Mayor Slay and MCPSA Announce Three New Charter Schools to Open in Fall 2013

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MCPSA Executive Director Douglas Thaman with Mayor Slay During Press Conference

On Thursday, October 18 St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and MCPSA Executive Director Dr. Douglas Thaman announced that three new charter schools will open in the fall of 2013.  The announcement highlighted the three leaders of the new schools describing each school’s programs and culture.

The three new schools opening in fall 2013 are Gateway Science Academy – Gardenville, Lafayette Preparatory Academy, EAGLE Endeavor College Prep.

Below are our Executive Director, Dr. Douglas Thaman’s, remarks at the press conference.

Mayor Slay thank you for inviting me here today. You have been a strong, committed partner for the St. Louis charter community and we look forward to continuing that relationship.

My name is Dr. Douglas Thaman and I am the Executive Director of the Missouri Charter Public School Association. We are the membership organization providing advocacy, communications and professional development services for Missouri’s charter school community.

We are thrilled to work with these three charter schools and their sponsors as they open new schools in St. Louis communities in the 2013 – 2014 school year.

Gateway Science Academy has demonstrated a commitment to high quality education since opening. They have performed at or above state averages on state MAP testing for the past two years in both Math and Communications Arts.

We have high hopes for their high school, which opened this year, as well as this new location opening in the fall. It is a significant development that this new school is opening in the former Gardenville Elementary, a vacant St. Louis Public School building, and marks an improvement in charter schools accessing closed district facilities.

Both EAGLE and Lafayette Preparatory Academy completed our CharterStart program and have two of the best applications to come through the program recently. Those sentiments were echoed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the State Board of Education meeting Tuesday when they received approval. Both of these schools have received wide community support in their neighborhoods and we look forward to building that support into academic success for their students.

We believe that these three schools will continue MCPSA’s mission of improving student achievement by increasing access to high quality charter public education options throughout Missouri. QUALITY is at the heart of everything we do including leading the fight for passage of legislation during the previous session that significantly increases accountability for Missouri’s charter schools and, for the first time, allows charter schools to open in locations outside of St. Louis and Kansas City. We look forward to promising schools, like these three, opening in other parts of the state.

Again, thank you for inviting me to talk about our Association, our partnership with the city and our work to make Missouri’s charter schools high quality education options for students.

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