Sept. 21, 2015

I-LEAD Charter School Submits Bold, Transformational Charter Amendment to Reading School District

School seeks addition of student performance matrix, accountability measures

Reading, Pa. – I-LEAD Charter School today submitted to its authorizer, Reading School District, a bold, transformational amendment to its charter that seeks to add a fair and equitable performance matrix for student achievement, said Angel Figueroa, CEO and co-founder of I-LEAD Charter School.

“The Board of Trustees and administration of I-LEAD Charter School believe this is the next step in our mission to provide high-quality academic programs and services to our students,” Figueroa said.  “Our students, teachers and staff embrace accountability and welcome the opportunity to showcase our school’s results and achievements.  We welcome Reading School District’s collaboration and support throughout this process.”

I-LEAD Charter School first opened its doors in September 2011 to 200 students and now, four years later, enrolls more than 540 students from five school districts in Berks County.

In 2010, Reading School District had a dropout rate that exceeded 40 percent, which affected the Reading community as a whole.  I-LEAD was founded to fill a decades-long void in the community by providing high-quality educational programs to at-risk students and high school dropouts.

Although I-LEAD Charter School’s charter was renewed by Reading School District for a five-year period in 2013, this amendment will put into place a clear and concise expectation of student achievement that will serve as a model for charter schools across Pennsylvania.

The amendment specifically outlines measures to assess student progress, including individual student growth by taking into account not only where students currently are in their academic program but how much academic growth they have achieved since enrolling in the school as well as, and equally important, a student’s academic deficiencies when first admitted to I-LEAD Charter School.

“We have students transferring to our school from Reading School District who, on average, are three to four grades levels behind their credit attainment,” Figueroa said.  “Unfortunately, this is an issue that is not unique to Reading; it is seen by many charter schools across Pennsylvania, which is causing thousands of students and families to choose public charter schools over traditional public schools.”

I-LEAD Charter School is a member of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a Harrisburg-based organization that advocates for and supports brick-and-mortar charter schools across Pennsylvania.

The Keystone Alliance consists of high-quality, accountable public brick-and-mortar charter schools committed to raising awareness of the positive contributions of charter schools, the academic success of their students and to correct the misinformation advanced by those who oppose school choice.

Keystone Alliance members adhere to the principles of high quality, open enrollment and administrative and financial transparency.

“The Keystone Alliance applauds I-LEAD Charter School for its work to improve student achievement and proposing to amend its charter to include student academic performance,” said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  “Many of the charter schools across the state are working to provide their students with quality educational programs and services that they otherwise would not receive in their local school district.”

Across the state, 160 brick-and-mortar charter schools enroll nearly 100,000 students in urban, suburban and rural communities.

Media Contact:

Angel Figueroa, I-LEAD Charter School, 855-453-2327

Tim Eller, Keystone Alliance, 717-756-5110