Advancing to the second stage of the 2016 application cycle are three operators seeking to open five charter schools:
• Shades of Elegance, based in Clarksdale, has applied to open a K-8 school in Sunflower County. Truth Academy STEAM Charter School aims to serve up to 120 students in grades K-6 beginning in the fall of 2017 and in five years reach its capacity of 360 students in grades K-8.
• Ohio-based I Can Schools has applied to open three K-8 charter schools in Jackson, each serving up to 300 students: Mississippi Preparatory School 1 would open in the fall of 2017, Mississippi Preparatory School 2 in the fall of 2018, and Mississippi Preparatory School 3 in the fall of 2019.
• New Orleans operator Collegiate Academies hopes to open the first charter high school in Mississippi. The school, to be located in Jackson, would serve up to 120 ninth graders its first year and add a grade each year until it reaches capacity at 470 students in grades 9-12.
Dallas-based Excellence 2000 Inc. was denied approval to move forward with plans for a K-12 charter school serving up to 375 students in Jackson. The Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board noted that Excellence 2000 fell short of eligibility requirements regarding financial audits and proof of citizenship for prospective board and staff members.
Stage two involves an assessment by independent evaluators of each charter proposal’s capacity to meet minimum quality standards. The board will announce at its July 11 meeting the operators approved to move to the rigorous final stage of the application process.