After an initial denial of Propel Charter Schools’ application to open a school on the Northside, The Pittsburgh Public School Board on April 27 voted to approve Propel’s revised application on the recommendation of the Charter Review Team.
In February, the board voted not to approve Propel’s charter application on recommendation of the Charter Review Team because Propel did not include a comprehensive curriculum for all grades, lacked long-range goals for all students and a plan for meeting the needs of students with disabilities in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Propel Executive Director Jeremy Resnick said Propel revised its application to address all of the Charter Review Team’s concerns and resubmitted it.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to set up a school on the Northside,” Resnick said.
District spokesperson Ebony Pugh said the resubmitted application adequately addressed the review team’s concerns. The team is comprised of school principals, curriculum experts, experts on special education and many others who follow state guidelines in making recommendations.
“We feel the [team was] doing their due diligence,” Pugh said.
Because of Propel’s previous experience in opening schools, Resnick is not worried about being able to open on the Northside by the start of the next school year.
Students are accepted based on a lottery system, which will be held May 6. Parents may apply until then at www.propelschools.org.
The school will begin as a K-4 school and grow to K-8 over the next several years, officials said.
Propel’s next steps will be finding a facility and hiring a full staff, Resnick said.
“We’re assembling a great group of teachers and a principal,” he said. Some staff will come from other Propel schools, and some will be new hires.
They are looking at existing, empty school buildings for a location, Resnick said, but he declined to go into any detail on specific locations or neighborhoods.
“We’re excited and appreciative and look forward to making this a reality,” he said.
For more information on Propel, visit www.propelschools.org.