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State Votes in Favor of a New Charter School in Springfield

school chalkboardMALDEN, Mass. (WGGB) – The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to grant charters to the founders of two proposed charter schools including one right here in Western Mass.

Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School in Springfield was officially given the green light today.  The regional Commonwealth charter school is slated to open in the fall of 2014. The school will enroll 250 students in grades 9-12 when it reaches its full capacity.

The other charter school approved was Pioneer Charter School of Science II, a regional Commonwealth charter school that will open in Saugus in fall 2013.

During their meeting today, the board also approved expansion requests from three existing charter schools to add seats to their current enrollments including one in Greenfield and one in Hadley.

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, a regional school with a current maximum enrollment of 212 students in grades 7-12, will increase its enrollment by 8 students.

And the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, a regional school with a current maximum enrollment of 300 students in grades K-8, will add grades 9-12 and increase its enrollment by 284 students.

The two new charters were among five finalists that the Board approved this week. Three other new charters, 2 in Boston and 1 in New Bedford, were also approved by the Board on Monday evening.

Out of 11 proposed charter schools that were considered statewide, the Board voted to grant charters to five.

Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Horace Mann charter schools are developed and operated in close cooperation with the host school district, and require approval of the local school committee.

Charter schools are open to all Massachusetts students, with enrollment preference given to the students in the district or region where the school is located.

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