Four charter applicants could serve more than 1,800 students

Final applications are due back to the department by Nov. 1

BOSTON (STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE) – State education officials announced Tuesday that they have invited groups behind four proposed charter schools to submit full applications, with a final decision on the proposals expected in February 2017.

The applicants, which all hope to open their doors to students in 2017, include the Equity Lab Charter School, which plans a school in Lynn serving grades 5 through 12 with a maximum enrollment of 560, and the Hampden Charter School of Science II, which would serve up to 560 students in grades 6 through 12 in Holyoke, Westfield and Agawam, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Final applications are due back to the department by Nov. 1. The applications will be reviewed by department staff and external review panelists, and public hearings will held in the areas where the schools are proposed. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, chaired by Executive in Residence at General Catalyst Partners Paul Sagan, is scheduled to vote on the applicants in February, after receiving recommendations from Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

Two groups have been asked to submit final applications. Map Academy Charter School has proposed a “competency-based high school model” for up to 250 students between the ages of 15 and 23 in Plymouth, Carver and Wareham. And Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School has proposed a K-8 school for up to 360 students in Sturbridge, Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield, Wales and Webster.

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