Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School will remain at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on West Second Street for the 2019-20 academic year.
Executive director Amanda Johnson confirmed the school would stay in its current location during the February board meeting Thursday night.
“We will be here next year,” Johnson said.
The school is currently in its inaugural year and has the option of renewing the lease without signing for the first four years.
“The lease that we have has options to renew so I don’t think we’re doing a new lease,” Johnson said. “It’s more semantics.”
Johnson said Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School will be able to renew the lease through the 2021-22 school year without signing a new lease.
Upgrades will be made to the facility in preparation for 2019-20.
“We still have quite a bit to do in order to make sure that we’re ready for next year, but essentially we’re bringing folks in to see how we’re going to do the kitchen renovations,” Johnson said.
As of March 18, Johnson said the school will be preparing its meals for students. The kitchen renovations will help provide storage for everything.
Johnson also discussed the new playground equipment being installed.
“We are really excited,” said Johnson on Thursday night. “I was told that we could dig the holes and put the cement on Friday night, put it all together on Saturday.”
Weather issues have caused some delays, but with a few nice days to work on the weekend, Johnson said the playground should be ready.
“I told them (students) it will be ready soon.”
“The playground will be together soon. All of that will pretty much take care of itself.”
Johnson said modular, plumbing and electrical work needs to be done on the building. She added board member Chuck Rutledge would be helping with those things. She said he helped get the Travelers Hotel in downtown Clarksdale ready and now that it is open, he will be able to spend more time helping the school with some of its facility issues.
In other business:
Johnson said in her executive director’s report that 143 students are currently enrolled at Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School. That is an increase from 141 students on Feb. 1.
There are 52 kindergarteners, 40 first graders and 51 second graders as of now.
“We’re about the same as what we have been the last few months,” Johnson said. “Retention is still strong, so it feels pretty good, particularly for our first year.”
The school’s retention rate is at 95.05 percent.
“It feels good to keep the kids that you have,” Johnson said.
Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School currently enrolls kindergarteners through second graders. The goal is to have 50 students per grade.
Next year, third graders will attend the school. A new grade will be added each year until the school has kindergarteners through eighth graders.
The school is currently below its enrollment goal of 150 by seven students.
Johnson hopes to make up for that next year. The goal was to have 50 spots apiece for kindergarteners and first graders this year. The goal for next year is for both of those grades to enroll an additional 25 students. The goal next year will to be to enroll 50 third graders, which is an additional 50 students that are not enrolled at the school in 2018-19. The goal for the second grade was to have 50 students this year. That will remain the same next year.
With all the numbers added up, Johnson said she hopes to have 107 new students in 2019-20.
According to Johnson’s report, 97 prospective new students have filled out a lottery application to enroll for next year and 79 have been accepted. The majority of prospective new students, as of now, are kindergarteners and first graders.
“The reason we’re at 79 is some of that 97 came after our first deadline, so we’ve got some with the deadline next week, and we’ll accept more scholars next week,” Johnson said.
During the March board meeting, Johnson said she will have a report of how many current students reregistered for next year and how many applied to attend Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School for a first time.
Johnson also said in her report the goal was for at least 50 percent of the students to achieve their tiered growth goal on the Measure of Academic Progress assessment in reading and math. The goal is for at least 75 percent of students to achieve their typical growth goal on the MAP assessment in reading and math.
As of now, 50 percent of the students are reaching their typical growth goal in reading, while 30 percent of the students are reaching their tiered growth goal. Fifty-nine percent of the students are reaching their typical growth goal in math, while 32 percent of the students are reaching their tiered growth goal.
Johnson outlined a plan of different ways the school would be helping students reach their goals. One goal was to have students take at least two MAP skills or checklist assessments weekly.
The academic calendar was also presented for next year.
Professional development begins July 8 and students begin on July 29.
This year, Johnson said the staff started before the Fourth of July and then had a couple of days off.
“We wanted to give them a few more days to make sure they were ready,” Johnson said.