Circle Academy Charter School (CACS) offers all students, including students with special needs (SWD and ELLs) a comprehensive and demanding elementary school program in a trauma-sensitive environment where each student is taught to become reflective and creative learners and critical thinkers. CACS will help students develop 21st century skills, knowledge and dispositions necessary for success in school and in life through the use of 1.) Rigorous Curriculum that Emphasizes Literacy (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and is Aligned with the NYS Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS); 2.) Personalized Learning; 3.) Data driven decision making; and 4.) Extended School Year. All students will develop a passion for learning and achieve at least proficiency in all subjects in a school culture that emphasizes continuous academic, social and emotional growth, accountability, and collaboration.

School Description

CACS will provide a challenging New York State Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS)-aligned academic program that prepares its students for success in high school, college and life. CACS will educate students in grades K-5 in its initial charter term—and intends to expand to grades K-8 in its second charter term. While CACS will be located in the Woodhaven neighborhood of CSD 27, it expects to serve a population of students that is reflective of the entire district, which includes the southeastern Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Baisley Park, Richmond Hill, Howard Beach, and the Rockaway peninsula. There is a strong need for additional educational options for children and families in CSD 27. The percentage of CSD 27 students who were proficient in ELA on the 2014 and 2015 NYS assessments was only 28% and 30% respectively. In math, the percentage of CSD 27 students who were proficient in 2014 and 2015 was only 33% and 34% respectively. Also, the district has substantial performance gaps among demographic subgroups. In 2015, the percentage of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students who were proficient on the state ELA was lower by 29 percentage points and 22 percentage points, respectively, than that of White students. In math, the performance gap was 33 percentage points and 23 percentage points, respectively. The percentages of CSD 27’s LEP students who were proficient on the ELA exam was only 3%--i.e. a full 29 percentage points lower than English Proficient students—and the percentage of Students with Disabilities (SWDs) proficient in ELA was only 7%--i.e. 29 percentage points lower than General Education Students. In math, the percentage of proficient LEP students was only 10%--i.e. 26 points lower than English Proficient students—and the percentage of proficient SWDs was only 12%--i.e. a full 28 percentage points lower than General Education students. CACS will offer families in CSD 27 a high-quality educational alternative to the district’s underperforming public schools.

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