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State Agrees to Increase Size of Christa McAuliffe Charter School

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously voted today to increase the school's enrollment from 306 to 396 students.

The Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham will accept more students for September, after the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously voted Tuesday to approve the school’s request to increase the maximum enrollment from 306 to 396 students.

McAuliffe is a Level 1 Expeditionary Learning middle school (grades 6-7-8) serving eight MetroWest communities: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough and Sudbury.

The regional public charter school applied to the state to increase its enrollment in July 2012, in order to "stabilize the size of each grade level and ensure consistency per grade level," with six classes and three teams, said Director Kristin Harrison.

School leaders are expecting 330 students in 2013-14, 370 in 2014-15 and the maximum 396 in 2015-16.

With the increase in enrollment approved by the state, the charter school has outgrown its current school facility, leased from St. Stephen’s church in downtown Framingham.

School leaders said a new facility will be needed for the 2014-15 school year "to provide classrooms better equipped for an Expeditionary Learning program," said Harrison.

Last year, during the 2012 lottery, the school accepted 126 scholars into the “Class of 2015." There were more than 200 students who applied for admission.

This year, with the approved increase in enrollment, McAuliffe will accept 132 students into the sixth grade “Class of 2016."

As of last week, more than 225 students had applied to attend the school. Admission is via lottery.

This year's lottery is scheduled for Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in the school's gymnasium at 40 Clinton St. in Framingham.

Lottery applications will be accepted through Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at 5 p.m. Applications may be submitted online at www.mcaulifferegional.org

According to Massachusetts charter school law, lottery preference goes to siblings of students, currently attending the school first.

After that students from McAuliffe’s eight regional communities will be drawn at random, by a neutral party.

When all seats are filled, the regional and then non-regional applicants will be drawn at random to build a wait list. The school will accept applicants off of the wait list as openings are available.

The charter school is celebrating its 10th year. It is named for Framingham resident, Marian High and Framingham State graduate Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, who died tragically in the Challenger explosion, 27 years ago yesterday, Jan. 28.

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For more information on the McAuliffe Charter School, please visit the following websites:

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