We do not intend to contract with a charter management organization.
C.2. Partner Organization
Please find detailed information in Attachment 7 file.
Programmatic Audits: our Charter School will follow the standard requirement of evaluation of the Charter Schools in New York State. Since the lead applicant is not very experienced in this area yet, this application is not tentatively adopting the key elements of the Brilla College Preparatory Charter School proposal at this section as a beginning point. However, along with the overarching philosophy of the Whole Elephant Charter School, the lead applicant does not believe that artificial policies of external evaluation is the best solution for assuring the quality of education and safety of operation of any Charter School. A Charter School that is truly successful is one that the evaluation process is being constantly carried out within each educator and officer/staff member’s heart to find shortcomings of one’s conduct so that improvement is made continuously, before any issues occur due to the breakdown of the spiritual forces of trust, love and respect. Since our Charter School education program has installed such a wisdom and internal mechanisms, and emphasize the role of spirituality in successful education, we believe that the evaluation is a natural practice of morality. Just like the health of human beings, it is better to do daily check up of your own conducts to prevent diseases, instead of waiting for the diagnosis of a doctor when you already know you are sick.Below are some key elements of practice of evaluation modified according to what was proposed in the application of the Brilla College Preparatory Charter School, and will still be used only as a reference at this point for finalization in the process of operation..
Audits: Annual programmatic audits will be carried out to examine the overall Charter School operation of all aspects: Education: the overall quality of teacher performance in accomplishing the mission of the Charter School
Learning: the overall quality of student performance in both academic and spiritual advancement
Health: the overall performance in achieving great health through learning in Charter School
Food: the overall quality of food and related culture in the Charter School
Transportation: the overall quality of transportation service operating within the Charter School events
Building: the overall quality of operation and maintaining of the school building and dormitory
Safety: the overall safety of the operation, food and transportation of the Charter School
Finance: the overall state of financial status of the Charter School
Parents Satisfaction: seek feedbacks from all parents of the students in Charter School for further improvement
Community Satisfaction: seek feedbacks from the community being served to determine shortcomings, raise standard and make improvement
Education Team Satisfaction: seek feedbacks from the education team to build a stronger team
Staff Member Satisfaction: seek feedbacks from the staff members to find out shortcomings and raise standard of performance
Results from the above assessment and evaluation will be made into Annual Report; inter-visitation between other Charter Schools will be made to learn from others and share new education insights; oversight visitation will be invited to seek for guidance and further improvement;
Principal and Master Teacher Evaluation: the board of trustees will host an evaluation meeting to allow all key officers and each of the Master Teachers to make a full presentation of what he or she has accomplished and issues to be resolved; based upon the information from the presentation and the feedbacks from the staff, other officers, teachers and students, the board will make a holistic evaluation of the education and operation team to identify key issues of improvement and recommend bonus for outstanding performance. Board Evaluation: The board will develop a self-evaluation instrument and use it annually to check its performance. Domains will include member attendance and participation, communication with stakeholders, regular review and revision of key policies and procedures, financial oversight, evaluation of school leadership, handling of grievances, and adherence to the mission of the school. The board will use the results of these evaluations to inform the development of strategic goals and action plans. The board will also monitor its composition to maintain adequate skill sets with which to govern the school as well as diversity to ensure a variety of perspectives.
E. Professional Development
To accomplish the mission of the Whole Elephant Charter School, high quality professional development program will be installed within the education design itself. After the founder enrolls 42 Master Teachers in the next six months, the Master Teachers will immediately enter a professional development stage for the following four months. The contents of the training program will be similar to what has been designed for the “Holistic Fitness Center” from the Whole Elephant Institute and some of the key aspects will be outlined here:
Falun Dafa Cultivation Practice
A workshop will be offered to the candidate Master Teachers in learning all key aspects of Falun Dafa cultivation practice and also learn the five sets of slow motion exercises and meditation practice; since the key of Falun Dafa is the profound teachings embodied in one book, Zhuan Falun (see www.falundafa.org), space and atmosphere will be provided for the Master Teachers to study with veteran Falun Dafa practitioners in order to help them understand the various aspects of the teachings.
Chinese Language Programs
Chinese language is believed to be originated from the high spiritual realm for the purpose of spreading the divine culture of China. The language is a golden key for the gate of five thousands of years of Chinese civilization. Each Chinese character is an image and contains profound inner contents. The writing of Chinese character with black ink brush is an art on its own and the practice of Chinese Calligraphy is a wonderful start for young children for building endurance and training of mental focus. A series of workshops will be carried out focusing the art of teaching Chinese Language Chinese Ancient Wisdom Programs The over arching philosophy for a person to achieve holistic fitness and health, according to the ancient Chinese wisdom, is to first cultivate one’s mind and body. A series of workshops will be provided to offer a comprehensive introduction of different schools of cultivation practices from Chinese history, including Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. Stress Reduction Programs Workshops will also be organized to teach
A. Mind fitness program
Programs to teach five types of music instruments that target the health of five vital organs of the human body;
Programs to teach Chinese chess as a way of mind disciplinary training;
Programs for Chinese calligraphy;
Programs to teach the art of Chinese traditional paintings
Body fitness program
Chinese Culinary Art;
Chinese Traditional Medicine;
Ancient Chinese life science on human body
Spirit fitness program
In this program, the essence of three main schools of ancient spiritual teachings will be offered to interested clients to help them achieve holistic fitness. Confucianism The essence of Confucianism relevant to holistic fitness will be offered in the program: Cultivate the body and mind
Harmonize the family
Bring peace and prosperity to the world Buddhism The essence of Buddhism teaching relevant to holistic fitness will be offered in the program: Kindness will be rewarded and evil will be punished
Value the virtue and do good needs Daoism The essence of Daoism relevant to holistic fitness will be offered in the program: Man shall be one with nature
Cultivate truthfulness and nurture one’s true nature
To return to one’s true self
Human is ruled by the law on the earth
Earth is ruled by the law of heaven
Heaven is ruled by the Dao
Dao is ruled by Nature The above listed topics are the essential contents of the Whole Elephant Charter School education in the area of Chinese, Arts, History, Humanity and Science. Since the inner contents of these topics are very vast, the Master Teachers need to constantly improve their levels of mastery as well, thus the workshops under these topics will be installed throughout the operation of the Charter School. The wisdoms derived from the understanding of these topics shall safeguard the overall quality of education of the Whole Elephant Charter School.
The proposed location of our Charter School will be located at the current site of a property purchased with 750, 000 dollars of donation fund from the Korean Community of Flushing, by the Korean Community Center of New York. Due to the critical role of Dr. Lotus King Weiss in saving this property from being at the verge of foreclosure in 2009, Dr. Lotus King Weiss has been offered the CEO position of the KCCNY and is committed to work with the local community to use this resource to serve the community; using this location for the Whole Elephant Charter School would be an ideal solution for both the KCCNY mission and the mission of the Whole Elephant Institute, both of which will be the partners of the Whole Elephant Charter School at Flushing.
Two other potential sites within Flushing are also being considered: the current location of the Flushing Mall and the two stories large open space on the 41st Rd, under the name of “American Adult Daycare”. When we complete the acquiring of the facilities of the Whole Elephant Charter School, we will inform the Board of Regents within two business day.
The lead applicant holds the philosophy that the only true insurance of the safety of students, teachers, staff members, buildings and all operations in the Whole Elephant Charter School is the righteous conducts of the entire education and operational team; the concept of insurance has been greatly abused in modern time primarily due to the downslides of human morality. Only through the efforts of bringing back the human morality, human sufferings can be reduced and all types of so-called “accidents”, “errors”, or even “catastrophic incidents” can be avoided. However, if required by the law, insurance will be obtained according to the standard practice of Charter Schools. An estimated coverage shown in the Brilla College Preparatory Charter School will be used as a reference for our Charter School, as listed below:
General Aggregate: $2 million aggregate and $1 million for each occurrence
Umbrella Liability: $5 million limit of coverage
School Leaders Errors & Omissions: $1 million in coverage
Student Accident: $500,000 aggregate per accident
Property: $250,000 in coverage for school furnishings, equipment, and leased space betterments
Workers' Compensation: rate determined by state of New York
H. Health, Food, and Transportation Services
The Whole Elephant Charter schools will meet the same health and safety, civil rights, and student assessment requirements applicable to other public schools, with the following unique elements as an integral part of the education philosophy and practice:
According to the ancient science of mind-body-spirit deeply rooted within the Chinese Traditional Culture, illness is caused by Karma, a matter which has a nature that attracts microcosmic entities that can enter the field of a human body to do harm, and the matter Karma is formed due to human conducts against the law of the universe. Thus, treatment of human illnesses using molecular approach is not considered to be the best approach; in fact, is considered to be the lowest level approach. The highest form of art dealing with human illness is called cultivation practice, which, through refining one’s character following the law of the universe, one becomes free from the restriction of the law that governs the human life, and therefore shall find a way of exit from all sufferings of being a human. In this regard, when a human being chooses to practice such an art, he or she shall not take medicine of any form to suppress the karma back into the body, but shall be pure heartedly focusing upon the practice of the art of cultivation. It is for this reason, Falun Dafa practitioners and their children do not use medicine as a way of dealing with disease symptoms. Since the Whole Elephant Charter School has included the cultivation practice of Falun Dafa as part of our school curriculum, the application of any form of medication will not be provided within the school campus. Furthermore, the required vaccination for enrollment is also waived.
Since Chinese Food preparation and appreciation is also a part of our curriculum, the students will be given healthy and delicious Chinese food most of the time;
Since the students will be living in the school dormitory, the transportation is primarily for field trips and retreats.
I. Family and Community Involvement
This aspect has already been fully explained in the key design and education plan part of this proposal. The involvement of the family and the community in the overall education of the Whole Elephant Charter School is a critical aspect of the education curriculum: the Master Teacher will work closely with at least one parent of each student to treat them as an integral part of the education team; every month, during the fourth week, the students will be carrying out field trips, recreation and direct community service; the Whole Elephant Charter School will also frequently deliver community-based workshops to spread the key concepts of the school; furthermore, the two partnership organizations, the Whole Elephant Institute and the Korean Community Center of New York, are both deeply rooted in the community to provide all forms of community education and service. Our Charter School students will also be participating in the various activities offered by these two non-profit organizations. The Whole Elephant Charter School is centered in helping family and giving back to the community, which will be the classroom for the students to learn and to practice what they have learned.
Financial Management at the Whole Elephant Charter School will be lead by the Treasury as spelled out in the By-Laws. The Treasury will work closely with the Principal, the Executive Vice Principle, the Board of Trustees, and an independent certified public accountant (CPA), who will conduct an annual fiscal audit of all financial reports, including statement of financial position, statement of cash flows, statement of activities, and schedule of functional expenses. The auditor shall produce an Initial Statement of Financial Controls in the beginning of the school year and complete the annual audit the following fall. The Board of Trustees will review all audits, meet with the auditor without school staff present, and monitor all efforts by school leaders to address any found deficiencies.
K. Budget and Cash Flow
Please see attachment 9a for details.
L. Pre-Opening Plan
August 2012: Media Contact
September 2012: Education Conferences, Mothers Club, Open Student Enrollment
October 2012: Traditional Chinese Culture Workshops, Open Hiring of Master Teachers
December 2012: Finalize Members of Trustees and Open Hiring for Officers
January 2012: Finalize Charter School Location and Facilities
February 2012: Initial all necessary renovations of the education site
March 2012: Finalize Student Dormitory
April 2013: Finalize Operational Team of the Charter School
May 2013: First General Meetings of the entire team of administrative staffs, teachers, Board of Trustees
June-July 2013: Charter School Open House and Finalize Enrollment of Students
June -July 2013: Master Teachers Recreation
August 2013: Complete all aspects for School Opening
M. Dissolution Plan
While the lead applicant believes that such a plan is not necessary for the Whole Elephant Charter School, but is here stating a standard process of dissolution shall be followed as all other Charter Schools proposed.
1 N.Y. Education Law § 2851(2)(k)
2 N.Y. Education Law § 2851(2)(p). Typically, the charter term requested should be from the date of the issuance of the charter through June 30, 2018.