Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 4/11/2017 - 5:30 PM
Category: ITEMS OF BUSINESS
Type: Action
Subject: 1. Action on a Request to Amend the Proposed Term of the Non-Instrumentality Charter School Contract with Rocketship Education to Begin with the 2018-2019 School Year
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Goal 3
Effective and Efficient Operations
Policy: Admin Policy 9.12 - Charter Schools
Attachments:
File Attachment:
Background: On December 22, 2016, the Board took action to approve the charter school concept with Rocketship Education and directed the Administration, in consultation with the Board’s designee and the Office of the City Attorney to begin contract negotiations with representatives from Rocketship Education to develop a charter school contract to begin with the 2017–2018 school year.

Rocketship Education currently operates a charter school, Rocketship Southside Community Prep (RSCP), authorized by the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, located at 3003 West Cleveland Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53215. On November 18, 2016, Rocketship submitted a proposal to partner with Milwaukee Public Schools for the current RSCP beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. The school currently serves 509 full-time-equivalent (FTE) pupils in grade K4 through five.

In addition, the proposal outlines opening a second campus on Milwaukee’s northwest side to begin with the 2018-2019 school year. The north side campus, located at 4116 West Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53209, would serve a maximum of 196 FTE pupils in grades K4 through two beginning in the fall of 2018. In the subsequent years, the school will ramp up a grade each year to a maximum of 392 pupils in grades K4 through five.

Rocketship’s mission is to eliminate the achievement gap by graduating all students at or above grade level. The goals of the school include the following: enable students to become self-motivated, competent, life-long learners; embed a deep love of learning; provide parents with a path for their children to take in order to have the best chance to attend a four-year college; and encourage the alumni students to become leaders in their community and help others achieve their goals.

Rocketship’s program is centered on personalized instruction by using a blended learning model. Rocketship works extensively with teachers and leaders to attract and retain educators that feel empowered, appreciated, and valued. They put a strong emphasis on parent and community engagement by working with parents to help them become powerful advocates for their children.

The charter school proposal was reviewed by district staff to determine the viability of the school. Based on the school’s educational model and ability to provide families with a strong option on the city’s north and south side, Administration recommended that the Board approve the Rocketship Education non-instrumentality charter school concept and direct Administration, in collaboration with the Office of Board Governance and the Office of the City Attorney, to enter into negotiations to develop a charter school contract to begin with the 2017–2018 school year.

After further discussions, all parties agree that it would be best to develop a charter school contract that would commence with the 2018–2019 school year (as opposed to 2017-2018) so that both the south and north side schools would begin during the same year.
Fiscal Impact Statement: The funds for the charter school contract will be included as part of the FY19 budget process.
Implementation and Assessment Plan Upon approval of this proposed amendment, Administration, in collaboration with the Office of Board Governance and the Office of the City Attorney will negotiate for a contract with Rocketship to begin in the 2018-2019 school year.
Recommendation: The Administration recommends the Board authorize the Administration, in collaboration with the Office of Board Governance and the Office of the City Attorney, to negotiate a charter school contract with Rocketship Education to begin with the 2018–2019 school year.
Approvals:
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Marla Bronaugh - Director
Signed By:
Keith Posley - Chief
Signed By:
Dr. Darienne Driver - Superintendent