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Citizens of the World Charter School Could Close Due to Low Enrollment

By Meredith Hoffman | October 9, 2013 7:26am | Updated on October 11, 2013 11:18am
 Citizens of the World is a national charter network.
Citizens of the World is a national charter network.
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Citizens of the World

GREENPOINT — A new elementary charter school that fought hard to attract kids from wealthy white families is in danger of closing after it has enrolled just half its projected number of students, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Citizens of the World charter school, which opened on Leonard Street this fall, must prove significant enrollment increases and submit a new budget plan by Oct. 20 to avoid probation and potential closure, a state official said.

The school projected an enrollment of 126 students, but only 65 students were enrolled as of Oct. 1, documents show. Additionally, only three of its students lived in the neighborhood where the school is located, documents show.

Mark Comanducci, Executive Director of the school said in a statement that “Like many brand new schools, Citizens of the World New York has had a steep hill to climb to make sure that New York parents, some of whom have many school options, are aware of our schools and their benefits."

"We are looking forward to engaging more parents in Williamsburg and Crown Heights with information about our schools," Comanducci added, saying that the school hosts monthly coffee meetings as well as opportunities to meet teachers and take school tours.

Citizens of the World's enrollment is allowed to fluctuate 20 percent above or below its target if it remains financially stable, said Catherine Kramer, director of charter school information for the SUNY Charter Schools Institute.

"The school must, by Oct. 20, provide updated enrollment figures and a budget indicating the school can operate in a fiscally and educationally sound manner based on the enrollment figures as of Oct. 20," Kramer said, noting the school was already using a "corrective action plan" to which the school's board agreed.

"If the Institute does not find the school's plan sound, it may recommend the school be placed on probation... possibly as early as Oct. 28."

If placed on probation, the Citizens of the World would have to meet further requirements that Kramer did not specify. Its charter would be revoked if it failed to comply.