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York City gives Thackston Charter School deadlines

Alyssa Pressler
  • The York City school board voted on the Helen Thackston resolution Wednesday night.
  • The resolution outlines due dates the charter school needs to have issues fixed by in coming months.

The York City School Board voted at Wednesday's meeting to approve a resolution setting actions and deadlines for the Helen Thackston Charter School.

The vote was 7-0, with board members Jose Santiago and Michael Breeland missing. There was no discussion on the matter, and no public comments were made at the beginning or end of the meeting.

York City School District Board President Margie Orr speaks during a special meeting regarding the future of Helen Thackston Charter School at the Administration Building in York City, Feb. 13, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Helen Thackston came under fire at a special city board meeting Monday, where the district laid out a number of problems it has experienced with the charter school over the last two years.

Helen Thackston school at risk of losing charter

Among the issues discussed at Monday's meeting were troubling test scores, a lack of transparency regarding finances and little programming related to homeland security, a focus of the charter school. The resolution requests that Helen Thackston address various aspects of these issues by certain dates or have an explanation of why the problems could not be addressed.

The resolution states that if the charter school fails to meet the recommendations by the deadline, the school board can "revoke or not renew (Helen Thackston Charter School's) charter."

Helen Thackston officials did not speak at Wednesday's board meeting, but at the meeting Monday they defended themselves against the accusations, saying the financial issues were due to a lack of documents that were in the process of being obtained. As for troubling test scores and the homeland security programming, the school's attorney, Brian Leinhauser, said school was in the process of developing the curriculum.

The earliest due date for Helen Thackston is Feb. 24, when York City School District expects the charter to submit several important documents on finances, amended school board bylaws and a staffing list with certification information, according to the resolution.

The Helen Thackston Charter School opened in 2009. Its charter was renewed in 2014, and the charter is up for renewal again in 2018.

READ: Proposed Thackston Charter School Resolution

Other actions: The rest of the voting items were approved unanimously as well. The consent agenda included the approval of companies to do a number of studies at different buildings in the district. For example, Buchart Horn Architects will do a project-cost estimate and study on updates to the Goode K-8 building.

The board also heard an update from the Jackson K-8 Principal Philip Livelsberger, who talked about the building's goals in implementing the district's new curriculum and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system. PBIS focuses on rewarding students for good behavior rather than only punishing bad behavior.

The full agenda for what was discussed at the meeting can be found online on the district's website.

The next regular York City School Board meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15. All board meetings take place at the district's administration building at 31 N Pershing Ave.

York City School District board members, from left, Vice President Michael Miller, President Margie Orr and Jeffrey Gettle are shown during a special meeting regarding the future of Helen Thackston Charter School at the Administration Building in York City, Feb. 13, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo