Network Model Charter Schools


What is a Network Model Charter School?

A key component of the Network of Independent Charter Schools is the development of Technical Assistance Plans and delivery of targeted technical assistance to Network Model Charter Schools, comprised of a core group of early-stage independent charter schools in New York City and the greater Boston region. A Core Group of Network Model Schools was selected during 2010-2011. Each Network Model Charter School will work with experts from CEI-PEA (the lead partner in the Network of Independent Charter Schools) and its partners to engage in a needs assessment and develop a Technical Assistance Plan that is then implemented over the next three years. The teachers and administrators at each Network Model Charter School will receive targeted technical assistance--free of charge--to help them address the needs identified in the Technical Assistance Plans.


Is your school interested in becoming a Network Model Charter School?

The Network of Independent Charter Schools is currently accepting applications for a limited number of additional Network Model Charter Schools. Learn more about this opportunity >>


Current Network Model Charter Schools

Academy of the City Charter School | Bridge Boston Charter School | Broome Street Academy | Challenge Preparatory Charter School | Heketi Community Charter School | Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School | John W. Lavelle Charter School | Launch Expeditionary Charter School | Lefferts Garden Charter School | New Dawn Charter School
Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation | Staten Island Community Charter School | Tech International Charter School | Urban Dove Charter School


Les Mullings
Challenge Preparatory Academy CS

Jeremy Kaplan
Broome Street Academy CS

Clara Janis
Broome Street Academy CS



Academy of the City Charter School

Academy of the City Charter School is a New York City charter school that will open in 2011 in Queens. It will enroll students in grades K-1 in 2011-2012, and will ultimately enroll students in grades K-5. The school is community-based and grounded in principles of community involvement, workplace democracy, reflective practices in pedagogy, management and governance, professional development, accountability, transparency and entrepreneurialism. Its aim is to support students in becoming independent thinkers, lifelong learners and responsible members of their communities. The school’s educational philosophy is rooted in social justice, inquiry, experiential and collaborative learning, and supported by continual professional development and reflective practice. It also emphasizes STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in its academic programming.



Bridge Boston Charter School

Bridge Boston Charter School is a charter elementary school that serves Boston’s most vulnerable students. Most of its students are from low income communities in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. Bridge Boston enrolls a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged, ELL and special needs students than the Boston Public Schools, and more than three times the percentage of homeless students. Bridge Boston opened in September 2011 with 72 students in pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten; in future years, the school will add one grade per year until it reaches grade 8 with 335 students. Bridge Boston’s educational philosophy focuses on:

- A comprehensive, individualized, rigorous academic program that both teaches basic skills and pushes students to develop rich intellectual lives.

- An intentional focus on the elimination of barriers to learning through vibrant community partnerships that allow Bridge Boston Charter School to meet the health and social service needs of our students.

- A deliberate, thoughtful, nurturing community in which each child and adult is known, encouraged, and supported.

Bridge Boston has established a nurturing environment in which each individual, child and adult, is well known and supported in their efforts to offer their best every day. A strong intern teacher program provides that each classroom has two teachers, thus ensuring that each student will receive the attention and instruction that he or she requires. The school culture values respect, responsibility, integrity, empathy, high expectations, the joy of life-long learning, and service to others. Service learning activities are incorporated into each grade level.


Broome Street Academy

Broome Street Academy is a New York City charter high school that will open in August 2011 in the SoHo area of Manhattan. Its mission is to improve the academic success of all students including the city's most at-risk students such as teens who come from low-performing middle schools, are homeless, or are in foster care. Broome Street Academy is partnered with The Door, a 39 year old youth services organization that provides young people with a complete range of services under one roof, including supportive housing, education, tutoring and homework help, college preparation, career development services, health care, mental health, legal services, daily meals, arts, sports and recreational activities. Broome Academy will establish a unique model that will seamlessly integrate rigorous academics and youth development services all under one roof. Key features of Broome Street Academy include: every student is expected to graduate with a Regents diploma; an Extended day/extended year program and time to catch up on academic skills every day; every student will have a personal advisor; every student will become a member of the Door upon enrollment, and will therefore have access to a range of free support services for the students including College Access support, Health services, Legal services, Arts & Recreation programs, Career Coaching, & Internships, and Dinner every school night.



Challenge Preparatory Charter School

Challenge Preparatory Charter School (Challenge Prep) is a New York City charter elementary school located in the Far Rockaway section of Queens. It opened in 2010, and will ultimately serve students in grades K-5. Challenge Prep’s primary purpose is to prepare students to gain admission to and succeed in competitive public and private high schools. To this end, the founders of Challenge Prep have designed an academic program that will build students’ foundational academic skills, content knowledge and motivation to succeed in high school, college and beyond. Challenge Prep was developed by members of the Far Rockaway community, and has a strong emphasis on community and parent involvement. Challenge Prep uses the workshop model to deliver balanced, standards-aligned curricula in all subjects and to support data-informed differentiated instruction. The School also has a strong arts program. Through a partnership with Studio in a School, the school provides ongoing arts-related professional development and opportunities for professional artists to share their experience and expertise with teachers and others in the school community.



Heketi Community Charter School

Heketi Community Charter School is a New York City charter elementary school that will open in the South Bronx in August 2012. Its mission is to provide an exceptional educational solution, focused on preparing every student for New York City’s most competitive high schools and leadership in their chosen careers through an integrated educational design and holistic approach. Heketi's name embraces two main elements of its mission focus. ‘Heketi’ is the Taino word for ONE. Tainos are the indigenous people of the Caribbean, representing the heritage of a large portion of the Spanish-speaking population in the South Bronx. Heketi was born out of a desire to honor this heritage and embrace the power of multilingual literacy and reading skills for success and leadership. The meaning of Heketi, ONE, is also a recognition of what it takes to create an educational environment that ensures each child’s success. Heketi has a singular focus that integrates families, school staff, and community members all invested and united in building a community focused on achievement. The key elements of Heketi Community are: clear and transparent accountability; relentless commitment to high expectations for all; data-driven instruction; investment in social-emotional support; and use of an integrated Spanish Language Model.



Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School

The Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School is a New York City charter middle school located in the Inwood section of Manhattan. It will enroll students in grades 5 and 6 in 2011-2012. Inwood Academy was created by a group of community workers and educators who saw the need within Inwood and Washington Heights for a quality public school choice. A core belief of the school is that college success is absolutely vital in today’s economy and society. Its educational vision encompasses three goals: ensure all students graduate reading, writing and doing math at or above grade level; ensure all graduates are accepted to, and prepared to attend, 4-year college without remediation; and ensure our graduates are young men & women of good character, with outstanding leadership ability.

To achieve these goals, the school provides an academically rigorous educational program in an engaging, caring, college preparatory learning climate. The school’s leadership and staff comprises individuals who have worked and lived in the local community for many years and who understand the unique needs of its students. The Inwood Academy for Leadership offers a positive "asset-building" culture that seeks to develop each student's individual knowledge base. Its uses an interdisciplinary approach to learning at every level that includes trips and service learning that apply what the students have learned in the classroom. Its academic strategies include grade looping and intensive support and remediation for all English Language Learners and students below grade level, including school dat remediation, a Summer Academy and after school and Saturday support. It also provides after school enrichment activities and an array of services and supports through community partnerships.

Inwood Academy Charter School was recently profiledin the Westside Spirit ( for its commitment to community-based collaboration in the creation and development of the school.


John W. Lavelle Charter School

The John W. Lavelle Charter School was the first charter school approved in Staten Island, NY. Its objective is to provide a rigorous college preparatory education that equips and empowers students to go to college and succeed in life. Lavelle Prep served students in grades 6 and 7 in 2010/2011 and will ultimately serve students in grades 6-12. Lavelle Prep welcomes all students, including those living with emotional challenges. In 2010-2011, thirty percent of its students have special education needs. Full integration in all classes and activities enables each student to develop the academic skills, emotional fluency and confidence required to be successful students today and thoughtful, open-minded leaders tomorrow. Lavelle Prep has high expectations and unique benefits for all of its students. This includes a rigorous college prep program, small class sizes, high-quality educational technology and instruction, a visual and performing arts curriculum, a Wellness curriculum that addresses students' emotional and social needs, and an environment that breaks down barriers and promotes understanding, acceptance and growth. Lavelle Prep fully integrates students living with emotional challenges through dually-certified teachers, supported by school assistants who follow students through all of their classes and work with students individually as necessary.

In the news: Staten Island's Lavelle Preparatory Charter School receives $20,000 green grant from National Grid (November 10, 2011)



Launch Expeditionary Charter School

Launch Expeditionary Charter School is a New York City charter school that will open in Fall 2012. It will ultimately enroll students in grades 6-12. The school’s unique approach to college preparatory education emphasizes experiential learning. At Launch Expeditionary Charter School, students will learn by doing. Working with its institutional partner, NYC Outward Bound, the school will prepare students not only to succeed in the classroom, but to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Students at Launch Expeditionary Charter School will never be asked to simply recite memorized information. Instead, they will investigate relevant subject matter, work in the field alongside experts, and present what they have learned in order to demonstrate depth of understanding to their peers, teachers, and parents in various fields of study. This kind of real-world learning, called Expeditionary Learning, invests students in their communities, teaches them the values of leadership and service, and prepares them for success in school, college, citizenship and life. Launch will have a longer school day and year, and a flexible curriculum in which teachers will weave college-ready skills like perseverance, initiative, and responsibility.



Lefferts Gardens Charter School

Lefferts Gardens Charter School (LGCS) is a community-centered elementary school with a unique focus on environmental science. It currently enrolls students in grades K-2. The school utilizes an environmental science program to develop academically motivated and civic-minded students and to prepare students for success in competitive high school and college programs. Graduates of Lefferts Garden Charter School will leave with an understanding of the relationship among science, the environment and the everyday world.

The school’s educational philosophy is an interdisciplinary environmental science curriculum will foster students’ capacities to think critically about their environment both locally and globally. Through experiential learning and the application of the scientific method, students will develop skills in goal-setting, hypothesizing, experimenting, observing, reviewing data, and reasoning. Such skills will ensure that all students graduate with the knowledge, values, and tools to be quality stewards of their community and environment. The science curriculum and assessments are aligned with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) standards as well as New York State standards. The use of the scientific method of inquiry also complements the school’s research-based reading/language arts and math programs.  In addition, the school draws heavily on local resources such as the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the Prospect Park Zoo to create on-site experiential learning opportunities.



New Dawn Charter School

New Dawn Charter High School (New Dawn), which will open in Fall 2012, will be a New York City Transfer School, reaching out to students who have either dropped out or are in-school truants—those who will most likely not graduate with their four-year 9th grade peers. New Dawn will enroll students who are over-aged and under-credited in grades 9 through 12, and includes an intensive program for those students who are the most at-risk and difficult to engage in their education: the student who is over 15 years old and has fewer than 11 credits. Students will graduate with a New York State Education Department diploma, meeting all graduation requirements. 

New Dawn Charter High School’s mission is to provide over-aged and under-credited students 15 - 21 years of age, including those who are English Language Learners and those with special needs, the opportunity to return to school and obtain a high school diploma through a rigorous NYSED standards-based education program. Within the framework of the education program, three programs will be offered: 1) Interventions for those with fewer than 11 credits, as well as for those with 11 or more credits: 2) Internships in the community and 3) College enrollment.

To address the tremendous difficulties over-aged students with fewer than 11 credits have, the New Dawn curriculum will consist of two parts: Intensive Grade 9 Intervention and General Education:

- Intensive Grade 9 Intervention: To meet the educational and social/emotional needs of these students, an intensive Grade 9 Intervention will be developed and include the following: 1) expectation that students will attend classes in ELA, math, science, social studies for four periods prior to lunch; 2) a series of advisories which lead students through the process of self-acceptance and responsibility to community; 3) active participation in Art and Gym/Health in AD3; 4) completing a Student ILP for each student, and 5) at least one semester in a pre-college preparation program offered through CUNY.

- General Educational Program: In the General Ed Program, students will participate in six classes and one Advisory during the day and in the Internship Program working in the community.  Internships are are used as the lure for students to return to school.  Internships are aligned with the academic curriculum and StudentILP, exposing students to the soft skills necessary to succeed in the world of work (i.e., timeliness, dress, social behavior, work norms).  Internships not only provide the carrot to return to school, but also help students to develop skill sets that support their transition to responsible adulthood.  

Visit the New Dawn Charter High School website at

New Dawn was recently profiled by The New York Times "School Book." Read the profile at

Founding Board Member Lisa DiGaudio is documenting the creation and development of New Dawn in the Charter Notebook. Check out her blog series on creating the school at


Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation

The Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation is a New York City charter high school serving students from the diverse and economically disadvantaged community of East Harlem. In 2010-2011, 90 percent of its students are on free/reduced lunch and more than 40 percent of its students have Individualized Education Plans (as compared with the 10 percent Citywide average). The school’s mission is “leadership through innovation” and it employs a three-tiered educational model that includes core academics, project-based learning, and hands-on, experiential learning outside the classroom. A four-year College Bound Program, Annual Projects for all students, and an integrated team teaching approach are just some of the highlights of our school culture. Among its key innovative features are:


- Individual Learning Plans – The school develops individual learning plans for all of its students that enable educators throughout the school to track what works for students and build from there. The individual learning plans combine everything that is known about a student from lesson plans studied to classroom anecdotals (notes of what happened in a class), assessments, homework, and records of staff interactions with students and their families.


- Integrated Team Teaching—The school promotes teacher empowerment and collaboration through an innovative integrated team teaching model that includes having a subject matter teacher, a s dual-certified Special education and subject-matter instructor, and a highly qualified Learning Specialist in each core academic subject work together to plan and implement curricula and instruction as a team. Teaching teams receive a minimum of two hours daily for collaboration and co-planning. Data is used extensively to establish effective, holistic and accessible curricula and to modify curricula as needed to address student needs.


- Four-year College Bound – The school has a 4-year college bound program in which students work every day for four years to build practical skills like note-taking and financial literacy as well as the emotional skills they’ll need to succeed in college and beyond. The class includes research, college visits, a thorough and ongoing discussion of the college application and financial aid process. It is focused around helping students discover where they want to go post-high school and understand what they’ll need to get there.


- Annual Projects - The school engages students in Annual Projects that expose them to the world of learning beyond the classroom and provide an outlet for areas of passion and interest a student may have that are not part of the curriculum. Each year, every student completes an Annual Project within an area of individual interest. The work is guided through the College Bound department and will receive additional support from subject-matter teachers and external volunteers and programming partners as needed. At the end of the year, students present their work for critique and evaluation to a panel of school outsiders - specialists in that subject area who provide the students with honest feedback about the content and ideas demonstrated in their presentations.


Visit the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation's website at and the school's YouTube channel at Renaissance Charter High School's Freedom Riders project was recently featured on NY1 ( and Edwize (



Staten Island Community Charter School

Staten Island Community Charter School is a New York City charter elementary school founded by a group of parents, grandparents and educators with a direct, personal interest in the success of public school students in the Staten Island community. As concerned residents of the community, the founders understand the needs of students and have established an academic program and school culture that addresses those needs. The school opened in 2010 with an enrollment of 100 students in grades K-1. It will ultimately enroll students in grades K-8. The involvement of parents, grandparents, foster parents and guardians as partners and volunteers in school activities is an important part of the school’s philosophy, and the school has developed a variety of opportunities for such involvement to occur. The school has adopted the core elements of the Yale School Development Plan, which has shown that a strong relationship between school, home and community can boost student achievement. The Yale plan helps the school build these strong relationships by bringing together teachers, parents and administrators to support students’ social and academic development. Staten Island Community Charter School also uses use the curriculum of the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program as the foundation of its social-emotional learning program, to enhance classroom instruction and promote cooperation, appreciation of diversity, and responsible decision-making. In addition, the school has established partnerships with several community-based organizations and resources, including the Staten Island Museum, the Staten Island Children’s Museum and the Sandy Ground Historical Society, to establish enrichment opportunities for students.



Tech International Charter School

Tech International Charter School (no "The" in the school’s name) is a charter school located in the Northwest part of the Bronx that will enroll 88 sixth graders in August 2012. Tech International Charter School will offer its student a rigorous, technology-enhanced, internationally focused education that develops critical thinking skills, and builds outstanding academic achievements using a combination of traditional and innovative pedagogies. Tech International Charter School will instill in each student: 

- Mastery of academics, work habits and the lifelong skills necessary for college preparation and beyond 

- Clear expectations of international responsibility through experiential learning of our shared humanity and cultural differences 

Tech International Charter School seeks to imbue TI PRIDE – Plan B skills, Resilience,  Integrity, Dedication, and Empathy – in order to help the children of the school community become more thoughtful scholars and active citizens of the world. This will be accomplished with the support of a community that has a common belief system about the attributes of achievement. As growing learners, students will be exposed to experiences that will pave their pathways to success in college and beyond.



Urban Dove Charter School

Urban Dove Charter School is an alternative high school for over-aged, under-credited youth that will open in 2012. It will provide its students the social and emotional supports and rigorous academics they need to obtain a high school diploma, gain the job skills needed to enter the world of work, and the academic foundation needed to successfully pursue higher education. To attract, engage, energize and retain students who have not succeeded in traditional school settings, UDCS features a unique sports, health and fitness program, in which teams of students practice and play sports together, go to class together, and receive support services together. Urban Dove, a New York City-based nonprofit youth-serving organization and the lead partner for this school, has developed an award-winning sports-based youth development model and college readiness program to support, empower and build up students so that they will graduate from high school, attend college and achieve successful careers.


Based on the transfer school model, the Urban Dove Charter School will be non-graded and an enrollment preference will be limited to students between the ages of 15–16 who attended 9th grade at another school, but have earned fewer than 10 high school credits (of the 44 required for graduation). Unlike most transfer schools, Urban Dove will not have a rolling admissions process but will accept new students at the beginning of each school year so as to give the school a more traditional feel. Urban Dove Charter School has a target enrollment of 270 students at capacity. The school will be divided into a Young Men’s Academy and a Young Women’s Academy. Sports, fitness and meals are embedded in the instructional day, which will be 12 hours long three days a week. Instruction will be delivered by academic teachers and supported by sports coaches (likely to be drawn from AmeriCorps). The calendar will also include a mandatory summer program and mandatory Saturday advisement.


Become a Network Model Charter School

If your school is an early-stage charter school in New York City or Eastern/Central Massachusetts, we will welcome your letter of application. Please submit a brief letter (2 to 3 pages) to Assistant Project Director Patrice King ( ) with:


1. A brief description of your charter school’s academic program, organizational structure, student population; grades served currently, as well as grades that will be served at the end of your current charter term and at full authorized capacity; number of teachers at each grade level (and, if applicable, their subject-areas); current approach and programs regarding teacher/administrator evaluation, professional development, data-driven instruction and teacher collaboration (e.g. peer review, professional learning communities); and significant changes expected, if any, in charter school programs and operations during the current charter term.

2. A description of why the Network of Independent Charter Schools is of interest to your charter school, and why you want your school to become a Network Model Charter School.

3. A statement by the school leader indicating her or his/her personal interest and willingness to participate actively and fully in the project, as well as your charter school’s commitment to participate fully in project activities if it is selected as a Network Model Charter School.

Network of Independent Charter Schools, A Project of the Center for Educational Innovation � Public Education Association (CEI-PEA)
Public Education Association, 28 West 44th Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10036, 212.302.8800
The information, resources, guidance and advice of the Network of Independent Charter Schools do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Specially, views expressed by individuals in videos, blogs, resources, forums, message boards and other interactive components of this website represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association or the U.S. Department of Education.