State Denies STEAM Studio Charter School Application

Credit: STEAM Studio.
Credit: STEAM Studio.

The state has denied the STEAM Studio’s charter school application, shutting down plans of the science-based school opening in the fall of 2014 in Andover.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester announced last week that he would recommend that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education vote to grant two new charters to groups looking to open schools in Fall River and Springfield, as well as approve an expansion request to a Fall River charter school.

The official vote will be held at a meeting on Feb. 25.

The approved charters are schools that focus on college and career readiness (Argosy Collegiate Charter School, Fall River) and literacy and character education (Springfield Preparatory Charter School, Springfield). The STEAM Studio would focus on science, technology, engineering, art + design, and mathematics.

“We thank parents and students throughout the Merrimack Valley for their interest, and are inspired by the support we have received locally and nationally,” said a STEAM spokesperson in a public statement on the school’s website. “In the next few months, we will update the community about our plans going forward. Thank you to the Massachusetts Department of Education for their consideration.”

As part of this year’s charter school application cycle, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received 10 applications, of which six schools submitted final proposals.

Other finalists in the charter school application cycle this year were: Academy for the Whole Child Charter School in Fitchburg, Fenix Charter School in Lynn, New Heights Charter School of Fall River, and STEAM Studio Charter School in Andover.

The founders of those groups will receive feedback from the state and can reapply during future application cycles, according to the DESE.

Both Argosy Collegiate and Springfield Prep were part of the 2013 application cycle and applied for a second time this year.


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