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"Leading the way in quality independent public education for another five years-LFDCS receives its 4th consecutive charter!" PDF Print E-mail
On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell D. Chester, announced that he has renewed LFDCS's charter for another 5 years effective July 1, 2010. This will be the school’s fourth charter taking it through June 30, 2015. After learning of the decision, President of the School Board, John Housianitis, said “The recommendation of the Commissioner for re-chartering is a tribute to the hard work of the faculty, staff and administration of Lawrence Family Development Charter School who are tireless in their devotion to ensuring that quality education in Lawrence is available to public school students.” He added, “I am humbled to lead a Board of Directors that consistently asks the right questions, seeks best practices and does everything within its power to offer a first-rate quality education to youngsters who deserve a chance to rise above their immediate circumstances so that they can reach for the stars!”
The school was founded in 1995 by a coalition of Hispanic parents and community leaders who wanted a school that would be responsive to the academic, language, cultural, and developmental needs of their children. The founders wanted to provide an alternative that supported language and cultural values important to families in the community. They dedicated themselves and the school to educating the children of immigrants and other new arrivals to the City of Lawrence and preparing them and their families to move forward with skills they would need to be successful in the 21st Century. Since its founding the school has grown from a kindergarten to 3rd grade school of 178 students to a two year kindergarten through eighth grade school of 600 students.
Ralph Carrero, Director/Superintendent of Lawrence Family Development Charter School, said “The Commissioners decision to renew our charter without conditions demonstrates that we are in full compliance with SPED Regulations, Civil Rights guidelines and all Department of Elementary and Secondary Education program reviews”. He indicated “The charter school offers a strong academic program aligned with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and its program is enhanced by academic and enrichment opportunities that take students beyond the confines of the classroom and the borders of their community”. Mr. Carrero points out that this can be seen through various school day, after-school, and summer program partnerships that exist and cited the following examples: students learn to play violin with staff and students at Phillips Andover Academy; learn leadership skills and build confidence through Merrimack College’s Service Learning Center; work in science labs with college professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northern Essex Community College (NECC); and participate in the Brooks School Robotics Program.

Mr. Carrero is also proud of the opportunities offered to the school’s parents to participate in English as a Second Language, Citizenship for New Americans, and Computer Skills Training programs. Parents can also learn skills to help their children prepare for MCAS testing.

The renewal process began late last summer with the school’s submission of a renewal application to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which was then reviewed and accepted. The DESE then contracted with Class Measures of Woburn, MA to conduct an independent and detailed review of the school’s performance. A team of specialists was assigned and conducted a four day inspection site visit in October to analyze the school’s performance relative to its Accountability Plan and the DESE’s Common School Performance Criteria. The inspection was conducted following the DESE’s Massachusetts Charter School Renewal Inspection Protocol, collecting and examining evidence relating to three areas of inquiry: 1. The school’s faithfulness to the terms of its charter, 2. The success of the school’s academic program, and 3. The viability of the school as an organization. The review process culminated on December 1st when the Commissioner conducted a site visit to meet with administrators and teachers and to visit students in the classroom to observe lessons in progress.

The Principal of the charter school, Susan Burgett, was pleased to report that the Renewal Inspection Team found that LFDCS met all five measures of faithfulness to its charter in its School Accountability Plan and did well in the areas of academic program success and viability of the organization. She said, “I had the opportunity to join the LFDCS staff in 1998 during the very first charter. I have been part of the second and third charters and have watched the school grow and prosper. It is my privilege to lead such dedicated hard working administrators, teachers and support staff into a fourth charter”.

Please contact Ralph Carrero, Director/Superintendent, at 978-689-9863, extension 123, if you have any questions or would like additional information about Lawrence Family Development Charter School.

Commissioner Chester Visits LFDCS!

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(K-1, K2 & Grade 1)
  10 Railroad Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
  (P) 978 258-6210
LOWER SCHOOL (Grades 2-4)
  34 West Street, Lawrence MA 01841
  (P) 978 689-9863  (F) 978 689-8133
UPPER SCHOOL (Grades 5-8)
  400 Haverhill Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
  (P) 978 738-0609   (F) 978 651-2207