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Delay Sought for Math, IT Academy Proposal

The applicants for a local charter school have requested a three-month freeze on the school system’s review.

This past week, applicants for the Loudoun Math and IT Academy the following message to Loudoun County School Board Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) seeking to delay, or freeze, the school system’s review of the charter school proposal.

According to a press release, the request will allow the applicant additional time to adjust the proposal based on feedback. The full letter follows:

Dear Chairman Hornberger:

I am writing on behalf of the Loudoun Math and IT Academy (LMITA) Governing Board to formally request that the School Board delay the action process for a three-month period on the proposed LMITA public charter school application.

We believe that the two-month review of our application by the Select Committee was very productive in many ways. The questions, comments and recommendations provided valuable suggestions as to how we can make significant improvements to our application. In an effort to strengthen and make our application the best it can be, and to enable us to address the issues raised by the Select Committee, we believe this additional three months will be extremely helpful, with the main goal being to provide a solid governance structure to the full Board for its consideration that truly demonstrates how we believe the proposed LMITA public charter school can cooperate with the Loudoun County School Board (LCSB).

Following the LMITA board decision, as well as the Select Committee recommendations to shift the target opening date for the charter school to the fall of 2014, we do not believe this brief delay in the review process will create any significant scheduling challenges, should the charter be approved.

We plan to use the additional time, should the School Board approve our request, to strengthen the overall application, including taking steps to diversify the LMITA Board, improve and add details to the LMITA curriculum section, extend our parent/community outreach and to work to obtain fundraising pledges from the business community to help demonstrate there is support among the business community for our math and IT-focused charter model. We will recruit more Loudoun County residents to LMITA board; additional time will be necessary for the orientation of the new board members. We will also review all other applicable areas suggested by the select committee and modify the budget, transportation and technology equipment in our application. We will also reach out to the business, government, and higher education organizations to obtain fundraising, consulting and partnership  pledges.

We hope the Board is amenable of our request, once again, to enable us to take advantage of the valuable feedback that has been provided thus far in the review process and ensure that the application that comes before the full Board is strong and demonstrates how we believe the LMITA public charter school can enhance LCPS. Please contact me if you have any questions or if there are any additional steps we need to take to facilitate this request. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Ali Gokce, PhD
President
Loudoun Math & IT Academy Founding Board

For more information about the proposed academy, visit www.lmitacademy.org or the Loudoun County Public Schools web site at http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/loudoun. Regular updates are also provided through the LMITA Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/loudounmathanditacademy.

Ellie Lockwood January 20, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I attended two of the public sessions surrounding this Charter School application and as a retired human resource professional (Director for employee and labor relations, NBC-Chicago) I was surprised at the lack of professionalism of the applicants. Their presentation was entirely too casual and lacking in content. My main concern was the sketchy job history of one of the applicants which included periods of employment in several states in a brief period of time. The brief biographies submitted with the application may not tell the whole story and my suggestion is that each applicant be required to submit a detailed job history resume including mo./yr. to mo./yr. for each job, reason for termination and a contact for verification. I would expect nothing less from any group or organization before providing access to our children. I totally support the concept of charter schools, but two of the three members if the School Board Select Panel have already voted down this application. I do not see what an additional two months delay will be of benefit.

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