The State Charter School Appeal Board Upholds the Nonrenewal of Charters for Olney Charter High School, John B. Stetson Charter School
The State Charter School Appeal Board (CAB) today upheld the School District of Philadelphia Board of Education’s decisions to not renew the charters of Olney Charter High School and John B. Stetson Charter School. Based on CAB’s decisions, Olney and Stetson will continue to operate as Renaissance charter schools for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. The two schools will then transition to School District of Philadelphia schools operated at the Olney and Stetson buildings in the fall of the 2022-2023 school year.
A Renaissance Charter School is a neighborhood school that had been converted to a public charter school through a RFP process and enrolls students from the neighborhood, known as a catchment zone. For the 2022-2023 school year, current students at Olney and Stetson may remain in the District schools at the Olney and Stetson buildings or explore enrollment at another District school or charter school. The catchment zones and school locations for Olney and Stetson will not change.
Both schools were originally recommended for “nonrenewal” by the School District’s Charter Schools Office in April 2016 for failing to meet academic, operational, governance and financial expectations and requirements. Following extensive nonrenewal proceedings, including public hearings and receipt of public comment, the Board of Education approved the nonrenewals of both charters in October 2019. The charter schools then filed appeals with CAB, and CAB upheld the nonrenewals for both schools on February 15, 2022.
“We realize that the school transitions may be unsettling for many of the students and families who are impacted,” said Board President Joyce Wilkerson. “But please know that the School District will be leading a thoughtful and comprehensive transition process in partnership with the students, families and staff at Stetson and Olney.”
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., Ed.D, said, “We are committed to making the overall transition process a smooth one for students and families of both school communities, and ensuring that the new Stetson and Olney schools will be grounded in District standards while also preserving some of the existing programs, services or unique elements that are important to those school communities.”