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Charter School Application is in the Works

Officials of the College Park City-University of Maryland partnership said they're preparing to apply with the Board of Education by the end of February.

City, state and university officials are preparing to apply with the Prince George's County Board of Education to create a college preparatory public charter school in or near College Park, a panel said at a Monday night forum.

There are currently only five charter schools in the county, and the demand for these schools is greatly exceeding the supply, Maryland State Sen. Jim Rosapepe (MD-D) told the residents who filled the Council Chambers of City Hall.

The College Park Academy Public Charter School would enroll 150 students in grades seventh through ninth upon opening in fall 2013, and add one grade level each year, with maximum enrollment reaching 600 students. Like other charter schools in Prince George’s County, the academy would be open to county residents, and a random lottery system would be used if there are more applicants than spots available.

Curriculum will be designed from research of the University of Maryland College of Education, and college courses will be offered either online, on campus or at the school. The base curriculum comes from Connections Academy, a 2001 company that helps provide non-traditional public education through charter schools and online classes.

The proposal is an initiative of the College Park City-University of Maryland partnership, which submitted a letter of intent to the Prince George’s County Public Schools in December.

The planning board hopes to refurbish an existing building for the school, though an exact location has not yet been chosen.

The panel at Monday night’s forum consisted of several city, university and state leaders, including Rosapepe, College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows, UMd.’s Chief Fiscal and Administrative Officer Robert Spector and UMd.’s dean of the College of Education Donna Wiseman.

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected. The original version incorrectly stated to which board of education the parternship will send the application. We regret the error.

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