Charter Revocation: Potomac Prep PCS
Update: On January 14, DC PCSB and Potomac Preparatory PCS held an informal public hearing. You may view DC PCSB's presentation materials here.
There has been a lot of concern about the proposed revocation of Potomac Preparatory Public Charter School (Potomac Prep). Our mission is to ensure students and families have access to a quality public charter school education. DC PCSB does this by, among other things, holding schools accountable to tough academic standards.
On December 14, 2015, DC PCSB voted to initiate revocation of Potomac Prep’s charter because the school failed to meet the academic targets outlined in its Charter Amendment. This action was taken pursuant to the School Reform Act, which authorizes DC PCSB to revoke a school’s charter if the school “has failed to meet the goals and student academic achievement expectations set forth in the charter.”
It’s important to remember that the vote to initiate revocation begins an administrative process. The Board has not made a decision to close the school.
History of Potomac Prep
- November 2014: Potomac Prep PCS underwent a 10-year review. The school did not meet 17 of its 20 goals and academic achievement expectations outlined in its charter.
- November 2014: Board initiated charter revocation against Potomac Prep PCS.
- December 2014: Board voted not to revoke the school’s charter and instead approved the school's turnaround plan to continue to operate conditioned on the school meeting the amended charter targets in the 2014-15 school year and beyond.
Specifically regarding the 2014-15 school year, the amendment required Potomac Prep PCS to meet all of the following targets or relinquish its charter at the end of the 2014-15 school year:
Amended Charter Targets
Target: The school will be within at least be one percentage point of or exceed the in-seat attendance rate for the charter sector for each of the three grade-level bands for School Year 2014-15.
Result: Not met. Potomac Prep came within one percentage point of their target for prekindergarten through second grade but missed their target in grades 3-8 by 1.8%, therefore falling short of the overall target.
Target: 70% of all 3-8 grade students will score at or above the 40th percentile of NWEA MAP national average and/or meet/exceed their Spring typical growth target in math and reading.
Result: Not met.
Target: The school will be at least within 0.1 point of the 2015 DC charter average in each of the three CLASS domains.
Result: Not met. While the school achieved the target in classroom organization, Potomac Prep failed to achieve this target in the areas of emotional and instructional support.
Target: 50% of kindergarten through second grade students will meet or exceed typical growth in reading and math on the NWEA-MAP assessment.
Result: Not met. Potomac Prep only collected NWEA MAP Growth data for first and second grade students. 56.8% met the targets in reading but only 46.7% met their target in math.
Target: 75% of prekindergarten-3 and prekindergarten-4 students will meet or exceed their average growth goals on the Every Child Ready assessment
What This Means
Because Potomac Prep did not meet all of the agreed upon targets, on December 14, 2015 the board voted to initiate charter revocation. Potomac Prep has requested an informal hearing that will take place on January 14, 2016 at the school beginning at 6pm.
Interested parties can submit public comment, attend in-person, follow the conversation on Twitter or watch the webcast.
This is an opportunity for DC PCSB to listen to students, families and community stakeholders about Potomac Prep and ask questions for clarification where necessary. Following the informal hearing, DC PCSB will vote on the proposed revocation at its meeting on January 25. Charter revocation is never a decision DC PCSB takes lightly and we encourage public input.
On December 14, 2015, PCSB voted to initiate revocation of Potomac Prep’s charter. Read to learn more.