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July 6, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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State Education Department Awards $4 Million in Charter School Dissemination Grants


The State Education Department today awarded $4 million in Charter School Dissemination Grants to eight public charter schools in New York City and Rochester, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today. These federally funded grants will help charter schools disseminate successful practices and programs to public school districts. Each of the eight successful applicants will receive up to $500,000 for the three-year project period.

“When schools work together with a common focus, educational opportunities and outcomes improve for all students," said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “Sharing best practices is a proven way to lift student achievement. It’s good for teachers and it’s good for their students.”

“It doesn’t matter whether a school is a public charter school or a traditional public school – the key is to collaborate and share ideas and practices that work for children,” said Commissioner Elia. "These grants are designed to help charter schools share successful strategies so all students benefit."

Grant awards are targeted to support the dissemination of charter schools’ best practices to school districts, with an emphasis on providing support to underperforming schools over a two-year time period, with a third year reserved to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Dissemination activities include replicating or adapting the following types of practices, systems, and structures:

  • School leadership structures, particularly those that free instructional leaders to focus exclusively on instruction;
  • Co-teaching or team-teaching structures;
  • Staff professional development programs, including strategic use of summer institute training and ongoing trainings throughout the year;
  • Tutoring or academic intervention systems designed to help students who are significantly behind grade level;
  • New teacher development support systems;
  • Strategies, structures and methodologies to coach teachers on using formative and summative data to inform instruction;
  • Strategies to develop and utilize specific curricular and assessment systems;
  • Particular school culture or disciplinary procedures;
  • Programs that allow schools to effectively recruit and retain strong teachers and principals; and
  • A school calendar and/or schedule design that includes additional learning time.

The following schools are the most recent Charter School Dissemination Grants recipients:

1.      Bronx Charter School for Better Learning (Bronx)

2.      Broome Street Academy Charter School (Manhattan)

3.      Genesee Community Charter School (Rochester)

4.      Hellenic Classical Charter School (Brooklyn)

5.      John W. Lavelle Prep Charter School (Staten Island)

6.      Leadership Prep Ocean Hill (Brooklyn)

7.      Mott Haven Academy Charter School (Bronx)

8.      Renaissance Charter School (Queens)

The New York State Education Department was one of two State education agencies to receive a five-year, Charter School Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2011 to fund the dissemination of best practices as well as start-up and implementation for new public charter schools in New York.

This is the second round of Dissemination funding administered by the New York State Education Department. In 2013, NYSED awarded 11 Dissemination Grants, and these schools are now completing three-year district-charter school collaborative projects. The projects range from sharing proven instructional methods for students with autism (see video:, to sharing school culture practices that foster the development of social emotional learning skills for children exposed to trauma, to improving instructional rigor through teacher and leadership training. See also:

Last year, charter and district schools participating in the Dissemination grant came together in a conference hosted by NYSED, the Center for Educational Innovation – Public Education Association (CEI-PEA), and the NYC Department of Education to showcase some of the individual projects (see video: Through these presentations, over 120 participants were able to learn about commonalities across different types of public schools and learn together how to improve educational outcomes for all students.

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