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State Places Citizens of the World Charter on Probation

By Meredith Hoffman | October 30, 2013 8:38am | Updated on October 30, 2013 8:57am
 Citizens of the World on 424 Leonard Street is on probation.
Citizens of the World on 424 Leonard Street is on probation.
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Citizens of the World

GREENPOINT — An under-enrolled charter elementary school has been placed on probation due to the institution's low enrollment and inadequate budget plan, a state official said.

Citizens of the World, a charter that opened this year on Leonard Street, is on probation "based on the current level of enrollment at the school," documents released this week by the SUNY Charter Schools Institute said. The school must follow a "remedial action plan" in order to have a chance to remain open, officials said.

"The remedial action plans requires enrollment of at least the minimum number of students in the charter agreement within 30 days of receiving the plan," SUNY's Director of Charter School Information Catherine Kramer said, "and provide a fiscally and educationally sound budget based on enrollment at that time."

Earlier this month documents showed the school had enrolled just half its projected number of students, but the institution's director said he was confident Citizens would not be placed on probation since the board was presenting the state with a revised budget to reflect updated enrollment numbers.

"Despite where our numbers are now, we’re able to deliver the same academic program with no changes in curriculum," the director Mark Comanducci said, noting the charter would require less money with fewer students at the school.

And now even though Citizens has been placed on probation, Comanducci once again spoke confidently about the school's future and said they had enrolled another 14 students since the beginning of September.

"In just the last few weeks, we achieved a 21 percent increase in enrollment, rising from 64 to 78 students," he said, claiming they were on track to be moved off of probation."

And he said that in SUNY's presentation about the school's probation, the institute's director Susan Miller Barker said Citizens was dedicated to the families with children still at the charter.

"While we are focused on delivering our strong academic program to our students," he said, "we are also working hard to connect with as many families as possible to let them know about our unique learning opportunity."