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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 18, 2003

STATE BOARD APPROVES FIVE-YEAR RENEWAL FOR PRAIRIE CROSSING CHARTER SCHOOL

The Illinois State Board of Education today approved a five-year renewal of the charter of the Prairie Crossing Charter School of Grayslake to begin July 1, 2004, when the school’s current 5-year charter expires.

“This school has done good work in its four years of existence and has a clear plan for expanding its scope in the next five years,” said Robert E. Schiller, state superintedent of education, in making the recommendation for renewal to the State Board. Visits to the school by ISBE staff showed Prairie Crossing is in compliance with both its original proposal and with the Illinois Charter School Law and needed to amend its charter renewal proposal slightly to receive board approval, Schiller said.

Accordingly, the charter renewal approved by the State Board requires the school to make the following modifications in its renewal proposal:

  • Prairie Crossing must provide by September 30, 2003, more detailed information on its governance in order to be in compliance with the Illinois Charter Schools Law.
  • Prairie Crossing must improve its access to the community, by, among other things, more broadly publishing school information among low-income and Limited English Proficiency families.
  • Prairie Crossing should establish and publish a Freedom of Information Act policy.
  • Prairie Crossing must comply by October 31, 2003, with items noted in the special education compliance report, including arranging for providing the services usually performed by a director of special education.

Under the Illinois Charter School Law, Prairie Crossing Charter School will receive General State Aid funds otherwise due the nearby Fremont School District 79 and Woodland School District 50 for a maximum enrollment of 360 students. Any enrollment increase beyond 360 and up to 432 students would require a financial review and negotiation with ISBE of the level of state support.

Prairie Crossing has an enrollment of 260 students and has been in operation for four years. It will operate for the 2003-04 school year under the final year of its original 5-year charter. It is the only charter school in Illinois chartered by the State Board rather than a local school district.

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