‘There Will Be No Change’: Parents Face Uphill Battle in Effort to Save Charter School


BARNSTABLE – Parents, educators, and trustees turned up at the Barnstable School Committee’s meeting last night to continue their fight to save the Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School.

The meeting follows the committee’s recent vote to not renew the school’s charter for another five years.

Members of the school committee explained that their decision was not based on the school’s performance, but rather an effort to regain governance of the institution.

Horace Mann Charter Schools are governed by a board of trustees and not the school committee.

Several school committee members also expressed concern about enrollment procedures at the school and the inability of the committee to have oversight.

Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School parents and staff have highlighted years of success and high standardized test scores by students at the K through 3 facility.

Despite the uproar, School Committee Chairman Chris Joyce said that the board has made up their minds and that they have no intention of revisiting the issue in the near future.

“There [are] plans to think about some different opportunities for the school. We’re hoping we’ll look back on this and it will be a good experience for all.” he said, concluding, “The vote was made last month. the vote to non-renew was made last month, there will be no change.”

Undeterred, parents have launched an online petition supporting the renewal of the school’s charter which went active on Friday and already has hundreds of signatures.

“I’m not sure what the chances are,” says BCHMCPS parent Timea Menyhart, a former member of the school’s Board of Trustees, “However it is our due diligence as parents that we do whatever we need to do to make sure that we go through all the steps to ensure a successful renewal. This is our job.”

Students from all of Barnstable’s seven villages attend the school, and a majority are from low income households.

Some members of the school committee have suggested the school could become and Innovation School.

Innovation Schools can implement creative and inventive strategies, increase student achievement and reduce achievement gaps while keeping school funding within districts.

The unique schools operate with increased autonomy and flexibility in six key areas with the goal of establishing the school conditions that lead to improved teaching and learning.

The difference is that school districts oversee innovation schools and not an independent board of trustees and that everything the district decides for the school will happen.

The school will operate as a Horace Mann Charter school for the 2018-19 school year.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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