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MA Dept. of Education Charter Award 2/28/2007

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Contact: Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

Charter Granted For State's First Foreign Language Immersion Charter School

MALDEN - The Board of Education voted Tuesday to grant a charter to what will be the state's first foreign language immersion charter school.

The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCI) will be a K-8 school in which students will be taught Mandarin Chinese in addition to building their proficiency in English.

The Board also voted to renew four operational charter schools: the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School in Boston, Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter School in Framingham, Edward Brooke Charter School in Boston, and North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg.

The Pioneer Valley proposal was one of 10 submitted at the start of the 2006-2007 application cycle. Five were invited to submit full proposals.

According to the application, PVCI will offer a Chinese language and culture immersion program, and will strive to develop student understanding of other cultures.

The school will serve students from the Pioneer Valley, including: Agawam, Amherst, Amherst-Pelham (Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury), Belchertown, Chesterfield-Goshen (Chesterfield, Goshen), Chicopee, Conway, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Frontier (Conway, Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately), Gill-Montague (Gill, Montague), Granby, Granville, Greenfield, Hadley, Hampden-Wilbraham (Hamden, Wilbraham), Hampshire (Chesterfield, Goshen, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg), Hatfield, Hawlemont, Holyoke, Leverett, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Mohawk Trail (Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Shelburne), Northampton, Pelham, Pioneer Valley (Bernardston, Leyden, Northfield, Warwick), Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Springfield, Sunderland, West Springfield, Westfield, Westhampton, Whately, Williamsburg, Southwick-Tolland (Southwick, Tolland).

There are currently 59 operational charter schools in Massachusetts, including 51 Commonwealth and 8 Horace Mann charter schools. Three additional charters have been granted for schools that have not yet opened. As of the 2006-2007 school year there were more than 16,000 students on charter school waiting lists.