admissions season

Number of charters using common online app grows fivefold

For the third straight year, the city’s charter sector has made it easier to apply to charter schools.

This year, 110 of the city’s 136 charter schools will be allowing students to use a digital version of the common application to apply to multiple schools by their April deadlines. Charter schools are not allowed to close applications before April 1.

Until two years ago, families applying to charters schools had to fill out individual applications for each school or network of schools they wanted to attend. In 2010, the city debuted a common application system on paper by which students could apply to multiple schools using a single application. Last year, city’s main charter advocacy organization, the Charter Center, devised the Common Online Charter Application to give students access to the common application online for 20 pilot schools.

The push to streamline the charter school application process counters criticism that some schools’ applications are time-consuming, complicated, and too onerous for some families. The common application may also help schools draw more applicants and maintain longer waiting lists — one figure the charter sector points to as evidence the public wants more charter schools.

The online application asks students for their names, addresses, current school, and other the basic information needed to enter the lotteries that take place when schools receive more applicants than they have seats to fill. Many of the schools also have their own applications.

This year, the online forms will be available in Spanish, Haitian Creole and French for the first time.

Two notable networks that aren’t on the list are the Success Academy Charter Network and KIPP, but a spokesperson for the Charter Center said Success would be joining the list.

The list of schools participating:

Academy of the City Charter School
Achievement First Apollo Elementary School
Achievement First Brownsville Elementary School
Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School
Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary School
Achievement First East New York Elementary School
Achievement First Endeavor Elementary School
Achievement First Endeavor Middle School
Amber Charter School
Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School
Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School
Beginning with Children Charter School
Beginning with Children II Charter School
Bronx Academy of Promise Charter School
Bronx Charter School for Excellence
Bronx Charter School for the Arts
Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls Charter School
Bronx Preparatory Charter School
Brooklyn Ascend Charter School
Brooklyn Dreams Charter School
Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School
Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School
Brooklyn Prospect Charter School
Brooklyn Scholars Charter School
Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School
Broome Street Academy Charter High School
Brownsville Ascend Charter School
Brownsville Collegiate Charter School
Bushwick Ascend Charter School
Canarsie Ascend Charter School
Carl C. Icahn Charter School 1
Carl C. Icahn Charter School 3
Carl C. Icahn Charter School 4
Carl C. Icahn Charter School 5
Carl C. Icahn Charter School 6
Central Queens Academy Charter School

Children’s Aid College Prep

Community Partnership Charter School
Community Roots Charter School
Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter School
Democracy Prep Charter High School
Democracy Prep Charter Middle School
Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School
Democracy Prep III Middle School
DREAM Charter School
East Harlem Scholars Academy
Excellence Boys Charter School
Excellence Girls Charter School
Fahari Academy Charter School
Future Leaders Institute Charter School
Girls Prep Bronx (Public Prep Schools)
Girls Prep Lower East Side (Public Prep Schools)
Grand Concourse Academy Charter School
Green Dot New York Charter School
Growing Up Green Charter School
Harlem Link Charter School
Harlem Prep Elementary School
Hyde Leadership Charter School (Bronx)
Hyde Leadership Charter School (Brooklyn)
Icahn Charter School 2
Imagine Me Leadership Charter School
Innovate Manhattan Charter School
Invictus Preparatory Charter School
Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School
John V. Lindsay Wildcat Charter School
John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School
Kings Collegiate Charter School
La Cima Charter School
Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School
Leadership Prep #4 Charter School
Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School
Leadership Prep Brownsville Charter School
Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Charter School
Lefferts Gardens Charter School
Manhattan Charter School
Manhattan Charter School II
Merrick Academy Charter School
Metropolitan Lighthouse Charter School
Mott Hall Charter School
New Dawn Charter High School
New Heights Academy Charter School
New Hope Academy Charter School
New World Preparatory Charter School
New York City Montessori Charter School
Ocean Hill Collegiate Charter School
Opportunity Charter School
Our World Neighborhood Charter School
PAVE Academy Charter School
Riverton Street Charter School
Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School
Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem
South Bronx Classical Charter School
St Hope Leadership Academy
Staten Island Community Charter School
Summit Academy Charter School
Teaching Firms of America-Professional Preparatory Charter School
The Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
The Bronx Charter School for Children
The Brooklyn Charter School
The Cultural Arts Academy at Spring Creek Charter School
The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School
The Ethical Community Charter School
The Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem
The Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation
The Renaissance Charter School
The UFT Charter School
Urban Dove
VOICE Charter School
Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School

Weekend Reads

Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience.

We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.

Got a classroom of your own to show off? Know someone that should be on this list? Let us know!

Jaclyn Flores, First Grade Dual Language, Rochester, New York
“Having a classroom that is bright, cheerful, organized and inviting allows my students to feel pride in their classroom as well as feel welcome. My students look forward to standing on the stage to share or sitting on special chairs to dive into their learning. This space is a safe place for my students and we take pride in what it has become.”

Jasmine, Pre-K, Las Vegas, Nevada
“My classroom environment helps my students because providing calming colors and a home-like space makes them feel more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn as first-time students!”


Oneika Osborne, 10th Grade Reading, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami, Florida
“My classroom environment invites all of my students to constantly be in a state of celebration and self-empowerment at all points of the learning process. With inspirational quotes, culturally relevant images, and an explosion of color, my classroom sets the tone for the day every single day as soon as we walk in. It is one of optimism, power, and of course glitter.”

Kristen Poindexter, Kindergarten, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
“I try very hard to make my classroom a place where memorable experiences happen. I use songs, finger plays, movement, and interactive activities to help cement concepts in their minds. It makes my teacher heart so happy when past students walk by my classroom and start their sentence with, “Remember when we…?”. We recently transformed our classroom into a Mad Science Lab where we investigated more about our 5 Senses.”


Brittany, 9th Grade Biology, Dallas, Texas
“I love my classroom environment because I teach Biology, it’s easy to relate every topic back to Forensics and real-life investigations! Mystery always gets the students going!”


Ms. Heaton, First Grade, Westampton, New Jersey
“As an educator, it is my goal to create a classroom environment that is positive and welcoming for students. I wanted to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and in return stimulates student learning. A classroom is a second home for students so I wanted to ensure that the space was bright, friendly, and organized for the students to be able to use each and every day.”

D’Essence Grant, 8th Grade ELA, KIPP Houston, Houston, Texas
“Intentionally decorating my classroom was my first act of showing my students I care about them. I pride myself on building relationships with my students and them knowing I care about them inside and outside of the classroom. Taking the time to make the classroom meaningful and creative as well building a safe place for our community helps establish an effective classroom setting.”


Jayme Wiertzema, Elementary Art, Worthington, Minnesota
“I’m looking forward to having a CLASSROOM this year. The past two years I have taught from a cart and this year my amazing school district allowed me to have a classroom in our school that is busting at the seams! I’m so excited to use my classroom environment to inspire creativity in my students, get to know them and learn from their amazing imaginations in art class!”


Melissa Vecchio, 4th Grade, Queens, New York
“Since so much of a student’s time is spent inside their classroom, the environment should be neat, organized, easy to move around in but most of all positive. I love to use a theme to reinforce great behavior. I always give the students a choice in helping to design bulletin boards and desk arrangements. When they are involved they take pride in the classroom, and enjoy being there.”

moving forward

After Confederate flag dispute at Colorado football game, schools pledge to bring students together

PHOTO: Marc Piscotty
Manual High students.

Acknowledging “we may never have a conclusive picture of what happened,” two Colorado school districts sought to move past a controversy over whether a Confederate flag was displayed at a football game and open a conversation between the two school communities.

The principal of Manual High, Nick Dawkins, wrote in a community letter over the weekend that the visiting Weld Central High School team “displayed a Confederate flag during the first quarter of the (Friday night) game, offending many members of the Manual community.”

Officials from Denver Public Schools and Weld County School District Re-3J released a joint letter Tuesday saying that based “on what we have learned to date, however, the Weld Central team did not display the Confederate flag.” At the same time, it said, multiple Manual eyewitnesses “reported seeing spectators who attempted to bring a Confederate flag into the game and clothing with flag images.”

Going forward, students from the two schools — one rural and one urban — will participate in a student leadership exchange that has student leaders visit each other’s schools and communities to “share ideas and perspectives,” the letter says.

“At a time in our country when so many are divided, we want our students instead to come together, share ideas and learn together,” says the letter, which is signed by the principals of both schools and the superintendents of both school districts.

The alleged incident took place at a time when issues of race, social injustice, politics and sports are colliding in the United States, making for tough conversations, including in classrooms.

Weld Central’s mascot is a Rebel. Manual, whose mascot is the Thunderbolts, is located in one of Denver’s historically African-American neighborhoods.

Dawkins in his initial community letter also said “the tension created by the flag led to conflict on and off the playing field,” and that three Manual players were injured, including one who went to the hospital with a leg injury. He also said some Manual players reported that Weld Central players “taunted them with racial slurs.”

Weld Central officials vehemently denied that their team displayed the flag. In addition, they said in their own community letter they had “no evidence at this point that any of our student athletes displayed racially motivated inappropriate behavior.”

They said district officials “do not condone any form of racism,” including the Confederate flag.

Weld Central fans told the Greeley Tribune that they didn’t see any Confederate flag.

Read the full text below.