CORNVILLE — The application for a proposed Cornville charter school, rejected earlier this week by the state commission that authorizes them, will get a second chance.

Jana Lapoint, of Falmouth, a member of the Maine Charter School Commission and chairman of the subcommittee assigned to the Cornville application, said she will ask the full commission to revisit the matter July 17.

“If the commission agrees that they will open it up again, then we have the opportunity to review it and then make a decision as to whether we would let them go forward with a contract or not,” Lapoint said.

“It would not only open up the evaluative process, it could allow it to go forward right then and there,” Lapoint said.

Cornville Regional Charter School officials have scheduled a public meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the former elementary school on West Ridge Road to discuss the upcoming meeting with the charter commission.

Lapoint was one of three commissioners to vote no Monday on the charter application. In order for the application to have passed, five of the seven members of the commission would have had to approve the proposal.

Lynda Doyle of Durham and William Shuttleworth of Lincolnville, the commission’s vice chairman, also voted against the application.

Commission members in support of Cornville’s application were Chairman James A. Banks Sr., of Portland, Richard Barnes, of Kennebunkport, and Shelly Reed, of Wayne. Commissioner Donald Mordecai of Scarborough was not at the meeting.

Lapoint said she used Robert’s Rules of Order to bring the matter back to the commission.

“Subsequent to the meeting, it became apparent through a letter that was sent to me by the chair of their board that there might be some inaccuracies in the information that had been discussed,” Lapoint said.

Clarification of the application is to include presentations on budget projections, reserve money and plans for regular testing of student academic progress.

Lapoint said she also wants to know if there will be personal learning plans established for each child at the proposed Cornville school and if there are such personal plans in place at other schools in the area. If other schools don’t have personal learning plans, as the Cornville board says, that would make Cornville unique and innovative, Lapoint said.

“Their argument was that we had said that they were not different than any of the other schools,” Lapoint said. “They’re saying that in their area, they are different. That was a misunderstanding that we had about what they would be doing; that they would then be a model school for other schools to follow.”

The commission also wants to be sure the Cornville board will have a paid executive director, whose salary would be included in the school’s annual budget.

Justin Belanger, the Cornville school’s board chairman, said there are 50 children in kindergarten through grade six ready to sign up for the charter school if the commission approves it.

He said he and his wife Sandra, the board’s treasurer, were floored when the commission rejected their 650-page application.

He said Thursday he is relieved to have a second chance.

“I am grateful that the Maine Charter School Commission saw the merit in our arguments and are giving us the opportunity address their issues and concerns,” Belanger said.

“It was the just and fair thing to do.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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