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ENYPCS Comprehensive Monitoring Visit Report - 11.05.09

ENYPCS Comprehensive Monitoring Visit Report - 11.05.09

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Published by GothamSchools.org

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Published by: GothamSchools.org on Feb 05, 2010
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THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
/ THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing EducationShelia Evans-Tranumn, Associate CommissionerOffice of School Improvement and Community Services (NYC)55 Hanson Place, Room 400Brooklyn, New York 11217Tel. (718) 722-2796 / Fax: (718) 722-4559
 November 5, 2009Ms. Azura Mason, Board Chair East New York Preparatory Charter School210 Chester StreetBrooklyn, NY 11212Dear Ms. Mason:Enclosed is the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Third Year ComprehensiveMonitoring Report for the East New York Preparatory Charter School (ENYPCS or “the School”). Thereport is based on findings from desk audit materials submitted to NYSED and a site visit to the Schoolwhich took place on April 6, 2009. The purpose of this visit was to ascertain the extent of the School’scompliance with §2852(2)(a)(b)(c) and §2853(2) of the Education Law. These regulations call for oversight, thereby enabling the Board of Regents (BOR) to ensure that each charter school is incompliance with applicable laws, regulations, and charter provisions.The report notes areas of strength, compliance, non-compliance and concerns. Where applicable,the report also includes required and recommended actions. Failure to comply fully with all charter  provisions as well as all applicable statutes and regulations may result in action being taken pursuant to§2855 of the Education Law.During the course of the visit, staff observed various aspects of the school program. Some of thenotable strengths include the following:
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The School’s facility is clean and well-maintained, in the hallways and classrooms.
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 NYSED staff observed a well-developed literacy instructional program.
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Teachers have strong classroom management practices.
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Teachers have clear classroom expectations posted with incentives to guide behavior.
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Students were well-engaged in the classrooms.
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The parents interviewed stated they feel like partners with the teachers within the School.
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The School currently has a strong fiscal position.
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Teachers were observed conducting a transition plan from their science to literacy classes thatmaintained order and consistency.
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Teachers interviewed stated that Interim Principal Patrice Morgan’s initiative to improveinstruction was a welcomed addition to the School.Points of concern noted as a “Recommended Action” are observations made during the visit thatdo not require formal follow-up, but are noted for your consideration. The issues indicated as “RequiredAction” are amplified for corrective actions to be taken promptly by the School. These necessitatewritten responses and accompanying documentation to demonstrate that the appropriate corrective actions
 
East New York Preparatory Charter School November 5, 2009were taken and/or are underway. A response to these issues must be received no later thanDecember 1, 2009.Areas of Non-Compliance that require corrective actions include the following:
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The Board of Trustees’ (BOT) minutes presented did not provide evidence of oversight of theacademic, fiscal or operational components of the School. (Reference Initial Charter – P. 78 -83and 777)
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The BOT only had six members although the charter dictates that it must have between seven and13 members. (Reference Initial Charter – P. 78)
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Four of the six BOT members (67%) are “interested persons” as defined by the by-laws becausethere are overlapping personal relationships. (Reference Initial Charter By-laws - P. 634)
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The School does not have up-to-date conditional fingerprint clearances for Alburn Montague.(Reference Education Law §2854(3)(a-2))
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The School had out-dated IEP reviews, and missing or unknown review dates for two (2) students(C. Eze – grade K and E. Hinckson – grade 2). (Reference Education Law §2853(4)(a))
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The School had one incomplete home language survey for M. Adewumi, which is missing the parent’s signature and one incomplete immunization record for A. Barrett. (Reference InitialCharter – P. 57-59, Commissioner’s Regulation Part 154 and Public Health Law §2164(7)(a))
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The School documented out-of-school suspensions as unexcused absences and did not providealternative instruction. (Reference Initial Charter – P. 71 and Education Law §3214(3)(e))
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The School had a projected enrollment of 247 students but only enrolled 178 students.(Reference Initial Charter – P. 61)
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The School did not provide evidence of staff members trained and certified in the use of theexternal defibrillator. (Reference Education Law §2801-a)
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The School does not have an approved Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Planon file with NYSED. (Reference Education Law §2801-a)
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The School changed several key components of its charter without prior approval from its boardor authorizer, or the BOR (Reference Initial Charter Agreement – P. 5-7, 11, 20-21 and 636),which included:
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Changed the by-laws after the entire previous board resigned to a have a minimum of three members (voted on by the Head of School (HOS) and the two newly appointed board members) (Reference Initial Charter By-laws – P. 636);
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Changed mission statement on all distributed documents and website – removed: “Toensure students achieve or exceed grade-level mastery of academic content, knowledgeand skills” (Reference Initial Charter – P. 31);
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Offered only 178 days of instruction rather than the approved 190 instructional days(Reference Initial Charter – P. 64-65);
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Eliminated the dual teacher instructional program and the after-school program(Reference Initial Charter – P. 56);
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Added a Saturday program funded with Title I funds (Reference Initial Charter – P. 63-64);2
 
East New York Preparatory Charter School November 5, 2009
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Added one hour to the instructional time on Friday (Reference Initial Charter – P. 63 -64);
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Changed expulsion policy to expel students based on eight days of absence (ReferenceInitial Charter – P. 66 and 70);
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Changed the complaint procedure, which had all grievances go to the HOS (ReferenceInitial Charter – P. 80;
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Added an attendance and uniform policy to the Student Discipline Code, which includesthat students are barred from class for these infractions (Reference Initial Charter – P. 66-73); and,
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 No longer has a Student Support Coordinator and/or Dean of Students on staff (ReferenceInitial Charter – P. 78 and 84-85 and the cover letter for earmarked funds from Edwin L.Cummings Memorial Fund dated July 25, 2008).
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The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) was disbanded in spring 2008 by the HOS and the parent coordinator resigned. There is no evidence of any reorganization efforts. The School hadno evidence of parental involvement in school governance. (Reference Initial Charter – P. 74 andEducation Law §2851(2)(c))
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The School’s complaint procedures presented did not provide any contact information inaccordance with Education Law §2855(4).
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The School had not maintained disaggregated data for the two previous years, reportedly due to acomputer server complication. Additionally, it was missing discipline and special educationstudent records for the two previous years. (Reference Initial Charter – P. 99-101)
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The School did not provide evidence of good-faith efforts to attract and retain English languagelearners (ELL). (Reference Education Law §2854(2)(a))Areas of Concern and/or Need Improvement include the following:
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The School has been placed on probation by its authorizer for lack of school governance and not providing special education services in accordance with the respective individualized education plans (IEP). (Reference Probation Order Issued February 4, 2009)
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The HOS does not have a separation of control within the Board and/or her professional duties asthe HOS.
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The HOS changed her title to Superintendent of School, after the authorizer’s probation order wasissued, without a request for change or approval from the BOT and/or the authorizer. (Referencee-mails dated March 13-16, 2009)
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The Board and the HOS provided no evidence or basis for the decision to increase thecompensation for the HOS from $120,000 to $180,000 with a $20,000 bonus for performancewithout similar raises for other staff. (Note: The average salary for an ENYPCS teacher is$50,000.)
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The School had 48 students who were discharged as of April 6, 2009. Seven of the students onthe discharge list were third grade students identified with academic difficulties.3

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