Barnstable Horace Mann Charter School Will Not Be Renewed

School committee voices concerns over governance...
The Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter School on Bearse's Way in Hyannis may close in 2019, following the Barnstable School Committee's vote not to renew its charter. (BPS photo)

The Barnstable School Committee voted against the proposed five year renewal of the Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School, effectively ending the ten-year-old self-governing school.  It is unknown at this time whether or not the K-3 school will survive in some form.

Horace Mann Charter Schools are a different creature than the independent Commonwealth Charter Schools such as Sturgis and Lighthouse.  They are still part of the local school district and their board of trustees is subordinate to the local school committee.  The Barnstable Horace Mann charter program served many families classified by the state as "high needs".  The school has enjoyed success with MCAS scores and with a unique suite of services provided to the families it serves.

Members of the school committee expressed concerns over the school's governance, including the fact that the school has had three principals in the past six years.

The school is housed at the former Hyannis East Elementary School on Bearse's Way.  It has one more year remaining on its current charter, so students and families have one more school year in the current model.

Many people in the school community throw the blame for non-renewal at the feet of Superintendent Meg Mayo Brown, who they claim has always opposed the concept of the district's Horace Mann charter school.

Some hope that the school committee and superintendent will keep the building open and preserve the instructional models that have worked so well in recent years.  However, once the charter expires the school is entirely at the mercy of the school committee and its superintendent. 

The vote to non-renew the charter was 4-1.  School Committee member Patrick Murphy voted against the non-renewal.

If you are a stakeholder of the Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter Public School and are concerned about the school committee's vote, reach out to the school committee members as listed below.

Chris Joyce - Chair
e-mail: [email protected]
November 2019
Stephanie Ellis - Vice Chair
e-mail: [email protected]
November 2021
Barbara Dunn
e-mail: Dunn_[email protected]
November 2021
Mike Judge
e-mail: [email protected]
November 2019
R. Patrick Murphy 
e-mail: [email protected]
November 2019

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