Four new charter schools to open in 2013

Four new charter schools, one with a successful track record in four states, received tentative approval from the D.C. Public Charter School Board on Monday evening to open their doors in August 2013.

Community College Preparatory Academy, which will offer what it describes as “an educational second chance” to unemployed and under-skilled adults, is unusual in that it already has space lined up. Plans call for the school to hold classes in three D.C. facilities: the Backus Campus of the University of the District of Columbia Community College, Shadd School and P.R. Harris Educational Center.

The Washington D.C. Hebrew Language Public Charter School, recently renamed Sela, will be organized around the Washington Yu Ying model, with students Pre-K through 5th grade receiving instruction in English and Hebrew on alternating days. It is loosely affiliated with the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn and plans to locate in either Ward 1, 4 or 5.

Ingenuity Prep (Pre-K-8) promises an extended school day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and a blended learning model, which organizes math and reading classes around digital content with small groups of students and teachers (8 to 1 ratio).

Somerset Preparatory Academy (grades 6-8) would be the first Washington outlet for a network that operates schools in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. Board officials said the school has a strong track record with low-income Latino and African American students.

The board selected the four schools from 11 applications. Over the last three years the board has approved 12 of 56 charter candidates.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.

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