In another unanimous vote last evening the DC Public Charter School Board voted six to zero to close Potomac Preparatory PCS. Potomac Preparatory is a pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school enrolling approximately 425 students and is located in Ward 5. The charter was ranked as barely a Tier 2 school on 2014’s Performance Management Framework tool and the year before that is was classified as being in Tier 3.
Potomac Preparatory PCS first ran into trouble with the PCSB when it underwent its 10 year review in 2014. At that time the board had found that the charter had failed to meet 17 of its 20 goals. The board attempted to shutter the school then but the institution had initiated strong turnaround efforts and so the revocation process was terminated in return for the school meeting four specific conditions around academics and student attendance rates. In an interesting addition last night to the procedure of shuttering a school, PCSB executive director Scott Pearson explained that the board had the Office of the State Superintendent of Education collaborate the quantitative measures used by the board to determine that the new goals had not been met.
One other note about this issue. In December 2014, Potomac Preparatory amended its charter to include the revised targets with the understanding that if they were not reached the school would relinquish its charter. But when it became clear that the charter had not lived up to its end of the bargain it refused to abide by the agreement. Therefore, the board had no choice but to begin the revocation procedure. Potomac Preparatory will cease operations at the end of the current school year.