ITHACA, N.Y. — According to a press release from the Ithaca City School District, New Roots Charter School will be hosting a public hearing on Wednesday evening regarding plans to expand the school for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The plans call for New Roots to add middle school grades 6-8 to complement its current grade 9-12 high school offerings. The expansion is expected to result in the additional enrollment of about sixty students into the charter school.

According to the Ithaca Times, New Roots will be seeking additional classroom space in downtown Ithaca to complement its Clinton House (116 North Cayuga Street) location. A New Roots spokesperson said that the school’s options were all within a block of Clinton House. That would apparently leave out the now-closed Immaculate Conception School a few blocks to the northwest.

Related: Inside New Roots, part I: Ithaca’s “living laboratory” for education

New Roots’ plans been submitted to the school’s legal authorizer, the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute, with a decision to permit the expansion possibly coming as soon as February. As part of the decision-making process, the public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17th at 6 PM at the Ithaca City School District’s Board Room at 400 Lake Street. Written comments may also be emailed to the ICSD District Clerk’s email here.

New Roots Charter School first opened for the 2009-10 academic year, and currently enrolls about 160 students in its grade 9-12 classes. A little over half of its student body comes from within the Ithaca City School District, with smaller numbers from other county and regional school districts. While the school has received both praise for its teaching philosophy, and criticism for having a lower graduation rate than the ICSD, its charter was unconditionally renewed for another five-year term last January.

Correction: The school is located within Clinton House, not DeWitt House. The Voice regrets the error.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.