Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering will be able to operate more independently because the Oklahoma City School Board voted Monday night to make it an enterprise school.
Audience members applauded after the board unanimously approved the enterprise application.
Board members said they were willing to give the high school a chance as an enterprise school, which would grant school administrators more flexibility for issues such as staffing.
“If it doesn't work, we don't have to renew,” board Chairwoman Angela Monson said.
“If it does work, we can renew and look at replicating,” she said.
Also, Heather N. Hendricks of the Center for Education Law asked the board for feedback about contracts for some of the district's charter schools. The contracts expire June 30.
ASTEC Charter Schools would like enroll students in kindergarten through fifth grade, in addition to the students in grades 6 to 12. The schools also would like to eliminate its enrollment cap of 700 students and to operate on a 5-year contract instead of a 3-year contract.
Harding Charter Prep would like to operate on a 5-year contract and select a food service provider. The school also wants to reduce the administrative fee paid to the district from 3 percent to 1 percent because of grant funding that has been used to improve the building.
Harding Fine Arts Center asked to operate on a 5-year contract.
Marcus Garvey Leadership Academy would like to increase the number of students that can be enrolled from 250 to 350.
The Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village would like their class size limitation increased from 22 students to 23.
Hendricks asked that the contracts reflect the state's new school assessment process, which replaced the No Child Left Behind standards, for all of those schools and Independence Charter Middle School and Justice Alma Wilson SeeWorth Academy.
Board members said they felt uncomfortable about extending charter contract terms longer than 3 years.
“We need to look at each charter school very closely,” District 7 board member Ron Millican said. “Several of them are not doing very well.”
In other business, an application to create Meridian Academy Elementary School was denied unanimously. Several board members and district employees commented about the application, which they described as inadequate.
“It was probably the worst presentation I've ever heard since I've been on the board for eight years,” District 2 board member Gail Vines said.