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Public Meeting Set Regarding Charter School Project

OSWEGO, NY – The Renaissance Charter School project has been revamped over the last few months.

Now, organizers are ready to give the project another shot.

“We are carrying on with the charter school application,” said Rodica Ieta. “We will hold an open public meeting Thursday in the Community Room of the Oswego Public Library.”

The meeting is scheduled for 5  to 6 p.m.

The purpose of Thursday’s meeting is to discuss the Renaissance Charter School, which began in late 2011 and bring people up to date on what organizers have done since then.

“We are currently reviewing the school application based on the reviewers’ comments received from the  SUNY Charter Schools Institute,” Ieta explained.

“A new letter of intent will be submitted by the February 18 deadline,” she said. “A revised preliminary proposal will be submitted by April 15.”

The official proposal is due by September 6.

If approved, the school will start operating in the fall of 2014.

The charter school would be publicly funded with an alternative curriculum, based on the classical curriculum adopted by most private schools, she said.

“We will ask for input from community members, to understand the needs of parents and students and to tune in the school’s goal with community’s interests and resources,” she added.

The original plan was to have the school open in September 2013 and start with grades 5 and 6, to continue into high school. Each year, two new grade 5 classes would be added.

However, in August 2012, a public hearing to discuss the proposed charter school in Oswego closed without a single comment.

“I received news that the application was not convincing enough in certain areas and it looked like it was not going to be forwarded for approval,” Ieta said last summer. “So, we decided to withdraw it and fine tune it and resubmit next year in February.”

The hearing was required because the charter school is being proposed within the Oswego City School District, explained Bill Crist, Oswego superintendent.

In New York State, teachers, parents, school administrators and community residents, or any combination thereof, can submit an application to establish a charter school.

Eligible applicants may file the application in conjunction with a college, university, museum, educational institution, or a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

One of the strengths of the New York Charter Schools Act is that it provides for two state-wide charter school authorizers: the SUNY Board of Trustees and the New York State Board of Regents.