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    Ten groups submit charter school proposals in Mass.

    The State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Friday that 10 groups have submitted new charter school proposals, which, if approved, could open as early as fall 2014.

    The Department will select the best proposals and invite those groups in mid-September to submit final applications, said JC Considine, a department spokesman.

    Final applications, which are due Oct. 25, will be reviewed by department staff, as well as outside specialists.


    “For each prospectus, we’ll look closely at how well the founding groups articulate their vision for delivering an outstanding educational program to students and then invite final applications where appropriate,” Mitchell Chester, the comissioner of elementary and secondary education, said in a statement.

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    Chester will then recommend candidates to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which will take a final vote in late February 2014.

    The applicants include the Academy for the Whole Child Charter School in Fitchburg, the Chinese Immersion Charter School for Newton and several nearby communities, the Fenix Charter School in Lynn, and the Innovation Charter Academy in Fall River.

    Also submitting applications were the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathmatics via Language Immersion Public Charter School in Westborough and several other communities, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Design and Mathmatics school in Andover.

    “We need these groups to demonstrate how they are going to be academically successful, how they are going to launch and grow a viable organization, and how they are going to be faithful to their charter,” Considine said Friday.


    Charter schools are open to all Massachusetts students, and preference is given to students in the region or district where the school is located.

    The 10 groups are proposing to open Commonwealth charter schools, which are autonomous from the local school district.

    Omari Walker — who was previously principal of Resiliency Preparatory School, an alternative school in Fall River — submitted a proposal for a charter school that would help high school students earn college credit.

    Walker said the school, Innovation Charter Academy, would enroll students in grade 7 through high school.

    Students would stay for an extra year after grade 12 to earn additional college credit. Starting in grade 11, students would take take some courses at the high school and the remainder at a community college.


    Based on this model, students will have the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credits before they graduate from high school.

    ‘We want to give them a leg up,and so we are removing two years of payment for college.’

    Students would stay for an extra year after grade 12 to take community college classes while still getting support from the academy.

    “We want to give them a leg up, and so we are removing two years of payment for college,” he said.

    He said that students will go through an “academic boot camp” for grades 7 through 10; they will have an extended school day, and also be given the opportunity for extra tutoring after school and on Saturdays.

    “What we are trying to do is remove the barrier for students who are struggling,” he said.

    Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@