fall River – high school graduation rates. High school graduation rates for 2011 were 71%, with rates 67% for low-income students and 52% for Hispanic students. At best, therefore, 7 out of 10 students are graduating, and within the Hispanic community, only 5 out of 10 reach high school graduation. Of those that do graduate, 22.5% from Durfee plan to attend a four-year public college or university; 21.2% of Diman graduates plan to attend higher education. Demographically, 21% of students in Fall River receive Special Education services, 23% are identified as ELL, and 78% are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch. The student body is 65.3% white, 19% Hispanic, 6.8% African American, 4.5% Asian, 4% Multi-racial or Non-Hispanic, .3% Native American, and .1% Native American or Pacific Islander. Unemployment rates are 13.2% compared to 10.2% for the state. Per capita income is $20,337, compared to $33,203 for the state, and 20.2% of residents live below the poverty line. Community excitement and desire for choice and high quality schools in Fall River is evidenced by the nearly 600 parents who have signed a petition of support for Argosy Collegiate. These parents state that they are interested in sending their child to Argosy Collegiate should it open in the fall of 2014. Collectively, these parents have 395 children, 59 of whom are in grades K-8.



Capacity. Clear, consistent, and uncompromising leadership is critical to the success of a high-performing school. This includes strong day-to-day management by the Executive Director and oversight by a highly competent Governing Board. The founding group of Argosy Collegiate Charter School is an extraordinary team of dedicated and experienced professionals, committed to the revitalization of Fall River and the academic success of its students. Lead Founder Kristen Pavao is a proven urban educator and life-long resident of Fall River, and is the proposed Executive Director for Argosy Collegiate. Ms. Pavao is joined by several individuals on the founding team who collectively bring the requisite skills and expertise for strong and accountable charter school governance. Together they are prepared to execute on our college preparatory mission and vision for the young people of Fall River, as well as establish policies that protect the school’s organizational and academic success over time and guarantee its success into the future. Argosy Collegiate’s founding team is honored by the many business and community leaders who have offered their strong support, and the early and overwhelmingly positive response from local families looking for a quality choice for their child(ren). Together, we stand ready to do what it takes in the planning, development, and sustaining of a no excuses charter school in Fall River – demonstrating that demographics do not determine destiny and that all children, especially those in our gateway cities, can learn and achieve at high level.
Public Statement
Argosy Collegiate Charter School (“Argosy Collegiate”) equips Fall River scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership. Serving a community in Fall River with tremendous academic need and significant population of English Language Learners, Argosy Collegiate remediates academic gaps experienced in elementary school and accelerates learning in high school. We prepare students to succeed in college, access expanded professional opportunities, and manage their financial independence. We will open with 81 fifth graders, grow one grade annually, and at capacity educate 585 students.


  1. Charter School Mission, Vision, and Description of the Community to be Served

A. Mission Statement. Argosy Collegiate Charter School equips Fall River scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership.
B. Vision Statement. All students, regardless of race, socio-economic status, or home language deserve a quality, rigorous college preparatory education, and the foundation for high school must be established during the middle school years. For our most at-risk students, middle school accelerates academic decline into high school failure that must and can be prevented. Argosy Collegiate Charter School (“Argosy Collegiate”) aligns with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the Common Core to provide a high quality, college preparatory charter school focused on mastery of academic knowledge, financial literacy, and positive leadership.
Educating Fall River students in grades 5-12, the school will open with 81 fifth grade students in 2014, using a slow growth model and growing one grade of 81 students per year, we reach full growth span in 2021. Serving a community in Fall River with tremendous academic need and significant population of English Language Learners (28.8%), Argosy Collegiate remediates academic gaps experienced in elementary school and accelerates learning in high school. We prepare students to succeed in college, access expanded professional opportunities, and manage their financial independence. Our mission and vision meet the diverse needs of youth in Fall River with the goals of closing the academic achievement gap, bridging the financial literacy gap, and developing student leadership as our young people prepare for the responsibilities and opportunities of college.
One of the key barriers for low income students (78.3% in Fall River)1 to attend college, in addition to lack of preparedness, is cost. Our college-bound mission is designed to prepare scholars academically, provide college skills courses, and create programs where scholars can earn college credits for free while attending Argosy Collegiate. This will improve the ability of first generation college students to successfully complete college which will help Fall River businesses with workforce quality as well as bring more employed earners into the community.
The mission and vision are informed by the best practices of the highest performing charter schools. Argosy Collegiate has the benefit, training, and network of Proven Provider Building Excellent Schools (BES), a highly respected national non-profit dedicated to the creation of high performing charter schools across the country. Through BES Connect to Excellent support, Argosy Collegiate leadership and staff will continue to receive extensive training in building a rigorous academic program and achievement-oriented culture, executing powerful instructional leadership, and managing the operations, finance, and governance of a successful charter school.
Seven beliefs guide our school design: (1) Academic achievement is possible for all students. (2) Exceptional educators deliver exceptional results. (3) A clear code of conduct consistently implemented ensures a school culture of respect, responsibility, and character. (4) A seamless continuum between middle school and high school allows for strategic vertical planning and eliminates common transitional risk factors. (5) Data is systematically gathered and analyzed to inform instruction and student supports. (6) All operational, governance, and management decisions must optimize student achievement and ensure realization of the mission. (7) Frequent communication with families regarding students’ academic and behavioral performance supports student achievement and character development.
Three years from now, in 2015, fifth graders in some of Fall River’s most underserved communities will have the academic skills, content knowledge, and character to move successfully into the next grade, with measurable achievement results in the core subjects. Six years from now, in 2018, our inaugural fifth graders, demonstrating proficiency in the core subjects and increasing levels of financial literacy and strong character, will successfully and seamlessly matriculate into our rigorous high school. Eleven years from now, in 2023, our first graduating class will have completed their first year at the college or university of their choice, and will be examples to all Argosy Collegiate students that success is possible. Families have access to a seamless, structured, quality 5-12 education for their children; teachers have opportunity to develop their practice and be part of a mission-driven team; students gain opportunity to remediate gaps and accelerate learning; Fall River has the vehicle by which it can realize and demonstrate the success of many diverse learners. To deliver on our mission, we design our academic program through the mandates and elements of academic achievement, a culture of success, and professional development. Key ideas are below.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

More Time: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, 185 days of instruction. With Brain Breakfast, FOCUS, lunch-time tutoring, Homework Club, and Saturday Academy, scholars have multiple opportunities daily and weekly for additional instruction, practice, and remediation. High school scholars have a study block each day and tutoring after enrichment every day.

Format Matters/Accountable Talk: Educating all students including ELLs and scholars with IEPs, we nurture and grow oral literacy skills so that all scholars develop interpersonal and conversational skills. These skills are building in the middle school and are fully fleshed out in the high school with our four-year College Skills Program. We build student confidence and skills with debate, speech, role play, public speaking, Socratic Seminar, etc.

Read, Read, and Read- More Literacy: With reading, writing, DEAR, and FOCUS, scholars have three hours of literacy development every day. We fundamentally believe that all learning and achievement is based upon reading skills. We have an intense focus both in expectations, assessment, and supports for all students to read at grade level as quickly as possible and to exceed grade level expectations by 8th grade. Scholars who are not reading at grade level have the opportunity to attend Saturday Academy for reading remediation.

Character Development & Advisories: It is every adult’s job to enforce the ideals of the community and to teach young people how to behave, make good decisions, and how to learn from mistakes. Our core values are represented in the acronym DREAM - Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery. We explicitly teach these core values in student orientation, advisory sessions, and weekly community meetings.

More Math: In the middle school, scholars have two 55-minute math blocks every day - math procedures with a focus on calculations, and checking answers, and math problem solving which focuses on problem-solving strategies, word problems, and multi-step problem solving. In high school, scholars have one math per day, with a year-long math course building toward Calculus or AP Calculus in the 12th grade. All grades from 5 through 12 have a full year program of financial literacy twice per week.

Reading & Writing Across the Curriculum: Students build and practice writing and reading skills in every subject with attention to high quality texts and consistent high standards for writing in a variety of complexities and formats. Grammar, mechanics, and high quality vocabulary are expected and evaluated in every subject.

Financial Literacy: Mandatory 8 years of Financial Literacy to prepare scholars for personal financing, banking, business financing, investment strategies, micro & macroeconomics. Our Financial Literacy curriculum is informed by the National Financial Educators Council, JumpStart Coalition, National Council on Economic Education, and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Gradual Release: Direct Instruction, Group Practice, Individual Practice - this gradual release of responsibility is commonly referred to as “I Do, We Do, You Do.” The heavy lifting is initially on the teacher with gradual responsibility and work onto students in a scaffolded manner so that all students are successful and challenged.

Latin Studies: 82 years of Latin studies support all scholars to acquire vocabulary, including ELL, Special Education, and Gifted Learners. Our program focuses on high frequency words seen on standardized tests including SAT, ACT, and the Miller’s Analogies Tests. To strengthen mastery of language, students learn word roots and their meaning, suffixes, prefixes, synonyms, antonyms, and word relationships. In high school, the four-year Latin language program satisfies requirements for foreign language and culminates in an option for AP Latin in 11th or 12th grade.

Assessments: We assess often and with a variety or resources. With 27 professional development days imbedded into the calendar, teachers analyze data to drive instruction, track the progress of every student by standard, and identify students for FOCUS and individualized tutoring. We use a variety of assessment tools including Stanford 10, The Achievement Network, Fountas & Pinnell, MCAS, In-House Comprehensive Exams, and weekly show What You Know Quizzes.

Saturday Academy: All students who do not know their multiplication tables or basic math facts or who are not reading at grade level are required to attend Saturday Academy (SA). SA is held from 7:30 am to 11:30 am every Saturday in September for intense remediation, and then two Saturday throughout the year beginning in October.

CULTURE OF SUCCESS

DREAM Values: Scholars, teachers, staff, families, and visitors are expected to model and practice our school values at all times. Scholars are immersed in the expectations and are rewarded/disciplined based upon them- Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery.

Summer Enrichment: Summer Enrichment opportunities are available for all scholars who are not enrolled in Summer Academy. Opportunities include community service and internship programs with a variety of local organizations and businesses. Summer Enrichment supports our mission for ethical development and positive leadership.

Communication is Key: We clearly and frequently communicate with families through Annual Information Sessions, Daily Homework Hotline, Weekly Academic and Behavior Reports, Monthly Newsletters, Formal Mid and End-of-Trimester Progress Reports, Trimester Family and Teacher Conferences, Awards and Recognition Events, and Parent Achievement Meetings. We err on the side of caution and over-communicate with families.

Token Economy System: The Merit/Demerit system feeds into our token economy DREAM Dollars Program. Students receive $100 of mock money every Monday and work to maintain those dollars every day based on their demonstration of our DREAM Values, both behaviorally and academically. Each week scholars and families receive a weekly balance sheet totaling earned token dollars that they can save or spend on DREAM-value items (DREAM pencils or Excellence pencil case), school supplies, college t-shirts, or uniform items. We train, support, and hold all scholars to the highest academic standards beginning with our Code of Conduct, Honor Code, and Attendance Policy. We sweat the small stuff in a reasonable but incredibly Determined way so that Excellence can be achieved. Our DREAM Values stand for Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Summer Institute: 27 Professional days are imbedded into our calendar, with 15 days of PD occurring at the Summer Institute prior to the first day of school with a focus on school culture, policies, rituals, and procedures. Sheltered English Immersion Protocol and Special Education systems are thoroughly detailed during Summer Institute. Staff and teachers role play daily operations, issuing and communication merits/demerits utilizing our DREAM Values, and teaching lessons. 12 additional full days of Professional Development for data analysis and coaching to support our Core Beliefs through the year as consistently on Day 1, as on Day 90, and on Day 185.

Backwards Planning: Beginning with the end, we examine and break down what is expected for success in college entrance exams including skills, test scores, and interpersonal skills. We look deeply at end-of-year comprehensive exams, AP, PSAT, SAT, ACT, ISEE, MAT, and MCAS Exams. We plan our scope and sequence, set rigor, and utilize tutoring opportunities based on expected outcomes for the end of each year, end of middle school, and end of high school so that all scholars are prepared for Mastery and Excellence.

Argosy Fridays: Weekly Professional Development meetings support subject-based and grade-level teams, and whole group trainings for a total of 90 additional hours of PD.

Tight Feedback Loop: Daily classroom visits with informal feedback and a weekly observation /formal feedback cycle based on leveled teacher status. Teachers are observed and observe each other frequently to improve teaching skills, strengthen cultural consistency and academic rigor, and to drive academic achievement.

Double-Planning: Lesson plans are scripted one week in advance outlining not only what the teacher does, but also what the scholars are doing every moment.

Sheltered English Immersion Protocol: Intensive Professional Development during Summer Institute and Argosy Fridays to implement, modify, and adapt successful instructional strategies for ELLs.


C. Description Of Community To Be Served. Argosy Collegiate’s mission and educational program are designed in response to the need in Fall River for a public middle and high school that prepares students to excel in four-year colleges and universities. Fall River remains a chronically underperforming city, and is rated amongst the lowest 10% of districts across the Commonwealth. Four middle schools serve 2,255 students in grades six through eight. On the 2011 MCAS assessments, students in these middle schools average 56% Proficient/Advanced in ELA and 37% Proficient/Advanced in math. Of 2,255 middle schoolers, this means that 992 are not proficient in ELA and 1421 are not proficient in math.3 Three public schools serve Fall River middle/high or high school students - Durfee, Diman Regional Vocational Technical, and Resiliency Preparatory. Grade 10 MCAS results for 2011 average 59% Proficient/Advanced in ELA and 49% in math.4
Yet these numbers do not capture a significant and pervasive problem in Fall River – high school graduation rates. Rates for 2011 were 71%, with rates 67% for low-income students and 52% for Hispanic students. At best, therefore, 7 out of 10 students are graduating, and within the Hispanic community, only 5 out of 10 reach high school graduation. Of those that do graduate, the statistics for students with plans on attending a four-year private or public college are as follows: 32% from Durfee; 13% from Diman; 0% from Resiliency Prep.5
Demographically, 21% of students receive Special Education services, 23% are identified as ELL, and 78% are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch. The student body is 65.3% white, 19% Hispanic, 6.8% African American, 4.5% Asian, 4% Multi-racial or Non-Hispanic, .3% Native American, and .1% Native American or Pacific Islander; 47% describe themselves as of Portuguese ancestry.6 Unemployment rates are 13.2% compared to 10.2% for the state. Per capita income is $20,337, compared to $33,203 for the state, and 20.2% of residents live below the poverty line.7 Community excitement and desire for choice and high quality schools in Fall River is evidenced by the nearly 600 parents who have signed a petition of support for Argosy Collegiate. These parents state that they are interested in sending their child to Argosy Collegiate should it open in the fall of 2014. Collectively, these parents have 395 children, 59 of whom are in grades K-8.
Argosy Collegiate will open its doors to educate any Fall River child who chooses to apply and secures enrollment through our random, public lottery. Fueled by our mission to propel 100% of scholars to and through college, we focus on recruiting children who have limited choices for a high quality education. We will focus recruiting attention and facility location on two areas of chronic need. (1) The South End of Fall River (02724) has a high school graduation rate of 30.32%, with only 5.88% attaining a bachelor’s degree, and 22.1% of its residents living below poverty level.8 (2) The Flint Village (02723) has a high school graduation rate of 29.29%, a bachelor’s degree rate of 6.54%. 9, and 29.9% of its residents living below the poverty level.10 There are four district middle schools in Fall River: three Title 1 schools - Edmond P. Talbot (Level 2), Henry Lord Middle School (Level 4), Matthew J Kuss Middle School (Level 4), and non-Title 1 school, Morton Middle School (Level 3). For all student groups and subgroups including low-income, ELL, students with disabilities, and minorities, the district did not meet its target of 75 or higher in its progress to narrow proficiency gaps. The district high school, BMC Durfee High School, is a Level 3 school, 11
In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough outlines the correlation between the level of education of the adults in the community and a child’s graduation rate. He writes, “Between 1990 and 2000, the rate of BA attainment among wealthy students with at least one parent who had graduated from college rose from 61 percent to 68 percent, while, according to one analysis, the rate among the most disadvantaged young Americans - students in the lowest-income quartile whose parents were not college graduates - actually fell, from 11.1 percent to 9.5 percent.12 Argosy Collegiate’s seamless 5-12 school, designed to remediate gaps and accelerate learning, will close these gaps in performance and set students on a positive and measurable trajectory towards college, and a promising adult future, with more expanded professional opportunities. The value of Argosy Collegiate is to ensure that 100% of our scholars graduate college with valuable and employable skills and knowledge. The key features of our school design are purposefully structured to target these outcomes. More time: Argosy Collegiate scholars have a longer academic school day, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (9 hours of instruction/tutoring), compared to a 6 hour and 45 minute per day for district middle and high school days. Argosy Collegiate scholars have two hours and ten minutes more instructional time per day, and five full days more than the district at 185 school days. Argosy Collegiate scholars have 25,200 more minutes of learning time per year than the district. Over 8 years, from grades 5 through 12, Argosy Collegiate scholars have an additional 140 full days of instruction compared to grades 5 through 12 attending district schools. More literacy/more math/every day: We provide double literacy and double mathematics every day, for every scholar, and with differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all readers and mathematicians. Double math blocks include one block of math procedures and another of math problem solving. Twice per week for all eight years, all scholars have financial literacy instruction. See financial literacy breakdown for more detail on page 26. Research indicates that a Latin language program strengthens literacy in both native and non-native language speakers as early as middle school.13 With that, middle school ELA literacy includes a weekly study of Latin Word Wars, which teaches students word roots, prefixes, and suffixes for the most frequently tested words on SATs and ACT. With double blocks of ELA literacy per day, FOCUS, and Saturday Academy, our scholars have over three hours of literacy per day. High school scholars have a four-year Latin language program to build literacy and vocabulary skills to strengthen reading, writing, and standardized testing proficiency. Assessments/data-driven instruction: We test often and are relentless about analyzing data to determine skill gaps and progress, plan instruction, modify lesson plans and curriculum, and plan tutoring/FOCUS. We use the Achievement Network for six-week benchmark assessments in ELA and math. Argosy Collegiate staff and teachers have 27 professional development days to analyze data, plan lessons, and monitor rigor. A slightly abbreviated day each Friday allows for three hours of professional development per week. This time is for school leadership to reset teachers and staff on instructional and cultural focuses based on the week’s observations, and for teachers to evaluate week-end data through Exit Tickets and Show What You Know Quizzes to plan for the following week. School Culture: “Non-cognitive factors such as motivation, time management, and self-regulation are critical for later life outcomes, including success in the labor market. Recent research on non-cognitive factors has not only suggested their importance for student academic performance but has also been used to argue that social investments in the development of these non-cognitive factors would yield high payoffs in improved educational outcomes as well as reduced racial/ethnic and gender disparities in school performance and educational attainment.”14 For us, school culture sets the stage for academic achievement. We are serious about academic achievement in a warm/strict way. School culture is set during Student Orientation in August and reinforced daily by all adults in a consistent manner. Merits/demerits and DREAM Dollars inform our behavior management systems and are based on our DREAM Values - Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery. On any day, you could hear a fifth grade teacher like Mr. Sullivan say to a student, “Carolina, I can see on your reading log that you demonstrated our core value Ambition by reading 30 minutes more than required last night. You have earned a merit! Congratulations!” Or, “Marcos, you have earned a demerit for lack of Responsibility by walking down the wrong side of the hallway. We have hallway procedures so that scholars get to class sooner, save time, and scholars learn more.” We believe in sweating the small stuff because with a relentless focus on minutia, larger problems will not occur. With strong school culture, academic achievement can be achieved, and our middle school scholars can seamlessly transition to high school with little risk of dropping out, have consistent college bound expectations, and understand what is expected of them both behaviorally and academically. Every adult in our community is focused on supporting every scholar in delivering on our mission and vision. College Skills Program: Our College Skill Program is deeply informed through a relationship with Boston Collegiate Charter School leadership and study of their Key Design Elements of a Successful College Prep Program.15 At Argosy Collegiate, preparation for college begins the first day of school; fifth graders are grouped into homerooms named after exceptional and diverse colleges/universities, and by their year of college graduation. For example, an incoming fifth grader for our inaugural class could be in homeroom Boston University/2024. College banners adorn the halls and classrooms, and Fridays are college t-shirt day for all Argosy Collegiate scholars who have earned the privilege based on weekly DREAM Points. College and university campus visits begin in the fifth grade, and by the eleventh grade Argosy Collegiate scholars have toured over 75 campuses. The College Skills Program is designed to help our scholars transition from middle to high school, and to prepare them academically, socially, and programmatically for successful college and professional careers. The program includes a four-year advisory relationship component in addition to a yearly support course to build skills and tools for high school graduation and college success. For more detail of the College Skills Program, see page 34. Freshman: Level I – Bootcamp. This course helps ninth graders transition to high school expectations including scholarly habits for long-term assignments, organization, collegiate skills, and increased independence. Advisors support scholars in identifying tutoring needs and scheduling time with teachers and teaching Fellows.(see page 59 for details on the Teaching Fellows) Scholars visit local (within 50 miles) colleges in freshman year. Sophomores: Level II - My Road. This course supports tenth graders in finding voice and identity, communicating viewpoints in writing (personal essays) and in speech (public speaking/interviews). Scholars visit state colleges in sophomore year. Scholars begin creating profiles on colleges in a structured format, and prepare for and take the PSAT. Juniors: Level III - College Kick-Off. College advisory in tenth grade intensifies with regional campus visits, presentations, and fine-tuning college lists. Scholars take a 10-week SAT Prep Workshop and the SATs. Advisors and writing teachers support development of the college essay. Advisors introduce college financing options. Seniors: Level IV – Senior Seminar. Twelfth graders finalize and categorize their college application lists with advisors who support scholars to navigate choice, fill out applications, apply for financial aid, plan for transportation to college interviews, and conduct mock interviews.
Community Outreach: We have been spurred by the demands and interest of so many families, many expressing their wishes for a high performing, college preparatory school to Lead Founder and proposed Executive Director Kristen Pavao. Ms. Pavao has educated hundreds of Fall River children and interacted with even more families in her professional work, teaching in local district and charter schools and matriculating students to local high schools. Ms. Pavao is a native to Fall River with deep familial roots, and cultural and historical pride in the city. Ms. Pavao’s great grandparents, maternal and fraternal, immigrated to Fall River from Canada, Ireland, and the Azores. Ms. Pavao was educated in Fall River, raises her own family in Fall River, and is humbly positioned to do the work to found Argosy Collegiate. Community leaders throughout Fall River echo the warm and generous support expressed by families in the community, and we look forward to our continued work building these relationships. It is the autonomy of a Commonwealth charter, with the ability to control our budget, make programmatic decisions, and, most importantly, recruit and train our staff which will allow us to meet the pressing educational needs of Fall River students and families, and remain accountable to our families and the larger educational community. Ms. Pavao has been responsible for bringing together Argosy Collegiate’s Founding Board - a diverse group of accomplished professionals with a range of expertise who stand committed to the mission of the school and putting forth the time, energy, and effort needed to ensure the school is an academic and organizational success. We have placed a premium on soliciting support from the Fall River community during the planning stages. The reception of our proposed school has been overwhelmingly positive. People in the community—both leaders and parents—are excited about the prospect of Argosy Collegiate, with its rigorous college preparatory curriculum and safe and structured school environment. A list of individuals and organizations that have expressed support and a list of supporters who wrote letters of support can be found on page 54. Parent Signatures. Community excitement is evidenced by the nearly 600 parents who have signed a petition of support for Argosy Collegiate. These parents state that they are interested in sending their child to Argosy Collegiate should it open in the fall of 2014. Collectively, these parents have 395 children, 59 of whom are in the third grade and would be grade-level eligible to enroll in Argosy Collegiate in August 2014. Members of the founding board and Lead Founder, Kristen Pavao engaged with families in the community at the following Information Sessions and Tables at: HealthFirst Family Care Center, 387 Quarry St. and Sunset Hill Apartments, Fall River Housing Authority, 19 Sunset Hill, Family Halloween Night, CD Recreation, 72 Bank St. Armory, Family Halloween Party, Boys & Girls Club, 803 Bedford St., Stop & Shop Supermarket, 303 Mariano Bishop Blvd., Stop & Shop Supermarket, 501 Rodman St., Walmart, 1180 Fall River Ave., Staples, 416 William S Canning Blvd., Breaking Pointe Dance Studio, 1575 Stafford Rd. to broaden our reach to the families and the children who most need Argosy Collegiate, Ms. Pavao and the founding board continue to work diligently to develop relationships with faith-based and community-based organizations, including Sacred Heart, Holy Trinity, First Baptist, Saint Peter and Paul, St. Bernadette, St. Luke’s Episcopal, Santo Christo, Good Shephard, Espirito Santos, St. Stanislaus, Third Baptis, Calvary Temple.
Commitment to Dissemination: As a Massachusetts Charter School, Argosy Collegiate looks forward to fulfilling our mandate by disseminating practices and successes to the surrounding districts and larger education reform landscape across the state. We will use our website to provide school documents including such items as handbooks, scope and sequence, and other resources. We maintain an open door policy to all interested individuals and organizations committed to improving the quality of public education for all children. Just as we intend to continue to network with strong schools on behalf of our mission and target population, we will encourage similar networking for other schools for which we can provide insight and continuous improvement.


II. How will the School Demonstrate Academic Success?

Our teachers, they don’t give excuses. We’re in a culture of success and we don’t accept excuses. Children can learn. All children can. You might have to work a little harder, you might have to overcome a few obstacles, because we realize that our kids statistically are underdogs, but we won’t accept that and the people won't accept that. If the student is here, we’ve got to teach them.”16

  1. Educational Philosophy. We propose to bring the benefits of a rigorous, college preparatory academic program to middle and high school students in Fall River’s most chronically underperforming communities. In Creating “No Excuses” (Traditional) Public School17, Roland Fryer examines the impact of five core components of highly successful no excuses charter schools — increased time, better human capital, more leveled differentiation, frequent use of data to inform instruction, and a culture of high expectations. These schools had higher numbers of ethnic minorities, English Language Learners, and students qualifying for Free and Reduced Priced Lunch than district averages. Researchers observed that the impact of creating no excuses public schools is large and statistically significant, dwarfing gains attributed to smaller class sizes, bonus compensation programs for teachers, and the impact of early childhood programs. Argosy Collegiate espouses these core no excuses practices, along with proven Sheltered English Immersion strategies and the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, allowing English Language Learners to learn English rapidly and succeed across the curriculum. Comprehensively, and within a no excuses model that best serves the diverse needs of our student community, Argosy Collegiate’s educational philosophy is based on two values: Integrity and Accountability.

VALUE 1: Integrity. Schools that offer high-quality education and produce outstanding results do so because they approach every aspect of education with integrity, expect integrity from all members of the school community, and develop structures and systems to support that expectation. “Research on urban, public, high-performing schools that have a proven track record of academic excellence demonstrates that holding students, staff, and leadership to the highest standards is pivotal to producing high levels of achievement.”18 Students are taught that effort creates ability. Each school community member knows that excellence demands hard work. There are no shortcuts to academic excellence. Integrity in Leadership. Strong, principled leadership requires the Executive Director to take actions necessary to fulfill the mission. A strong Board provides clear oversight to ensure the school is faithful to its mission, charter, and goals. We have assembled an exceptional team to manage and govern the school, oversee its mission and vision, and establish policies/procedures to protect academic and organizational success over time. Integrity in Instruction. Teachers meet students’ academic needs, every student is challenged and supported, and we maintain a high bar for students across all sub-groups. Staff leverages research-proven instructional methods19 to equip students with a transformative education that propels them to measurable success in middle and high school, and prepares them to achieve in college and beyond.20 We provide teachers with immediate and clear feedback and work with them to implement data-driven action plans tied to achievement. Integrity in Academics. Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of grade 4 are predicted to end up in jail or on welfare. Research indicates that “between birth and age three, a socio-economically disadvantaged child hears some 30 million fewer words than a child who is economically advantaged.”21 The detrimental effects are most evident when students enter grade 4 and unsuccessfully move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” We provide 110 minutes of literacy instruction daily and an additional 15 minutes of independent and accountable reading through Drop Everything and Read (DEAR). Middle school students are held accountable through weekly checks of DEAR journals in which students respond daily to a variety of texts being read during DEAR and as part of nightly HW. High school students are held accountable for an hour of independent reading every day. By mastering literacy across a variety of texts, students are prepared for more advanced work in high school and college. “Over 70% of all English words are derived from Greek and Latin.”22 Latin is incorporated into our academic program beginning in fifth grade. Research shows that “Latin education on all grade levels, particularly on the elementary grade levels, is related to improved general English comprehension (including reading, vocabulary, grammar and comprehension for both native and non-native speakers) and in facilitating the acquisition of a second foreign language. At the secondary level the study of Latin is related to increased levels of language achievement as demonstrated on both the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) verbal scores and increased use of critical thinking as evidenced by increased mathematics scores on these same tests.”23 In ELA and across subjects, five SAT words per week are studied including: parts of speech; understanding roots, suffixes, and prefixes; positive, negative, and neutral connotations; synonyms and antonyms; vocabulary in analogies (as seen on Miller Analogies Tests - commonly used in graduate school applications); completing a sentence, improving sentences, and finding the error in a sentence (as seen on SATs and ACTs). For advanced work to be accessible, fundamental skills must be in place. Cognitive scientists describe this as rendering skills and knowledge automatic – necessary for success in sophisticated conceptual work. Middle school students demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, and application of information. Students build upon foundational knowledge to cultivate the intellectual tools to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they are learning. High school students build a solid academic foundation followed by mastery of high-level conceptual tasks, preparing them for academic rigor and success in college. All scholars are expected to successfully complete a minimum of one AP course in grade 11, and two in grade 12. Scholars work with academic advisors in their Collegiate Skills blocks to evaluate which AP level courses are best suited for them. Scholars can choose AP courses in English Literature, Latin, History: US Government and Politics, Economics, Biology, and Calculus AB and BC. “The extraordinary transformation of financial markets over the past decade has placed a new premium on financial literacy, making it nothing less than an essential survival tool.”24 Financial literacy skills are taught in every grade, creating a multi-year framework that prepares students for success in management of personal finance, college, entrepreneurship, and career. We adhere to research from the President’s Advisory council that coalesces around the idea that to raise financially capable adults, we must start teaching them the fundamentals of money at a young age. As example, grade five students learn how to explain forms of financial exchange (cash, credit, debit, etc.), describe forms of money and sources of income, list examples of financial decisions and their consequences, identify sources of financial information, and give examples of investments and explain how they can grow in value. In grades 9 to 12, students master advanced study in financial literacy coursework including Banking, Finance, Investment Strategy and Economics, including an option for AP Economics in 12th grade. Curriculum is informed by the National Financial Educators Council, JumpStart Coalition, National Council of Economic Education and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Integrity in Behavior. Students learn in a disciplined and respectful environment so that nothing detracts from learning and achievement. Students have affirmative responsibilities, such as participating actively in class, respecting themselves and others, and helping fellow students who have difficulty mastering skills and concepts. Building on the philosophy of successful charter schools like Boston Preparatory, a BES school founded in 2003 and a nationally recognized EPIC award winner25, we approach behavior just as we do academics: it is modeled by staff, learned and practiced by students, and consistently and rigorously expected and reinforced throughout the school. Students develop ethical character and positive leadership through instruction, training, and practice in our five DREAM Values – Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery.



VALUE 2: Accountability. As a charter school, we gain autonomy of hiring, budget, and school design in exchange for a higher level of accountability for academic achievement, measured on growth, comparative, and absolute scales, and for fiscal sustainability, with all academic and financial data shared in timely, efficient, and clear ways with the authorizing and larger school community. Accountability to the Public. We regularly inform the public about the school’s progress. Through published annual reports, annual family surveys, multiple external evaluators, and community participation, Argosy Collegiate is held accountable for faithfulness to our mission, vision, and charter. We publish performance results on our website and are fastidious in collecting data to ensure that clear, measureable benchmarks are met. Our accountability plan provides constant measure of how we are performing as a school using longitudinal, comparative, and absolute measures. We maintain ambitious and measurable goals focused on (a) achievement in middle and high school so that students can achieve at the highest levels in college, (b) organizational viability so that we demonstrate we are faithful stewards of public revenue and serving the community’s needs, and (c) the value-added of our school, particularly regarding our financial literacy program, supports for English Language Learners, and comparative analysis of academic growth to that of local and state performance results. Accountability to Families. We are accountable to the authorizer for reaching our accountability plan goals and we are accountable to students and families. “Parents and students have opted to attend a charter school by choice. Charter school leaders must honor that leap of faith by communicating honestly and often with students and families.”26 We use benchmark, formative and summative tools to assess achievement and growth objectively, deliver information clearly, and ensure that students are mastering subject matter content absolutely. We acknowledge that families have chosen our school to educate their children; as a result, we err on the side of over-communicating with parents about achievement in both growth and absolute terms. Accountability to the Argosy Collegiate Community. All members of our community are accountable for achieving our mission, respecting the school’s culture, and upholding and modeling the DREAM values. “We can model first-rate standards of performance and reinforce the idea that significant learning and personal growth come only from hard work and persistence.”27 Students are accountable for mastering subject content and meeting behavioral expectations. Teachers are accountable for using professional development and data to inform instruction. Leadership is responsible for supporting teachers and students by ensuring access to the necessary resources and providing constructive feedback and guidance.

Comprehensively, Argosy Collegiate provides a high performing, college bound opportunity for all of its scholars, regardless of zip code, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, or language. Our mission is achieved by fully operationalizing our seven core beliefs. CORE BELIEF 1: Academic achievement is possible for all students. Providing a rigorous curriculum aligned to MCFs and the Common Core, we hold students to a high bar of mastery; by the end of eighth and twelfth grades, students complete Algebra I and Calculus respectively. Academic success is achieved through a longer school day (7:45 am to 4:30 pm28), Saturday Academy (7:30 to 11:30 am) twice per month for struggling students, and a longer school year (185 days). In middle school, each day is structured with 110 minutes of mathematics and 110 minutes of literacy development (including ELL support and Latin language studies) five times per week, 55 minutes of science and 55 minutes of social studies four times per week, and 55 minutes of financial literacy twice per week.29 Additional time is allowed for organizational foundations, health/physical education, PSAT preparation, and the arts as part of our afterschool enrichment program offered for 60 minutes four times per week. In high school, students exceed MA graduation requirements by taking four years of English Language Arts, mathematics, science, history, financial literacy, and Latin. Scholars take a minimum of one AP course in eleventh grade and two AP courses in twelfth grade. AP courses are offered in calculus, biology, Latin, chemistry, history (civics & government), economics, and literature. CORE BELIEF 2: Exceptional educators deliver exceptional results. To prepare students for college and life success, the most mission-driven, effective teachers are recruited, trained, evaluated, and supported. Ongoing professional development includes three weeks of summer orientation, 10 additional days during and at the end of the year, and a weekly cycle for individual observations, followed by feedback and support. Once per week we provide three hours of targeted professional development, focused on the development of a strong school culture with consistent expectations and routines, creation of a rigorous standards-based curriculum and assessments, and data analysis to inform instructional planning and student supports. Research consistently shows that teacher quality is vital to raising student achievement and closing achievement gaps. The challenge is to ensure that every classroom is staffed by a skilled, qualified teacher. 30 CORE BELIEF 3: A clear code of conduct consistently implemented ensures a school culture of respect, responsibility, and character. Students adhere to a clear and consistently implemented code of conduct that mandates self-control, self-respect, and respect for others. We embrace Dr. King’s seminal words, “Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”31 Our students come into middle school far behind their counterparts across the state, and we are committed to doing the work necessary to move every student to grade level as quickly as possible, and that all students develop the character and discipline to reach their goals and be part of a productive and positive school community. We teach, practice, and then expect respectful daily behavior, respectful interactions with others, and a strong work ethic. CORE BELIEF 4: A seamless continuum between middle school and high school allows for strategic vertical planning and eliminates common transitional risk factors.32 For students struggling in school, and living in poverty within a community plagued by chronic academic underperformance, the transitional risk factor as students move from middle to high school threatens their commitment to school and their ability to acquire the skills, content knowledge, and future aspirations needed for school and life success. By providing a seamless transition from eight to ninth grade, we eliminate this adjustment period, support students and families through the transition, and provide seamless transition into high school. For educators, this growth model supports optimum vertical planning as we build year by year our curriculum, teaching staff, and student body. This growth model ensures students are prepared for the next grade level and curriculum tests the boundaries of and improves student achievement. CORE BELIEF 5: Data is systematically gathered and analyzed to inform instruction and student supports. Data drives the mission and pervades every plan of action to bridge gaps and challenge each student to reach their potential. Data is gathered through assessments that quantify our progress so we keep constant finger on the pulse of our work, and react swiftly and accordingly. 33 For more detail, see II.C Assessment System. CORE BELIEF 6: All operational and management decisions must optimize student achievement and ensure the realization of the mission. From the Board of Trustees, to the Executive Director and leadership team, to teachers in every classroom, every decision is framed through the mandate of our mission. All votes cast by the Board or decisions made by the school’s leadership pertaining to school matters - both internal and external - will be with the mindset of protecting student leaning time. These include policy, curriculum, personnel, schedules, board planning, business and operations management, etc. CORE BELIEF 7: Frequent communication with families regarding students’ academic and behavioral performance supports student achievement and character development. We build a relationship between home and school and support meaningful parental involvement in the mission and vision of the school through a variety of measures, including annual home visits and informational meetings, weekly syllabi outlining learning objectives, assessments, and homework, email access to every staff member, biweekly phone calls from students’ advisors, and weekly student academic and behavioral progress reports. Parents receive monthly newsletters, are invited to participate in Parent Achievement Committee Meetings - all so that they can have a solid supporting role in the academic and behavioral success of their child(ren).
A commitment to academic and professional success for diverse learners is why Lead Founder Kristen Pavao accepted a Fellowship with Building Excellent Schools (“BES”), a national non-profit training charter school leaders to design and operate highly effective urban schools. Ms. Pavao has observed, met with leaders from, and studied the best practices of 30+ of the highest performing charter schools in the nation. She is completing school leadership residencies at some of the highest performing charter schools in the country, including Boston Collegiate Charter School for grades 5 through 12 in Dorchester, MA. In 2012, 100% of the tenth grade class scored Advanced on the mathematics MCAS, and 100% of BCCS graduating twelfth grade classes have been accepted to college.34 Following is a list of BES Fellowship schools that inform leadership and school design.


BUILDING EXCELLENT SCHOOLS FELLOWSHIP SCHOOL STUDIES

Achievement Prep, DC (4-8)

Amistad Academy, New Haven (5-8)

Akili Academy, New Orleans (K-8)

Boston Collegiate, Boston (5-12)

Boston Prep, Boston (6-12)

Capitol Collegiate, Sacramento (K-8)

Grizzlie’s Prep, Memphis (6-8)

Collegiate School, Memphis (6-12)

Coney Island Prep, Brooklyn (5-12)

Cornerstone Prep, Memphis (K-5)

Cornerstone Prep, San Jose (K-6)

Crown Prep, Los Angeles (6-8)

Democracy Prep, Harlem (K-12)

Edward Brooke, Boston (K-8)

Endeavor, Los Angeles (4-8)

Equitas Academy, Los Angeles (K-5)

Excel Academy, D.C. (Pre-K-8)

Excel Academy, Boston (5-8)

Freedom Prep, Memphis (6-8)

Futuro Prep, Los Angeles (K-5)

Invictus Prep, Brooklyn (5-12).

KIPP Academy Lynn, Lynn (5-8)

KIPP Lynn Collegiate, Lynn (9-12)

Liberty Collegiate, Nashville (5-12)

MATCH Charter, Boston (5-12)

MATCH Community, Boston (K-5)

Memphis College Prep, Memphis (K-5)

Nashville Prep, Nashville (5-12)

North Star Academy, Newark (K-12)

Robert Treat Academy, Newark (K-8)

Valor Academy, Los Angeles (6-8)

Veritas Prep, Memphis (6-8)

Harriet Tubman, New Orleans (K-8)

South Bronx Classical, Bronx (K-8)

Sci Academy, New Orleans (9-12)

Aurora Academy, Memphis (K-5)


B. Curriculum and Instruction. “You can get smart. Children’s learning is primarily determined by their effort and use of effective strategies. ‘Intelligence’ is not a fixed inborn limit on learning capacity. All children can do rigorous academic material at high standards.” 35 For scholars to be college bound and perform well on MCAS, SAT, ACT, and AP exams, a rigorous curriculum that aligns with the MCFs and Common Core must drive all curricular and instructional decisions. Argosy Collegiate provides a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum to aggressively remediate student’s academic gaps in middle school and accelerate mastery in core content areas in high school – both necessary steps to prepare every student for success in competitive four-year colleges and the professional opportunities that follow. The Executive Director36 oversees the development of school-based curriculum and assessments for each grade level and subject area during the planning year in 2013-2014, and the school uses a frequent assessment system to monitor results. The Executive Director will evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum based on data from interim assessments, MCAS37, and end-of-year Comprehensive Assessments and report to the Board’s Achievement Committee, as well as to the larger community through Family Newsletters and our Annual Report. Our curriculum is focused on English Language Arts (with Latin Vocabulary Studies), Mathematics, Financial Literacy, Science, and Social Studies, with the addition of foreign language study in the high school, and is complimented by enrichment opportunities and multiple layers of student supports. Our annual calendar, daily schedule, and entire academic program promote success in students’ core courses, with emphasis on literacy and math in the middle school.
We use a dual approach to develop our college preparatory curriculum: (1) Research-proven curricula suitable for students with varying learning needs is used in tandem with internally developed curricula aligned with and/or exceeding MA standards and Common Core; (2) When research-proven curricula do not adequately align to MA Standards, Common Core, or fully prepare students for the demands of rigorous college courses, we supplement these with internally developed curricula.38The Executive Director and Director of Achievement oversee the development of curriculum and the school’s scope and sequence, with the Director of Achievement working closely with teachers to develop unit and lessons plans that align with MCFs and the school’s scope and sequence. During summer training, teachers learn how to align curriculum using Curriculum Alignment Templates as spearheaded by Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, and they meet with the Director of Achievement to ensure all curriculum simultaneously supports our ambitious goals and the needs of our diverse learners. Teachers create standards-based internal assessments, and have year-round professional development to strengthen implementation. In selecting curricula, we have identified programs that can be easily adapted for students identified as ELLs and those with special needs. Teachers meet for three weeks in July to analyze diagnostic data gathered from the Stanford 10 during the Student Intake Process. This is where the process of data-driven instruction begins. Staff develops and refines curriculum, and practices together effective teaching strategies. At the middle school, MCFs, MCAS, SSAT, ISEE, and Stanford 10 exams are used to establish specific, rigorous, measurable school standards. At the high school, MCFs, MCAS, the SAT, and Advanced Placement exams are used to inform our college preparatory curriculum. Below please find Outline of Curriculum focus during the first four years of operation. Outline of all additional grades can be found in the Required Attachments.



Subject

Grade 5 Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Mathematics

Dual focus on procedures (computation) and problem solving (application).

Algebra and Geometry integrated



Pre-Algebra

Algebra I

Reading

Guided reading, fluency,

Latin vocabulary comprehension strategies

and genre characteristics,

focus on phonics and phonemic awareness



Reading and textual analysis of literature

in a number of genres, Latin vocabulary comprehension strategies




Writing

Spelling, grammar, punctuation,

paragraph writing, editing/revising. Composing multiple-paragraph writing

of narrative and expository texts


Spelling, grammar, punctuation,

analytical and persuasive essays,

research papers, editing and revising


Social Studies

United States History, Human Diversity, Economics, Geography,

U.S. Government & Civics



Culture,

World Religion, Ancient History, Globalization of the Economy, Geography, Governance,

World History

to the Mongols, Renaissance, Reformation



Culture,

World Religion, Domestic and Global

Economic Systems,

Spatial Organization of Earth’s Surface, Ecosystems, Global Governance Systems,

Human Settlement and Cultural Identity


Cultures in Early Development of U.S , Fundamental Economics & Global Economy, U.S. Geographic Systems, Migration and Immigration

in Early America,

U.S. History: Colonialism –Reconstruction


Science

Study of scientific inquiry. Integrated study of technology and engineering, life, earth, space and physical sciences

Experimental procedures.

Testing/evaluation of prototypes and protocols. Interdependence

in life science.

Solar system and relationship to systems and cycles on Earth



Bioengineering. Biodiversity and change.

Matter.


Forces in Nature



Cells.

Flow of


Matter and Energy. Heredity.

Earth processes. Newton’s laws of Motion.

Movement of objects


Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship

Money Basics, Sources of Financial Info, Financial Goal-Setting, Methods of Payment, Advantages of Investing, Main Features of Interest-Earning Accounts, Entrepreneurial Discovery, Leadership, Business Concepts, Fundamentals of Communication

Costs and Benefits of Financial Responsibility, Decision-making Based on Financial Information, Consumer Protection, Prioritizing Financial Goals, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Peer Attitudes About Money, Correlation Between Education and Income, Sources of Personal Income, Assets and Liabilities, Borrowing, Prerequisites to Investing

Lifelong Financial Responsibility, Objectivity, Accuracy, and Currency of Financial Information, Consumer Protection Laws, Impact of Inflation on Personal Finance Decisions, Identity Theft, Business Planning, Real Estate Ownership, Net Worth, Credit Scoring, Investment Strategy

Intro to Microeconomics

We anticipate a diverse student body with varying learning needs and capabilities. Our extended day and year, tiers of student supports, increased emphasis on and opportunity for practice within ELA and math, and differentiated instructional strategies combine to meet the needs of all students, including those with disabilities and English Language Learners. We differentiate instruction as needed, and provide all of the supports, accommodations and modifications necessary to best support the differing needs and capabilities of each individual student, with emphasis on supporting struggling, ELL and special education students. We hold all students to the same academic expectations, through the uniform implementation of year-end, trimester-based, and interim assessment system – thus holding us a school community accountable for the achievement of all students and all sub-groups. Below please find a more detailed Curriculum Outline that provides skill and content taught and learned in the core subjects during the first four years of operation. Outline of all additional grades can be found in the Required Attachments.


GRADE 5: Mathematics - Understand place value to billions & thousandths; compute w/large/small numbers, positive integers, decimals, fractions; understand relationship between decimals/fractions/percents; perform calculations & solve problems involving addition, subtraction, simple multiplication/division of fractions/decimals; add/subtract integers; use variables in simple expressions; compute value of expression for specific values of variable; understand & compute volumes/areas of simple objects; identify, describe, classify properties of, relationships between, plane/solid geometric figures; display, analyze, compare, interpret data sets; problem solve; think critically. READING - Develop vocabulary via spelling, decoding, understanding of imagery, Greek/Latin roots/affixes, context clues, dictionary skills; fluently read aloud narrative/expository texts; identify/analyze characteristics of poetry, drama, other types of fiction/nonfiction; practice utilizing phonemic awareness and phonics skills as needed; identify/analyze plot conflict; contrast character traits; understand/recognize theme; evaluate archetypes used in mythical/traditional literature; summarize main ideas/supporting details of nonfiction texts; use textual evidence to determine author’s POV; understand how text features make information accessible/usable; analyze chronologically organized texts; draw inferences, conclusions, generalizations supported by textual evidence; distinguish facts, supported inferences, opinions in texts. WRITING - Identify/utilize 7 parts of speech (adding conjunction; preposition; pronoun to previous list); recognize verb phrases/ tense; use correct punctuation, capitalization, spelling; write multiple- paragraph stories/ essays (w/ introduction, body, conclusion); gather research from various sources; revise writing; analyze media techniques. SOCIAL STUDIES - Analyze Pre-Columbian Civilizations of the New World and European Exploration, describe and explain the Political, Intellectual, and Economic Growth of the Colonies; explain key events leading to the Revolution and the Formation of a Federal Government under the Constitution, describe the Principles and Institutions of American Constitutional Government and explain the events that led to growth; describe events occurring during 19th century presidencies; describe factors that fostered growth of imperialism; analyze US expanding role in world during late 19th and early 20th centuries; identify connections between current and historical events and issues; understand immigration/demographic changes; determine chronology/cause & effect; maps/ globes/charts/graphs, works of art, primary/secondary sources; understand conflict/cooperation. SCIENCE - Explain how air temperature, moisture, wind speed and direction, and precipitation make up the weather in a particular place and time; identify rocks and their properties; recognize different properties of soil and explain how it is formed; distinguish among various forms of precipitation; differentiate between weather/climate; describe water cycle; recognize that plants and animals go through predictable life cycles; recognize that energy is ability to cause motion or create change; explain how electromagnets can be made, give examples of how they can be used; recognize that sound is produced by vibrating objects and requires a medium through which to travel; explain the difference between simple and complex machines; compare natural systems with mechanical systems that are designed to serve similar purposes, ask questions/make predictions that can be tested; select /use appropriate tools/technology to extend observations. FINANCIAL LITERACY - Explain forms of financial exchange (cash, credit, debit, etc.); describe functions of money (medium of exchange, unit of measure, store of value); describe the sources of income (wages/salaries, interest, rent, dividends, transfer payments, etc.); explain legal responsibilities associated with use of money. Identify sources of financial information; set measurable short-term financial goals; describe how to allocate a weekly allowance among the financial goals of spending, saving, and sharing; explain the difference between buying with cash and buying with credit. Give an example of an investment and explain how it can grow in value.

GRADE 6: MATHEMATICS - Compare/order positive/negative fractions/decimals/mixed numbers; solve problems involving fractions, ratios, proportions, percentages; utilize algebraic expressions/equations; apply order of operations; solve, graph, interpret simple linear equations; analyze/use tables, graphs, rules to solve problems; investigate geometric patterns; convert units of measurement, identify properties of angles and two and three-dimensional shapes; determine pi, area and circumference; analyze data sampling; theoretical and experimental probabilities; problem solve; think critically; compute the perimeter, area, and volume of common geometric objects. READING - Determine unfamiliar word meanings through Greek/Latin roots/affixes; determine meaning of figurative language; read aloud with pacing, intonation, expression; use textual evidence to identify author’s purpose; practice utilizing phonemic awareness and phonics skills as needed; utilize print/electronic dictionaries/thesauri; identify textual organizational structures; determine figurative language meanings; analyze how tone/meaning is conveyed in poetry; identify/analyze characteristics of nonfiction texts; identify characteristics of different forms of prose; identify/use structural features of popular media; analyze compare-and-contrast texts. WRITING - Identify/ utilize parts of speech (adding interjection to previous list); use common phrases, clauses, simple, compound, compound-complex sentences; use correct punctuation, capitalization, spelling, subject-verb agreement; write expository compositions, research reports, speeches, responses to literature, narratives employing specific details, voice, effective word choice; revise writing to improve level of detail; employ various textual organizational structures; create outlines and logical notes; utilize books and Internet to complete research projects; apply research steps for completing projects; create multimedia presentations; deliver formal presentations. SOCIAL STUDIES - Identify purposes/uses of maps, globes, aerial photographs, atlases to analyze people, places, environments; construct maps using symbols to represent features; locate continents, bodies of water, mountain ranges, countries, cities on map; determine impact of geography on different peoples; describe impact of extreme natural events on human and physical environments; discuss geographic knowledge and skills related to current events; use geographic concepts/skills to find solutions to local, state, national problems; compare/contrast how social institutions influence individual behavior in different societies; describe how social status help(ed) to determine individual roles in various societies; examine impact of cultural change brought about by technological inventions/innovations; use sources to identify examples of present conflicts between cultural groups; analyze historical and geographical background. SCIENCE - Understand how topography is reshaped by weathering of rock/soil and transportation/deposition of sediment; explain meaning of radiation, convection, conduction; recognize/describe that currents in air/ocean distribute heat energy; investigate/describe how pollutants can affect weather/atmosphere; discuss how plate tectonics explain important features of Earth’s surface and major geologic events; recognize how organisms in ecosystems exchange energy/nutrients among themselves and w/environment; formulate testable hypothesis; design/conduct an experiment specifying variables to be changed, controlled, measured; draw conclusions based on data/evidence presented in tables/graphs; make inferences on patterns/trends. FINANCIAL LITERACY - Identify ways to be financially responsible adult; use online/printed sources of financial information to guide financial decisions. Research primary consumer protection agency in state of residence; set measureable short - and medium-term financial goals. Prioritize personal finance goals. Identify differences among peer’s values/attitudes about money; give example of how education can affect lifetime income; define gift, rent, interest, dividend, capital gain, tip, commission, business profit income; explain difference between earned/unearned income, give example of each; explain difference between spending practices/achieving financial goals; explain difference between assets and liabilities; construct net worth statement from simplified case study; explain how students, homeowners, and business owners use debt as “investment”; explain why it is important to establish positive credit history; discuss relationship between risk and insurance; give examples of how saving money can improve financial well-being; explain why saving is pre-requisite to investing; describe entrepreneurial planning considerations; explain tools used by entrepreneurs for venture planning; assess start-up requirements.; assess risks associated with venture; describe external resources useful to entrepreneurs during concept development; assess need to use external resources for concept development; explain basic functions of intellectual property protections for innovation; use components of business plan to define venture idea; describe desirable entrepreneurial personality traits; determine personal biases and stereotypes; determine interests; evaluate personal capabilities; conduct self-assessment to determine entrepreneurial potential; explain marketing management and importance in global economy; describe marketing functions and related activities; explain nature and scope of operations management; explain concept of management; explain concept of financial management; explain concept of human resource management; explain concept of risk management; explain concept of strategic management.

GRADE 7: MATHEMATICS PRE-ALGEBRA - Read, write, compare rational numbers in scientific notation; convert fractions to decimals/percents; differentiate between rational/irrational numbers; apply exponents, powers, roots/use exponents in working with fractions; understand pre-algebra concepts; use algebraic terminology, expressions, equations, inequalities, graphs; interpret/evaluate expressions involving integer powers/simple roots; graph/interpret linear/nonlinear functions; apply Pythagorean theorem; use mathematical reasoning; problem solve. READING - Use knowledge of affixes/roots to determine meaning of content area words; use textual evidence to support facts/opinions; build upon previously developed skills analyzing various nonfiction texts; employ character analysis; identify, analyze, provide textual evidence of themes; identify various genres of fiction; analyze character/plot development; write summaries, persuasive essays, autobiographical narratives, poems; apply research steps for completing projects; effectively utilize English language conventions; support all statements/claims with anecdotes, descriptions, facts, statistics, specific examples; use note taking, outlines, summaries to impose structure on drafts; revise writing to improve organization/word choice; critique works in oral presentations; deliver well- organized formal presentations demonstrating standard American English. SOCIAL STUDIES - Understand origins of modern humans from Paleolithic Age to agricultural revolution; determine impact of agricultural development; identify peoples, cultural advancements, scientific contributions, government, religious traditions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Kush, Indus Valley Civilization, Northern China, Olmecs, to 1000 B.C.E., Ancient Hebrews, Ancient Greece, Rome, Indian Subcontinent to 700 C.E.; describe development of sub-Saharan civilizations in Africa; explain importance of early trade routes; identify roles/contributions of individuals; compare historical origins, central beliefs, spread of major religions; trace steps in development of written language; describe transition from Roman Empire to Byzantine Empire; analyze various historical interpretations; understand Earth’s grid system; create maps of past. SCIENCE - Classify organisms into kingdoms; recognize that all living organisms are composed of cells; describe that typical cell of organism contains genetic instructions that specify traits; recognize biological evolution accounts for diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations; study the structure and function in living systems; understand that evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on earth; recognize that organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the physical environment; communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and verbal presentations; discuss types of technology that are developed and in use. FINANCIAL LITERACY - Explain how individuals demonstrate responsibility for financial well-being over a lifetime; analyze how financial responsibility is different for individuals with and without dependents.; determine whether financial information is objective, accurate and current; set measureable, short-, medium-, and long-term financial goals; apply systematic decision making to long-term goal; analyze how taxes affect financial decisions; determine risks, costs, and rewards of starting business; demonstrate skill in basic financial tasks, including reconciling checking/debit account statement; discuss factors that affect net worth; explain difference, with examples, between cash inflows (including income) and cash outflows (including expense); explain difference between cash flow statement and budget; compare cost of borrowing $1,000 by means of different consumer credit options; identify and compare strategies for investing, including establishing brokerage account with investment advisor; given rate of return, and years, determine end value of invested lump sum and lump sum needed to reach specific investment goal; explain common types of investment risk; analyze how economic and business factors affect market value of stock; distinguish between debt and equity financing for venture creation; describe processes used to acquire adequate financial resources for venture creation/start-up; select sources to finance venture creation/start-up; explain factors to consider in determining venture's human-resource needs; describe considerations in selecting capital resources; acquire capital resources needed for the venture; assess the costs/benefits associated with resources; maintain positive attitude; demonstrate interest and enthusiasm; make decisions; develop an orientation to change; demonstrate problem-solving skills; assess risks; assume personal responsibility for decisions; use time-management principles; develop tolerance for ambiguity; use feedback for personal growth; demonstrate creativity; set personal goals.

GRADE 8: MATHEMATICS ALGEBRA - Identify/use arithmetic properties of subsets of integers/rational, irrational, real numbers; solve equations/ inequalities involving absolute values; solve multistep problems, including word problems, involving linear equations/linear inequalities in one variable; understand concepts of parallel/perpendicular lines, how slopes are related; add, subtract, multiply, divide monomials/polynomials; solve quadratic equation by factoring/completing square; apply algebraic techniques to solve rate problems, work problems, percent mixture problems; problem solve; think critically. READING - Know meanings of common foreign words used in English language; understand shades of meaning in words; identify speaker’s purpose/POV; compare/contrast texts covering same topic; build upon previously developed skills analyzing various nonfiction texts; evaluate structural elements of plot; analyze how setting relates to problem and resolution; identify significant literary devices that define writer’s style; write multi-paragraph essays with thesis statements, logical organization, detail, rhetorical devices, transitions, varying sentence structure; write short stories or narratives; support conclusions with analogies, paraphrases, quotations, opinions from authorities, comparisons, similar devices; write stories/scripts with dialogue; analyze electronic journalism; revise writing for word choice, appropriate organization, consistent point of view, transitions; deliver formal presentations that convey ideas clearly, relate to the background/interests of audience. SOCIAL STUDIES - Analyze migration of Europeans to Americas from colonial times to World War I; recognize impact of European migration on indigenous peoples and later on US citizens; understand integration of enslaved Africans into European migration; describe development of American constitutional democracy; identify U.S. Constitution, powers of federal government; analyze foundation of American political system; identify rights, responsibilities, roles of citizenship; understand politics, geography, culture, economy of new nation; describe early U.S. foreign policy, state developments in early 1800s, issues of slavery; analyze factors leading to Civil War; determine significance of individuals or groups in Civil War; describe impact of events/movements that influenced Reconstruction; discuss American economic response to Industrial Revolution; understand progressive reforms resulting from Industrial Revolution; create/utilize time lines; analyze various historical interpretations; understand Earth’s grid system; create maps of past; analyze current events. SCIENCE - Recognize that elements have distinct macroscopic properties/atomic structures; describe chemical reactions; discuss density/buoyancy; explain relationship amongst motion, velocity, force; differentiate between forms of energy/heat energy; recognize earth in solar system, role of gravity, compare/contrast properties /conditions of other objects; explain relationship between tilt of earth and seasons; describe/relate lunar/solar eclipses, moon phases, tides to earth’s position; describe/apply engineering design process; communicate ideas through engineering drawings, written reports, pictures; describe manufacturing process/explain production process; describe construction of bridges/structures, apply universal systems model to solve transportation problem. Use/analyze organization of Periodic Table; test hypotheses; write clear step-by-step instructions for conducting investigations. Use/analyze organization of Periodic Table; test hypotheses; write clear step-by-step instructions for conducting investigations. FINANCIAL LITERACY - Apply knowledge of personal finance to economics of individual firm; understand productive resources are limited; identify what is gained/lost when choices are made; describe situation that requires choice, make decision, identify opportunity cost; identify examples of natural resources, human resources, capital goods; give examples of how to improve human capital; identify individuals and firms that act as consumers/producers; identify marginal benefit/cost of buying/consuming items; understand principles of rational behavior predict that people, individual firms will respond in reliable ways to positive/negative incentives; analyze competing viewpoints about impact (on consumers, producers, workers, savers, investors) of increase in minimum wage, new tax policy, and change in interest rates; give examples of markets in which buyers and sellers meet face-to-face and other markets in which buyers and sellers never meet; predict how consumers and producers would react if price of pencils rose to $10 each or fell to $.01; understand difference between price and non-price competition; use external resources to supplement entrepreneur's expertise; explain complexity of business operations; evaluate risk-taking opportunities; explain the need for business systems and procedures; describe use of operating procedures; explain methods/processes for organizing work flow; develop and/or provide product/service; use creativity in business activities/decisions; explain impact of resource productivity on venture success; create processes for ongoing opportunity recognition; adapt to changes in business environment; explain accounting standards (GAAP); prepare estimated/projected income statement; estimate cash-flow needs; prepare estimated/projected balance sheet; calculate financial ratios; determine and deposit payroll taxes; file tax returns.
Instructional Methods. Instruction is organized with daily objectives and agendas. Classes begin with a Do Now, followed by agenda and objective preview, activities and exit ticket. Lessons are designed so students have the opportunity to accomplish most of the cognitive heavy-lifting – the writing, thinking, analyzing, and talking – in class. “The goal is to give [s] the most practice possible, to apply what they know as much as they can to do all the work in solving sample problems as opposed to watching [the teacher] solve problems.”39 While teachers draw from many instructional methods, we consistently use the following research-proven strategies, aligned with our educational philosophy, to build skills and knowledge critical to student success. Gradual Release. We plan for a diverse group of learners - students learning English, students who find reading easy, and students whose level of engagement or special needs require strategic intervention for them to be successful.40 Students become more independent and responsible for their learning as the weight of cognitive work shifts from teacher-as-model, to joint responsibility, to independent practice. Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum. Students use Harvard Outline and Cornell Note-taking strategies to support independent and college-bound work habits. Students are taught, supported and expected to produce high-quality and substantive writing in all content areas. Teachers expect everyone to write. Teachers require all students to prepare for more ambitious thinking and discussion by reflecting in writing for a short interval.41 To support ELL students and struggling writers, teachers provide exemplars of responses that meet and exceed expectations for all independent practice and homework.42 Double Planning.43 Lesson plans include what the teacher is doing during class time and detailed, parallel plans for what students are doing. Teachers create a T-chart listing teacher and tasks during the class period. This setup ensures teachers define and plan students’ on-task behavior during the lesson, avoid the error of teacher talk and idle students, and ensures students are maximizing every instructional minute to achieve more time on task.44 Format Matters and Accountable Talk.45 “Talking with others about ideas and work is fundamental to learning.”46 Students are trained, supported, and required to ask and answer questions and address teachers in complete sentences, using proper grammar, with strong, articulate voices. Equally high standards attach to all written work. Students are respectfully corrected on format if an answer or question is given using incomplete sentences and/or improper grammar. High quality work is celebrated and displayed and quality standards inform the level of excellence required for posting work. Students have numerous opportunities to engage in meaningful and highly structured conversation, which builds phonemic awareness and fluency for ELLs and excellent habits of discussion across the school. Joy Factor.47 We train students to our routines, practices, and expectations, we introduce numerous achievement-oriented chants and cheers to foster a culture where “learning is cool,” teachers engage students in the classroom, students are invested in the learning experience, and we celebrate excellence. The process of acculturating students is an ongoing process, supported by weekly professional development to continue to build and improve upon the development and inculcation of that culture. FOCUS. Tutoring is part of the daily schedule, allowing staff to work individually or in small groups to re-teach skills and concepts with which students are struggling. Teachers create tutoring plans and leadership supports and monitors teachers on results. The FOCUS program is informed by the best practices of Excel Academy, a successful Building Excellent Schools (BES) charter school in Boston.
Evaluating Success of Curriculum and Staff Needs. Annually as part of our extended PD, the Executive Director leads analysis of student outcomes to identify strengths and weaknesses in our academic program and curricular materials; with support from the Director of Achievement, we use 5 data days during the year to make adjustments in real time, and the summer months with the results from state and end-of-year nationally-normed assessments to make strategic decisions going into the upcoming academic year. Such evaluation, along with the feedback loop of professional observations conducted weekly, inform us as to the individual, discipline-specific, and whole staff needs and use such data to design our weekly and annual professional development work. Evaluating Teachers. We conduct regular and frequent feedback with staff, and provide three formal points of evaluation – at the end of the first month of school for all new staff members, and at the mid-year and end-of-year points. We use evaluation tools informed by Kim Marshall, focusing on critical inputs to strong instruction, as well as on student outcomes. The Executive Director conducts all teacher evaluations, informed by the input of the Director of Achievement.


C. Performance, Promotion and Graduation Standards. Students earn grades based on demonstrated mastery of curriculum standards, Common Core Standards, and MCFs. Performance standards can be found in Section B: Curriculum and Instruction beginning on page 25, and represent Exit Standards in middle school core subjects. Supplemental requirements will be sourced from the AP, SAT, and ACT. Grades will include performance on in-class work, HW, assessments, and other components as applicable. School-wide standards for grading are explained and detailed by the Executive Director for teachers and staff during Summer Institute, during which the ED and Director of Achievement ensure all aspects of the school’s policy on grading, attendance, tutoring, promotion, and retention are discussed in detail for consistent and fair evaluation. Grading for students with IEPs will follow the objectives as outlined within the IEP. When objectives are not clearly specified, the school-wide grading policy will apply. The table below outlines our grading system with comparison of letter, percentage, and rubric, and how these grades translate to a student’s mastery of the Common Core standards.


Letter

Percentage

Rubric

Meaning

A+

97-100%

4

A student earning an A in a course is consistently demonstrating advanced levels of mastery with the content standards.

A

93-96%

A-

90-92%

B+

87-89%

3

A student earning a B in a course is consistently demonstrating proficiency with the content standards.

B

83-86%

B-

80-82%

C+

77-79%

2

A student earning a C in a course is consistently demonstrating basic competency with the content standards.

C

73-76%

C-

70-72%

F

Below 70%

0 or 1

A student earning less than 70% in a course is not yet demonstrating a basic level of mastery with the content standards and needs to demonstrate mastery of the standard before credit will be earned.

For students to successfully graduate from a four-year college, they need to have a strong mastery of academic content, contextual college skills and awareness, strong academic behaviors and key cognitive strategies.48 Sufficient mastery is indicated by a 70% or better. For each trimester, student work – quizzes, tests, HW, and classwork will count for 75% of the student’s overall grade for that trimester with the remaining 25% accounted for by end-of-the-trimester comprehensive exam. The final grade for each year will be an average of the scores from the end-of-year final comprehensive exam and the three trimester grades, each carrying equal weight of 25% of the final grade.
Promotion Requirements. We have been influenced by research that shows academic outcomes in the middle grades - along with attendance, in-school behavior and academic performance –are powerful indicators of a child’s probability of graduating from high school prepared for college.49 Our mission is to equip Fall River scholars in grades 5-12 with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership. To deliver on our mission, students are fully prepared for the rigors of the next grade, and are not promoted until they demonstrate proficiency. A student is not pushed from one grade to the next if the student has not demonstrated levels of mastery satisfactory to the academic expectations outlined by the MCFs and Argosy Collegiate curriculum guidelines per subject/per grade. A student is retained if s/he fails (below a 70%) two or more core academic courses; reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. A student may be retained if s/he is absent for more than 6% of the school, or 11 out of 185 school days, including both excused and unexcused absences. If a student fails one core subject with a grade below 70%, s/he is required to attend Summer Academy, a three week summer school held in small group or a one-on-one tutoring program depending on the severity of the skill gaps and if the student requires special education or ELL services. At the end of the summer intervention session, the student is promoted to the next grade if they demonstrate mastery on the core competency exam. If the student does not score a 70% or greater, it indicates that they require more exposure to and practice with the material and the student is retained. Should a student be retained, the Director of Achievement, Students Supports Coordinator, and Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator (Y2) will assemble a multidisciplinary team to plan an appropriate strategy for the following year. In addition, a detailed and comprehensive tutoring and HW support plan is mapped out based on data analysis from the benchmark assessments and the core competency exams. The tutoring program is specifically aligned to students’ needs to ensure skill gaps are remediated as soon as possible, beginning with Summer Academy, and then rolling into the academic year. All Summer Academy and remediation programs are organized and directed by the Director of Achievement in partnership with the Student Supports Coordinator, and the Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator (Y2). High School Graduation Policy. To graduate twelfth grade from Argosy Collegiate, students must earn a 70% or better in all classes, meet attendance requirements, and complete a senior thesis approved by the senior teaching staff and the Director of Achievement on an approved topic related to business and economics, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, or civic leadership. The senior thesis is submitted to a group of internal and external evaluators, graded on a rubric, and as a final comprehensive exam for the twelfth grade counts for 25% of the final grade. As a college preparatory charter school. Graduation requirements and therefore Exit Standards exceed the high school requirements of the district. Our academic program is crafted to thoroughly prepare our scholars to gain access to high quality colleges and university, including but not limited to those described in Loren Pope’s profile of Colleges that Change Lives. Scholars are prepared for success in higher education institutions academically and socially. With our College Counseling and Advisory Programs, our high school students are supported with developmentally appropriate courses, programs, and schedules that prepare them for increasing independence and choice.50


Subject

9th grade

10th grade

11th grade

12th grade

Mathematics

Geometry


Algebra II & Trigonometry

Pre-Calculus

Calculus


AP Calculus




Argosy Collegiate: 4 Math Credits, Exceeds District HS Requirements (3)

English

World Literature

World Literature

American Literature


British Literature


Senior Thesis &

Composition




AP English Literature




Argosy Collegiate: 4 English Credits + Senior Thesis, Exceeds District HS Requirements (4)

Science

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

AP Biology

AP Chemistry




Argosy Collegiate: 4 Science Credits, Exceeds District HS Requirements (3)

History

World History I

500-1800


World History II

1800-2019



US History

1877-2019



US Government

AP History- US Government & Politics




Argosy Collegiate: 4 History Credits, Exceeds District HS Requirement (3)

Latin

Latin I

Latin II

Latin III

Latin IV

AP Latin




Argosy Collegiate: 4 Language Credits, Exceeds District HS Requirement (0)

Financial

Literacy


Financial Literacy I

& Banking



Financial Literacy II

& Financing



Financial Literacy III

& Investing



Financial Literacy IV

& Macro/Micro



Economics

AP Economics




Argosy Collegiate: Years 5-8 of Financial Literacy Curriculum 8 credits, Exceeds district HS Requirements (1) year of economics


Argosy Collegiate’s high school curriculum includes a four-year College Skills Program influenced by some of the best and most successful collegiate preparation programs in the country. Our four-year program is mandatory for promotion but is not graded. Each year, students exercise their literacy, research, and writing skills as they move through each level of the College Skills Program. Each year, students dig deeper into college preparedness, pursuit of college acceptance, and individualized plan for achieving college-bound goals. We are practical and pragmatic in our unyielding belief in student potential with a college-bound mission. Research supports the validity of our mission. “Full time workers with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 84% more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.”51 The Collegiate Skills Program is outlined by grade here. Freshmen: Level I-Bootcamp. This bi-weekly course has two components. The first includes successfully transitioning students to meet high school academic expectations. Students reflect upon their own scholarly habits, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and learning about the high school classroom. During the year-long program, students practice academic skills necessary for inquiry and research at the high school level focused on the current trends in the job market, researching high growth careers, and identifying the best college programs that support those trends. The course teaches students how to find and evaluate research sources, actively read and research using various tools, and develop systemized note-taking skills. The second component requires students to meet with advisors at least once per week to help manage courses, to ensure students are acquiring skills and mastering curriculum, and to schedule tutoring time as needed. Tutoring is available to all students during study blocks, extra-help morning sessions, HW support, and at Saturday Academy. Any student with an average below an 80% in any class is required to schedule tutoring in those courses,; all other tutoring is scheduled independently by students with advisors overseeing the process. Sophomores: Level II-My Road. This bi-weekly course has a large writing and public speaking component as students practice writing personal essays typical of college applications, learn about and practice the college interview, and do deeper analysis of college profiles. Public speaking skills are honed as students present college profiles and personal essays to small groups. Advisors work with students to develop criteria upon which to compare colleges and to create a college list, a preliminary listing of colleges based on personal reflection, selected criteria, and interests. Sophomores explore Advanced Placement Programs and make selections for Mastery Academy, in which all Juniors and Seniors take AP courses. Sophomores take a 10-week PSAT Prep workshop and the PSAT. Juniors: Level III-College Kick-Off. This bi-weekly course is a continuation of the college advisory relationship; students meet every week with advisors, attend college presentations, and host guest speakers. Students continue to research and fine tune college lists, take virtual tours of campuses, learn how to manage social media and professional networking outlets responsibly, and learn about college work study and internships. Classes meet to address procedural aspects of the college search process including the SAT general test and subject tests, conduct additional campus visits, researching tuition options including financial aid, scholarships, and grants. Juniors attend our 10-week SAT Prep workshop and take SAT general tests and subject tests in the spring. College campus visits continue over the summer and are based on students’ interests, research, and funding. Seniors: Level IV-Senior Seminar. This bi-weekly course focuses on the application process, essay writing, interviewing, identifying a preferred course of study, and ranking their college lists. Students work with their college advisors to break their college lists into three categories; Category 3 - high probability of acceptance into most of these schools, Category 2 - more competitive, good probability of getting into most of these schools, Category 1 - a stretch goal, very competitive, a smaller possibility of acceptance. Students will apply to a selection of schools in each of the three categories. Upon acceptance into colleges, advisors work with students to navigate choice, apply for financial aid, and set plans for transition.

Argosy Collegiate Alumni are supported via yearly campus visits from an Argosy College Support Counselor (ACSC) and through monthly emails. The ACSC works with our alumni in matters that ensure success and completion of college graduation requirements.


D. Assessment System. We will provide data on performance and growth, as well as comparative and trend analyses; reporting will include all subgroups. We will prepare an Annual Report at the conclusion of every academic year, providing complete transparency regarding our school design, instructional methods, and academic results. Our mission is to equip every student in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and character development necessary to excel in college, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership. This includes providing every student, including ELLs and students with special needs, with a college preparatory instructional program that equips them for success in high school and college. While we recognize that such growth is achieved in gradual, incremental steps, Argosy Collegiate will regularly assess the effectiveness of our programs using a variety of formative and summative assessments. Achievement data is used by all stakeholders; it drives every instructional decision of leaders and teachers; it informs parents and students about academic strengths and areas for focused efforts; and it sets the priorities for the Board of Trustees and school leadership.
In many urban settings, and looking at district data, it is clear that our scholars will be entering fifth grade significantly below grade level in ELA and math. To remediate gaps in learning, an in-house interim assessment cycle takes into account that these gaps exist. The initial part of the middle school grade levels has assessments that begin with pre-grade level material and progressively advances to grade-level material, reaching proficiency by the end of the first year or the beginning of the second. 52Argosy Collegiate will administer MCAS tests in each year and subject as required. Tests will demonstrate students’ mastery of grade-level content standards in each tested content area. A testing coordinator will be appointed each year to manage the assessment process.
Argosy Collegiate is driven by core goals in all academic subjects, across sub-groups, and includes focus on attendance and partnership with parents. All goals are aligned with time-sensitive benchmarked measures that provide longitudinal, comparative, and absolute measures of performance. Kickboard53 will be utilized to manage scholar information and performance, which is accessible in a collaborative way to teachers, parents, and students with multi-language accessibility. For teachers and administrators, Kickboard is a valuable tool that saves time by tracking and measuring student Response to Intervention, IEP progress, reward and consequences for behavior in real-time, homework completion, and record family contact, and informing decisions that affect academic achievement.54 The Executive Director, Director of Achievement and teachers use state test data to analyze areas of strength and weakness and to set priorities for each school year. The Board uses the data to oversee progress towards accountability goals and evaluation of the Executive Director; families use the data to continue to examine the efficacy of the school and support the academic and character growth of their children.
All interim assessments, including Achievement Network55 assessments, end-of-trimester assessments and end-of-year assessments set a high bar for academic achievement, are aligned to external assessments on the state and national level and include open-ended questions. Under the direction of the Executive Director and with the support of the Director of Achievement, teachers design interim assessments before they teach to drive rigor, thus teachers know the end goals before they plan instruction. Paul Bambrick-Santoyo explains the most effective use of an assessment system: “[I]stead of standards defining the sort of assessments used, the assessments used define the standard that will be reached…[W]e should not first teach and then try to write an assessment to match; instead, we should create a rigorous and demanding test and then teach to meet its standards. 56 Using the wisdom and shared resources of high performing schools like North Star and Boston Collegiate, we create internal comprehensive exams, and backwards plan to meet those goals through scope and sequence planning, curriculum mapping, lesson plans, exit tickets, Show What You Know Quizzes, and Do Nows.
Curriculum is aligned to interim, trimester-based and end-of-year internal and external assessments. Assessments are given every six weeks and are graded and analyzed promptly so teachers can make instructional and student support adjustments. Teachers own the data analysis process and analyze the results individually and as a school team. Teachers develop specific plans for improvement scheduled to happen at specific times following analysis.
Trimester-based assessments are scored and analyzed using Kickboard (or similar software program). Achievement Network assessment results are provided with a test-item analysis by standard, student, and cohort. Teachers meet with the Executive Director and Director of Achievement after each round of assessments to analyze data, looks for patterns, and create action plans for the class and individual students. Action plans identify: (a) skills/concepts to be retaught to class; (b) skills/concepts to be retaught to small groups during class; (c) skills/concepts to be retaught to individual students with tutoring support; (d) students in need of intense remediation and therefore assigned to daily tutoring for the next marking period; (e) adjustments to existing small groups for reading and math instruction; (f) weaknesses in curriculum to revise for subsequent years; and (g) support and PD for teachers to strengthen areas of instructional weakness. Action plans are revisited frequently in grade-level and content-area team meetings to ensure students are making adequate progress toward mastery. Five PD days throughout the year are exclusively devoted to the analysis of assessment data. Below please find the comprehensive list of assessments used to propel our mission and support strong student outcomes. Stanford 10 – Reading, Language Arts, Math. Measures longitudinal growth for cohorts of students over multiple years; compares growth to national cohort. Conducted in the fall for each new student and at the end of each year for all students in grades 5-8. Trimester and End-of-Year Assessments – ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Financial Literacy. Measures progress in core content areas. Data allows us to revise ways standards are taught, assessed, and re-taught. Conducted at the end of each trimester and at the end of the year. Achievement Network Assessments57 – ELA, Math. Interim assessments produce user-friendly data maps on which standards students have mastered and where they are struggling. Allows for comparison against other charter schools in the state. Conducted every 6 to 8 weeks, typically at mid-point of trimesters. Fountas and Pinnell and Accelerated Reader – Reading, Decoding, Comprehension. Monitors reading and fluency levels, and monitors comprehension of books read independently. Tracks level and quantity of books and reading growth over time. Conducted at various intervals based on student needs. Teacher-Created Assessments – Class Activities, Weekly Quizzes, Projects, Writing Assignments, Daily HW in All Subjects. Checks for understanding, allowing real-time adjustments to instructional planning and execution and student supports. Administered daily, weekly, and cyclically as appropriate. With the growth of the high school, during the term of a second charter, we will supplement these assessments with the SAT, AP, and ACT Exams.
E. School Characteristics. Our mission is to equip Fall River scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic, financial and character foundation necessary to excel in college and demonstrate positive leadership. To achieve our goals, our daily schedule and calendar must reflect a focus on literacy, language, and mathematics, infused with the development of financial literacy, and supported with an exemplary school culture that frames our rigorous academic program. Please see Attachment I for the Argosy Collegiate 2014-2015 Academic Calendar.
Narrative for Academic Calendar. Operating on a trimester schedule, we provide 185 total days of instruction, including five student orientation days in August. In addition, we provide 22 days of Saturday Academy for students struggling in reading and math. Saturday Academy is offered every Saturday in September to focus on mastering the multiplication tables. From October through June, Saturday Academy is held bi-weekly. There are 10 days of Summer Academy for all students struggling to meet academic requirements for the year. (See Promotion Requirements for details on Summer Academy.) Daily operation Monday through Friday begins at 7:30 am with breakfast for all students, advisory at 7:45, and classes begin at 8:00. Each day except for Fridays, school dismisses at 4:30 pm.58 On Fridays, school dismisses at 1:30 pm to allow for ongoing, targeted PD for all staff. In addition to three hours of PD each Friday, there are five full days for ANet data analysis, and 15 full days of staff/teacher orientation prior to the start of each school year. Stanford 10 testing is scheduled for early September and late June.
Based on the slow growth model utilized in high performing schools, Argosy Collegiate opens in August, 2014 with a fifth grade inaugural class of 81 students, in three classes of 27 students per class. Each year thereafter, Argosy Collegiate adds another incoming fifth grade group of 81 students arranged in the same format. We do not enroll new students into any grade unless we are below our charter approved target number. When we backfill, we do so from our waiting list through and including grade eight (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89(m); 603 CMR 1.06(1); 603 CMR (1.06(8)). We continue at this pace until full enrollment in 2021 with 585 students in grades five through twelve. A slow growth model allows us to develop systems, instructional programs and new curricular materials, while building upon a strong foundation of culture and academic achievement. The enrollment plan below allows for attrition and retention.





Grades

Ages

Number of Students




Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Y7

Y8

First Charter

5

10-12

81

81

81

81

81

81

81

81

6

11-13




81

81

81

81

81

81

81

7

12-14







81

81

81

81

81

81

8

13-15










81

81

81

81

81

9

14-16













73

76

76

76

Second Charter

10

15-17
















66

68

68

11

16-18



















61

61

12

17-19






















56

Total Students

81

162

243

324

397

466

529

585

Number of students per class

27

27

27

27

≈26

≈26

≈26

≈25

All instructional periods are 55 minutes long. Students take: Reading, Writing, and two Math periods (Procedures and Problem Solving) five days per week; Social Studies and Science four days per week; PE and Financial Literacy two days per week.59 Tutoring support is offered during non-core academic time, and during the daily FOCUS period when students have teacher-support for tutoring and HW as needed. The school meets as a whole community each Friday, celebrating student achievement and the school’s values, and the staff meets for three hours each Friday for Professional Development. Sample student and teachers schedules are below.


Sample Student Schedule, Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu, Grades 5-8

Time

Assignment

7:30 -7:45

Breakfast (15 minutes)

7:45 - 8:00

Advisory, DEAR (15 minutes)

8:00 - 8:55

Math: Procedures (55 minutes)

9:00 – 9:55

Reading/ELA (55 minutes)

10:00 – 10:55

Social Studies (55 minutes)

11:00 – 11:55

Physical Education 2x week/Financial Literacy 2x week (55 min)

12:00 – 12:25

Lunch/Recess/HW Center (25 minutes)

12:30 – 1:25

Math: Problem Solving (55 minutes)

1:30 – 2:25

Science (55 minutes)

2:30 – 3:25

Writing (55 minutes)

3:30 – 4:25

Focus/Homework Center/After School Enrichment/Detention (55 min)

4:30

Dismissal


Sample Student Schedule, Fri, Grades 5-8

Time

Assignment

7:30 -7:45

Breakfast (15 minutes)

7:45 - 8:00

Advisory, DEAR (15 minutes)

8:00 - 8:55

Math: Procedures (55 minutes)

9:00 – 9:55

Reading/ELA (55 minutes)

10:00 – 10:55

Math: Problem Solving (55 min)

11:00 – 11:55

Writing (55 minutes)

12:00 – 12:25

Lunch/Recess/HW Center (25 minutes)

12:30 – 1:15

Weekly Community Meeting (45 minutes)

1:15 – 1:25

Advisory (10 minutes)

1:30

Dismissal

2:00 – 5:00

WEEKLY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT



Sample Teacher Schedule, Grade 5 Math

Time

Assignment

7:30 -7:45

Breakfast Duty (15 minutes)

7:45 - 8:00

Advisory/HR/DEAR Duty (15 minutes)

8:00 - 8:55

Section 1 Math: Procedures (55 minutes)

9:00 – 9:55

Targeting Tutoring (55 minutes)

10:00 – 10:55

Planning - Data Analysis (55 minutes)

11:00 – 11:55

Section 2 Math: Procedures (55 minutes)

12:00 – 12:25

Lunch/Recess/HW Center Duty (25 minutes)

12:30 – 1:25

Section 3 Math: Procedures (55 minutes)

1:30 – 2:25

Individual Planning – Curriculum Development (55 minutes)

2:30 – 3:25

Team Meeting - Curriculum Development (55 minutes)

3:30 – 4:25

Focus Duty/After School Enrichment/Homework Support(55 minutes)

4:30

Dismissal Duty

The high school day is slightly longer with detention between 4:30 and 5:00 pm. Grades 11 and 12 follow a similar schedule. Enrichment includes a rotating schedule of College Skills, Music & Art, Athletics, and Health. Friday’s schedule mirrors early dismissal for grades 5 through 8.



Sample Student Schedule for Grades 9 and 10- Monday through Thursday







Jump

start

7:30 -

8:00

Period 1

8:00–

8:50

Period 2

8:50-

9:40

Period 3

9:40-

10:30

Period 4

10:30-

11:20

Lunch

& Focus

11:20-

11:50

Period 5

11:50-

12:40

Period 6

12:40-

1:30


Period 7

1:30-

2:20

Period 8

2:20-

3:10

Period 9

3:10-

3:40

ENRICHMENT/COLEGE SKILLS 3:40 – 4:30

DETENTION 4:30 – 5:00

UPenn (9)

Break

fast

English I

History I

Financial

Lit I

Latin I

L & F

Writing

Study/

Focus

Geometry

Biology

Tutoring &

Homework

UCal(9)

Break

fast

Writing

English I

Latin I

Study/

Focus

L & F

Biology

Financial

Lit I

History I

Geometry

Tutoring &

Homework

NYU (9)

Break

fast

History I

Latin I

Study/

Focus

Writing

L & F

Geometry

Biology

Financial

Lit I

English I

Tutoring &

Homework

Cornell (10)

Break

fast

English II

History II

Writing

Latin II

L & F

Financial

Lit II

Chemistry

Study/

Focus

Algebra II & Trig

Tutoring &

Homework

Babson (10)

Break

fast

Writing

English II

Latin II

Algebra II & Trig

L & F

Study/

Focus

Financial

Lit II

Chemistry

History II

Tutoring &

Homework

Baylor (10)

Break

fast

History II

Study/

Focus

English II

Writing

L & F

Latin II

Algebra II & Trig

Financial

Lit II

Chemistry

Tutoring &

Homework


A Day in the Life of an Argosy Collegiate Scholar. 7:10 am – Carolina, an Argosy Collegiate fifth grader is ready to board the school bus on the corner of South Main Street and Mt. Hope Avenue. Just like every morning, Carolina’s mother, Mrs. Medeiros, an Argosy Collegiate Volunteer, supervises her daughter and the other four students who board the bus at this stop. Each student greets Mrs. Medeiros and each other with “Good morning, Carolina. Good morning, Mrs. Medeiros.” Carolina and Mrs. Medeiros respond in kind, and Mrs. Medeiros asks each student if they are ready to learn today. Students respond with an enthusiastic, “Yes, I’m ready to learn today. I can’t wait to learn something new!” “Excellent,” responds Mrs. Medeiros. The scholars know to line up in front of Mrs. Medeiros, facing her so she can keep her eyes on them and on the arrival of the bus. Scholars are expected to be reading their DEAR books as they quietly await the bus. Once the school bus arrives, Carolina and her peers board the bus one at a time and in silence, other than a greeting for Ms. Oliveira, the bus driver, who responds with, “Good morning, Carolina. Are you Determined to learn today?” Carolina responds, “Yes, Ms. Oliveira, I am Determined to learn today!” Carolina sits in her assigned seats and scholars get right back to their DEAR books. Ms. Oliveira, using her rearview mirror to check that Carolina and the others are quietly seated before turning off the bus’ flashing red lights, and slowly accelerates, and enters traffic. Carolina sits in her assigned seat next to Dante, and they exchange warm smiles. The bus ride to school is quiet, except for morning greetings as other stops are made on the way to school. A quiet bus ride ensures the safety of all aboard the bus, eliminates the possibility of bullying or misbehavior, allows the bus driver to concentrate on driving, and adds valued reading minutes to the day even before students arrive at school. Both Mrs. Medeiros and Ms. Oliveira received training at Argosy Collegiate during Student Orientation, where hour of practice at boarding and de-boarding the bus, and reviewing procedures until students carried out arrival and dismissal procedures correctly. 7:27 am - Carolina arrives to Argosy Collegiate on time, and waits for the bus to come to a complete stop before gathering her belongings. She and the other students on the bus look for Mr. Silvia, one of her math teachers, who boards the South Main St./Mt. Hope Avenue bus every day as part of his morning duties. Mr. Silvia makes eye contact with Carolina and Dante, and signals them non-verbally to stand and walk off the bus. Mr. Silvia continues this procedure, row by row, and the students maintain their silence except for a quick “Thank you, Ms. Oliveira” from Carolina and each of the scholars until all 28 scholars have vacated the bus. Mr. Silva’s job is to vacate the bus of scholars and ensuring the bus is empty in less than two minutes. Carolina is greeted by Ms. Greene, the 5th grade History teacher as she steps onto the sidewalk and ensures all scholars quickly and quietly approach the threshold of the school. Carolina joins the two parallel lines of students who await the doors opening at 7:30 am. There are two additional Argosy Staff members supervising the lines ensuring proper line behavior and safety. 7:30 am - The Executive Director, Ms. Pavao, opens the school doors, and warmly and individually greets every student by name. When it’s Carolina’s turn to enter the building, Ms. Pavao welcomes her eagerly. “Good Morning, Carolina! Why are you here today?” “I am here to learn,” Carolina replies. “What will it take?” asks Ms. Pavao. “Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Maturity,” replies Carolina. “Absolutely,” says Ms. Pavao. “Let’s check your uniform quickly, belt, socks, and shirt tucked. Great. Carolina, I heard you got an A- on Friday’s Math Procedures Show What You Know Quiz. Great work! Looks like you are on your way to Mastering translating fractions to decimals. I look forward to sharing the news with your mother later today at the Argosy Collegiate Volunteer Meeting.” “Thank you, Ms. Pavao,” replies Carolina as she beams with pride. In full uniform, Carolina is welcomed into the school building. On her way to drop off her homework, Carolina is greeted again by Mr. Sullivan, one of the fifth-grade ELA teachers, in the school’s main hallway, passing walls rich with motivational thoughts and a bulletin board highlighting staff members’ pictures, collegiate logos, and a map with pinpointed colleges that Argosy Collegiate staff members have attended. HW file boxes are lined up on tables inside the multi-purpose room and are organized by grade and homeroom, and are filled with colorized hanging files. Carolina hands her HW folder to Ms. Greene, one of six staff members who check every HW sheet for heading and completion. Reading logs are checked for parent/guardian signatures, and any document failing to meet standards is quickly marked on an alphabetized spread sheet by a HW supervisor. Ms. Greene checks Carolina’s papers and since every paper is completed to satisfaction, Ms. Greene makes no mark on the spreadsheet, and hands the papers back to Carolina. Carolina inserts her HW, which is printed on colored paper that corresponds with its hanging file - math procedures homework is always printed on light purple paper and is quickly dropped in the purple file, writing HW is always blue and goes into the blue file, etc. HW is due at 7:45 am, and any student dropping off homework later than that will automatically be assigned detention after school the same day, as well as any student who does not submit HW that is 100% complete. HW spreadsheets are handed to the Office Manager by 8:00 am, and she compiles and enters the data into the computer. Parent/guardians of any scholar assigned to detention will receive an automated phone call notifying them of the detention by 9:00 am. That HW report is automatically sent to the Executive Director, Director of Achievement, Director of Finance and Operations, Student Supports Coordinator, and the teaching staff. Carolina walks to her left to silently join the line of students walking around the perimeter of the room toward the breakfast pick-up table. With breakfast in hand, Carolina continues to walk along the perimeter, just as she had been taught in student Summer Orientation, until she reaches her advisory’s table, clearly identified with a laminated sign that reads “Boston University 5” next to a colorful picture of Rhett, the Boston Terrier, Boston University’s mascot. At the end of each table, plastic cartons hold each student’s Brain Breakfast folder, all organized alphabetically for easy retrieval. Carolina sets her food down and then walks to the end of the table to pick up her folder. Carolina eats her breakfast, as she works on a puzzle to identify synonyms and antonyms on a Latin/English vocabulary review worksheet. Mr. Amaral, her homeroom/advisory/Math Procedures teacher, warmly greets Carolina with handshake and smile and little interruption. Carolina has been improving her vocabulary and enjoys the breakfast work. After 10 minutes, Ms. Pavao, the ED, walks to the center of the room to lead a clapped chant, letting everyone know that it is time for a cheer and some Shout Outs. “Good morning, Class of 2026!” “We are Argosy Collegiate Scholars. We have the knowledge to go to college. We share our knowledge with others because explaining what we know and justifying our thinking prepares us to transform ourselves, our communities, and the 21st century.” Carolina and the rest of the students and staff repeat the chant in unison. With a non-verbal cue from the school leader, homeroom/advisory and enrichment teachers begin to raise their hands to give scholar “Shout Outs” from the previous day. “Ms. Greene, do you have an Argosy Collegiate Shout Out?” “Yes, Ms. Pavao, I do,” says Ms. Greene enthusiastically. “Dominic has been demonstrating great Responsibility in Social Studies class and I have an example from yesterday. Dominic was unsure about a specific question on last night’s HW and after calling a few scholar friends for help, he still wasn’t 100% clear, so he emailed me for clarification. I sent him back a quick email to explain the question a little further, and I just looked at his HW and it looks great! Dominic showed great Responsibility by reaching out to fellow scholars first, and then to me for support. He took great Responsibility for his HW which will make today’s lesson even better for him and the rest of Northeastern 5 Paws!” Scholars chant a short burst of encouragement about Responsibility, and scholars immediately return to silence. With a non-verbal cue, a hand gesture, Ms. Pavao directs the students and staff that it is time for silent cleanup. This is the cue for students who have cafeteria clean up jobs this week to wheel large waste cans to the end of each table. Students silently carry their food trays in two single file lines to the end of the table, where there is a separate waste container for solids and liquids. Students wait for additional directions and then gather their belongings to transition to advisory in silent, orderly lines, led by their homeroom/advisory leader. 7:45 am – Mr. Amaral escorts Carolina along with the rest of BU 5 silently to their homeroom/advisory. Carolina proceeds to her pre-assigned desk. Mr. Amaral gives a non-verbal cue for Carolina’s group to move to the back cubbies to get organized, and signals with his other hand that they have one minute to complete their cubby tasks. Carolina silently stands up and brings her backpack to her cubby, unzips it, and removes all of her binders. She puts her white writing binder and blue science binder in her cubby and places her empty and zipped backpack on top of the cubby, along with the other scholars’ empty backpacks. She brings her green math binder, red reading binder, and black social studies binder to her desk. She places the reading and social studies binders in the rubber band that wraps around the two right-hand legs of her desk. This rubber band keeps her binders tightly secured and out of the way, and Carolina finished her cubby tasks in less than 60 seconds. Carolina sharpens two pencils from her pencil case, and places them along with a black pen and an eraser at the top of her desk. She begins reading her DEAR book, as the other students work for their minute time blocks to get their cubby work done. DEAR books have been carefully selected for each student with the assistance of Ms. Jones, one of our ELA teachers, who matches each student with an appropriately challenging book for his or her reading level and interests. Carolina is currently reading The Phantom Tollbooth, a classic fantasy novel by Norton Juster. At 255 pages, it is the longest book that Carolina has ever read but she became excited about it when Ms. Jones told her that The Phantom Tollbooth was also one of her favorite books when she was in fifth grade. Carolina is already more than halfway through. Time passes too quickly, and just as Carolina reads that Milo and his friends reach the Valley of Sound, Mr. Amaral calls, “1-2-3 Eyes on me!” The class responds in unison, “1-2-3 Eyes on you!” and then proceeds to close their DEAR books and place them on the left corner of their desks. Mr. Silvia enters the room right on cue with his math cart that is loaded with all the copies he needs for his three Math Procedures classes, and Mr. Amaral exits the room wishing the Boston University scholars a very collegiate day. 8:00 am - Math Procedures always begins with a Q2 (Quick Questions-Do Now60) and Mad Minute math facts, where students calculate as many math facts as they can on a handout containing 100 questions. Today’s Mad Math Minute focuses on practice of all operations with integers. “You have one minute. Pencils up. 3-2-1-Go,” says Mr. Silvia. After one minute Mr. Silvia reads the answers in two minutes as scholars mark Xs or Cs next to their answers. He directs them to make a ratio of number correct over 100. Josiah, who sits next to Carolina, is the BU 5 Mad Minute Champion but Carolina is close behind. Carolina answers 87 of 100 correctly today - a personal best. Mr. Silvia teaches a lesson on expressing fractions as ratios. Scholars begin to understand the relationship between converting fractions to decimals, decimals to fractions, and fractions to ratios. Math Problem Solving and Math Procedures are Carolina’s favorite classes so she is excited about two blocks of math everyday plus financial literacy twice per week. She will have almost three hours of math in one day; she used to struggle in math, and now she is so proud to be improving and proud of how hard she works to succeed. Mr. Amaral uses the last few minutes of class to review the main objective for the lesson, give feedback to the class using DREAM Points, remind scholars to copy HW, and provides direction for transition.61 Mr. Amaral says, “Scholars, yesterday you transitioned to Reading in 38 seconds. Your challenge now is to transition in 35 seconds. I am waiting for 100% eye contact.62 Good. Go.” Scholars quickly and silently switch out binders from their rubber bands around their desk legs. Carolina and her peers absolutely enjoy being timed for tasks and being challenged to beat their best times.
For full Day in the Life, from arrival to dismissal, please see Attachment N
A Day of an Argosy Collegiate Teacher. Mr. Silvia- Math Procedures Teacher, 5th grade. Mr. Silvia arrives to Argosy Collegiate at 6:30 am on a regular basis to ready his materials and white board configuration, refer to the day’s schedule, email 5 parents (which he does every day to touch base, and then adds additional phone calls if necessary), read and respond to any in-house email from the ED, DA, or SSC. At 7:10 am Mr. Silvia gets a ride from the custodian who drops him off at the South Main St./Mt. Hope Ave. bus stop to supervise/ensure behavioral expectations on the bus ride to Argosy Collegiate. He quickly greets Mrs. Medeiros, the bus stop/parent volunteer, and Ms. Oliveira, the bus driver before greeting and inviting scholars to board the bus. Scholars take advantage of the 10 minute bus ride to read DEAR books or put finishing touches on homework or to review Latin vocab words. The bus arrives to school on time and Mr. Silva gives the scholars a summary of their behavior of the bus ride and invites them to de-board the bus. From 7:30 am – 7:45 am, Mr. Silvia supervises breakfast, and greets each scholar with a warm smile, a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and morning welcome by name. Ms. Pavao directs breakfast, and Mr. Silvia directs Brain Breakfast for his homeroom and monitors behavior according to school policy. At 7:45, he escorts his homeroom to class for advisory and DEAR. At 8:00 he teaches his first Math Procedures cohort. 9:00 is targeted tutoring for scholars who are struggling as evidenced through yesterday’s EXIT ticket, and Mr. Silvia pulls 3 scholars who struggled with conversions of mixed numbers to fractions yesterday. 10:00 is Mr. Siliva’s planning time to analyze data, plan tutoring, intervention, supports, or reteach. 11:00, Mr. Silvia teaches his second cohort for Math Procedures. At12:00 Mr. Silvia eats his lunch quickly and moves to provide support during lunch/Homework center. At 12:25 Mr. Silvia teaches his third and final Math Procedures cohort for the day. At 1:30, Mr. Silvia has Curriculum Development and Individual Planning time, which allows for vertical planning. From 2:30 to 3:25, Mr. Silvia attends a Team Meeting/Curriculum Development, which allows for 5th grade team continuity. At 3:30, Mr. Silvia provides homework support until 4:25, where he then supervises dismissal per direction of the ED. Mr. Silvia works until 6:00 pm ensuring that he is prepared for a smooth 6:30 am arrival the next day.
Culture of Achievement. We provide a positive, safe, and energetic middle and high school experience where student achievement comes first. We implement systems and structures to limit distractions, based on the Building Excellent Schools model for high performance and highly structured schools, such as Excel Academy and Boston Preparatory Charter Schools in Boston, MA and Achievement Preparatory Academy in Washington, DC.63 With the model of such BES schools, Argosy Collegiate will ensure that every teacher hired, dollar spent, policy written, schedule created, rule enforced, and school-related meetings all focus on academic achievement.
At the start of each year, we hold a week of student orientation to teach new students how to be successful in the school and learn the school’s rituals and routines, and in which we refocus all returning students on the behavioral and academic expectations of the school. Each day during Advisory and each week during Community Meeting, we ritualistically build and celebrate class and school culture, as students and staff focus on our DREAM Values - Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery. During the planning year, the Executive Director conducts recruitment events in targeted Fall River communities, explains the mission of Argosy Collegiate to families and students emphasizing the importance of academic achievement and hard work through our college preparatory curriculum. Through these events, gatherings, networking, and marketing materials, we communicate our mission for a no excuses, highly structured, safe school, with a rigorous and joyful focus on academic achievement and leadership development, all provided through our extended school day and year,
Defining and Communicating Expectations. A warm and demanding school culture for every stakeholder begins before the school’s first day of operation with home visits and family orientation meetings, with multiple sessions scheduled at times convenient for families. We review all components of the Student and Family Handbook that name expectations of students and parents. The Handbook outlines the structures that support students during and outside of the school day. It details the school’s expectations and consequences for not meeting expectations. Topics include attendance, uniforms, school-work, HW, discipline and staff contact information. All families receive the Handbook during Family Orientation in English and their native language. The Staff Handbook, provided and reviewed during staff orientation, has details on expectations, policies and systems and procedures for every staff member. The Handbook outlines expectations to ensure we maintain a safe, orderly, academically focused school.
Paycheck Token Economy System. We reward and grow student behaviors that we want to see. Modeled after KIPP and as implemented by BES schools such as Excel Academy (Prep Points) and Achievement Prep (DREAM Dollars), we use a paycheck system and reward students with weekly paychecks of DREAM Dollars for upholding expectations and modeling DREAM values. Students earn DREAM Dollars individually and may lose DREAM Dollars for exhibiting behaviors that do not uphold the DREAM values (i.e. unprepared for class, not paying attention, not doing HW, disrespect). DREAM Dollars are used to purchase mission-appropriate materials (college notebooks, pens, and t-shirts) and school supplies. Students can accumulate DREAM Dollars for rewards such as field trips and events. Paychecks are tallied weekly and sent home for parental review and signature, and are returned to school each Monday. Students receive new weekly paychecks (starting at $100) every Monday. Paychecks tell families how students have done in the previous week in regards to attendance, behavior, and homework.
Disciplinary Offenses. We define a disciplinary offense as a violation of our code of conduct that occurs while the student is: at school and/or on school grounds; participating in a school-sponsored activity; walking to or from school or a school-sponsored event; walking to or from, waiting for, or riding on school-provided transportation; or walking to or from, waiting for, or riding on public transportation to and from school or a school-sponsored activity. Consequences for disciplinary offenses are subject to the discretion of the Executive Director and the Dean of Culture and Families and may include school service, loss of school privileges, detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and/or expulsion. The list of punishable offenses will be set forth in the Student and Family Handbook.
Consequences are administered for behavior that transgresses our Code of Conduct, such as unpreparedness for class, minor disruptions of class learning, uniform violations, and chewing gum. More serious consequences are administered for behaviors including, but not limited to the following:64 Disrespect and/or disruptions of learning. We do not tolerate disrespectful behavior towards staff, guests, or other students. Behaviors which prevent other members of the school community from pursuing their education (such as failing to follow a teacher’s directions, repeated talking or deliberately distracting other students during class) are considered disruptions of learning. Cheating and/or plagiarism. Cheating and plagiarism represent breaches of community integrity and trust. We define cheating as conversing with another student during a graded assessment, copying or attempting to copy another student’s work, or using/attempting to use materials other than those allowed during an assessment. Plagiarism is defined as representing another’s work as one’s own. Safety Violation. This includes pushing, fighting, threatening or other violent behavior. Being in an unsupervised location is also a safety violation. Unprofessional contact. This includes any forms of touching, groping, or other displays of affection. Attendance violations. Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and events, on time. Students should not go beyond the specified limits of the school grounds without an approved chaperone or the express permission of a faculty member. Students who are not present in school may not attend school-sponsored activities after school on that day. Property violations. The theft, destruction, or defacement of school or private property constitute violations of state law and jeopardizes the integrity of the school community. Harassment. We are committed to maintaining a school environment free of harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Alcohol, controlled substances, and tobacco. The sale, transfer, use, or possession of alcohol and controlled substances at school or school related functions constitute a violation of Massachusetts State Law. Smoking on school grounds is strictly prohibited. Weapons. Massachusetts State Law dictates that “any student who is found on the school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including but not limited to a gun or knife…may be subject to expulsion from the school.”
Progression of Consequences: DREAM Dollar Deductions. Teachers give students visual reminders and verbal clarification to help students develop self-discipline and correct behaviors. Students whose behavior in class is unproductive or counter-productive earns paycheck deductions and are required to serve a detention at the end of the school day. Suspension from Class. Any student whose behavior disrupts the learning environment and jeopardizes another student’s education is suspended from class at the discretion of the teacher. This means that the student must report immediately to the Executive Director or Director of Culture and Families, and remain in the office until it is clear that the disruptions will cease. Suspension from class requires a student to reflect upon and learn from his or her behavior as demonstrated through writing and perhaps through service towards the school community. In-School Suspension. An in-school suspension results in the loss of all social and academic privileges. A student who receives an in-school suspension remains in the building and continues to have access to the curriculum but is isolated from classmates and peers. An in-school suspension may also result in after school duties. A parent or guardian is required to meet with an administrator before the student’s re-admittance to class. A student on in-school suspension who continues not to follow school rules and expectations is subject to out-of-school suspension. Out-of-School Suspension. An out-of-school suspension results in immediate removal from school of the student in question. Unless otherwise stated, the final determination of the length of any out-of-school suspension rests with the Executive Director. The suspension continues until the administration, student and his/her parent(s) meet to agree upon appropriate behavioral conditions for the student’s re-admission into the school community. This meeting takes place as quickly as possible after the student’s removal. In the case of more serious or repeated infractions, suspensions may last for a longer duration and may be accompanied by other sanctions. A student suspended from school is not allowed on school grounds or at school-related functions. Expulsion. An expulsion results in the immediate and permanent removal from the school.
Suspension and Expulsion Procedures: Short Term Suspensions. Unless a student presents danger or risk of substantial disruption to the educational process, the student receives the following prior to suspension of 1-10 days: oral or written notice of charges; if the student denies the charges, an oral or written explanation of the evidence against him/her; and an opportunity to present his/her version of the relevant facts. In the case of danger or a risk of substantial disruption, this process occurs immediately after rather than before the suspension. Long Term Suspensions or Expulsion. For expulsion or suspension longer than ten days, the student receives: written notice of the charges; the right to be represented by a lawyer (at the student’s expense); adequate time to prepare for the hearing; the right to present witnesses and to cross examine witnesses presented by the school and a reasonably prompt, written decision including specific grounds for the decision. We record the hearing and a copy of such is made available to the student upon request. Notices and proceedings are translated into the student’s/parent’s primary language if necessary for their understanding of the proceedings. Role of the Executive Director and Board of Trustees in Long Term Suspension and/or Expulsion. The Executive Director (ED) is vested with the authority to expel students in the following four circumstances: student possession of a dangerous weapon; student possession of controlled substance; student assault of educational personnel; or student charged with or convicted of a felony. All decisions by the Executive Director regarding long term suspension or expulsion of a student for any of the above-cited reasons or any other reason are subject to review by the Board of Trustees. Expulsion for all offenses except for the four listed above must involve the Board of Trustees. Expulsion shall be defined as permanent expulsion. Upon receipt of the recommendation for expulsion, the Board of Trustees considers the expulsion of a student (as provided for in M.G.L. c. 76). The following procedures apply: The ED may commence an expulsion proceeding before the Trustees by providing them with notice of the reasons for the proposed expulsion; Prior to any decision by the Trustees to expel a student, the student is provided with written notice of the following: charges and a statement of the evidence; date, time and place of a hearing; notice of the right at the hearing to be represented by legal counsel, present evidence, confront and cross-examine witnesses; Hearings to consider the expulsion of a student are held in executive session unless the student or parent requests an open hearing; A student and/or parent have the right to review the student’s records; the decision by the Trustees is in writing and the controlling facts upon which the decision is made will be stated in sufficient detail to inform the parties of the reasons for the decision. All policies relative to conduct of students that can result in a suspension or expulsion from school are published in our Student Handbook in accordance with M.G.L. c 71 section 37H.
Discipline Procedures Applicable to Students with Disabilities. In addition to discipline procedures applicable to all students, the following are applicable to students with disabilities. A student not specifically identified as having a disability but whose previous school(s) or Argosy Collegiate, prior to the behavior which is the subject of disciplinary action, has a basis of knowledge – in accordance with 34 CFR 300.527(b) – that a disability exists may request to be disciplined in accordance with these provisions. Argosy Collegiate will comply with sections 300.519-300.529 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the following procedures, except that in the event that the following procedures are inconsistent with federal law and regulations, such federal law and regulations shall govern. Argosy Collegiate maintains written records of all suspensions and expulsions of students with a disability including the name of the student, a description of the behavior, disciplinary action taken, and a record of the number of days a student has been suspended or removed for disciplinary reasons. Students for whom IEP includes a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is disciplined in accordance with the BIP. If it is determined that the BIP is ineffective or if there is a concern for the health and safety of the student or others if the BIP is followed with respect to the infraction, the matter is immediately referred to the Student Services Coordinator, or a like position or team of individuals, for consideration of a modification to the BIP. If a student identified as having a disability is suspended during the course of the school year for a total of eight days, such student is immediately referred to the Special Services Coordinator, or a like position or team of individuals, for reconsideration of the student’s BIP and/or educational placement. In the event such student does not have a BIP in place, a functional behavior assessment is conducted and a BIP is developed. Such a student shall not be suspended for a total of more than 10 days during the school year without the convening of a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting prior to the eleventh day of suspension, because such suspensions may be considered to be a manifestation of the student’s disability and/or a change in placement.
Provisions of Services During Removal. Those students removed for a period fewer than ten days receive all classroom assignments and a schedule to complete such assignments during the time of his or her suspension. Provisions are made to permit a suspended student to make up assignments or tests missed as a result of such suspension. The school provides additional alternative instruction for the first 10 days of suspension so that the student is given full opportunity to complete assignments and master curriculum, including additional instructions, phone assistance, computer instruction, and/or home visits and one-on-one tutoring. During any subsequent removal that, combined with previous removals equals 10 or more school days during the year, but does not constitute a change in placement, services are provided to the extent determined necessary to enable the child to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and in achieving the goals of his or her IEP. In these cases, school personnel, in consultation with the child’s special education teacher, make the service determination. During any removal for drug or weapon offenses pursuant to 34 CFR § 300.520(a)(2), services are provided to the extent necessary to enable the child to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and in achieving the goals of his or her IEP. The school will place students in interim alternative educational settings for up to 45 days as appropriate and mandated by 34 CFR § 300.520(a)(2). During any subsequent removal that does constitute a change in placement, but where the behavior is not a manifestation of the disability, the services are provided to the extent necessary to enable the child to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and in achieving the goals of his or her IEP.
Homework Center. Homework (HW) is assigned nightly and is a mechanism for student success. HW reviews skills and content taught in class that day or in a previous lesson. Since HW is review, it allows teachers to know how each student is performing on each lesson and to identify any interventions students may need. Nightly HW helps students become accustomed to the self-motivation and time-management needed to advance their education. HW check is part of morning Advisory; students who do not complete any HW are required to attend HW Center instead of social lunch and recess that day. Names of students not completing HW or completing HW unsatisfactorily, e.g., crumpled paper, illegible handwriting are provided to the office and the Office Manager promptly informs parents. HW Center provides a quiet, structured environment where students can complete HW and receive assistance. Scholars have two opportunities daily for homework support; during lunch and from 3:30-4:25 pm. Focus. All students have access to additional tutoring, as part of the schedule before dismissal each day. Students are identified for support and are also encouraged to request Focus time in a particular subject by asking his/her teacher. Tutorials are provided in small group settings or through one-on-one support. Tutoring is mandatory for any student scoring below 70% in a subject area. Students attend tutoring over a six-week period or until the student demonstrates that s/he is successfully mastering class material. As part of their daily schedule, teachers provide targeted tutoring during the day for individual students who require additional support. Saturday Academy. Saturday Academy provides supplemental support in reading, writing, and math. Starting the second week of school, Saturday Academy is offered every Saturday in September and every other Saturday from beginning in October. Saturday Academy is for all students who are underperforming. For all incoming fifth grade cohorts, Saturday Academy begins with early numeracy when necessary or multiplication tables. This supplemental program provides struggling students with additional academic support in small groups tailored to their specific academic needs. Students enrolled in Saturday Academy are also required to attend Focus and Tutoring during the week. Summer Academy. At year’s end, students scoring below 70% in one or two core academic class(es) attend a two-week Summer Academy. Students work through targeted instruction and practice in subject area(s) of struggle. At the end of Summer Academy, students are re-tested on comprehensive assessment(s) in the appropriate subject area(s). If a student scores 70% or above, s/he is promoted; if below 70%, s/he is retained. Families who believe their student(s) requires summer support, regardless of promotion status, may select to attend Summer Academy, with prior approval of the Director of Achievement. If approved, a self-selected student is held to the same academic and behavioral standards as students required to attend Summer Academy, except that s/he does not receive a formal grade or is not required to take the comprehensive assessment. Parent and Family Partnerships. Research shows that when families are constructive participants in their child’s academic life, learning outcomes improve. We build and continue to develop a positive, mutually beneficial relationship through regular communication between school and the caring adults in our students’ lives. We work with families to become part of our school’s work to promote their children’s academic success, and the possible academic success of all students. Strategies include: Annual Information Sessions during application process with Parent Orientation following lottery; Daily HW Hotline with summary of all HW provided through a phone call-in system; Weekly Academic and Behavioral Reports distributed each Friday and returned with signatures each Monday; Monthly Newsletters outlining major events and updates on student achievement and school community events; 6 Mid- and End-of-Trimester Reports providing quantitative and qualitative student performance results; 3 Trimester Family-Teacher Conferences; Cyclical Award and Recognition Events with families invited to school to celebrate student success and performance; and Family Achievement Committee that meets monthly with the Executive Director to support school growth and student success. We gauge parental and familial satisfaction through annual written surveys. These allow the school to identify strategic areas of improvement, and gather parental input on important issues of school administration and governance. Results are reviewed by the Executive Director and other school-level administrators, who in turn report results to the Board, thus informing future Board agendas and school improvement efforts.
F. Special Student Populations And Student Services. We educate all students regardless of ability and comply with all state and federal statutes, including Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. We educate students with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and with their non-disabled peers, to the extent appropriate and allowed by each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). We do not discriminate in admission and enrollment practices against students having or suspected of having disabilities. Special Education Services. All students regardless of challenges and ability can achieve academically. The Executive Director oversees the planning and implementation of school-wide structures and systems to ensure compliance with all state laws and regulations.65 We provide students with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and to ensure that all students’ needs are well met, we hire highly qualified and appropriately licensed special educators including a Student Supports Coordinator (SSC) who works closely with all teachers to provide accommodations and modifications as needed, and to establish responsive classroom practices that meet the needs of all learners, particularly those with learning disabilities. The SSC maintains records and adheres to the following processes to ensure that Argosy Collegiate meets every student’s needs.


Year

Anticipated SPED #

Projected Staffing Needs

Qualifications

2014-2015

17 students

1 FTE Student Supports Coordinator @ $55,000 (.5 admin; .5 service delivery)

licensed Special Educator in MA; supervisors/directors license preferred

2015-2016

34 students

1 FTE Student Supports Coordinator; 1 FTE Special Ed teacher @ $55,000

licensed Special Educator in MA

2016-2017

51 students

1 FTE Student Supports Coordinator; 2 FTE Special Education Teachers @ $55,000 + COLA

licensed Special Educator in MA

2017-2018

68 students

1 FTE Student Supports Coordinator; 3 FTE Special Education Teachers @ $55,000 + COLA

licensed Special Educator in MA


For additional special education providers, such as Speech and Language, Physical, and Occupational Therapists, we will contract with an external entity to provide licensed and qualified professionals. All contracted providers will be overseen by the Student Supports Coordinator and will provide services within the school building as part of the regular school day. Service Delivery for Existing Individual Education Plans. After the lottery and upon enrollment, families complete questionnaires to identify if their child has received special education services or been diagnosed with a learning disability. The SSC communicates with families of students receiving Special Education services to discuss their child’s IEP, answer questions, and schedule a transfer meeting. Teachers implement the IEP, providing appropriate education within the Least Restrictive Environment, and record observations and data to inform the transfer meeting with parents and any potential changes to service delivery decided by the team. For all students, academic progress is monitored regularly and students not showing academic progress receive additional supports. If a child is not making academic progress with structured supports, staff begins the pre-referral process. Intervention and Pre-Referral to Special Education. The SSC leads a tiered intervention process prior to referring students for Special Education services. The SSC works with teachers to identify strategies from the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan and provide additional support to students within and outside of the classroom. After consistent implementation over a 6 week period, the group meets to share data. If strategies are effective, teachers continue implementing and monitoring progress and the SSC maintains documentation. If strategies are not effective and the student is not making progress, the school recommends an evaluation, and with parental consent, conducts an evaluation with an appropriately licensed professional. Individualized Education Plans. When an evaluation indicates evidence of a disability and special education services are appropriate, an IEP team including parents, SED, regular education teacher, and student (if age appropriate) develop an IEP and agreed upon services are delivered. All IEPs are evaluated annually and revised as needed by the IEP team. All students receiving special education services go through an annual review to monitor and ensure progress towards goals. Students are re-evaluated once every three years. To the greatest extent possible, we serve all students within an inclusion program. When a student’s needs and IEP require a different program, we meet those needs with appropriately licensed staff or contractors. Evaluation of Special Education Program and Services. The Special Education Program and services are evaluated annually by surveying parents and by comparing academic results of students with special needs to that of overall school performance and that of students not receiving services. We provide electronic and hard copies of surveys to solicit the maximum number of responses and encourage candid feedback. The Executive Director, Director of Achievement, and the Student Supports Coordinator annually review written survey results to improve the program. A Parent Group works closely with the Student Supports Coordinator, planning meetings and workshops to keep parents informed and educated about Special Education laws, regulations, and ways to support their child.
English Language Learners. We comply with all applicable federal laws related to the education of language minority students as stated under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974. We follow the applicable provisions of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001, including sections 301 and 1112(g)) and federal case law. ELL students are provided with equal access to and full participation in school activities. They study the same content and are held to the same rigorous standards as other students. All classes are taught in English; the level of English used for instruction, verbal and written, is modified as needed to facilitate ELL students’ acquisition of English. For students identified as ELL, we use Structured English Immersion to accelerate academic progress. We eliminate or limit the separation of ELLs from the mainstream classroom.66 If a student’s English language proficiency is severely limited as to render the student incapable of accessing a regular classroom, we provide instruction in English to speakers of other languages (ESL) for the required period of time every day. Because the objective is for students to transition to fully English classes, ELL students participate in part of the regular classroom schedule, where all students have the opportunity to hear and use English. Doing What Works, established by the federal Department of Education67, lists five strategies proven highly effective in supporting ELL students. We incorporate these in all classes: (1) Screen and Monitor Progress. An effective ELL program includes well-developed assessments for identifying student needs. This corresponds with our principle of data-driven instruction. We assess students’ progress frequently and use results to drive instruction and to identify students in need of intervention. The Executive Director and/or Director of Achievement oversee this process while working closely with teaching staff. (2) Provide Reading Interventions. Recognizing that ELLs are often at risk for reading problems, the strongest programs respond quickly to the results of formative assessments by offering small group reading interventions for struggling readers that augment the core reading program. A key element of our educational program is daily small-group tutoring during the Focus period for students struggling in reading. The DOE recommends that intervention “utilize fast-paced, engaging instruction.”68 This aligns with our instructional strategies. (3) Teach Vocabulary. One important component in language acquisition is vocabulary development. To read and understand grade-appropriate material, students need to learn 3,000-4,000 new vocabulary words each year (roughly 70 new words per week).69 In effective schools, students are taught vocabulary through formal instruction and through use in language rich settings in and out of the classroom. We provide formal vocabulary instruction using essential word lists and words in context. A structured vocabulary program features student-friendly definitions and cumulative assessments. (4) Develop Academic English. For ELLs to have academic success, they must develop cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), and not simply the basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) of social language. CALP includes content area vocabulary specific to academic subjects and the sophisticated use of language necessary to carry out higher-order academic tasks such as comparing, synthesizing, and inferring. Vocabulary development is part of all subjects and includes explicit scaffolding of higher-order academic tasks. Although language acquisition experts predict that it could take ELLs five years or more to become truly proficient in CALP70, we expect that our extended school day and year will accelerate this process through increased daily exposure to academic English. (5) Schedule Peer Learning. Students improve mastery of language through use. The DOE’s recommendation is that a minimum of 90 minutes a week be dedicated to activities that allow students to work together to provide practice and extension of language skills. We implement strategies such as “turn and chat” in which the class is given a question or prompt and instructed to discuss the topic with a shoulder partner. Although these interactions are brief, lasting from 30 seconds to three minutes, when used frequently throughout the day, there is a significant cumulative increase in authentic language practice. Identification of English Language Learners. Families of enrolled students complete a Home Language Questionnaire, which enables us to identify students who may have limited English proficiency. If a returned questionnaire indicates that the student is of foreign birth or comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken, we arrange for an informal interview with the student, conducted both in English and the student’s native language, with a member of our staff or qualified contractor. If the interviewer determines that the student speaks no English, the student is classified as an ELL. If the interview indicates potentially limited proficiency in English, we use a language assessment to determine the student’s level of proficiency. This structured screening process ensures that Argosy Collegiate does not inappropriately place ELL students in special education or remedial classes. Assessment of English Language Learners. Students identified as ELL are assessed annually to determine improvement in English proficiency.  Students who score above the established cut-off point are deemed no longer ELL.   We regularly evaluate the progress of our ELL students, with such evaluations informed by student performance on the MA ELL proficiency exams, the MEPA and MELA-O, and teacher observations in consultation with the Director of Achievement and Executive Director.  Performance is assessed in the following ways: (1) ELLs are making strong academic progress as measured by teacher-developed assessments; (2) ELLs are proficient in English in three years or less; (3) ELLs are proficient in English/Language Arts as evidenced by proficiency on state and standardized exams; and (4) ELLs are advancing from grade level to grade level, evidencing mastery of core subjects on par with native speaking students. All ELL students learn with all other students in the classroom for instructional time. During FOCUS and non-core subjects, ELLs have tutoring time in small like-skilled groups, HW tutors, and adequate HW time. ELLs who require supplemental instruction in English to build core English language skills receive sheltered instruction and tutoring as appropriate. If students are not making sufficient academic progress, we modify our ELL program as needed. At no point will an ELL student be excluded from any curricular or extra-curricular activities due to their level of facility with the English Language; all students have equal access to all aspects of Argosy Collegiate. We work to ensure that the student population at Argosy Collegiate, at a minimum, reflects the student population in local schools with regards to ELL students. We recognize that special outreach efforts are needed to reach families of these populations. We translate all letters, flyers, advertisements, and notices into Spanish and any other language spoken by several local families. To make sure that we are reaching this population, we reach out to local leaders with frequent and direct access to ELL families. In all outreach, documents, and presentations, we emphasize that the school is a free, public, open-enrollment school open to ELL students. Evaluation of ELL Program. We collect data on student performance to monitor the efficacy and success of our ELL program. We look to assessments of our ELL students, including improvements in performance on the MEPA and MELA-O, MCAS, nationally-normed exams and internal assessments to determine whether our program is effective in: 1) improving ELL students’ English proficiency levels and 2) ensuring that they are meeting or exceeding content and skill standards across the curriculum. We disaggregate assessment results by ELL and non-ELL students and use data to continuously improve our instructional strategies and PD sessions.
Nutrition and Wellness. Students are provided with healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity throughout the school day. According to the 2009 MA Youth Health Survey, 67% of MA middle school students did not meet the required levels of weekly physical activity and 86% ate fewer than five (5) servings of fruits and vegetables per day. With obesity and related health issues on the rise, it is important to embed nutrition and physical activity into our school culture and expectations. We provide physical education as part of our core program, and have a Wellness Policy that sets goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and provision of nutritious foods. In full compliance with all federal nutrition regulations, we provide a healthy breakfast, snack, and lunch at school and we work with local produce vendors to serve fresh produce to students daily.
Ancillary and Support Services. We expect to refer families as needed to programs and services provided by local agencies and organizations for their ancillary needs and therefore have established close relationships with key community organizations. These include HealthFirst Family Care Center in Flint Village in Fall River which serves the medical, social, and psychological needs of local families. The CFO of HealthFirst serves on our Founding Board. We intend to hire a nurse, and we have on our board the Nurse Manager for the East Bay Community Action Program Health Center, who will be helpful in ensuring that we have established a strong and proactive set of ancillary services through our in-house nursing position and various local agencies.



III. How will the school demonstrate organizational viability?




  1. Enrollment and Recruitment. Using a slow growth model, Argosy Collegiate opens in August of 2014 with a fifth grade inaugural class of 81 students, in three classes of 27 students per class. Each year thereafter, Argosy Collegiate adds another incoming fifth grade group of 81 students arranged in the same format. We enroll new students into any grade when we fall below our charter approved target number and we do so from our waiting list up through and including eighth grade (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89(m); 603 CMR 1.06(1); 603 CMR (1.06(8)). We continue at this pace until full enrollment in 2022 with 585 students in grades five through twelve. The slow growth model allows us to strategically develop systems, instructional programs and new curricular materials, while building upon a strong foundation of culture and academic achievement.






Grades

Ages

Number of Students




Y1

Y2

Y3

Y4

Y5

Y6

Y7

Y8

First Charter

5

10-12

81

81

81

81

81

81

81

81

6

11-13




81

81

81

81

81

81

81

7

12-14







81

81

81

81

81

81

8

13-15










81

81

81

81

81

9

14-16













73

76

76

76

Second Charter

10

15-17
















66

68

68

11

16-18



















61

61

12

17-19






















56

Total Students

81

162

243

324

397

466

529

585

Number of students per class

27

27

27

27

≈ 26

≈ 26

≈ 26

≈ 25


Application and Enrollment Process. Argosy Collegiate does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language, or prior academic achievement as defined in M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 89(m); 603 CMR 1.06(1). See Attachment C for the enrollment policy. The application process does not require testing prior to admission nor are previous testing results used to enroll students 603 CMR 1.06(2)). Families/guardians who wish to enroll a child must submit a completed and signed Intent to Enroll form, which includes proof of residency. Examples of proof of residency are outlined on the Intent to Enroll documents or webpage. This document requires only one signature of the parent or legal guardian, and must be submitted by the established deadline. Argosy Collegiate accepts Intent to Enroll forms until the established deadline which will be posted on the school’s website and included in all mailings and public notices at least 30 days prior to the application deadline (603 CMR 1.06(3)). Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged (not required) to attend informational meetings as well as participate in at least one session with the school leader(s) to learn about the expectations and the rigorous program offered at Argosy Collegiate. Information requested in the application, such as language spoken at home or race/ethnicity, is not intended and will not be used to discriminate(603 CMR 1.06(2)). To ensure that a Commonwealth charter school shall fulfill its obligations under its recruitment and retention plan, the school district or districts from which the commonwealth charter school is expected to enroll students shall annually provide, at the request of a Commonwealth charter school, to a third party mail house authorized by the department, the addresses for all students in the district eligible to enroll in the school, unless a student’s parent or guardian requests that the district withhold that student’s information; provided however, that the department may require the charter school to send the mailing in the most prevalent languages of the district or districts that the charter school is authorized to serve. At the request of a school district from which a Commonwealth charter school enrolls students, the charter shall provide to a third party mail house the addresses for all students currently enrolled in the commonwealth charter school from the district; provided, however, that the information shall not be provided if a student’s parent or guardian requests that the school withhold that student’s information. Each district shall be permitted to supply a mailing to a third party mail house and pay for it to be copied and mailed to families of students from said district enrolled in the commonwealth charter school. Parents and guardians may deny disclosure or consent to disclose student information by filling out a form supplied by Argosy Collegiate (MGL Chapter 71, Section 89(g) (n). Lottery Procedures. After the enrollment cycle deadline, Argosy Collegiate determines the number of seats available and how many students it will enroll by each grade. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats, then students will be enrolled by a random public lottery. At least one week prior to the enrollment lottery, public notice will be given including the date, time, and location of the lottery via newspaper advertisement and the school website. The inaugural and all subsequent lotteries will be conducted by a disinterested party (603 CMR 1.06(6)). Preference is given during admissions to siblings (resident or non-resident) of enrolled students over non-siblings. In addition, residents of Fall River are given preference for admission over non-residents of Fall River (603 CMR 1.06(4)a)). If a space becomes available and the enrollment of a student would cause his or her sending district to exceed their net school spending cap, Argosy Collegiate would skip over that student but keep them on the waiting list (MGL Chapter 71, Section 89(i); 603 CMR 1.06(4)). All applicants not selected in the lottery are placed on a waiting list in the order the names were selected while also taking into account sibling and resident preference (603 CMR 1.06 (4)(d). If the principal enrollment process fails to produce an adequate number of enrolled students, the lottery process may be repeated if a waiting list does not exist and the required lottery process is strictly followed including public notification and deadlines (603 CMR 1.06 (5)). Waiting List Policy. If a student stops attending the charter school or declines admission, the next available student on the waitlist for that grade will be offered admission until the vacant seat is filled (MGL Chapter 71, Section 89(n)). No student will be admitted ahead of other eligible students on the waiting list unless said student is either a sibling of a previously enrolled student or a resident of the charter school’s city or town (603 CMR 1.06(5)). The Executive Director or other administrator will notify students/families on the waitlist if a seat is available for them and an offer is extended for attendance. If a student declines an offer for admission, their name is removed from the list and an offer is extended to the next name on the list, according to all preference guidelines. Argosy Collegiate will keep and maintain three waiting lists for each grade level if the number of applicants exceeds the number of available seats for that grade and year one will list siblings, one for Fall River residents, and a third for non-resident, non-siblings. At the beginning of each year, waiting lists will roll over to the following grade to maintain the order of the previous list and give subsequent preference to new applicants. All applicants on the waiting list are notified in writing of their position on the list after the lottery, at the beginning of each school year, and again in the midpoint of the year. If a seat becomes available before February 15, the seat may be offered to the student at the top of the first list first, second list after the sibling list is exhausted, and then to the second list of non-sibling, residents of Fall River, etc. The waitlists will be maintained and updated with contact information including names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and grade levels of students who entered the lottery but did not gain admission (603 CMR 1.06(4)(d)). When a student stops attending school for any reason, the school will attempt to fill vacant seats up to February 15th from 5th through the 8th grade but not for 9th through 12th (603 CMR 1.06(4)(d)). A student is not considered enrolled until all required documents of the Enrollment Package are received and the student is determined eligible for attendance based on the documents.
Enrollment, Recruitment, and Parental Support. Argosy Collegiate has undertaken and will continue extensive community outreach measures to ensure full enrollment at all points during the term of the charter. Some of the methods for recruitment and enrollment initiatives include: Canvassing low-income housing communities on foot to reach families with limited means to access publicized notices. All recruitment flyers are distributed in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Other languages encountered are addressed accordingly. Posting and distributing flyers at local events including supermarkets, health and medical centers, day-care centers, churches, community centers, low income complexes, etc; Placing advertisements in the local newspapers including the local Portuguese language newspaper; Sending letters or postcards via mail to residents of low income communities. Inviting families to open houses to meet staff and teachers, tour the school, and learn about the academic and behavioral programs we offer, and how to enroll students; Participating in local radio programs broadcast and designed for our community in Fall River; Visiting local organizations that provide family services, youth services, employment information, and health and wellness support; Partnering with adult education groups in the local community college, particularly adult ELL and adult literacy programs. We have currently secured 591 signatures of support and numerous letters of support from community partners with whom we will continue to work in all student recruitment efforts. Please see Attachment C for our Draft Enrollment Policy. Please see Attachment B for our Recruitment and Retention Plan.
B. Capacity. The founding group members of Argosy Collegiate Charter School are united by a commitment to the school’s mission and core values. As residents of and professionals within the greater Fall River area, we come together out of deep concern for our students’ low academic achievement, stunted aspirations, and high dropout rate. We believe that Fall River is in urgent need of a seamless 5-12 college preparatory school that sets high expectations for all students, makes no excuses for underperformance, and provides a school design and leadership prepared to deliver success. The group began its membership in April, 2012, and began its formal meeting structure in July of this year to establish goals and responsibilities, examine the elements of our school design, conduct community outreach, and educate ourselves on both the mandate of and strong approaches to charter school accountability. While the primary author of the charter application is Lead Founder and proposed Executive Director Kristen Pavao, all founding group members are involved in the writing and planning process. Each board member has expertise and experience critical to the development of the school. Julie Almond, CEO of Health First, is an asset in the areas of strategic planning, facilities planning, governance, finance, and grant writing. Paul Burke, President and owner of Hadley Insurit Group Incorporated, contributes decades of experience in finance, insurance, and board governance, along with strong ties to business leaders in the community. Domenic DiNardo, VP of Strategic Marketing, and Co-founder & President of Valcourse, provides tremendous insight on new business development and strategies, high quality options for educational materials and resources, and marketing solutions. Michael Grimo, Owner and Manager of Cool Geeks, Incorporated is an expert in Information Technology design, installation, and management to support small and large scale business strategies. He has tremendous experience managing large budgets and installing complex support systems for organizations. Israel Navarro, Nurse Supervisor with BAMSI, is experienced in emergency planning and management and has expertise in childhood growth and development issues. Kristen Pavao, Lead Founder and proposed Executive Director, is a highly respected and accomplished educator and Fall River native, determined to put her expertise to work on behalf of the chronic underperformance in the city. Michelle Pelletier, Real Estate Broker and Developer, offers a wealth of experience with large facilities property development in Fall River. Lisa Rocha, Associate Attorney for Morrison Mahoney, LLC is adept at general liability, worker’s compensation, and family law. She is adept at preparing and reviewing financial statements, drafting legal documents, providing counsel. Teri Theberge, Nuclear Medicine Technologist for a number of local hospitals, is grounded in development and fundraising, and is adept at building relationships among community and business leaders. Pam Viveiros, President of Ultimate Marketing, brings start-up experience as well as marketing, event planning, information technology, planning, and project management skills. Resumes and Statements of Commitment from each Board member can be found in Attachments F and G, respectively. We are excited for the leadership of Kristen Pavao as the founding Executive Director. Ms Pavao brings deep understanding of the proposed school design, proven educational leadership, and remarkable leadership across all constituencies. She is well poised to manage the organizational and academic needs of the school and to lead a mission-driven team to reset the academic bar for the students of Fall River.

We have met with many leaders within Fall River and surrounding neighborhoods to gain input on and support for our school proposal. We have been energized by the time, energy, and intellect provided by these individuals who have pledged to remain supportive and available for future efforts as we move forward. Supporters include: Palmira Aguiar, Accreditation Officer, Fall River Police Department; Andrea Amaral, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, BankFive; Reverend Dr. John Amaral, Chaplain, Rehoboth Fire and Police Department; Amy Blais, Managing Director, Development, Teach For America, MA; Nicholas Christ, President and Ceo, Bay Coast Bank; Joseph DaSilva, Family and Youth Service Coordinator, Fall River Housing Authority; Arthur DeAscentis, Attorney, Bogle & DeAscentis; Jenny DiBlasi, Vice President, People Incorporated; Patricia Diegel, Program Coordinator, Junior Achievement of Southern MA; Sonia Fastino, Vice President, RDA Insurance; Sean Flannery, Program Director of Youth Outreach, Fall River Recreation; Anne Freitas, Vice President / CRA Officer, BankFive; Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director, United Neighborhoods of Fall River; Fernando Goulart, Former Executive Director, Atlantis Charter School; Reverend Dr. Robert P. Lawrence, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church; Joan Mabie, Donor Relations Coordinator, The Fly Foundation; Peter McCarthy, Director, Boys and Girls Club of Fall River; Christian McClusky, Youth Services Coordinator, Fall River Recreation; Paul Medeiros, President, BankFive; Rob Mellion, President and CEO, Fall River Chamber of Commerce; Mary O’Neill, Attorney, Bristol County District Attorney’s Office; Caroline Paradis, President, Junior Achievement of Southern MA; Louis Petrovic, Director, Vice Chancellor Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Ctr.; Jason Rua, President, RDA Insurance Agency; Robery Shaker, President, PACE Project Management Incorporated; Jameson Sousa, Program Director, Fall River Recreation; Karen Tourjee, Risk Manager, St. Anne’s Hospital; Ramona Turcotte, Mentor Coordinator, Big Friends, Little Friends; Michelle Vezina, Executive Vice President, RDA Insurance Agency; James A. Wallace, Founding Executive Director, Board Member, Atlantis Charter School.


Letters of Support are provided in Attachment K and include those from: Richard C. Bassett, Financial Advisor, J. Marshall Associates; Josh Biber, Executive Director, Teach For America, Massachusetts; Arthur DeAscentis, Attorney, Bogle & DeAscentis, P.C.; Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director, United Neighbors of Fall River; Sara Gonet, Philanthropy Officer, Southcoast Hospitals; Patricia A. Haddad, State Representative, Somerset, MA; Daryl McAdoo, Founder and Executive Director, Preclarus Mastery Academy; Peter McCarthy, Executive Director, The Boys and Girls Club of Fall River; George Matouk, Jr, President, John Matouk & Company; Caroline Paradis, President, Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts; Louis J. Petrovic, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development, University of Massachusetts; Michael J. Rodrigues, Massachusetts State Senator; Jim Soule, President, The Preservation Society of Fall River, Incorporated. All individuals have offered their support to Argosy Collegiate and are prepared to aid our efforts to: build community awareness; recruit students, teachers, and staff; secure a facility; and attract resources. We will continue to build relationships in the community in order to support the academic and character building programs that are pillars of the Argosy mission.
C. SCHOOL GOVERNANCE. (1) Governance Structure. The Board of Trustees, which will hold the charter, will govern Argosy Collegiate Charter School. The Board will be legally and ethically responsible for the governance of the school and is held accountable by the Commonwealth for the financial, legal, and academic operation of the school. The Board and ED work together to ensure that the governing functions of the Board and the management functions of the ED and the administration are clearly defined and separated as described in Charter School Administrative and Governance Guide. The ED reports to the Board monthly, on all financial documents and all academic data using a dashboard with relevant and agreed upon data points. The Board sets goals and defines expectations; the Executive Director implements and manages daily operations and reports directly to the Board. All other staff members and hired by and report directly to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will serve on the Board in a non-voting, ex officio capacity. (2) Roles and Responsibilities. The Board’s responsibilities are to: (a) define and refine the organization’s mission, vision, and direction; (b) recruit, hire, set compensation for, support, and evaluate the Executive Director; (c) ensure effective organizational planning; (d) ensure adequate resources for short and long term sustainability; (e) determine, monitor, and strengthen the organization’s programs and services; (f) build and expand the organization’s public standing; (g) maintain accountability and ensure legal integrity; (h) assess board performance; and (i) recruit and position new board members. The Lead Founder, who is the school’s proposed Executive Director, and all founding board members who will transition immediately onto the governing Board of Trustees, will use the following criteria when considering and identifying board candidates: (a) Expertise in banking/finance, law, marketing/public relations, human resources, strategic planning, fundraising, governance, community service, education, executive management; (b) Alignment with the college preparatory mission of Argosy Collegiate and the belief in highly structured learning environments; (c) Driving commitment to providing exceptional education for children in our community; (d) Time to serve as a loyal, caring, and obedient Board member; (e) Familiarity with ongoing needs and issues within our community and the children Argosy Collegiate will serve; (f) Networking, social, and communication skills necessary to work with other Board members as well as the community to establish and maintain Argosy Collegiate as a powerful educational force in Fall River; (g) Ability to work for the betterment of Argosy Collegiate and the achievement of our students above personal or individual goals; and (h) Contribution to the diversity of the Board in race, age, gender, expertise, and socioeconomic background. (See Bylaws in Attachment A for more information.) The Board will consist of four Elective Offices including a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Newly elected Officers shall take office on July 1 following the close of the meeting at which they are elected and the term of office shall be one year, or until respective successors assume office. A Director may serve more than one term in the same office but not more than three consecutive terms in the same office. The Board Chair serves numerous functions: (1) preside at board meetings, (2) coauthor board agendas, (3) appoint and assist committees, (4) manage group development, (5) set goals and expectations for the board, (6) create a safe environment for decision-making, (7) communicate with the board effectively, (8) support the school leader, (9) cultivate future leadership, (10) link with major stakeholders. Upon completion of his/her term, the Board will consider and vote upon elected officers, including the Board Chair, as outlined in our draft Bylaws as found in Attachment A. Criteria the Board Will Use to Choose the School’s Leader. The Board selects the Executive Director (ED) based on the individual’s capacity to execute on the school’s mission as determined by the following attributes: Deep understanding of and commitment to the school’s mission and vision; First-hand knowledge of the School’s design and familiarity with no excuses schools charter schools; Knowledge of curriculum and classroom instruction in urban, no excuses schools; Academic training and experience sufficient to implement a no excuses school culture and educational philosophy described in the charter application; Experience teaching and/or learning in an urban school; and extensive experience in administrative, financial and managerial leadership in an organization, preferably in a charter school. Criteria the Board Will Use to Evaluate the School’s Leader. It is the responsibility of the full Board to evaluate the school leader on an annual basis. The school leader’s performance will be measured relative to his/her job description and will include student performance, staff relations, administration, planning, educational program, leadership, fiscal management, external public relations, effectiveness in working with the board to meet the requirements of the charter and the overall strategic plan, and effectiveness in helping the board achieve its own accountability. A central component of that evaluation will be progress towards and absolute completion of the goals as set forth in our Accountability Plan.
(3) Policy Development. A draft copy of the complete Bylaws can be found in Attachment A. Policies and decisions are made by the Board of Trustees when issues arise that are (1) not adequately/acceptably addressed by current board policies, (2) when changes in operating practice have evolved over time so that the written policies do not reflect reality, (3) external changes and trends have an impact on the charter school and families being served, (4)the school has changed in size, scope, services offered, or methods of service delivery, (5) changes in federal or state laws may prompt adjustments in policy, i.e. changes in wage and hour laws, equal employment, safety, etc., (6) current policy does not adequately reduce ambiguity and ensure uniformity of decisions across the charter school. Policies are created by following these steps: (1) Board-level discussion, (2) assign a team to draft a new policy, (3) write a first policy draft, (4) ask legal counsel to review the draft policy, (5) present draft policy to the Board for approval, (6) continue to review and revise Board policies. In making decisions, the Board will seek consensus, but will rely on majority vote where consensus cannot be obtained. On an ongoing and annual basis, the Board reviews all of its policies to ensure alignment with legal and regulatory guidelines, and the needs of the school. All essential school policies, as outlined in the Board Manual, Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual, Staff Handbook and Student and Family Handbook, are established prior to the first operational year modeled after policies of exemplary schools studied during the BES Fellowship. The Board will retain legal counsel and independent auditor before the school opens. We will seek professionals with charter school experience, and in the case of legal counsel, a firm with demonstrated expertise in school, special education, and labor and employment law. If revising school policies, the school will seek staff, parent, student, and community feedback on proposed policies that impact the school community. Primary mechanisms for information will be: Parent Feedback. Parent feedback will be obtained through annual parent surveys, the Parent Achievement Committee and by forming focus groups when needed. Staff input. The Executive Director will create short electronic surveys to collect focused input from teachers and staff which will inform the revision of school policies. Community Organizations. The Executive Director will seek the expertise of other charter schools and community organizations such as youth, educational, recreational, and local colleges as needed to inform school policies. Illustrative Example of Policy Adopted by Founding Group. The Founding Group adopted the school‘s Application and Enrollment Policy during a meeting held on September 25, 2012. One member of the group drafted the policy based on the current regulations and presented it to the group one week prior to the meeting for review. Founders came prepared with questions that guided a discussion at the meeting. Once all questions were addressed and no additional questions remained, the group agreed that the policy should be included in the body of this application.
(4) Board Development. The Governance Committee will oversee the recruitment of new Board members; all Board members will access their networks to recommend to the Committee any possible new member(s). (1) Members recommend only those candidates whom they believe are mission aligned to Argosy Collegiate and its college preparatory program. Recommenders explore the candidates’ interest and discuss the school in advance of suggesting the candidates to the governance committee. (2) Candidates’ names, résumés, and contact information are forwarded to the chair of the Governance Committee. A member of the Governance Committee contacts the candidate, facilitates the evaluation process, and serves as a contact for candidate questions. (3) Candidates who seem to meet the above criteria are asked to meet individually with at least one board member to further assess their compatibility. This member should have responsibilities related to the potential contribution area of the candidate. The recommender does not necessarily officially meet with the candidate again until the full board meeting. (4) Candidates who pass this first interview phase will be invited to meet with the Executive Director and at least one of—and in this order of preference—the Board Chair, Chair of the Governance Committee, or a member of the Governance Committee. (5) If potential Trustee continues to be interested in joining the board, then s/he attends the next Board meeting. When potential Trustee attends, s/he is given copy of the following: Charter application, Trustee job description, Board of Trustees committee job descriptions, Board of Trustees meeting minutes from the past calendar year, and State Charter school law. (6) Following the meeting, a member of the Governance Committee follows up with the potential Trustee to discuss mission and philosophical alignment and answer questions. If the Committee finds that s/he shares philosophical alignment with mission and possesses useful capacities for the Board, the Committee will formally recommend to the full Board of Trustees that he/she be approved as a new member. (7)Board of Trustees vote to accept or reject approval of new Trustee by two thirds (2/3) vote. (8) Once a new Trustee is approved, s/he is provided with the following information by the Governance Committee: Argosy Collegiate Charter School By-Laws; Schedule of future Board meetings; Trustees Guide. (9) New Trustees are required to fill out a Financial Disclosure form within two weeks of becoming a Trustee. The Financial Disclosure form will be forwarded, along with a current resumé, to the DESE Charter School Office by the chair of the Governance Committee. The Board will develop and execute a process to measure its own development and effectiveness. The Board will develop a set of annual strategic goals and will implement systems, including surveys, retreat meetings and other reflective activities, to assess the Board‘s performance.
(5) Network of Schools. We do not intend to build a network of schools at this time.
(6) School’s Management Contract. Argosy Collegiate will be governed by the Board of Trustees, and we do not intend to have a school management with any external entity.
D. Management. (1) Management Structure. The organizational structure of the school was chosen based on the models of other successful charter schools with strong academic results and powerful school cultures operating within the structure of a viable organization. There is an inextricable link between operations and academic achievement in schools, with the Executive Director overseeing business operations, school culture and student achievement to create a mission driven school culture and a school of academic and organizational integrity. The Executive Director reports to the Board, and oversees all management decisions. Please see Organizational Chart in Attachment D. Below are descriptions of staff positions to be filled during the first five years of the charter, and includes the reporting structure of the organization. Executive Director (Y1): oversees school performance, management, and ensures viability; leads public relations, fundraising, finances and operations; reports to the authorizer; manages the administrative team. The ED is hired by, reports to, and is evaluated by the Board. Director of Achievement (Y1): oversees curriculum development; ensures alignment with academic initiatives; manages benchmark assessments and data; observes and provides feedback to teachers; plans and implements professional development; oversees Student Supports Coordinator and teachers; reports to and is evaluated by the ED. Director of Finance and Operations (Y1): is responsible for the operational, financial, and facility needs; ensures that all records are up to date, accurate, and meet all local, state, and federal requirements; maintains facility; coordinates human resource needs, including documents, communications, and records; oversees Office Manager; is evaluated by and reports to the ED. Student Supports Coordinator (Y1): is responsible for all aspects of special education including administrative duties pertaining to student IEPs and 504s, maintenance of special education reports, ensuring compliance with all special education laws; services students in classrooms or pull-out situations when required; is special education certified in MA; reports to the DA, and is hired and evaluated by the ED in partnership with the DA. Office Manager (Y1): is responsible for all student records including personal information, health forms, attendance, homework, and behavior records/reports; ensures the readiness and distribution of weekly progress reports to parents every Friday; welcomes all students, families, staff, and visitors whether in person, telephone, email, or otherwise with professionalism and efficiency; works directly with the DFO; is hired by, reports to, and is evaluated by the ED. Teachers (Y1): are highly qualified as defined by No Child Left Behind; deliver curriculum using data to determine instruction effectiveness; evaluate individual and whole class progress; interviewed by ED and DA; hired by ED; report to DA, evaluated by ED with input from the DA. Director of Culture and Families (Y2): focuses on student culture, behavior, and discipline; establishes and maintains relationships with students and families to support the school’s behavior expectations; keeps records of reports, incidents, and communications with students, families, and administration; coordinates all non-academic meetings and ensures appropriate communications and confidentiality regarding student and family incidents; reports to and is evaluated by the ED. Director of Development (Y2): works to maintain and build new funding opportunities through networking, planning and hosting fundraising events, searching for and applying for governmental grants, and private foundations; hired by, reports to, and is evaluated by the ED. Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator (Y2): coordinates after school tutoring, Saturday Academy schedules, summer academic sessions, and enrichment activities including field trips; is hired by, reports to, and is evaluated by the ED.
(2)Role and Responsibilites. Student Achievement - The ED ensures the academic program is strong and makes all final curricular choices. The Board ensures that all curricula align with the school’s mission and accountability goals, and approves an annual budget to support curricular purchases and development. Personnel Decisions: The Board hires the ED and delegates all personnel decisions, including al hiring and firing decisions, to the ED. The Board approves an annual budget to support personnel needs, and ensures that all personnel are appropriately credentialed to serve all learners needs. Fiscal Planning - The Board approves the annual budget and major line items for the expenditures. The ED is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school’s finances, and makes decisions on the regular allocation of those resources within the approve budget. The Board and ED work together through the Finance Committee to review the monthly actuals versus projected as well as the school’s chart of accounts. Operations - The Board approves any vendors providing services in excess of $5,000 and the ED presents to the Board the proposed vendors for approval.
(3)Policy Development. Please see Draft Bylaws Attachment A.
(4)Educational Leadership. The educational content and pedagogical approach is being developed through in-depth school visits and training from the leaders of successful urban charter schools provided through the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship.71 The founding group envisions that the Executive Director will provide the vision for Argosy Collegiate’s proposed educational program and serve as the school‘s primary leader. The Executive Director is responsible for hiring and developing a Director of Achievement (DA) who will be the front line support for teachers and students, working closely with the Executive Director to execute the educational program and drive student achievement to high levels. An ideal DA will have taught in an urban, gap-closing charter school, possessing an unwavering belief that all students can achieve at high levels with a proven track record of results to this end. S/he will work closely with teachers, providing ongoing feedback and using data to drive instructional planning and developing teachers’ capacity to drive significant gains in achievement for every student.
(5)Human Resources. Positions, roles and responsibilities are modeled after the organizational structure of other successful charter schools in Massachusetts and nationally. The table below shows what positions will be hired and when during the first five years of the school‘s charter.

Positions

Year 0

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Executive Director

1

1

1

1

1

Director of Finance and Operations

.25

1

1

1

1

Director of Achievement

.25

1

1

1

1

Student Supports Coordinator




.5

1

1

1

Dean of Culture and Families







1

1

1

Office Manager

.2

1

1

1

1

Director of Development







1

1

1

Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator







1

1

1

Teachers

Reading




1

2

3

4

Writing




1

2

3

4

Math




2

4

6

8

Financial Literacy




1

2

3

4

Science




1

2

3

4

History




1

2

3

4

ELL




1

1

2

1

Special Education




.25

172

2

3

Specials (physical education, music, art)




1

2

2

3

Professional (Other)

Teaching Fellows







1.5

3

4

Beginning in year two, our budget and plans will allow for Teaching Fellows. The goal and benefits of our Teaching Fellowship are that we will employ culture-and mission-aligned teachers in training who will smoothly transition in teaching positions as we grow and fill hiring needs. In addition, the Teaching Fellow will serve as trained in-house substitute teachers who will adeptly fill the role of teacher upon an absence. Teaching Fellows will also provide tutoring support during lunch time and after school homework centers. Our Teaching Fellowship is based upon the work of such schools as Roxbury Prep, and BES schools Excel Academy and Nashville Prep.
Recruitment of Teachers and Staff is led by the Executive Director (ED). The ED includes other staff members in the recruitment and selection process once the school is operational. We recruit people who hold an unwavering belief that all students can and must achieve at high levels in order to compete and succeed in high school and college. In addition to being highly qualified in their content area, ideal candidates are goal-oriented, reflective, and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that students succeed. A warm/strict approach is a must. We retain the best and brightest teachers by offering them a competitive salary, high quality professional development with supportive school leaders, and a no excuses school culture that allows teachers to focus on teaching and students to focus on achievement. Teachers are compensated at a starting rate higher than that of the surrounding district schools and given a comparable benefit package including 80% coverage of health insurance. They are provided a professional working environment in which all staff members are mission-driven team players. Teachers lead three (3) academic classes per day with dedicated time every day to collaborate, analyze student achievement data and plan highly effective lessons. In addition to the academic load, teachers have opportunities to build meaningful relationships with students in several ways; they either tutor or teach an enrichment class every day and every teacher leads a small advisory group and leads students in the development of our core values: Determination, Responsibility, Excellence, Ambition, and Mastery. In upholding the school‘s culture together, teachers and staff share responsibility for school-wide duties including morning arrival, lunch, homework center, and dismissal. Professional Development is integral to Argosy Collegiate’s culture of achievement. All staff continue to visit and learn from the best practices of high performing charter schools serving a similar population with a similar mission. We will use Doug Lemov‘s Teach Like a Champion93 as our anchor text for Professional Development and organize PD into two core strands: (1) Classroom and School Culture and (2) Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. The Classroom and School Culture Strand trains staff to operationalize the systems and structures that create a calm, joyful, and disciplined culture of achievement. Training and supporting teachers to implement effective classroom management techniques as well as school wide systems and routines allows teachers to deliver their lessons with minimal distractions and students to be fully engaged in their learning. We teach grade level appropriate school chants to promote the school‘s values and promote a culture of achievement. Professional development is targeted for teachers, offering support with setting up a highly efficient and effective classroom, establishing classroom and school wide routines and procedures, and giving students rewards and consequences in a consistent manner, based on our token economy system. Normalizing teacher expectations of student behavior and consistent implementation of school wide systems will take ongoing support and practice. The Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Strand focuses first on creating a school wide standard of academic rigor, supporting teachers to write effective lesson plans, and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of our special education students and English Language Learners (ELLs). We emphasize the infusion of literacy throughout the entire school curriculum, with reading and writing in all content areas. We train and support teachers to pay close attention to the explicit academic progress of every single student, every single day, and have dedicated PD Data Days within our school schedule to analyze and create Action Plans for student growth and mastery. By providing specific, targeted professional development, we empower teachers to successfully support all of their students’ academic needs as they master content standards at each grade level. As data-driven instruction is one of the instructional foci of the school, it is critical that teachers understand how to: (1) create lesson plans that contain standards-aligned informal assessments; (2) build effective, standards-driven assessments; (3) grade open-ended responses consistently; (4) analyze standardized assessment data; and (5) use that data to inform instruction and targeted tutoring. We provide professional development and hands on support for all teachers in each of these areas. Summer Institute. Staff reports to work three weeks prior to the beginning of school for students. The staff spends the first week becoming immersed in the mission, vision, culture, and expectations of Argosy Collegiate. During this time, staff is introduced to the systems and structures that define the school‘s culture of achievement. The remaining two weeks staff create unit and lesson plans aligned to the scope and sequence and interim assessment system, and aligned with the MCFs and Common Core. We spend our final days of staff orientation preparing for a successful student orientation. Comprehensively, we provide teachers with a total of 27 days of Professional Development annually, as well as individualized Professional Development as outlined below.

School-Year Professional Development. School year professional development occurs for a minimum of three hours weekly. On Fridays, students are dismissed at 1:30 PM, and teachers engage in timely and relevant professional development; 12 PD days are dispersed throughout the year, providing staff and faculty full days of collaboration and development. This time is spent analyzing data from Interim Assessments, reinforcing school culture and visiting other successful schools. Common planning time is a scheduling priority so that teachers can collaborate on lesson planning and provide feedback to colleagues. Each week, a designated faculty member leads an inquiry group to discuss the quality of student work, and gains ideas from colleagues on how to improve outcomes from a lesson that has been problematic for the teacher. Lesson plans and samples of student work are used to discuss student achievement and reflect on effective teaching techniques. The Executive Director and/or Director of Academic Achievement plan and deliver content aligned with school-wide goals and grade-level needs. Teacher Supervision and Evaluation is driven by the following goals: (1) Students are taught by highly effective educators committed to the mission of the school and strong student learning and outcomes. (2) Teachers have clear expectations for high quality teaching, are provided feedback according to criteria named in a teacher evaluation rubric. (3) Teachers receive individualized support and opportunities to grow professionally. (4) Teacher observations inform professional development goals and the corresponding PD program for each subsequent year. Supervision, informed by our ongoing professional feedback loop and Professional Development schedule, includes the following: Mini Observations. Informal 7-10 minute observations are conducted daily by the Executive Director (ED) or the Director of Achievement (DA). Mini observations are followed up with a face-to-face conversation when possible and otherwise with feedback in a written note or an email. Data Meetings. Participants may include ED or DA as well as an individual teacher or a teaching team; full day data meetings are geared primarily around the Interim Assessment schedule but are also in response to MCAS data in the beginning of the year and nationally norm-referenced assessment; Friday data meetings, as part of our weekly Professional Development, includes analysis of results on “Show What You Know Quizzes” that students complete each Friday. Curriculum and Instruction Planning Sessions. Planning sessions with an individual or department, are facilitated weekly by the DA. Whole Class Observations. These are conducted at least three times per year, as well as on an additional as-needed basis by the ED or DA, and include written and oral debrief; teachers may request a whole class observation or it may be recommended by ED or DA. Evaluation Time-Line. All teachers are evaluated annually, according the following timeline: Beginning of Year (September/October): Identify goals/priority areas; formal goals set; formal full class observation with written feedback. Mid-Year (January): Feedback/discussion with DA; check in on goals / priority areas; identify new goals / priority areas if needed; formal full class observation with written feedback. End-of-Year (Mid-April - May); Rubrics completed by DA; formal full class observation with written feedback; evaluation summary written and shared with teacher. Increases in compensation are set at a standard 3% COLA annually and we anticipate being able to provide added an annual bonus structure for returning staff as informed by two factors: individual performance (and thus new annual contract offered) and school wide student achievement goals in math and literacy (as informed by internal goals and our Accountability Plan). All staff (those who have been offered another annual contract, and regardless of responsibility or content area) will be given a bonus for reaching student achievement goals established in Argosy Collegiate’s Accountability Plan.73 The ED will draft a teacher compensation program that aligns with these goals during the planning year, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. The founding group deeply respects the work of teachers and expects to offer generous increases in salary based on teacher performance and gains in student achievement.
Professional Development for School Leaders. Follow-on services from Proven Provider Building Excellent Schools will provide professional development and support for school leaders through ongoing support, consultation, training and continued access to the practices of high performing schools and school leaders in the national BES network. Additional Professional Development for school leaders will be based on individual needs and responsibilities. We anticipate engaging Charter School Business Management 94 for any finance and operations in the planning year as we establish and operationalize effective operational and fiscal procedures. Evaluation of School Leaders. All administrators establish rigorous annual goals aligned with the Accountability Plan measures and/or based on identified roles and responsibilities in support of Argosy Collegiate’s mission. The ED supervises and evaluates administrators and increases in compensation are determined by their overall job performance and meeting individual goals. The ED is evaluated by the Board of Trustees based on annual goals aligned with the Accountability Plan and other priority areas defined by the goal.


E. Facilities and Student Transportation. Founders have worked with local real estate experts to assess the current real estate market and identify several potential facilities. The founding group will have 18 months post authorization to complete a facility search, negotiate a lease or purchase agreement, and oversee renovations. We anticipate leasing a facility for at least the first three years of operation before acquiring a permanent facility for the school. However, we will explore all available properties for lease and sale. Items below describes the real estate needs and anticipated associated costs for the first three years of operations. Initial research has uncovered several properties in the South End that could serve as a potential site for Argosy Collegiate. (1) Notre Dame De Lourdes School, 34 Joseph Street, Fall River, MA, 02723. Originally opened in 1899, grew to a PK – 8, Catholic Church school closed in 2009 due to low enrollment. Its architectural style is Colonial Revival it and was added to the National Historic Register in 1983. With a brick exterior, three stories, with new windows on the third floor, which houses a gymnasium. The area is 21,780 square feet. The school is centrally located in the Flint Village and has access to Lafayette Park, with baseball and soccer facilities next door. Lead Founder Kristen Pavao and at least one of Argosy Collegiate’s Founding Board of Trustees’ children are alumni of Notre Dame. Off-street bus routes and a paved, fenced playground are key features of this facility. We are in the process of connecting with a representative of the diocese to begin discussion about vacant diocese facilities in the city. (2) Immaculate Conception Church and Rectory, 15 Thomas Street, Fall River, MA 02723. Located just one block from Notre Dame De Lourdes School and even closer to Lafayette Park. The church has been vacant for one year as the congregation recently joined the Notre Dame De Lourdes Church. The church building itself and basement could be converted for classrooms, and the rectory could be used for office space. (3) Fall River District Public Schools: There are 15 vacant district public schools in Fall River. Lead Founder Kristen Pavao on behalf of the Board of Trustees for Argosy Collegiate has submitted a request to meet and speak with the Mayor and the Superintendent of Fall River to discuss possible public space opportunities in the city for Argosy Collegiate. All students, parents, staff, and visitors who are physically challenged will have full access to the school facility in accordance Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.) and its accompanying regulations. All students will be provided with the access, services, and accommodations necessary to assure their full participation in the educational program, in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulation including the Americans with Disabilities Act. The accessibility costs for the facility, if needed, are included in the renovation expenses.
Transportation: We will work with the district to provide transportation afforded to them under SPS transportation practices. Students requiring access to modified modes of transportation as outlined by their educational plans will be provided these by the district. The ED will be responsible for transportation at the charter school and will serve as liaison between families, district services and other transportation arrangements provided to ensure full access and safe access to the school. Transportation practices and costs will be evaluated annually after coordination with the district. We will work with families to create an effective parent car pool system to support our Saturday program. Parent representatives will be involved with the review of transportation practices.
F. School Finances: (1.) Fiscal Management. The Board will delegate daily management of school’s finances to the ED who will work closely with the DFO, who will bring experience or training in business management. During the pre-operational year, the ED will consult with Charter School Business Management to design business, operations, and human resource systems based on state and federal requirements.  This organization will also provide ongoing support and consultation to the DFO and ED.  The ED will develop a Fiscal Control Manual that specifies the financial control procedures in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations and based on the Massachusetts Charter School Recommended Fiscal Policies and Procedures Guide. The Manual will cover the roles and responsibilities of all staff involved with financial management, processes of budgeting and reporting, transaction approval, purchasing, record keeping, issuing checks, employees’ expenses, payroll and benefits, and inventory management. The Manual will be reviewed and recommended by the Finance Committee, and approved by the Board. The Annual Operating Budget will be presented to the Board for approval in May after the April tuition projections are released by DESE. Each line item of revenue and expense in the operating budget will be accompanied by documentation supporting the underlying assumptions for the figures used.  The Budget will be reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee before being presented to the Board. Monthly, an actual to budget financial statement including cash flow projections, along with a Chart of Accounts, will be produced and presented to the Board for review.  The ED will be responsible for the school’s daily financial operations, approving all expenditures. S/he will meet with the DFO weekly to discuss issues related to finances, including budget and cash flow analysis. The ED will oversee procurement of supplies, equipment and services. The DFO will process orders and requests per the Fiscal Control Manual, choose a contractor and complete purchase of goods and services. The DFO, assisted by the Office Manager, will be in charge of the school’s automated accounting books, prepare payroll information for the payroll company, process accounts payable and monitor budget and cash flow. The ED will ensure that roles and responsibilities are sufficiently and appropriately segregated as required by law. The ED will create a finance and operations responsibility matrix which delineates tasks related to finance, ensuring that segregation of responsibilities is carticulated and documented.   Payments and Incoming Funds.  ED will sign checks and have responsibility for approved purchases, while DFO will prepare all checks for signature and monitor approved expenditures.  DFO will not have any check signing authority or withdrawal authority.  Checks in excess of $5,000 will require second signature of Board member.  Checks will be issued only when within approved budget and with approval of ED.  Voided checks will be retained to insure proper maintenance of checking account records.  Incoming receipts will be recorded by DFO who will record the name, date received, name(s) or donor, address (if available), amount, and type of receipt.  The DFO will stamp the check “for deposit only” into Argosy Collegiate’s account, and prepare the deposit slip and deposit the checks into the appropriate account.  A copy of each check will be attached to a copy of the deposit slip and deposit receipt and will be filed and used for reconciliation of the bank statement by the ED.  DFO will receive documentation related to cash receipts deposit and record activity to accounting system.  The Finance Committee will review all cash receipts monthly, including comparison of amounts received to budget.  Record Keeping.  Argosy Collegiate will use commercial accounting program such Quick Books to keep financial records.  The ED, DFO and Treasurer will have sole access to records and will use password system that is changed regularly.  Each week all financial records will be backed up and stored off-site.  The Finance Committee will review software needs annually. Cash flow Management Plan.  Our cash management plan includes processes and procedures that help signal potential cash management problem and allow for immediate attention.  The ED bears ultimate responsibility to ensure that all forms are completed and procedures are followed to ensure that all expected public and private dollars flow to school without significant gaps in time.  On weekly basis, during Operations Meetings, DFO provides cash flow update to ED indicating expected revenues to be received and budgeted expenses to be made.  Meetings focus on ensuring that school maintains positive cash flow and to extent possible, cash reserve each month.  Over time, ED with Board Treasurer produces budgets that include cash surpluses each year to help offset potential shortfalls in revenue and help meet short term cash flow challenges.  There will be financial management policies and procedures in place to help ensure all purchases and expenditures are approved and accounted for with eye towards fiscal prudence and long-term value.  These procedures for purchases and accounts payable will allow DFO and ED to curtail rate of spending if necessary.  The ED, with Board's approval, will seek lines of credit with financial institutions to provide extra layer of protection.  Finally, in event revenues do not fully cover expenses, ED, DFO, and Board Treasurer will take necessary steps to protect payroll and facilities’ needs.  Options would include how revenue through private donations and fundraising can be improved, how non-payroll and facilities expenses and purchases can be delayed, or seeing if schedule for payments of contracts or services can be renegotiated. To maintain fiscal conservancy, we will maintain the accounting records and related financial reports on an accrual basis. All records and reports will be consistent with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
(2.) Budget and Budget Narrative. Major Assumptions.  Revenue and expenditures.
Per Pupil Tuition.  Per pupil amount of $13,550 based on available data for FY13 projections for Fall River.  Student Enrollment.  Student enrollment assumed @ 81 in Y1, plus additional 81 students each additional year. 74  We will fill any seats lost to attrition in grades 5-8 with students on our waiting list.  We will reach our full capacity of 585 students in FY21.75 Facility Size.  Our facilities need is assumed by estimating a need of 80 square feet per student. Cost Per Square Foot.  Our estimated cost per square foot of $12 is based on consultation with local real estate professionals.  Staff FTE.  Staff FTE aligns with the hiring plan for the five year term of the charter, which is included in the governance and management section.  Administrative (Professional).  In FY14 (Planning Year), we assume the hiring of one (1) FTE Executive Director, a Director of Finance and Operations at (.25) FTE, and a Director of Achievement at (.25) FTE.  In FY15 (Operational Y1), these positions each increase to one (1) FTE position.  In FY16 (Operational Y2), we assume the addition of a Dean of Students and Culture at one (1) FTE.  In FY16 (Operational Y2) we add a Director of Development at one (1) FTE. There are no additional administrative positions in FY17. Administrative (Support/Clerical).  In FY14, we assume part time administrative support at (.2) FTE.  This increases to one (1) FTE in FY15 and FY16. In FY17, to support the increased traffic and support in the office in the afternoons, we increase administrative support to (1.5) FTE through the remaining five years of the charter.  Instructional: Teachers.  In FY15, we assume nine and a half (9.5) FTE teaching positions and a (.5) FTE Special Education teacher (the other .5 of this position is recognized as Instructional – Support/clerical for management of the Special Education program from the Student Supports Coordinator).  We assume the addition of eight (8) FTE regular education and two (2) FTE special education teachers in FY16 and again in FY17.  We base our assumptions for special education staffing needs on the demographics of the Fall River Public School student body which we expect to match our student body. Instructional: Other (Professional). In FY16 we assume one and a half (1.5) FTE Teaching Fellows, increasing to three (3) FTE Teaching Fellows in FY17. Instructional: Salaries - Support/Clerical.  In FY15, we anticipate hiring a (.5) FTE Student Supports Coordinator to oversee provision of services for students with special education and/or Limited English Proficiency needs.  We will maintain staffing at this level until FY16, at which point we will make this a one (1) FTE position and add on (1) FTE Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator. We maintain these staffing levels in FY17. Other – Cost of Living Increase.  The budget assumes a 3% cost of living increase for all staff each year. 
Operating Revenues.  An outline of all operating revenues is provided here.

Tuition.  We base this on a per pupil allocation of $13,550 with 81 students enrolled in FY15 and 81 students enrolled in each subsequent year.  The per-pupil allocation for facilities is included in line 35 as “other.”  Grants – State.  While we assume receipt of funding through the Charter School Program (CSP) grant, we conservatively do not include it in our proposed budget because the final allocation is not yet determined.76 Grants – Federal.  We estimate revenues from Federal Entitlement grants by determining the average amount of funding per eligible pupil according to the amount of Title 1 and IDEA funds granted to the Fall River Public Schools (FRPS) and the school system’s published student demographic data.  We anticipate having the same percentages of Special Education and Low Income students as the school system and calculate our assumed revenue accordingly.   Therefore, we anticipate receiving an average of $470.81 in Title I funding (total Title I funding for Fall River was $4,629,965 and total FRPS student enrollment was 9,834) and $317.75 in IDEA funding (total IDEA funding for FRPS was $3,124,800) on an annual basis. Nutrition Funding – State & Federal.  We anticipate that 78% of our students will receive free breakfast and lunch at a combined reimbursement rate of $4.6277; 5% of our students will receive reduced breakfast and lunch at a combined reimbursement rate of $3.90. Program Fees.  We do not include program fees as we will not charge our families any amount for school programs.  We anticipate that the majority of our students will come from low income families.  Contributions, in kind.  We will solicit contributions in kind but we do not assume any at this stage.  Contributions, in cash.  Revenue from Board contributions and fundraising is assumed at $30,000 in FY14 to FY17.78 Please see Attachment J for the Board’s Letter of Financial Commitment. Investment Income.  We do not assume investment income as revenue in the budget.  We anticipate moving funds to interest-earning accounts as frequently as possible, but will not rely on this income until we have an established surplus of funds from our first few years of operations.  Transportation.  Transportation will be provided by the local school district. Other: Facility Reimbursement.  Our assumed rate of $893 per pupil, multiplied by the anticipated enrollment each year, provides estimated facility reimbursement revenue. 
Operating Expenditures Administration Salaries – Administrative (Professional). FY14, our professional staff will consist of one (1) FTE Executive Director (ED) @ $90,000; a (.25) Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) @ $50,000 (FTE); and (.25) Director of Achievement (DA) @ $50,000 (FTE).  The ED remains at one (1) FTE at $90,000 with a 3% COLA. The DA and the DFO each go to (1) FTE with an increased salary to $52,000. In FY16, we will hire one (1) FTE Dean of Culture and Families at $50,000 and we add a one (1) FTE Director of Development at $55,000. We allocate funds to provide a 3% COLA increase each year for returning administrators. In FY17, there are no additional administrators and provide a 3% COLA. Salaries – Administrative (Support/Clerical).  We will hire an Office Manager (OM) at (.2) FTE at $40,000 in FY14.  This will increase to one (1) FTE in FY15.  In FY16, there is a 3% COLA. In FY17, there is a 3% COLA and the addition of a (.5) position. Accounting – Audit.  Fees are assumed at $15,000 each year based on schools of similar size. Legal.  Fees are assumed conservatively at $10,000 in FY14 and $15,000 in all subsequent years.  Payroll.  We will contract out with a payroll company at an anticipated cost of $3,000 per year based on the payments made by charters schools of similar size.  Other Professional Services.  We assume the cost of $2,000 in FY15 to contract out with a company such as Kickboard to design, and provide support for, a data management system to track academic and behavioral results.  This will increase to $2,500 in FY16 and $3,500 in FY17.Information Management and Technology.  We conservatively estimate anticipated costs for technology in based on the following needs: Start Up - $3,000 in FY14 to design and set up our website. We allocate $500 in subsequent years to maintain this site, supported in part by our expertise on our Board; $1,000 on our server plus a $10,000 one-time installation fee in FY14; Two printers at $500/printer; Annual - Laptop computers for all staff at $800/FTE, Cell phone device at $100 and a monthly service plan at $80 for all members of the school Leadership Team (ED, DCI, and DFO in Y1; DSC in Y2), $2,000/year on IT support.  Office Supplies and Materials. We estimate $2,000 on basic main office and classroom space (outside of student furniture and materials) set up in FY14 and the same amount to maintain the main office each year thereafter. We allocate $300/FTE in FY15 and all subsequent years for teacher work room furniture. Professional Development, Administrative/Board.  We assume the cost of $15,000 per year, starting in FY16, for professional development for the administration and the board, to be provided by Building Excellent Schools.79  Dues, Licenses, and Subscriptions.  We will pay dues to the MA Charter School Association beginning in our first operational year.  We anticipate dues of $2,500 in FY15 growing as the school grows to $4,000 in FY16 and $6,000 in FY17. Fundraising.  We assume spending of $3,000 on fundraising in FY15 and $6,000 in FY16 and $8,000 subsequent years to fund the development of professionally designed flyers and folders for presentations to potential donors. Recruitment/Advertising.  We anticipate spending $1,000 to recruit each FTE staff member and $25 for each student we plan to enroll.  We will advertise our administrative and teaching positions locally and nationally. Travel Expenses for staff/Board.  This covers travel and expenses for staff and board member research trips to schools in nearby cities that have inspired the design of Argosy Collegiate.  We assume $500 annually for our board and $100 per FTE in FY15 and all subsequent years.  Bank Charges – Current (Short Term).  We do not anticipate any bank charges because we do not plan to take out any loans.    Student Furniture- Buying all student furniture the summer prior to enrollment, we budget $150 per student with a 3% COLA. Printing and Paper-We allocate $60 per student.
Instructional Services - Salaries – Teachers.  We assume average first year teacher salary of $44,000.  In FY15, we hire nine (9) FTE general education teachers @ $44,000 each and (.5) Special Education teacher, @ $55,000. In FY16 additional (8) FTE general education teachers @ $50,000 and adding (2) FTE Special Education teachers FTE @ $55,000. In FY17, we add (9) FTE general education teachers @ $50,000 and one (1) FTE Special Education teacher @ $55,000. We allocate funds to provide 3% COLA increase each year for returning teachers.  Salaries- Other (Professional). In FY16, hire (1.5) FTE Teaching Fellows @ $40,000, and FY17 we increase to (3) FTE Teaching Fellow position with 3% COLA. Salaries – Support/Clerical.  In FY15, we hire (.5) FTE Student Supports Coordinator @ $55,000 to oversee special education testing, programs, and compliance.  Position increases to one (1) FTE in FY16. In FY16, add one (1) FTE Tutoring and Enrichment Coordinator @ $45,000 to expand tutoring programs and enrichment opportunities. We allocate funds to provide 3% COLA increase each year for returning teachers.  Instructional Technology in Classrooms.  Includes ELMO document cameras and projectors in each classroom at $5,000 per year beginning FY15. In FY16, we anticipate fully equipping one classroom with 30 computers at $800 per computer. The school assumes an average computer life of four (4) years. The school will seek in-kind donations or discounted computers, which would have a favorable impact on the budget. Instructional Supplies & Materials.  In FY15 we anticipate a cost of $250 per student for instructional materials and supplies.  We also assume an additional cost of $2,000 for instructional materials to accommodate students with special needs in each operational year (FY15, FY16, FY17).  Testing & Assessment.  We assume a cost of $30 per student for assessment material for the Stanford 10, plus $30,000 per year for the Achievement Network. These costs are estimated based on the expenses allocated by other charter schools purchasing the same high quality interim and national normed assessments that we will use.  Our allocation for special education testing in FY15 and subsequent years assumes that 21% (17 of our students in Y1) will have special education needs and that one third of them will receive three-year evaluations in FY15 at approximately $1,500 per student. Professional Development, Instructional.  We estimate a cost of $3,000 for FY14, then $5,000 for FY15,, $10,000 for FY16, and $15,000 for FY16 for teacher Professional Development (PD).  Most PD will be planned and facilitated by school leaders so these expenses will cover the resources and materials we use.  Additional costs cover PD for purchased curriculum. Classroom libraries. We estimate $500 per classroom for classroom libraries.
Other Student Services - Salaries – Other Student Services.  We assume that 10% of our students will require Speech/Language or Occupational Therapy at a rate of $80 per hour and 1 hour of service per week. Health Services.  This reflects the hiring of a part time (.25) FTE nurse @ $40,000 as well as a rate of $3/student per year to cover basic health care needs. In FY16, this increases to a (.5) FTE position with a 3% COLA. In FY17, this increases to (1) FTE with a 3% COLA. Student Transportation (to and from school).  This is provided by the district.  Food Services.  We assume a net zero expenditure on food through funding from the National School Lunch Program. Athletic Services. Beginning in FY15, We spend $1,000 per year with an increase of $1,000 every year thereafter in athletic supplies. This reflects estimated expenses for fitness related materials and supplies such as balls, jump ropes, jerseys, and team building exercises. 
Operations and Maintenance of Plant - Salaries – Operations and Maintenance of Plant.  We assume cost of $15,000 for salaries for part time custodial staff in FY15.  This will increase each subsequent year by $5,000 as facility grows in size until we reach full capacity. Utilities.  We estimate cost of utilities according to expenditures of other schools of a similar size.  Maintenance of Buildings & Grounds.  We assume a cost of $12,000 in FY15, $16,000 in FY16, increasing to $20,000 in FY17.  Rental/Lease of Buildings & Grounds.  The assumed lease expense based upon the major assumptions about square footage needs and costs.  Rental/Lease of Equipment.  We anticipate the need to lease and maintain copy machines; our assumption of 2 copiers at $12,000 in FY15, 3 copiers at $18,000 in FY16, and 4 copiers at $24,000 in FY17 is based on the average expense of other schools.  Other: Phone System.  We assume a cost of $10,000 to set up a phone system in FY15 and allocate $5,150 FY16 and $5,305 for FY17 to maintain this system.
Fixed Charges - Payroll taxes.  Payroll taxes include 1.45% of total salaries for Medicare, 6.2% of non-instructional salaries for Social Security and 1% for unemployment insurance.80  Fringe Benefits.  We assume that 75% of employees will request individual health and dental insurance coverage and that the school will assume 80% of an individual policy, and that 25% of employees will request family health and dental coverage and that the school will assume 80% of a family policy.  Inflation is assumed at 10% each year.  Insurance (non-employee).  We allocate $20,000 per year, with a 3% annual increase, for Workman’s Compensation, General Liability, and Directors and Operators insurance for the Board of Trustees.  Educator Bonus Program. Beginning in FY16 and thereafter merit based bonuses are awarded at $5,000 per teacher (FTE) who meets their student achievement goals as established by the ED and the DA. Bonuses are based on student achievement data and are payable upon return to FTE position the following year. This bonus program rewards effective teachers, gives us a competitive edge in the recruiting and hiring market, and helps to improve teacher retention.
Community Service and Dissemination - Dissemination Activities.  This includes outreach to other schools and sharing of best practices.  Civic Activities.  We budget college campus/university field trips beginning with local campus trips in 5th grade, state campus trips in the 6th grade, and regional campus sites in the 7th grade. We anticipate $30 per pupil for 5th grade, with bus and food, $50 for longer visits providing two meals, and $75 per pupil for overnights, transportation and meals. We will fundraise for costs and trips above these estimates and make adjustments accordingly. Contingency Fund. We assume reserves of 3% in our planning year; 3% in year one of operation; and 5% of operating revenue in each subsequent year for unanticipated costs.


  1. Action Plan

The chart details the Action Plan the school will put in place from the time of charter until opening

Action Items

State

Completion

Person(s)

Governance

Self-assess/approve Bylaws (BOT) and submit to the Charter Schools Office




Apr 2013

BOT

Finalize ED job description and evaluation process




May 2013

BOT

Hire ED




Jun 2013

BOT

Obtain copies of the Administrative and Governance Guide for each BOT member




Mar 2013

BOT

Elect officers, form committees, appoint committee chairs




Apr 2013

BOT

Hold retreat to transition to governing board




Apr 2013

BES, ED

Submit letter to CSO requesting approval of and resumes for new BOT members




May 2013

ED

Submit a financial disclosure form for the previous calendar year for each of the proposed BOT members to CSO




May 2013

BOT

Finalize dashboard template for monthly reporting to BOT




Jun 2013

BOT, ED

Submit an organizational chart to the Charter Schools Office

 

Jun 2013

ED

Set board meeting calendar

 

May 2013

BOT

Approve Complaint Procedure (BOT) and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Jul 2013

BOT

Secure legal counsel

 

Aug 2013

ED

Enrollment and Admission

Self-assess and approve Enrollment Policy (BOT) and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Jun 2013

BOT

Create and finalize recruitment materials

 Mar 2013

May 2013

ED

Conduct recruitment outreach (see recruitment plan)

May 2013

Jan 2014

ED

Hold enrollment lottery and notify families of results

 

Mar 2014

ED

Submit Pre-Enrollment report to Charter Schools Office

 

Mar 2014

ED

Request student records

 

Mar 2014

ED

Assess student services and create special education program plan

Apr 2014

Jun 2014

ED, DA

Conduct diagnostic testing                                               

 

Aug 2014

DA

Plan student orientation

Jun 2014

Aug 2014

ED, DA

Host family orientation

 

Aug 2014

ED

Host student orientation

 

Aug 2014

ED, DA

School Policies and Practices

Set up student information database

Jul 2014

Aug 2014

DA

Order non-instructional supplies, furniture, equipment and materials

 

Jun 2014

ED

Approve school calendar and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Self-assess and approve student code of conduct (BOT) and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit contact information for School to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Draft, get feedback and submit School Health and Medications Administration Plan to Charter Schools Office

 Aug 2013

Aug 2014

ED

Draft, get feedback, and submit Nutrition Services Plan to Charter Schools Office

 Aug 2013

Aug 2014

ED

Draft, get feedback and submit Wellness Policy to Charter Schools Office

 Aug 2013

Aug 2014

ED

School Facility and Building Safety

Facility Search

Mar 2013

Dec 2013

ED

Secure site

 

Dec 2013

ED

Oversee renovations

Jan 2014

Jun 2014

ED

Prepare building infrastructure (i.e.; lights, phones, server and computer network)




Jun 2014

ED

Set up furniture, equipment, and materials




Jun 2014

ED

Submit a copy of the signed lease

 

Jun 2014

ED

Submit written assurance that the facility is accessible

 

Jul 2014

ED

Submit multi-hazard evacuation plan to CSO

 

Jul 2014

ED

Submit current Certificate of Occupancy and required safety inspections to Charter Schools Office

 

Jul 2014

ED

Obtain property insurance and provide documentation to CSO




Jul 2014

ED

Secure janitorial services

 

 Jul 2014

ED

Staff Recruitment, Evaluation and Professional Development

Develop job descriptions and postings

Apr 2013

Jun 2013

ED

Recruit and hire staff

Jun 2013

Jun 2014

ED

Set staff salaries and benefits

 

Jun 2013

ED

Develop staff policies and handbook

 

Jul 2013

ED

Plan staff orientation

Jul 2013

Jul 2014

ED

Hold staff orientation

 

Aug 2014

ED, DA

Submit summary of staff’s qualifications to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit signed letter  of agreement with special education administrator to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Obtain access to CORI and approve CORI policy (BOT)

 

Jun 2014

ED

Submit staff performance criteria and evaluation plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit CORI assurance for all employees

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit written documentation of physician and nurse relationship to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit professional development  plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Educational Program and Curriculum

Develop curriculum

Aug 2013

Aug 2014

ED

Order materials, supplies, equipment

Jun 2014

Sept 2014

ED, DA

Contract with special education consultants

 

Aug 2014

ED, DA

Submit District Curriculum Accommodation Plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit Special Education Program Plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Submit Title I Plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Transportation  and Food Services

Submit Transportation Services Plan to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2014

ED

Contract with food service provider

 

Aug 2014

ED

Financial Systems

Apply for tax exempt status and ID

 

Completed

ED, BOT

Secure independent auditor

 

Jun 2013

ED

Contract with accounting consultant to create systems for business, ops, and HR

 

Jun 2013

ED

Design financial management systems (QuickBooks)

Jun 2013

Sept 2013

ED

Design accounting process forms and reporting templates

Jun 2013

Sept 2013

ED

Establish payroll

 

Sept 2013

ED

Set up bank accounts

 

Apr 2013

ED

Approve Fiscal Policies and Procedures and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Oct 2013

ED, BOT

Approve annual budget (BOT) and submit to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2013

ED

Obtain Director and Operators insurance and provide evidence of coverage to Charter Schools Office

 

Aug 2013

ED

 

IV. How Will The School Demonstrate That It Is Faithful To The Terms Of Its Charter?


A. Process. By design, accountability is one of the core principles at Argosy Collegiate. Our accountability goals will keep us grounded in our mission, and ensure that at any moment in our school day, week, month or year, we will have access to qualitative and quantitative data which will inform our planning, professional development, and student supports. The founding group has drafted an accountability plan with rigorous and measurable goals for academic success, organizational viability, and faithfulness to charter. As Argosy Collegiate grows its student body each year per grade, we will continue to analyze and evaluate our goals in order to make informed decisions regarding improving rigor, instruction, and achievement. The Executive Director will oversee school performance, while the Director of Achievement and the Student Supports Coordinator will be responsible for collecting data, analyzing data, and writing reports that clearly evaluate the school’s progress towards accountability plan objectives. The Board will oversee progress towards our goals through monthly dashboards on academic and fiscal health. Every member of the school community is accountable for the expectations of our mission and our accountability goals.
B. Goals. The mission of Argosy Collegiate Charter School is to equip all scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic and ethical foundation necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership. The goals of our accountability plan directly and specifically support the mission of Argosy Collegiate and should be used internally and externally to evaluate the school’s effectiveness for operational years 2014 through 2018.
(1)Academic Success
Goal 1.01: Students will achieve mastery in Reading/ELA.
Absolute and Longitudinal Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the ELA MCAS: 60% of students who have attended the school for two or more years will score proficient or advanced; 70% of students who have attended for three or more years will score proficient or advanced; 80% of students who have attended for four or more years will score proficient or advanced; 100% of students who have attended for five or more years will score proficient or advanced.
Comparative Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the ELA MCAS: All students who have attended the school for two or more years will, on average, attain a rate of proficiency at least five (5) percent higher than that of the surrounding district average.
Comparative Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the ELA MCAS: All racial, socioeconomic, ability, and language subgroups will, on average, score at the same rates of proficiency as the school’s average rate of proficiency.
Longitudinal, Comparative, and Absolute Measure (Norm Referenced)- On the Language Arts Stanford 10: The average annual increase of percentiles among students on the Reading Comprehension section will average a minimum of five (5) percentiles of growth per year until the average percentile score reaches 75.
Goal 1.02: Students will achieve mastery in Mathematics.
Absolute and Longitudinal Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the MATH MCAS: 60% of students who have attended the school for two or more years will score proficient or advanced; 70% of students who have attended for three or more years will score proficient or advanced; 80% of students who have attended for four or more years will score proficient or advanced; 100% of students who have attended for five or more years will score proficient or advanced.
Comparative Measure (Criterion Referenced)- On the MATH MCAS: All students who have attended the school for two or more years will, on average, attain a rate of proficiency at least five (5) percent higher than that of the surrounding district average.
Comparative Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the MATH MCAS: All racial, socioeconomic, ability, and language subgroups will, on average, score at the same rates of proficiency as the school’s average rate of proficiency.
Longitudinal, Comparative, and Absolute Measure (Norm Referenced) - On the MATH Stanford 10: The average annual increase of percentiles among students on the Mathematics section will average a minimum of five (5) percentiles of growth per year until the average percentile score reaches 75.
Goal 1.04: Students will achieve mastery in financial literacy.
Absolute Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On Internal Assessments:  75% of students who have attended the school for two or more years score at or above 80% on rigorous internally-created assessments aligned to federal and state financial literacy education standards.  At least 80% of students score above 80% after year three and at least 90% after year four. 

Absolute Measure - On Authentic Work: 75% of all students in grades seven and eleven who have attended the school for two or more years score at or above 80% on capstone projects and presentations as evaluated by an external panel of judges using a commonly applied quantitative and qualitative rubric.   At least 80% of students score above 80% after year three and at least 90% after year four.
Goal 1.03: Students will achieve mastery in Science and Social Studies.
Comparative Measure (Criterion Referenced) - On the SCIENCE MCAS: All students who have attended the school for two or more years will, on average, attain a rate of proficiency at least five (5) percent higher than that of the surrounding district average.
Absolute Measure - On Authentic Writing: 8th grade students will write a historical narrative that will be assessed by an external panel of evaluators using a qualitative and quantitative rubric. 90% of students will demonstrate proficiency; with 30% will demonstrate mastery.


  1. Organizational Viability


Goal 2.01: Argosy Collegiate will demonstrate fiduciary and financial responsibility.
AUDIT Measure: External, annual audit reports will demonstrate that Argosy Collegiate meets or exceeds professional accounting standards.
BUDGET Measure: Budgets for each academic year will demonstrate effective allocation of financial resources to ensure effective delivery of the school‘s mission as measured by annual budgets approved by the Board and submitted to the DESE. The Finance Committee of the Board will review this budget monthly.
Goal 2.02 Argosy Collegiate will be fully enrolled and demonstrate the optimum levels of daily attendance and student retention.
ENROLLMENT Measure: Student enrollment will be at 100% of projected enrollment described in the charter application at the beginning of each year. 2
RETENTION Measure: 85% of students who complete the school year at Argosy Collegiate will re-enroll for the following school year.
ATTENDANCE Measure: Argosy Collegiate will average 95% or higher daily student attendance in each school year.
Goal 2.03 Parents will demonstrate high satisfaction with the academic program and the community of Argosy Collegiate.
ENROLLMENT Measure: Student enrollment will be at 100% of projected enrollment described in the charter application at the beginning of each year.
RETENTION Measure: 85% of students who complete the school year at Argosy Collegiate will re-enroll for the following school year.
SURVEY Measure: 85% of families will respond to annual family surveys, and of the respondent group, 85% will say that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the academic program and community of Argosy Collegiate.
Goal 2.04 The Board of Trustees will provide effective and sound oversight of the school to promote teaching and learning.
ANNUAL REVIEW Measure: The Board will conduct a formal annual review to measure the effectiveness of the Executive Director using one formal evaluation per year.
ANNUAL SELF-EVALUATION Measure: The Board will conduct an annual self-evaluation to assess strengths and weaknesses of the Board.
ANNUAL POLICY REVIEW Measure: The Board will annually review the bylaws and policies and update as necessary.
ANNUAL ANALYSIS Measure: The Board of Trustees will conduct an annual analysis of the school‘s organizational strengths and weaknesses.


  1. Faithfulness to the Charter


3.01 Students will be prepared for the rigor of our high school curriculum and be prepared for college.
HW Measure: On average, 90% of students will complete homework as measured by daily checks.
SURVEY Measure: 85% of families will respond to annual family surveys, and of the respondent group, 85% will say that Argosy Collegiate is preparing their student(s) for college.
HIGH SCHOOL MATRICULATION Measure: 80% of matriculating 8th graders will transition to Argosy Collegiate High School’s 9-12 college preparatory program.
C. Narrative. In 2017 or 2018, Argosy Collegiate will welcome a renewal inspection team in to its classrooms, cafeteria, offices, and hallways. Academic achievement and results are strong in both MCAS scores and on nationally normed assessments. Our academic and behavioral goals are high, and outcomes are visible and transparent to students, families, staff, and visitors. The renewal inspection team will see that with an intense focus on planning, organizing, and attention to every detail, Argosy Collegiate runs smoothly, as all individuals know their roles, their functions, and how critically important their roles are to the success of the organization. At Argosy Collegiate, we sweat the small stuff so that small problems do not escalate into larger ones. Upon entering Argosy Collegiate, the energy is palpable and yet orderly. Staff and students move about the building with purpose and a sense of urgency. The culture of Argosy is evident upon crossing the threshold where students’ uniforms are checked by the school leader, and students are met with a warm greeting by name, a firm handshake, and words of encouragement focused on our core principles. Attendance and homework completion will be assessed before students begin their first classes. Transitions at Argosy Collegiate are a tool to ensure culture and to maximize learning time. Transitions will be timed and tracked so that specific goals and improvements can be made each day from the beginning of the year when the school culture and procedures will be new, and then throughout the months and years to maintain culture and expectations. Classroom instruction will be carefully and specifically planned and executed with joy and rigor. Teachers will be observed and given feedback every week so that instruction and rigor will be of the highest caliber. Lesson plans will be created with clearly defined expectations and guidelines school wide, and demonstrate tactical responses to student data, which will be collected daily through exit tickets, weekly through “Show What You Know” quizzes, and Achievement Network interim assessments. Teachers and staff will hold students 100% accountable for behavior, academic achievement, participation, and effort every moment of every day. Tutoring is imbedded into each day and at Saturday Academy so that every student has their needs met in real-time. Our academic and behavior goals and data will be constantly highlighted throughout the school and the day, so that everyone is working and focused on meeting expectations with tools to be successful. The renewal inspection team will see that Argosy Collegiate has and will continue to meet our goals as outlined in our charter application and also reflect and plan for short and long term sustainability goals. This visit will demonstrate the daily work that has allowed us to reach our academic goals, demonstrate our organizational viability, and prove our faithfulness to the charter.
D. Dissemination. Argosy Collegiate is fully invested in positioning itself as a partner in a collaborative relationship within the district and the charter school landscape in Fall River. The Lead Founder has been proactive in connecting with Fall River District Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown and Mayor Will Flannigan to discuss our school proposal and our interest in sharing best practices among the community of public and charter schools in our district. In addition, the Lead Founder has met with James Wallace, founder of Atlantis Charter School, interim school leader for Atlantis Charter School, Fernando Goulart, and current Executive Director of Atlantis Charter School, Bob Beatty. All have been supportive of our mission, vision, and school design. Argosy Collegiate is designed upon the most successful practices and systems of high performing charter schools in Massachusetts as well as across the country. We will replicate only the best and most effective practices of these schools in the design of Argosy Collegiate. The Fall River Public Schools District is rated as Level 4, while Atlantis Charter School is Level 1. We are fully committed to developing a meaningful relationship with both the district public schools and Atlantis Charter School to improve academic achievement in Fall River and to advance education reform.


Argosy Collegiate Charter School: Part V

Required Attachments




Attachment A: Draft Bylaws

ARTICLE I



Name, Location, Mission and Objectives

Section 1: The name of the organization will be Argosy Collegiate Charter School (Argosy Collegiate).

Section 2: The initial principal location of Argosy Collegiate shall be in Fall River but the exact location has yet to be determined.

Section 3: Argosy Collegiate Charter School equips Fall River scholars in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy, and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities, and demonstrate positive leadership.

[Physical Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

Argosy Collegiate may also have offices at such other places as the Board of Trustees (Board) shall determine the business of Argosy Collegiate requires; provided, however, that the registered office be registered with the Secretary of State of Massachusetts and the agent so registered be located at the same address, or otherwise as provided by the Board of Trustees.



Section 3: The purposes for which Argosy Collegiate is organized are to equip every scholar in grades five through twelve with the academic foundation, financial literacy and ethical development necessary to excel in selective colleges, earn professional opportunities and demonstrate positive leadership.

Section 4: If, for any reason, the organization should dissolve, upon dissolution of the organization assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

ARTICLE II



Members

Argosy Collegiate does not have members. While persons who associate or attend programs of, participate in, contribute to, or benefit from Argosy Collegiate may be referred to as “member,” no rights, voting or otherwise, will inure to such person.



ARTICLE III

Board of Trustees

Section 1. Constitution: The Board of Trustees (“the Board”) shall consist of at least seven Trustees and no more than fifteen Trustees. All Trustees shall have identical rights and responsibilities. The Executive Director will be an advisory, non-voting member of the Board (ex officio).

Section 2. Qualifications: Board members shall be sought who reflect the qualities, qualifications and diversity determined by the Board delineated in the Job Description of the Board of Trustees.

Section 3. Nomination: The Argosy Collegiate Charter School nominating committee, known as the Governance Committee, shall present a slate of potential Trustees and officers for election by the Board of Trustees. This slate shall be presented at the annual meeting of the Board.

Section 4. Term: Trustees shall serve a term of three (3) years from the date of their appointments, or until their successors are seated. A full three-year term shall be considered to have been served upon the passage of three (3) annual meetings. After election, the term of a Trustee may not be reduced, except for cause as specified in these bylaws. No Trustee shall serve more than two (2) consecutive, three-year terms. Trustees shall serve staggered terms to balance continuity with new perspective. The initial Board of Trustees:

  1. Shall consist of at least two Trustees who will serve a one-year term (ending in Spring 2015).

  2. Shall consist of at least two Trustees who will serve a two-year term (ending in Spring 2016).

  3. Shall consist of at least two Trustees will serve a three-year term (ending in Spring 2017).


Section 6. Vacancy: Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Trustees and any position to be filled by reason of an increase in the number of Trustees may be filled, upon recommendation of a qualified candidate by the Governance Committee, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the seated Trustees. A Trustee elected to fill the vacancy shall be elected for the unexpired term of his/her predecessor in office.

Section 7. Resignation: A Trustee may resign at any time by filing a written resignation with the Chair of the Board.

Section 8. Removal: The Board may remove any Officer or Trustees by majority vote of the entire Board of Trustee at any regular or special meeting of the Board, provided that a statement of the reason or reasons shall have been mailed by Registered Mail to the Officer or Trustees proposed for removal at least thirty (30) days before any final action is taken by the Board. This statement shall be accompanied by a notice of the time when, and the place where, the Board is to take action on the removal. The Officer or Trustee shall be given an opportunity to be heard and the matter considered by the Board at the time and place mentioned in the notice.

Section 9. Duties: Members of the Board of Trustees

  1. Shall serve Argosy Collegiate with the highest degree of undivided duty, loyalty, and care and shall undertake no enterprise to profit personally from their position with Argosy Collegiate.




  1. All participants in Board work are bound by the Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality policy statements.




  1. Shall receive no payment of honoraria, excepting reimbursement for expenses incurred in performance of voluntary Argosy Collegiate activities in accordance with Argosy Collegiate policies.




  1. Shall have no direct or indirect financial interest in the assets or leases of Argosy Collegiate; any Trustee who individually or as part of a business or professional firm is involved in the business transactions or current professional services of Argosy Collegiate shall disclose this relationship and shall not participate in any vote taken with respect to such transactions or services.

ARTICLE IV



Officers

Section 1. Description: There shall be four (4) elective Officers of the Board: a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

Section 2. Nomination: The Governance Committee shall present a slate of Officers to the Board of Trustees. The nominated Officers shall be drawn from among the members of the Board of Trustees. The election of Officers shall be held at the annual meeting of the Board.

Section 3. Term: The newly elected Officers shall take office on July 1 following the close of the meeting at which they are elected and the term of office shall be one year, or until respective successors assume office. A Trustee may serve more than one (1) term in the same office, but not more than three consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 4. Vacancy: In the event that the office of the Chair becomes vacant, the Vice-Chair shall become Chair for the unexpired portion of the term. In the event that the office of Vice-Chair or Secretary-Treasurer becomes vacant, the Chair shall appoint interim Officers to fill such vacant offices until a scheduled meeting of the Board can be held.
ARTICLE V

Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting: The annual meeting of the Board of Trustees shall occur in the last quarter of the fiscal year. There shall be at least 10 other regular meetings of the Board held each year. Notice shall be given to each Trustee thirty (30) days prior to the date of every regular meeting of the Board.

Section 2. Special Meeting: Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the Chair or by a majority of the Board filing a written request for such a meeting with the Chair and stating the object, date, and hour therefore, due notice having been given each Trustee five (5) calendar days prior to the meeting.

Section 3. Quorum: One-half of the Trustees then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Trustees, except where otherwise required by these Bylaws.

Section 4. Format: The Board shall select its own meeting format in any method allowed by the laws of the state of Massachusetts. Any such meeting, whether regular or special, complying with Sections 1 or 2 of Article IV shall constitute a meeting of the Board of Trustees and shall subscribe to the policies, procedures, and rules adopted by the Board.

Section 5. Notice: Notice of all regular and special meetings of the Board, an agenda of all items to be discussed at such meetings, and agenda support materials shall be circulated to all Trustees prior to the meeting. Any Trustee may waive notice of any meeting. The attendance of a Trustee at any meeting also shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a Trustee attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened.

Section 6. Absence & Proxy Voting: An absentee Board member may not designate an alternate to represent him or her at a Board meeting. A member of the board may be deemed to be present for purposes of achieving a quorum and may cast a vote if he/she grants a signed, written proxy to another board member who is present at the meeting.  The proxy must direct a vote to be cast with respect to a particular proposal that is described with reasonable specificity in the proxy.  No other proxies are allowed.

ARTICLE VI



Committees and Task Forces

Section 1. Appointment: A Board resolution shall appoint committees or task forces of the Board, except the Governance Committee. Committees may be composed of Trustees or community members, or both. The Board may prescribe the need and/or the composition of such committees. Committees will include a finance committee, a development or fundraising committee and a governance committee.

Section 2. Governance Committee: There shall be a standing nominating committee, known as the Governance Committee. This committee shall be composed of at least three (3) persons recommended by the Chair and elected by the Board of Trustees at its annual meeting. Each committee member shall serve a term of two (2) years, and these terms shall be staggered to ensure continuity of committee membership. The committee shall elect its own chair. The duties of the Governance Committee shall be:

(a) to study the qualifications of candidates and present a slate of the best qualified as nominees for the vacant Trustees positions on the Board;

(b) to present a slate of nominees for Officers to the Board for election at the annual meeting;

(c) to recommend candidates to the Board to fill vacancies that arise outside the regular nominating process;

(d) to provide ongoing orientation to Trustees;

(e) to oversee a Trustees assessment process to ensure optimum performance; and

(f) to recommend the appointment of a past Chair to the Board, if necessary, in the interests of continuity.

ARTICLE VII



Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of Argosy Collegiate shall begin on July 1 of each calendar year and terminate on June 30 of the subsequent calendar year.

ARTICLE VIII

Rules of Order

In case of conflict or challenge, the rules of order in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings of Argosy Collegiate.

ARTICLE IX

Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended at a regular meeting by a two-thirds vote of all Trustees then in office; provided that notice of the proposed amendment, together with a copy thereof, is mailed to each Trustees at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered.




Attachment B: Draft Recruitment and Retention Plan


Name of School _Argosy Collegiate Charter School____ Date November 14, 2014_______
I. Recruitment Plan
A. Describe the school’s general recruitment activities, i.e. those intended to reach all students.


General Recruitment Activities

List recruitment activities undertaken each year which apply to all students.

Community Informational Meetings, Open Houses at the school

Advertising: Newspaper, radio, direct mail, web-based advertising, social media

Door-to-door outreach, relationships with community-based organizations, and churches

B. List the goals and strategies the school will implement during the upcoming school year to attract and enroll specific groups of students in order to promote a student population that reflects the demographics of the school’s sending district(s). Create goals and strategies for each of the following categories:





  1. Special education students

  2. Limited English-proficient students

  3. Students eligible for free lunch

  4. Students eligible for reduced price lunch

  5. Students who are sub-proficient (as determined by a previous score of “Needs Improvement” or “Warning/Failing” on the mathematics or English language arts examinations of the MCAS for the previous two years)

  6. Students at risk of dropping out of school

  7. Students who have dropped out of school

  8. Other subgroups of students who should be targeted to eliminate the achievement gap







Recruitment Plan – Goals and Strategies

List goals and strategies for recruitment activities for each demographic group.




Demographic Group:
A. Special education students

Goal:

•Aligning with the district, at least 21% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will be designated as special education students.



Activities:

• Materials will be distributed indicating that students with special education services and IEPs will have their educational needs met as outlined in their IEPs.

•Clearly articulate in all community outreach and recruitment documents and communications that Argosy Collegiate welcomes special education students, and believe they, like all students at Argosy Collegiate can be successful.

•Collaborate with organizations that provide services for and advocates for special education students to disseminate information about and applications for Argosy Collegiate.

•Collaborate with individuals who provide special services including counselors, speech/language therapists, social workers, and medical professionals outside of Argosy Collegiate to ensure they are knowledgeable about and communicative with the message that Argosy Collegiate is a viable educational option for students with special educational needs.

•Continue to cultivate a relationship with Fall River Public Schools to ensure awareness of Argosy Collegiate’s programs and supports for special education students.






Demographic Group:
B. Limited English-proficient students


Goal:

•At least 23% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate will be designated as Limited English-proficient students.



Activities:

•Materials will be distributed in Spanish, Portuguese, and other native languages of Fall River’s ELL population residing in the Flint Area, South End of the city, and other areas.

•Materials will be distributed in Spanish, Portuguese, and other native languages of Fall River at adult ELL classes around the city and to community centers that service ELL families.

•Clearly communicate in all materials that Argosy Collegiate enrolls students who are limited English-Proficient or who speak English as a second language, and that we believe that they, like all students can be successful at Argosy Collegiate.

• Widely distribute information, applications, and marketing materials to organizations and business which are likely to service Limited-proficient families and students.

•Collaborate with individuals such as immigration attorneys, medical professionals, social workers, and social service agency employees who work with immigrant students outside of Argosy Collegiate to ensure they are communicating the message that Argosy Collegiate is a viable option for LEP students.




Demographic Group:
C. Students eligible for
free lunch


Goals:

•At least 69% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will be eligible for free lunch.



Activities:

•Materials will be distributed to low income families through the Fall River Housing Authority manager and through door to door, boots on the ground networking including Sunset Hill Housing Community .

•Neighborhood community health centers including HealthFirst Family Health Center servicing low income families in the Flint area of Fall River will distribute recruitment materials to families entering the facility.



Demographic Group:
D. Students eligible for reduced price lunch


Goal:

•At least 9% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will be eligible for reduced price lunch.



Activities:

•Materials will be distributed to low income families at two Stop & Shop locations in Fall River, one in the Flint area and another in the South End of the city.

• Neighborhood community health centers including HealthFirst Family Health Center and TruMed Walk-in Clinic servicing low income families in the Flint area and South End of Fall River will distribute recruitment materials to families entering the facility.



Demographic Group:
E. Students who are
sub-proficient


Goals:

•At least 61% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will have scored sub-proficient (as determined by a previous score of “needs improvement” or “warning” in English language arts for the previous two years on MCAS.

•At least 65% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will have scored sub-proficient (as determined by a previous score of “needs improvement” or “warning” in Mathematics for the previous two years on MCAS.

Activities:

•Clearly articulate on all recruiting, enrollment, and application documents that Argosy Collegiate welcomes applications and students who have not yet demonstrated academic success and who may struggle academically.

• Cleary communicate in all recruiting, enrollment, and application documents that Argosy Collegiate is a school where all students-despite previous academic achievement can succeed through targeted tutoring and Saturday Academy.

•Collaborate with individuals who provide services including counselors, speech/language therapists, social workers, and medical professionals outside of Argosy Collegiate to ensure they are knowledgeable about and communicative with the message that Argosy Collegiate is a viable educational option for students with special educational needs.

• Continue to cultivate a relationship with Fall River Public Schools to ensure awareness of Argosy Collegiate’s programs and supports for students struggling academically.



Demographic Group:
F. Students at risk of
dropping out of school


Goals:

•The percentage of at-risk students at Argosy Collegiate will be comparable to Fall River Public Schools’ at-risk populations.



Activities:

•Continue to work with organizations and groups who provide services to at-risk and low income children, such as Fall River CD Recreation, and the United Neighbors.

•Clearly communicate via marketing materials and venues that Argosy Collegiate welcomes all students, including those who struggle academically or behaviorally.

•Communicate to families through marketing and home visits that Argosy Collegiate is supportive of student success both in and out of school.

•Clearly communicate to students and families through family nights and other events the common outcomes of dropping out of school, and providing supports to encourage students to endure and persevere through common risks for dropping out of school.

•Continue to press forward with our college bound mission, rigorous high school curriculum, and counseling at Argosy Collegiate so that the common risk factors are minimized as children transition from middle to high school.




Demographic Group:
G. Students who have
dropped out of school


Activities:

•During the middle school years, Argosy Collegiate is not in a position to enroll students who have dropped out of school.

• Thereafter, our goal is to implement an aggressive recruitment campaign that specifically targets students who have dropped out of school.

• Widely distributing the application and marketing materials in targeted areas which are likely to serve families of students who have


dropped out of school including social service agencies, churches, government agencies, and housing projects.

•Beginning in 5th grade, Argosy Collegiate students begin their 75 college/university campus tours. The purpose for these visits is to provide real life experiences for scholars to see themselves on college campuses. These visits will expose students to academic programs, registrar’s offices, bursars’ offices, financial aid/scholarship departments, libraries, student unions, student clubs, etc. It is the belief at Argosy Collegiate that students who plan for and work toward a clear future are less inclined to drop out of school.

•Continue to partner with the Coalition for Social Justice to communicate mission, enrollment, and application process at Argosy Collegiate.



Demographic Group(s):
H. Hispanic and Portuguese students

Goals:

•At least 19% of students enrolled at Argosy Collegiate Charter School will be Hispanic or Latino.



Activities:

•Access print, radio, and television media outlets to reach Hispanic and Portuguese communities to promote Argosy Collegiate, its mission, LEP services, enrollment policy, and application process.

•Collaborate with organizations and groups that serve the Hispanic and Portuguese community, such as the Flint Association to disseminate application information.

•Clearly communicate in native languages to Hispanic and Portuguese groups including prayer groups, businesses, and support groups information about our LEP services, enrollment, and application process.







Recruitment Plan Retention Plan

Overall Student Retention Goal

Annual goal for student retention (85%):

At Argosy Collegiate Charter School, 85% of students will complete all academic requirements and re-enroll the following year.





Retention Plan Goals and Strategies


Retention Strategy #1

Prior to enrollment at Argosy Collegiate Charter School, every student/family will receive at least one home visit from a school leader and/or an interpreter if needed prior to the start of the school year. The purpose of these visits is to fully explain the school expectations and to provide strategies for supporting scholar success.




Retention Strategy #2

Prior to the first day of school, a family orientation will be held to distribute and review school policies including attendance, uniforms, school culture, student and school safety, extended day and year, and behavioral consequences including causes for demerits, detention, suspension, and expulsion.




Retention Strategy #3

Students who are struggling with reading, writing, or computing mathematics and are performing below grade level will be supported with daily targeting tutoring, Saturday Academy, and Summer Academy. Students are identified as needing supports based upon data collection and analysis. Struggling students are identified through ongoing data analysis which is collected through Exit Tickets, weekly “Show What You Know” quizzes, exams, ANet Interim Assessments, trimester comps, and state assessments.


Retention Strategy #4

Homework Center will be provided for students who are not completing homework or who are turning in unacceptable homework.


Retention Strategy #5

Families have daily access to pre-recorded homework voicemails, and receive weekly updates on student academic and behavior performance. Monthly newsletters keep families informed of school events, meetings, and strategies for supporting student achievement.



Attachment C: Draft Enrollment Policy

Argosy Collegiate Charter School

Draft Application and Enrollment Policy
Each year, Argosy Collegiate Charter School will enroll students in accordance with MGL c. 71, § 89 and 603 CMR 1.00. We will enroll a new cohort of students annually into 5th grade and will fill out available spaces in grades 5 through 8 on a space-available basis. The total number of students enrolled each year will not exceed the number allowed by the charter.
Application Process. To apply for enrollment, a student and parent(s) or guardian must submit an Intent to Enroll form and applicants must meet eligibility requirements as outlined below.
Eligibility. A student will be considered for enrollment in Argosy Collegiate Charter School if all of the following criteria are met:


  • Student must be a resident of Massachusetts. (Preference is given to residents of Fall River.)

  • Parents must complete, sign, and submit Argosy Collegiate Charter School’s Intent to Enroll form by the established deadline. All forms will be dated and time stamped upon receipt by the school, and maintained for public review as needed.

  • Student is grade-level eligible for the enrolling grade as determined by having successfully completed the previous year’s grade.

Argosy Collegiate Charter School offers equal opportunity of enrollment to all students without regard to race, color, national origin, religious creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or in a foreign language, or prior academic achievement. MGL c. 71, § 89(m); 603 CMR 1.06(1).


Lottery. After the deadline for each enrollment cycle, Argosy Collegiate determines the number of spaces available at each grade level. Assuming there are fewer spaces than applicants, we will hold a public lottery to fill our open seats. We will publicize the lottery on our website and in high traffic public venues at least one week in advance of the event. Families are not required to attend the lottery as part of the enrollment process. During the lottery, a disinterested party will draw names at random for each grade separately. For the lottery, we will create three lists of students from all of the applications received:


  1. Siblings of students already in attendance at the school in the year of application;

  2. Springfield residents; and

  3. All other eligible applicants.

During the lottery, the independent party will draw names at random for each grade separately from the lists in the order given above: first from list No. 1, then from list No. 2, and finally from list No. 3. Those students selected by the lottery will be offered seats. After the enrollment capacity is reached, the drawing will continue and the students above the capacity will be placed on the waiting list in the order they were drawn. All results of the lottery will be maintained at the school for public review as needed.


Accepted Students: Parents of all students accepted in the lottery will be notified in writing, and mailing with lottery results per applicant will be sent out via US Mail within 48 hours of the lottery. Families will be given twenty (20) calendar days from the day of the lottery to submit the Enrollment Package. If the signed Enrollment Package is not returned by the family and in receipt by Argosy Collegiate Charter School by the specified date, the student may be removed from the enrollment list and the seat will be offered to the next student on the established waiting list. If the total number of applicants is fewer than the available seats, all applicants who submitted their Enrollment Package by the deadline will be enrolled. If needed, a second enrollment cycle and lottery will be conducted to establish enrollment for the remaining seats and/or the waiting list.
Waiting List. If the number of applicants in the application and enrollment cycle exceeds the number of available spaces, we will maintain three waiting lists in accordance with the law’s stated preferences: one for siblings, one for Fall River residents, and one for all other applicants. All applicants on the waiting list will be notified in writing of their position on the list after the lottery at the beginning of the school year and again in the middle of the school year. If a seat becomes available on or before February 15 of any given year, the seat may be offered to the student at the top of the waiting list. The student will have five (5) calendar days to respond that they accept the seat. If no response is received, the student may be permanently removed from the waiting list, and the next student on the list may be offered the seat. The previous year’s waiting list will be rolled over to the next year and will have priority over all newly applied students, so that if a seat becomes available, a student from the top of last year’s waiting list will be offered a seat.
Admission Requirements. Students will be considered enrolled when all required documents in the Argosy Collegiate Charter School Enrollment package are received and these documents indicate that the student is eligible for admission.


Attachment D: Draft Organizational Chart







Attachment E: Operating Budget: Projected Revenues and Expenditures