In the run-up to a November ballot initiative that would allow more charter schools to open in Massachusetts, charter and traditional public schools have been cast in an adversarial relationship. But that isn’t always the case.
The Phoenix Academies Network operates charter schools in Chelsea and Springfield, and a district school that is part of the turnaround effort underway in Lawrence. The schools focus on at-risk students like teen parents, the chronically truant, court-involved students, those with special needs, English language learners, and young men and women who have already dropped out. Like all charters, Phoenix’s schools can’t choose their students, but they can make it known that they are alternative institutions whose mission is to serve disconnected youth.