A meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees’ Charter Schools Committee was held the morning of Tuesday, October 15. Attendees included Committee members and staff of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, as well as some representatives of the schools undergoing votes from the Committee. 

After coming to order, the Committee entered executive session for an extended period to “receive legal advice from counsel.” Following the executive session, the Committee discussed the following:

Applications for New Charters

Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School

Upon returning and approving the previous meetings’ minutes from June, the Committee considered a new charter application from Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School. 

  • Opening date: August 2020
  • Location: Buffalo City School District, private facility.
  • Year 1: 112 students in grades 5-6.
  • Year 5: 336 students in grades 5-10. The school will seek to add grades 11 and 12 as a part of its first renewal. 

Members of the applicant group were in attendance. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the charter for Buffalo Creek and congratulated those present.

Applications for Charter Renewal

Next the Committee turned to the business of granting renewals for multiple schools:

Amber Charter School East Harlem

In its fourth chartered term, Amber Charter Schools East Harlem had its renewal passed unanimously by the Committee, extending its charter through June, 2025. Amber Charter School is one of the oldest charter schools in New York State. Since its opening, it has received full-term renewals at each renewal interval, and has expanded to include three schools under its charter.

NYC Autism Charter School East Harlem

The NYC Autism Charter School – East Harlem received a full-term 5 year renewal by unanimous vote of the Charter Schools Committee. Representatives from NYC Autism Charter Schools were present for the renewal.  NYC Autism Charter Schools serves 40 students at its East Harlem campus and 32 at its Bronx campus.

Uncommon New York City Charter Schools

Uncommon New York City Charter Schools operates 13 charter schools in New York City, with one additional school slated to open in the fall of 2020. The charters for the following schools were up for renewal:

  • Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School
  • Kings Collegiate Charter School
  • Leadership Preparatory Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School
  • Leadership Preparatory Brownsville Charter School
  • Leadership Preparatory Ocean Hill Charter School
  • Ocean Hill Collegiate Charter School
  • Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School

Five year extension renewals were passed unanimously by the Committee for the seven schools listed above.

Resubmission to the Board of Regents of Proposed Charter Revisions for Two Success Academy Charter Schools

Previously approved by SUNY for five year extensions in February of this year, the Committee voted to resubmit without modification the applications for Success Academy— Bed Stuy 1 and Success Academy— Upper West to the State Board of Regents for final sign-off at one of its upcoming P-12 education committee meetings. In June, the Board of Regents had voted on returning the two applications because the schools had sought renewals more than a year before their charters’ expirations.

Charter School Revisions and General Updates

Attached as a part of the meeting materials was an Institute Update Memo detailing revisions to school’s charters acted on by the SUNY Charter Schools Institute via delegation of duties from the SUNY Board of Trustees. A summary of the revisions is outlined in the memo.

Executive Director Susie Miller Carello reported to the Committee on the following additional topics covered in the memo:

  • SUNY-authorized charter school performance on Grades 3-8 state assessment
  • In ELA, 60% of over 45,000 tested students attending 144 SUNY authorized charter schools across New York state scored at or above proficiency, exceeding the proficiency rate throughout the rest of the state by 15 points.
  • In Math, 67% of students scored at or above proficiency, exceeding the proficiency rate statewide by 20 points and marking a 3% increase in overall proficiency in 2017-18. 
  • 2019-20 National Blue Ribbon Award Recipients 
  • Two SUNY-authorized schools received this year’s Nation Blue Ribbon Awards—  Academic Leadership Charter School (Bronx) and Achievement First Bushwick (Brooklyn)— earning the distinction ‘Exemplary High Performing Schools’.
  • Since 2012, a total of 16 SUNY-authorized schools have now received the Blue Ribbon Award distinction.

We look forward to bringing you summaries of meetings of the SUNY Board of Trustees’ Charter Schools Committee in the months ahead.