City on a Hill Charter Public Schools’ Board of Trustees Votes to Relinquish Its Charter at the End of the School Year

FOR RELEASE: November 25, 2019                               Contact: press@cityonahill.org

Statement can be attributed to Kevin T. Taylor, CEO

NEW BEDFORD, MA – November 25, 2019This morning, City on a Hill Charter Public Schools’ (CoaH) Board of Trustees voted to relinquish CoaH New Bedford’s charter at the end of school year 2019-20, at which time the school will close.

In January 2019, the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) placed CoaH New Bedford on probation with conditions requiring major improvements to the school’s academic program and performance.

“Despite every effort by members of the school community to implement a multi-part strategy to transform the academic experience at CoaH New Bedford, the school has not made progress against BESE’s conditions,” said City on a Hill Board President, Cara Candal. “Moreover, the school’s enrollment has declined precipitously over the years, resulting in a loss of state and federal revenue and necessitating further cuts to staffing and programming.”

In September 2019, for the second year in a row, the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) assigned CoaH New Bedford to the accountability category “requiring assistance or intervention.”

“We have not been meeting the terms of our charter for quite some time, both in terms of academic performance and financial stability,” said Candal. “As a Board, we believe that relinquishing the charter now, rather than awaiting likely closure by BESE later in the year,  is the only viable and responsible next step.”

CoaH is deeply committed to all of its current students and families. The school will remain open for the remainder of the academic year and it will work with New Bedford Public Schools, New Bedford’s other charter public schools, DESE, and other community partners to ensure that CoaH New Bedford families can access a number of high-quality options.

“It is with a heavy heart that we move forward with this decision. I know the next few weeks and months will be a challenging time for our community. Families have entrusted us with their children. Teachers and staff have poured their hearts into this work, and we have tried as hard as we could to move forward initiatives that would enable us to turn the school around,” said CoaH CEO Kevin T. Taylor. “My hope is that in addition to reflecting and processing as a community, we will also be able to come together to ensure that the remainder of the school year provides a supportive academic experience to our students, and equally important, that we are able to work with each individual family to enable their child’s transition to a high-quality school in the community.”

About City on a Hill

City on a Hill Charter Public School New Bedford opened in September 2014 and is part of a network of three college preparatory high schools in the cities of Boston and New Bedford that was founded in 1995. Each City on a Hill school is tuition-free and open to all students. City on a Hill schools do not have entrance exams; students are admitted by a random lottery.

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