Charter School initiates new five-year strategic plan

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Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School director Bob Moore. — File photo by Susan Safford

The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School is entering its 19th year as a public school option for families on Martha’s Vineyard. The Charter School will be graduating our 15th 12th grade class in June 2015. This school year, we are pleased to welcome 25 new students to the school and Robert Louzan, the Administrator of Special Education.

It is the focus of the school community to ensure a smooth transition for our new members. The Personal Education Plan conferences with each student, their parents/guardians and their teacher advisor assist in our welcome. These meetings take place before the school year begins to introduce students, teachers and parents/guardians to one another, to design a learning plan for the school year, and to answer any questions. The conferences are scheduled in November and April, as well. Having the students at the table to discuss the learning experience they are engaged in is an empowering experience for all our students.

The school moves forward with a new five-year strategic plan that includes curriculum revisions, program needs assessment, and professional development. The focus of the strategic plan during the 2014-2015 school year will include the Spanish, math, and arts curriculums, the new building project of two science labs, and Sheltered English Immersion training for administrators and teachers. The Charter School is proud of the breadth and depth of its academic program, and the quality of learning that takes place throughout the school year.

In addition to these ambitious initiatives the school will direct its attention to disseminating its best practices to schools throughout the Commonwealth. The school’s Project Period Program and Personal Education Plan model have been vital aspects of the Charter School since it opened in 1996. These programs include student choice and student engagement which are at the core of what we do. We are interested in sharing our experiences with schools across Massachusetts.

The Charter School is making preparations for the new PARCC tests that are replacing the MCAS testing. The new tests will be introduced in the spring.

The Charter School received a positive report from Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education based upon their visit in the spring. It lays a good foundation for the school’s five-year charter renewal visit which will take place during the 2015-2016 school year. The Charter Renewal protocol includes looking at student academic achievement, the school’s organizational viability, the school’s adherence to its charter, and how the school disseminates its best practices. This will be the Charter School’s fourth Charter Renewal process and the community finds the experience informative, invigorating and helpful as we move forward to serve the students and families on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Charter School enters the new school year with optimism that each of our students will have the opportunity to reach new heights and experience new challenges and successes.

Robert Moore has been the director of the Charter School since 1998. The school opened in September 1996 with 75 students.