Friday, February 29, 2008

Parents invited to contact Daily News writer re: Charter issue

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Rachel Monahan, one of the staff writers at The Daily News, would like to hear from parents about how they feel about the Charter School situation. She can be reached at 718-875-4455

Fwd: CEC15 February Update

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <>
Date: Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 4:19 PM
Subject: CEC15 February Update
To: Marta Quinones-McCarthy <>,,,,, Lailing Yu <>,,, Smith Romaine <>

News from the District 15 Community Education Council (CEC)

District 15 Community Education Council

"Empowering Parents to Claim Excellent Education for All Students"

Starting this month our Updates will be sent out at the end of the month.  In so doing we hope to give you an overview of what has transpired for the entire month.


Our last update was prior to the January Calendar meeting so we would not wan to be remiss in acknowledging and extending our thanks to Assembly member James Brennan and Mr. Phil Vacarro, Project manager from the office of Assessment and Accountability, and our district 15 Superintendent, Ms. Rosemary Stuart, who made presentations at our robust January meeting on the topic of School Progress Report Cards.


Congratulations to the new principals in District 15 -

Ms. Holly Reichert, has been appointed as the new principal of The Khalil Gibran Middle School

Ms. Laura Scott, former assistant principal is now the principal of PS 10, after the retirement of Principal Concetta Ritorto; we wish Ms. Ritorto a happy retirement.

Ms. Peggy Wyns-Madison became the new principal of PS 15 just a few days ago.

We wish all of you continued success in your worthy endeavor, as leaders, in the education of our children.


On February 13th, our meeting was a tribute to our Community Partners of District 15 schools. We thank them for their support to our schools.  They were gracious in making presentations and answering questions after which they were presented with certificates of appreciation.

The second half of the meeting was dedicated to conversation regarding the school budget cuts and the announcement of the Charter School plans for PS 15.  CEC 15 read Resolution #6 that was resolved in April of 2007 addressing the issue of placement of new schools in buildings occupied by existing schools, with no public hearing or consultation before the decision is essentially made.

The CEC Resolved then and continues to support the Resolution that the DOE develop and institute a process of community consultation on the sitting of new schools, such consultation to be held before a probable location is chosen:

The Resolution States in part:

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that CEC 15 calls upon the DOE, when it detects "excess capacity" in a school building, to begin the process of filling the space by meeting with the school community to brainstorm possibilities;

AND IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that said process should include at a minimum, (1) public hearing to be held before the CEC of the affected school district, said hearing to be cosponsored, in the case of a high school, with the Citywide Council on High Schools, and in the case of a special education school, with the Citywide Council on Special Education, and (2) an advisory vote by the appropriate Education Council(s);   . . .

(You may obtain a copy of the full resolution by calling or e-mailing the CEC office.)


At a January 17th DOE meeting on Student Achievement proposed changes to the 8th grade Promotion Policy were announced.  The Department of Education (DOE) will hold town hall meetings in all five boroughs on this proposed 8th grade promotion policy. Members of the public can also submit comments via e-mail to

The Brooklyn hearing will be held on
Tuesday, March 4 - 6:00pm to 8:30 pm - Speaker sign up begins at 6:00pm
at Brooklyn Technical High School (29 Fort Greene Pl.)

We encourage you to participate in this process and let your voices be heard.


Mr. Frank Laghezza, Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Crime Prevention Division has approached CEC15, along with the Superintendent, and the Office of Family Engagement & Advocacy to pilot a program in District 15 that will educate children and parents about Internet Safety and Gangs. Some principals have already been invited to participate in this program and others of you will hear from Mr. Laghezza soon.  Keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks.


There are still 3 parent openings for the District 15 Council.  Please help us to empower our school community.

Your first step is to complete the application.  Applications are available directly from the DOE website  or you may call the CEC 15 office for a hard copy or to have one e-mailed to you.

We want to hear from you.  Please call or e-mail us with the topics you are interested in covering for upcoming CEC Meetings.

Thank you for your active Participation in your child(ren)'s education!

Check out my digital photography at; I also have a short slideshow video at

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who Rules the Schools? Mayoral Control after Bloomberg

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[EDUCATION] Who Rules the Schools? Mayoral Control after Bloomberg
Posted by: "Noticepost" rachelfran
Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:15 am (PST)

Hi everyone,

The debate over mayoral control of the schools is beginning to heat up
and a lot is at stake for parents who want more control over their
kids’ schools. I work at the Center for New York City Affairs at the New
School University and we are hosting an event on March 6th that may be
of interest to you all. Details below. Feel free to email me off-list
for more information.

Kim (mother of future public school student Zach)

Mayoral Control After Bloomberg

Thursday, March 6, 2008, 8:15 am to 10:30 am
Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street (between 5th and 6th avenues)

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office one of his top priorities was
to repair the city’s ailing public schools. The state gave him
control of the school system five years ago and must soon decide whether to
extend that power to future administrations. Are the schools more
accountable today? Students and teachers more successful? Parents more
engaged? Principals more effective? What's the track record of mayoral
control—and should it continue after 2009?

featuring a presentation by
Joel Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

Christopher Cerf, Deputy Chancellor for Organizational Strategy, Human
and External Relations
Carmen Colon, Brooklyn Parent Leader (and former CEC leader)
Ernest Logan, President, NYC Council of School Supervisors and
Administrators (the principals' union)
Alan Maisel, Brooklyn Assembly Member (with 20 years experience in NYC
school system as a teacher and 10 years experience as an assistant
Merryl Tisch, Vice Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents

MODERATOR: Samuel G. Freedman, Columnist, “On Education,” The New
York Times, and Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of

Light breakfast will be available beginning at 8 a.m.

Admission is free, but you must reserve a seat. To RSVP please visit
http://www.centerny You will find a link to the event on the right hand
side of the page.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


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The Proposed Charter for the PAVE Charter School was apparently presented to and voted on by the Board of Regents in January of this year. There was a hearing regarding this school, hosted/coordinated by CSD15 and the NYC DOE on September 20, 2007. I'm assuming that the proposal took considerable time to prepare and develop before it was ready to present to the official organizations that make these decisions; why wasn't the Red Hook community informed about the process a long time ago? The first time most people heard anything about this was in February of 2008, at the point when the Department of Education decided that this charter school would be housed in an existing school that has made tremendous progress and received high grades. I also find it ironic and interesting that this decision was presented just as P.S. 15's schoolyards have undergone a substantial overhaul in conjunction with several local organizations including the Trust for Public Land; P.S. 15 certainly presents a very desirable location for a new school that may expand and engulf it.

In the proposal, mention is made of an alternate location - one that is newly constructed and has 20,000 square feet available. I didn't notice any mention of an exact address. Why isn't the PAVE Charter School using that location instead of P.S. 15?

It's fairly obvious that Red Hook has been the target neighborhood for this school all along. Why hasn't the community been made aware of it sooner? It sounds as though only local organizations, rather than residents, have known about it.

Where does PAVE get its projected enrollment figures from? The proposal mentions 88 students for the first year. Are these real numbers, or "guesstimates" that exist only on paper? If they're real figures, what families have been approached and made a commitment to the new school?

Not to be a snark, but what is VIBRANCE? Is that even a real word? Sorry, I don't have a dictionary on hand at the moment, or I'd go look it up.

How are the assessment techniques mentioned in the proposal different from those used by regular public schools?

Are PAVE's funding sources the same ones used by P.S. 15? Is there going to be a conflict of interest over funding sources if PAVE is housed in P.S. 15 - which school gets the funds?

Will any of the funding received by the PAVE school be applied to maintaining the P.S. 15 site in terms of buildings and grounds expenditures? If their students break windows, clog plumbing, use the lunchroom, drop debris, cause wear and tear to the P.S. 15 facilities, etc., who pays the custodial staff to clean up after them and make repairs? I don't see any specific mention made of that category of expenditure; it looks like they've only accounted for the expenses connected with running the administrative and teaching end of their operation.

That's it for now, but I'm sure I can think of many more questions - and so can anyone reading this blog. PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS! Your feedback is relevant, important and necessary.

Thanks for reading.

Check out my digital photography at; I also have a short slideshow video at

More Daily News coverage of the issue

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Parents say Brooklyn's P.S. 15 gets 'A' and no respect

Tuesday, February 12th 2008, 4:00 AM

Brooklyn's Public School 15 beat the odds with an A on its city report card - but parents and teachers charge the underdog Red Hook school is being treated like a failure.

They say city school officials want to add a charter school to the Sullivan St. building in the fall, claiming it is at 54% capacity.

"Is this our reward for getting an A? Now we get shafted? We're all in shock," said Milagros Arroyo, secretary of the PTA, which has scheduled an emergency meeting for tonight at the school.

The Patrick F. Daly School - named for its beloved former principal who was gunned down 16 years ago in a nearby housing project searching for a student - has a long history of doing a good job serving a poor population.

This fall, PS 15 bested many of Brownstone Brooklyn's top schools, earning an A when schools such as premier PS 321 in Park Slope scored a B.

Parents also complained Department of Education officials were making a decision without considering their views.

"It's not fair that it just got thrown on us," said PTA treasurer Karen Fludd. "We're doing a good job."

"It's not a reflection on the program there," said Office of Charter Schools Director Michael Duffy, who added state law now allows district students priority for placement at charter schools. "It will be their school."

PAVE Academy - an acronym for Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent character - is expected to start with 88 students, focusing on small classes and academic excellence.

The charter school will be at PS 15 for a maximum of two years, said Duffy, who plans to attend tonight's meeting.

A public hearing on the proposal will also be held at the school in March, said Duffy, though final say rests with Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

Teachers, too, were fired up over the proposal, said United Federation of Teachers district representative Bob Zuckerberg, in part because they feared the changes would result in larger classes. Five classrooms would be required for the new school, he said.

"We're concerned this will hinder the educational momentum the students and staff have achieved," UFT President Randi Weingarten said.

The possible tension between the public school and the charter school was a concern even to one of PAVE's boosters.

"I don't see how that will work," said Earl Hall, of the nonprofit Red Hook Rise, which supported the charter school's application.

Daily News Article about this situation

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Red Hook school may lose small classes

Wednesday, February 13th 2008, 4:00 AM

A premier Red Hook elementary school may lose the small classes that made it a success if the Department of Education puts a charter school in the building, its principal told parents Tuesday night.

"PS 15 has been working very, very hard to maintain low class sizes," Principal Peggy Wyns-Madison told an auditorium full of worried parents gathered at the Patrick F. Daly School, named for a beloved former principal who was gunned down 16 years ago while searching for a student in a nearby housing project. "I may have a little bit of difficulty in maintaining small class size."

Small classes of no more than 24 students were the "reason why we have made steady progress over the last five years," she told the packed school auditorium.

Wyns-Madison spoke a day after the Daily News reported that city Education Department officials want to add a charter school to the Sullivan St. building in the fall, claiming Public School 15 used only 54% of its capacity.

The PAVE - Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent Character - charter school would take over six classrooms at PS 15, and enroll 88 students the first year. The charter school would take two additional classrooms in the second year.

PAVE officials have also said its classes would be small, limited to 22 students.

PS 15, which got an "A" on its city report card, outperforming some of Brooklyn's best schools, has classes with as few as 13 students, Education Department statistics show.

"All the time they say 'smaller class size, small class size,'" said PS 15 parent Angela Gooding, whose kids are in the fourth and fifth grades. "We have it; they want to take it away. They made the decision and then they come out to pacify us."

PS 15 social studies teacher Ieman Elzoghby said the school's science lab and social studies project room were among the classrooms that would be handed over to PAVE.

"We do believe [PS 15's success] might be jeopardized by having fewer classrooms," Elzoghby said.

According to the Education Department's proposed plan, the charter school will stay in PS 15's building for two years until it finds a permanent home.

But that did little to reassure Dimas Melo, 31, whose 7-year-old son, Demarkus, is a second-grader at PS 15. "What makes sense to me is to put it somewhere long term," Melo said.

Sandra Lennon, whose grandson Dwain Maxwell, 10, attends PS 15, found herself fuming over the charter plan.

"We took him out of another school. There were 36 kids in a class," she said. "He learns, he understands the work."

Education Department officials did not return calls for comment by press time.

Executive Director Job Posting for PAVE Charter School

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Exhibit M: Job Descriptions
PAVE Academy Charter School
School Description: PAVE Academy Charter School (PAVE) prepares Kindergarten to 8th grade
students in South Brooklyn to thrive in competitive high schools and 4-year colleges. PAVE will
provide its students with a rigorous academic program and a school community built on the
following core values: Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent Character. The school
expects to open in August 2008 to 88 Kindergarteners and First Graders and each year thereafter the
school will add an additional grade until it reaches capacity in 8th grade.
Position Summary: PAVE Academy Charter School seeks a founding Executive Director (ED).
The ED will be accountable directly to PAVE’s Board of Trustees for the school’s academic success,
rigorous and vibrant culture, financial stability and ongoing organizational viability.
Responsibilities (include but are not limited to):
• Embody, advocate and operationalize the mission, vision and strategic direction of PAVE
• Focus on achieving dramatic improvement in student academic performance
• Focus on the establishment of a disciplined, rigorous school culture built on the core values
of Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent Character (PAVE)
• Serve ex-officio on the Board of Trustees and all Board committees
• Provide the Board with all information, reports and data in a timely fashion so as to be able
to effectively govern the school
• Recruit, hire, manage and evaluate an outstanding leadership team (Director of Curriculum
and Instruction and Director of Operations)
• Support the professional development and growth of all teaching and administrative staff
• Serve as PAVE’s primary spokesperson to all audiences (government, media, funders, and
community partners)
• Lead Community meetings, faculty meetings and administrative-team meetings
• Comply with the charter, accountability requirements and relevant law
• Evaluate, along with the DCI, academic achievement and teacher performance via detailed
data analysis
• Provide the necessary resources and supports to the staff to raise student academic
• Provide the Board of Trustees with recommendations regarding staffing levels and
budgetary priorities
• Create discipline policies and standards of conduct for school personnel and students with
the support of the administrative team
• Manage matters pertaining to the hiring and dismissal of all personnel, salaries and contracts
and orientation and training
• Submit accurate, timely reports and data to all necessary external stakeholders (government,
funders, etc.)
• Work with the Board, Director of Operations and the Development Committee to
raise/manage funds to support PAVE’s academic program
• Marshall PAVE’s financial resources prudently to allow for maximum student success
Exhibit M: Job Descriptions
• As needed work with the Board, Director of Operations and the Development Committee
to raise/manage funds for capital related expenditures
• Ensure, in conjunction with the Director of Operations, the accuracy of all financial
• Play an active role in student recruitment and family outreach
Qualifications and Experience:
• Strong commitment to PAVE’s mission and vision
• Teaching and leadership experience in an urban school with demonstrated success in terms
of significantly elevating student performance to levels that surpass state averages
• Commitment to the use of data and regular assessment to inform instructional decisions
• Motivational leader with a demonstrated ability to build a strong culture, lead by example
and drive individuals to succeed
• Demonstrated ability to lead and work collaboratively with a team of professionals
• Outstanding public speaking and writing skills
• Successful fundraiser with the demonstrated ability to attain financial support from myriad
• Technological proficiency with a strong understanding of statistics and data analysis
• Highly energetic, highly motivated individual with the requisite entrepreneurial spirit for a
start-up school
• Strong work ethic combined with excellent organizational skills
• Strategic, solutions oriented thinker with demonstrated ability to overcome organizational
challenges- regardless of the obstacles or how long the job takes
• Demonstrated ability to be open to feedback, assume and embrace personal responsibility
and the to grow as a school leader
Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Substantial merit bonuses will
be awarded each year based on student academic performance and other metrics established by the
Board of Trustees.
Start Date:
An outstanding candidate will begin work full-time upon the receipt of a Charter.
To Apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume via email to In the subject line of the
email, please write the following: Application for Executive Director. Please note that applications
without cover letters will not be reviewed.

Proposed Charter for PAVE

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TO: EMSC Committee

FROM: Johanna Duncan-Poitier
SUBJECT: Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for PAVE
Charter School

DATE: January 4, 2008

STRATEGIC GOAL: Goals 1 and 2



Issue for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter of the PAVE Charter School (New York City) which has been submitted by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York?

Reason(s) for Consideration

Required by New York State Education Law §2852.

Proposed Handling

This question will come before the Regents EMSC Committee for action and then before the full Board for final action in January 2008.

Procedural History

The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities. The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations.
Background Information

We have received a proposed charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York to establish a new charter school. This will be presented to you at your January 2008 meeting. The proposed charter is the following:

• PAVE Charter School (New York City)

The PAVE Charter School (PAVE or “the School”) would be located in New York City Community School District 15 in Brooklyn. The applicant is targeting the Red Hook community. The proposed charter school will initially serve 88 students in grades K-1 and expand to serve 246 students in grades K-5 by the fifth year of the initial charter. The School is founded on the principle that all students can achieve at high levels. The School will be based on four pillars: high-quality instruction; a rigorous curriculum; an extended school day and school year; and, a highly structured learning environment. Class sizes will be limited to 22 students. The school will not be supported by a management company or institutional partner.


VOTED: That the Board of Regents approve and issue the charter of the PAVE Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issue a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, ending on January 14, 2013.

Reason for Recommendation

1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicant can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) approving and issuing the proposed charter will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the proposed charter school.
Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the PAVE Charter School is effective immediately.

New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter School

Summary of Applicant Information

Name of Proposed Charter School: PAVE Charter School (PAVE or “the School”)

Address: To be determined

Applicant(s): J Spencer Robertson

Anticipated Opening Date: August 25, 2008

District of Location: New York City Community School District (CSD) 15, Brooklyn

Charter Entity: Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

Institutional Partner(s): N/A

Management Partner(s): N/A

Grades Served: 2008-09: K-1
2009-15: K-2
2015-11: K-3
2011-12: K-4
2012-13: K-5

Projected Enrollment: 2008-09: 88
2009-15: 132
2015-11: 173
2011-12: 211
2012-13: 246

Proposed Charter Highlights


J Spencer Robertson, the lead applicant, has spent his eight year professional career involved in public education. He taught for three years at Junior High School 117 (8th Grade English Language Arts) from 1998-2001. He spent a year as a Program Officer for the Tiger Foundation, working primarily on the foundation’s education portfolio (2002-2003). which included several New York charter schools. He completed a year-long fellowship with Building Excellent Schools (2005-2006). and in 2006-07, Mr. Robertson worked as the Assistant Director of Operations at North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. Mr. Robertson holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (2005).

Institutional Partner(s)


Management Partner


• The mission of the school is “to prepare kindergarten to 8th grade students to thrive in competitive high schools and four year colleges.
• PAVE states it “will provide the children of Brooklyn with a rigorous academic program and a school community built on the school’s core value of Perseverance, Achievement, Vibrance and Excellent Character.”
• The curriculum is fully aligned with the New York State performance and learning standards.
• The School will incorporate elements of direct instruction, collaborative learning, and project-based instruction.
• PAVE will primarily make use of a Direct Instruction approach. For its reading curriculum it will utilize Open Court and for math it will use Saxon. The writing program will incorporate Power Writing Plus. Science instruction will be delivered through Full Option Science Systems (FOSS). The Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Program will anchor instruction in this area.
• PAVE students will take assessments to both gauge progress and inform instruction. Kindergarten students will take the DIBELS assessment three (3) times throughout the year (beginning, middle, and end). Students in the first grade and above will take the Terra Nova twice per year (beginning and end). Students in the first grade and above will also take PAVE’s internally developed assessments at regular intervals (4-5 per year). The assessments will be aligned to PAVE’s curriculum and to the New York State Learning Standards.
• Where appropriate, PAVE will layer support for students with disabilities (SWDs).The School intends to hire a teacher in each grade who possesses dual certification (general education and special education). The Learning Support Coordinator will push in or pull students out of classrooms and serve as an additional layer of support for students with special needs.
• Using the Structured English Immersion (SEI) approach, PAVE will serve all students with limited English proficiency (LEP) and ensure that they quickly become proficient readers and writers of the English language.
• PAVE anticipates hiring at least one bilingual teacher. PAVE is seeking a certified English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to serve in a consulting capacity. This individual, in conjunction with the Learning Support Coordinator and the bilingual teacher will meet on a monthly basis and establish/review concrete strategies to support the School’s targeted students. The bilingual teacher and/or the Learning Support Coordinator will push in or pull out ELL students.
• PAVE will utilize an extended school day (8:00 AM-4:00 PM) and an extended school year (188 days).
• No class at PAVE will contain more than 22 students.
• In kindergarten through grade two, PAVE will utilize a two-teacher per classroom model.


• PAVE will be governed by a Board of Trustees. The number of Trustees shall not be less than seven (7) and shall not exceed thirteen (13).
• The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Trustees and will be responsible for PAVE’s overall performance.
• The current proposed Board consists of individuals with broad experience in the following areas: legal, financial, early childhood education, not for profit management, and fundraising.
• Each Trustee has had the opportunity to visit at least two charter schools deemed outstanding by external organizations.
• Trustees will be elected to serve two year terms. No Trustee will serve more than three consecutive terms.
• The Board will maintain four standing committees: Executive; Finance and Facilities; Academic Accountability; and, Governance.


• PAVE anticipates serving a population that closely mirrors that of the Red Hook Community. Specifically, the expectation is that greater than 90% of PAVE students will be free/reduced lunch eligible. It is also expected that the composition of the school will be approximately 50% African American and 50% Latino.
• PAVE students will be selected by a blind, random lottery. Preference will be given to students living in Community School District 15.
• The School anticipates that no less than ten percent of those enrolled will be students with disabilities.


• In Year One, PAVE’s administrative staff will consist of an Executive Director (ED), a Director of Curriculum and Instruction (DCI), a Director of Operations and Finance (DOF); a Dean of Students; an Office Manager; and a Social Worker (half-time). The DCI and DOF will report to the ED.
• By Year Five the only additions to the administrative staff are the Social Worker (full time) and the addition of a second Office Manager.
• In Year One PAVE’s Teaching Staff will consist of four Lead Teachers, four Junior Teachers and a Learning Support Coordinator. PAVE will use a two teacher per classroom model in Kindergarten through the second grade.
• In Year Two, PAVE will add four additional teachers (two Lead teachers and two Junior Teachers). In Years Three through Five, PAVE will add two Lead Teachers per year.
• In Year Three, PAVE will hire its physical education and art teachers. Until that point these services will contracted.
• PAVE will recruit teachers from an array of sources including but not limited to the following: Teach for America, New York City Teaching Fellows, professional job fairs, graduate schools of teaching and strategic website postings.


• In Year One PAVE anticipates total revenues of $1,780,819 and expenses of $1,481,626. The anticipated Year one surplus is $289,193.
• During the Start-Up phase and Year One, PAVE anticipates receipt of non per-pupil revenues from the Walton Family Foundation ($250,000), the City of New York ($124,408), Federal Charter School Program, Grant ($150,000), and fundraising/board contributions ($150,000).
• There are no loans associated with the Year One budget.
• PAVE anticipates being located in a New York City Department of Education building. The Lead Applicant is engaged in conversations with the New York City Department of Education to secure such a space.
• The School has provided a contingency plan and budget for securing a facility over the term of the charter. If space in a Department of Education building is not a viable option, PAVE has identified a 20,000 square foot facility to lease located in the target community. The applicant asserts the potential value of the site includes: proximity to public transportation, public parks and playing fields. The proposed facility is also newly constructed.
• The Board committees have identified community-based partners for collaborating on finalizing facility arrangements.
• The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below. These projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from New York City and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.

Projected Fiscal Impact of the
PAVE Charter School
(New York City CSD 15 – Brooklyn)
2008-09 Through 2012-13
School Year Number of Students Projected Payment* Projected Impact
2008-2009 88 $1,030,216 0.0050
2009-2010 132 $1,614,864 0.0076
2010-2011 173 $2,211,690 0.0101
2011-2012 211 $2,818,882 0.0124
2012-2013 246 $3,434,361 0.0147

* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.

Community Support

• The Lead Applicant was able to get the requisite number of signatures to match the first year’s budgeted enrollment (88).
• The Lead Applicant has forged alliances with some of Red Hook’s most established and respected Community Based Organizations. For example: Red Hook Rise and the Red Hook Community Justice Center have written letters in support of the school.
• The Lead Applicant and Board Members have and will continue to take advantage of opportunities to speak to families and interested stakeholders.

Public Opinion
• A public hearing, hosted by the Community Education Council of Community School District 15, New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), was held on September 20, 2007.
• Five public comments were received in support of the proposed charter.

Friday, February 1, 2008


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On Friday, February 8, a flier was handed out to parents as they picked up their children from school; the text of the flier was as follows:

On Thursday February 7th, the District 15 Community Superintendent Rosemary Stewart informed Ms. Wyns-Madison that the Department of Education will open a K-2 Charter School to be housed inside P.S. 15.

This emergency meeting has been scheduled to discuss this unexpected announcement and the negative impact we feel this will have on our school community.

At the meeting (which will be discussed in more depth later), several items were distributed in flier form. One was a list of pros and cons for the proposed charter school; there were no pros listed at all, and the list of cons were as follows:

-increased class size
-loss of space for additional programs (Beacon, C.A.T., Studio In A School, Cookshop, band)
-elimination of science lab and social studies/art project rooms
-decrease in small group instruction
-limited space for counseling service (Good Shepherd Family Counseling Program)
-loss of community atmosphere
-safety concerns due to students entering and exiting the building
-limited access to our gym, cafeteria, auditorium, new schoolyard/playgrounds, and common areas
-potential loss of jobs due to low enrollment of PS15 students
-limited ability to create new programs
-compromised intervention services (occupational and physical therapy as well)
-overcrowded cafeteria and breakfast program
-potential loss of community celebrations such as Thanksgiving Dinner, Carnival, Holiday Fair, Book Fair
-creating a divisive environment (the "haves" and the "have-nots")
-Title 1 funds?

A letter from Council Member Sara M. Gonzalez (38th District, Brooklyn) was also presented. Her letter said:

Dear Parents:

As I will be unable to atend tonight's emergency meeting at P.S. 15 due to a commitment at City Hall, I wanted to express my position on the current situation involving your school and the proposed location of the PAVE Charter School.

First, let me describe my recent involvement in the process. Prior to the decision of the Board of Regents, I met with PAVE's founder, Spencer Robertson, to discuss his proposal. I was very enthusiastic (sic) by many of the school's principles: educating more of Red Hook's youth and giving the area community preference during the enrollment process; hoping to have the school composition reflect traditionally underserved segments of ou society by having the student body compromised of 50% Latino and 50% African American children; having small, intimate classroom settings of no more than 22 students and by following a two-teacher per classroom model. Most importantly, I support the philosophy that all students can achieve learning at a high level.

As for the location of the school, this decision was made solely by the Department of Education. In fact, the decision to temporarily house PAVE at P.S. 15 was not made until after the Charter School was aproved. I expressed my disappointment to DOE that not only was I not made aware of the proposed site for PAVE, but neither were the parents. Certainly, had I known that PAVE was going to be sighted at P.S. 15, my support for the Charter School would have had a number of pre-conditions attached and would have certainly included the input of the PTA and Principal Wyns-Madison. It's the least that oculd have been done for a school that recently received an "A" on its City report card.

That being said, DOE has been very clear in explaining their rationale for placing PAVE at P.S. 15; whether that rationale is justified is what is currently being debated. According to DOE, P.S. 15 is only operating at 54% occupancy, with 14-16 rooms not being utilized. PAVE would only be using 5 of those classrooms in its first year. Furthermore, PAVE will be housed at P.S. 15 for no more than two years. The first year, grades K through 1 will be running with 88 students and the following year, grades K through 2 will serve a student population of 110. DOE has assured me that the two-year time frame will not be extended and that all after-school programs currently operating at P.S. 15 will not be affected.

Alrhough it is my feeling tha ttheir arguments do hold some merit, I feel it is absolutely necessary to request a delay in the housing of the PAVE school ata P.S. 15 until all questions are answered, concerns are addressed, and alternatives are considered. Only once a democratic public hearing process is concluded should consideration be given to placing a Charter School in P.S. 15.

I am confident that through ongoing dialogue DOE and the support of my colleagues in the City Council and my community, we can come to a resolution on this matter that satisfies all sides.

Thank you for your consideration and please contact my office with any questions or concerns at 718.439.9012.


Sara M. Gonzalez