News and Announcements
NBEF has released the following information, following the public meeting on January 22, 2013:
North Bay Educational Foundation (NBEF) tonight announced at a public meeting that it has decided to resubmit its petition to open a Core Knowledge public charter school for the 2014/2015 school year rather than to appeal to the Marin County Office of Education.
NBEF discussed with supporters the NUSD Staff recommendation to deny the charter petition that was presented to the NUSD Trustees on December18, 2012. NBEF Founder Robert Verhoeff stated the belief that the majority of the District's findings regarding the NBEF charter school petition are arbitrary, contain no legal basis for denial or are factually inaccurate.
NBEF believes there is no substantive reason that the current petition would not allow for a successful appeal, however, the timeline of appeals makes the practicality of opening a school in August of 2013 challenging. "We appreciate the enormity of the responsibility to educate children in Novato, and we will submit the petition to allow ample time to open the school strongly and successfully," said Robert Verhoeff, NBEF Founder and Board member.
Given a target opening in 2014, NBEF has decided to pull back its current petition and take the opportunity to strengthen and revise a few sections of the document, which will allow them to put forth a stronger budget scenario that reflects the passage of Prop 30 this past November. In the coming months, NBEF will continue to focus on the community outreach outlined in the current petition to insure that all members of the community understand the benefits of a Core Knowledge curriculum and the unique school structure that NBEF offers. New signatures in support of the petition will then be gathered prior to resubmission. "Core Knowledge is a unique and powerful curriculum, and its effectiveness is well documented nationally. Core Knowledge is different than what is offered in NUSD schools today, and will allow all students to reach their full academic potential," said Verhoeff. "We will continue to meet with the community so that all families understand that they are welcome at this open enrollment, public charter school. We invite all interested parents and community members to work with us and provide input to insure this school will best serve the needs of our children," Verhoeff added.
Marin Voice: Why Novato Needs a Core Knowledge School
A RECENT IJ editorial debated whether Novato needs a new charter school. I am a Novato parent and founding board member of North Bay Educational Foundation, the K-8 charter school proposed. I am excited to bring forth this educational option. >> Read more
CCSA Response to NUSD Charter Denial
On behalf of our member, North Bay Education Foundation (NBEF), we are writing to inform the staff and the Board of Trustees of Novato Unified School District (District) of the laws governing the
admissions and enrollment of charter school students in California. In light of the recent letter to the District from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, we would also like to express our continued support of NBEF and its petition for North Bay Academy. We believe that they will provide a unique, high-quality educational option in Novato that will benefit a wide range of students, and we are concerned that the letter by the Lawyers' Committee makes
unsupported and unfair conclusions regarding NBEF's intention to serve a diverse student population.
>> Read more
State Notifies NBEF of High Score on Planning and Implementation Grant Application
December 5, 2012, NOVATO, CA – North Bay Educational Foundation (NBEF) has reached a major milestone in its application for a start-up funding grant from the state of California. The California Department of Education (CDE) informed NBEF that its Planning and Implementation Grant application passed the peer review grant scoring process with a high score of 49 out of a possible 56 points across all seven application criteria. NBEF’s application was examined and scored on the following key elements: Educational Program, Charter Management Plan, Community and Parent Involvement, Sustainability and Alignment of Resources, Targeted Capacity Building Activities, Autonomy, and Notification and Admissions. Once the charter application is approved by either the Novato Unified School District, Marin County Office of Education or the State Board of Education, the CDE will review NBEF’s proposed budget to make the final grant determination. NBEF has requested a three-year, Planning and Implementation Grant that totals $375,000.
“Competition for charter school grants is intense. As such, the application and review process is extremely thorough and rigorous, granting funding to those entities most likely to open successful charter schools. Scoring highly against all seven criteria is a testament to the quality of the charter school application for North Bay Academy and its supporters, educators, and leaders,” said M.J. Lonson, NBEF board member.
“The state of California has determined that an exhaustive set of criteria for a high-quality charter school have been met in the charter application for North Bay Academy. Our final hurdle in obtaining this grant lies in the review of our budget, which we believe will also pass muster with the state of California,” said Robert Verhoeff, NBEF board member.
The Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) is administered by the Charter Schools Division of the California Department of Education. Grants are reviewed by peer evaluators and awarded on a annual basis to nonprofit entities and local education agencies that are likely to develop and open high-quality charter schools. PCSGP serves California's public charter schools by providing start-up and initial operating capital to assist schools in establishing high-quality, high-performing charter school operations for California students and their families.
Intent to Enroll Forms are Still Available
We have provided links to Intent to Enroll forms, in both English and Spanish here.
Make Your Holiday Purchases Earn for NBEF!
NBEF will be ordering Gift Cards this holiday season to help raise funds to offset legal and business consulting expenses associated with filing the petition for North Bay Academy. We hope you will consider participating in this easy fundraiser! Learn more here...
A Thank You and Call to Action
In a very short period of time we have submitted our charter petition to the NUSD, filed our application for a state charter Start-up Grant, completed our request for facilities (“Prop 39” request), and last Thursday night, we professionally and successfully presented our case before the NUSD Board at its public hearing. California Charter School Association (CCSA) testified to the strength and comprehensiveness of our charter petition, and EdTec (business and development specialists for charter schools) testified to the soundness of the school’s budget and our financial viability.
We want to share our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for everyone who showed their passionate support of our charter petition over the past weeks. Thank you for coming to the NUSD public hearing and filling the room. We are in awe of those who bravely stood up and eloquently voiced their support. We are particularly proud of our teacher supporters and their messages about why they would choose to teach at North Bay Academy. And, thank you for your compelling emails to the District and Trustees, whether or not you were able to attend the meeting. The NBEF Board is proud of the positive message that was delivered by each and every one of our supporters about this fantastic educational choice for families in Novato.
Again, THANK YOU to each of you for the support and passion you have shown to date. The NBEF Board is committed to continuing to lead the charge. Together we can win the day!
With sincere gratitude,
Robert Verhoeff, MJ Lonson, Cindy Hunter and Fr. Luke Palumbis
Marin IJ: NBEF School Plan Offers Difference
The Core Knowledge curriculum is unique among educational programs. Read today's Marin IJ for a teacher's perspective on the benefits of a Core Knowledge education. To supplement the teacher opinion, linked is a Core Knowledge curriculum at a glance that gives a snapshot of the depth and breadth of a Core Knowledge education in each grade level. It is truly incredible!
Myths and False Statements:
What Those Who Oppose School Choice Don't Want You to Know
In recent weeks, parents opposing choice in education have distributed misleading information encouraging parents to oppose North Bay Academy. The unfortunate result of these misstatements of fact is the needless increase in alarm by parents. NBEF feels we need to point people back to the facts before the misinformation perpetuates and creates an environment where a fair and unbiased review of the charter application is compromised. Read the entire article here...
Charter Schools Surge in Sonoma County
The charter school movement has taken off in Sonoma County! See today's front page story in the Press Democrat. Article link follows this brief excerpt.
"Sonoma County is at the forefront of the charter school movement in California with 11 new schools opening this year, second only to massive Los Angeles County Unified with its nearly 660,000 students.
Nearly a quarter -- 23 percent -- of Sonoma County's 70,700 kindergarten-through-12th graders are enrolled in charter schools. Just two years ago, 13 percent of Sonoma County students were in charter schools.
Today, there are 56 campuses working under 51 state-issued charters. Fifteen years ago, there were two charter schools in the county.
The trend reflects districts' efforts to attract students in an increasingly competitive environment and a calculated assessment of how to maximize dwindling state funding for public schools."
Please read the entire article here.
NBEF 21st Century Education
NBEF engages a community of learners in a rigorous academic program that utilizes Core Knowledge Sequence. This coherent, cumulative, and content-specific design meets or exceeds California State and Common Core State standards. Key features of The NBEF include:
- Core Knowledge’s research-based methodology and curriculum is specifically designed for students in kindergarten through grade 8 providing an
- Intensive focus on literacy that will be combined with The Academy's high academic and behavioral expectations.
- Extended daily instructional time for kindergarten through grade 8 to ensure that students have the learning time necessary to develop the skills, knowledge, and character to be successful.
- Highly-structured, disciplined school and classroom environments that create and sustain a safe, supportive, motivating learning culture.
- Before and After-school Enrichment provided by credentialed teachers who assist with homework completion and work as a team with the student’s classroom teacher. These services are anticipated to be provided by Springboard After School. Programs provided by Springboard After School are fee based and are priced comparable to current after school providers for NUSD students.
- “Parent University” and Kindergarten through Second grade English immersion to provide literacy support to English Language learners and their families.
- Parent Participation is encouraged and embraced at The Academy. Studies link parent involvement with a variety of student cognitive and affective outcomes including increased achievement test results, a decrease in dropout rate, improved attendance, improved student behavior, higher grades, higher grade point average, greater commitment to schoolwork, and improved attitude toward school.
- An Art History teacher for grades four through eight to provide the enhanced cross-curricular content of the Core Knowledge curriculum.
- Technology based core subject instruction for grades six through eight.
- Common school-wide math instruction period allowing students to be taught at their achievement level vs. grade level.
- Core Virtues character development curriculum created by Core Knowledge Foundation to complement Core Knowledge curriculum content.
- A Kindergarten through Eighth grade school and educational program which studies have shown to improve achievement, increase attendance and reduce behavioral issues.
- Provide teachers up to five additional professional development days prior to the beginning of each school year.
- By providing another option for families, our program will complement the Novato Unified School District which is distinguished for providing educational choices to meet the needs of all learners.