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Charles County Public Schools
Public Charter School Guidance Materials
Public Charter School Application
Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, Superintendent
Charles County Public Schools
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Maryland Public Charter School Program
Charles County Public Schools
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
During the 2003 General Assembly session, the Maryland Public Charter School Act was passed and Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. signed the measure into law on May 22, 2003 (SB 75 -- Chapter 358, 2003 Laws of Maryland). The new law authorizes the establishment of public charter schools in Maryland. See Appendix A for a copy of the law. With the enactment of the new law, Maryland joins a growing number of states that encourage the development and operation of public charter schools. The Maryland statute invites the creation of public charter schools to help introduce alternative means within the public school system to provide innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of all students.
Maryland’s law defines a “public charter school” as a “public school” that is nonsectarian, is chosen by parents for their children, and is open to all students on a space available basis. A charter school can be either a newly created school or a conversion of an already operating public school. A public charter school operates with the approval of a local Board of Education in accordance with a written charter executed between the local Board of Education and the administrative entity operating the public charter school. Just as any other public school, a public charter school is subject to federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination and must comply with all applicable health and safety laws.
Chartering Authority and Eligibility in Maryland
A “charter” is a formal agreement or contract entered into by a chartering authority and a statutorily authorized applicant. This guidance/application document provides assistance to those interested in sponsoring a charter school. Charles County Public Schools staff will help applicants understand the application process, consult with applicants concerning all requirements, and provide guidance throughout the application process.
The Board of Education of Charles County is the charter authority and is responsible for final approval of all applications. Approval is based on standards that are consistent with the state law authorizing public charter schools. Maryland’s Public Charter School Law defines a charter school as a public school. Therefore, the public charter schools will generally operate under the same requirements and provisions as all other public schools in the school system.
Beyond The Education Program
Public charter school sponsors are responsible for the management and administrative functions of the charter schools and adherence to Board of Education policy. The new Public Charter School Law permits a local school system and the designated leadership of a prospective charter school to negotiate a broad range of options that may be mutually agreed upon to both the school system and the chartering school leadership. The Board of Education policy is included in this guidance packet in Appendix C.
Federal Education Program Requirements
The “No Child Left Behind Act”
Charter schools are subject to a number of requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), signed into law by the President in January 2002. This act contains the bulk of laws authorizing most federal education programs, including the federal charter schools grant program. Because charter schools are public schools, charter schools that receive federal funds under any of the NCLB programs are required to comply with the federal requirements for use of the funds. For example, a charter school receiving Title I funds must comply with: (1) the accountability requirements; (2) Title I public school choice provisions; (3) supplemental educational services provisions; (4) corrective action; and (5) the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals.
The Charles County Public School System has developed a Comprehensive Master Plan, which sets forth objectives to guide the school system as it implements the NCLB and state requirements. For a copy of this Master Plan, contact the school system.
Special Education Requirements
All schools under the authority of the Charles County Board of Education, including charter schools, are public schools, and as such are specifically required to comply with federal and state special education laws and regulations, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.05.01 Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education, and COMAR 13A.05.02 Administration of Services for Students with Disabilities. The State Board of Education will provide technical assistance to the operators of a public charter school to help the school meet requirements of federal and state laws, but the charter school will be held responsible for implementing all procedures necessary to ensure compliance.
Note: The Maryland Public Charter School Act prohibits the Charles County Board of Education from granting a charter to a public charter school whose operation would be inconsistent with any public policy initiative, court order, or federal improvement plan governing the provision of special education and related services.
It is important that the applicant(s) and the chartering authority establish open and effective communications. Additionally, there are a number of national information resources relating to virtually all aspects of establishing and operating good charter schools (see Appendix B).
Note: The Charles County Board of Education is not responsible for content and accuracy of the national information resources.
There are important responsibilities that need to be planned for when establishing a public charter school. A solid planning process can help prevent serious problems. Areas that are frequently identified as potential problems are:
The Application Process
The application process is a two-step process. First is the pre-application phase, where the applicant files an Intent Form and a Prospectus, and begins to assemble the formal application. The second phase is the submission of the Formal Application to the Board of Education.
During the pre-application phase, the prospective charter school organizing body should complete an Intent Form indicating a serious interest in creating a charter school, develop a Prospectus, and then schedule a meeting with staff designated by the Superintendent of Charles County Public Schools to discuss and examine all aspects of the proposed educational program. In this way, various administrative functions needed for the planning, opening, and operation of the public charter school can be identified, even before a formal application is submitted to the Board of Education. The school system staff will review all proposed applications and support materials and make suggestions to the applicants. Some of the key issues that will be scrutinized by the Superintendent and staff in the pre-application phase are:
· An education plan which reflects the school’s commitment.
· A realistic budget that reflects accurately projected income and does not rely on unreliable sources, such as future grants.
· A lottery provision for student admission that complies with the statute.
· The purchase of insurance as required by law.
· A plan for an adequate facility and realistic funding for the facility.
· The overall quality and completeness of the application.
· The amount of planning and research that has been invested in the application.
· The types of curricula to be offered by the school.
Prior to the filing of the final, Formal Application, staff will review the final draft application to ensure that it has been completed (i.e., all required materials and technical information have been provided). Once a completed, Formal Application has been filed with the Board, the Board will request that the Superintendent make a recommendation concerning the application. The Board will then either approve the Formal Application, deny the Formal Application, or refer it back for further information. By law, final approval or denial must occur within 120 days from the filing of the completed, formal application.
Final Approval or Denial
If the Board of Education approves the Formal Application, then a Charter Agreement will be developed. This agreement is a contract that is binding by law on both the Board and the charter operator and explains in detail the responsibilities of all of the parties involved in the implementation of the public charter school. Although the founders of a public charter school may propose various programs or procedures in the Formal Application, ultimately the Charter Agreement will control how the charter school will operate.
If the Board denies the Formal Application, then the applicant will be provided information on options for redevelopment of a new application, or appealing the denial to the State Board of Education.
What Will You Need?
Preparing a charter application requires a great deal of time and familiarity with Maryland’s Charter Schools Law and other applicable laws, including legal constraints affecting the state’s public not-for-profit corporations. Although the specific amount of time required depends to a large degree on the human resources available for the project from the outset, it is a good idea to plan for at least one year to complete the application development, review, and approval process. Some of the areas to consider are:
· Financial Resources – The cost of preparing a charter proposal depends on the types of resources available to the applicant’s planning group from the beginning of the process. Examples of costs could range from printing and publicity, communications-related expenses, filing fees for nonprofit corporation and tax exempt status, and research and travel expenses.
· Vision and Clear Mission – The successful public charter school provides a clear sense of purpose and mission shared by parents, students, staff, and the school’s management board. Consider what it means to be educated and how to bring students to that level in the foundation of a coherent school design. A clear vision will also give potential employees, prospective students, and parents clear indications of how they will be treated and what will be expected of them in explaining how the charter school is distinct from other public schools.
· Applicant Team Expertise – Developing a strong proposal for a public charter school requires a team with diverse skills and experience. A well-rounded team should include individuals who can bring skills and knowledge in educational vision, leadership, and expertise – including standards-setting, pedagogy, behavior management, and curriculum and assessment design. Other areas should include financial management and entrepreneurial skills, knowledge of the law, real estate and facilities planning, public relations, fundraising, and grant writing.
· School Leadership – The school’s leader would be the person running the day-to-day operations of the school once the charter is approved. This will be the most important personnel decision relative to the ultimate success of the public charter school. The school leader will be a vital link between the public charter school and the management board, the parents, teachers, and staff, as well as the public school system, in creating cohesive relationships.
· Community Involvement – Building community involvement around the school’s vision is important for a successful public charter school.
Steps in Applying for a Public Charter School
At a minimum, the entire process for creating a new public charter school will take many months, and maybe years. Founders of the public charter school must be dedicated and committed to putting in the required time and energy as the school develops.
Below is a rough sketch of the major steps involved in opening a new public charter school.
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Public Charter Schools
This Intent Form is the first step in the Public Charter School Application process but implies no further obligation on either party. Submission of this Intent Form expresses non-binding intent, as authorized by the public charter school’s management board, to apply for a Public Charter School. The filing of the Intent Form may not be used for promotion or advertising, although it may be noted in internal school communications or as otherwise authorized by Charles County Public Schools. Please inquire with any questions regarding these restrictions.
Please complete as much information as possible. If a name or address or other item is not known at this time, please indicate so. This form does not have to be completely filled out in order to be filed with Charles County Public Schools. Please send this form to the Superintendent of Schools, Charles County Public Schools, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646.
1. Contact Information for Public Charter School
School Name: ______________________________________________________
City, State, Zip:_____________________________________________________
Main Phone: (______)-________________Fax____________________________
Charter Sponsor Representative (Contact Person)
Principal/Head of School
Please check the following:
Is this school _______for profit ________non-profit _______other?
If other, please explain_____________________________________________
2. Grades Served/Enrollment
Grades ______________Projected expansion, if any____________________
Approximate projected enrollment____________________________________
Has the school ever been accredited or sought accreditation? ____Yes ____No
Indicate agency and date of last renewal________________________________
Is this accreditation current? _______ or has it lapsed?___________________
4. Curricular Highlights (e.g., direct instruction, core knowledge of subject areas, etc.)
5. Additional Comment
Signature of Charter Sponsor Representative
Name (Please Print)
After filing an Intent Form, but before filing a completed formal application, applicants are required to complete and send a Prospectus summarizing their proposal. Upon completion and filing of this Prospectus, applicants may then schedule a meeting with the Superintendent’s designee to begin to work on the formal application. The Superintendent’s designee may offer helpful suggestions and direction to the applicants.
Below is a list of the Prospectus contents, as well as directions for meeting the format requirements and deadline.
Contents of the Prospectus:
The Prospectus must contain the following items, to the extent known:
· Cover page: name and location of proposed school;
· Information sheet consisting of names, addresses and telephone numbers of all charter sponsors;
· Five to ten page summary of the charter proposal consisting of a mission statement that indicates, in one or two sentences, what the school intends to do, for whom, and to what degree; an explanation of how the proposed school will meet the needs of the community; a brief description of the educational foundation, including curricular approach; a brief description of the plan for meeting the proposed school’s educational goals; a brief description of the business plan, including financial management capabilities, potential partners and access to financial resources; and a description of the founding team’s capacity to implement the educational plan and business plan;
· Leadership information for the applicant’s authorized representative (as stated in the Intention Form), school leader(s), and founding board members
(Note: Several sections of the final application will ask for the same or similar information as the Prospectus. Further expansion of information will be required in the full application.)
The Prospectus should adhere to the following format:
Additional information that supports the narrative may be included as attachments. Choice of attachments are up to the applicant, though they should be used to provide evidence, support a particular aspect of the Prospectus, or lend insight into the applicant, its leadership, or management personnel. Examples of attachments in the Prospectus include curriculum samples, academic standards, letters of support, financial statements, etc. All attachments should be numbered and clearly referred to by number in the Prospectus narrative.
The Prospectus must be received no later than 30 days after CCPS has received the Intent Form. Failure to submit a prospectus within that timeframe will require a new Intent Form.
The Prospectus is to be submitted to:
Superintendent of Schools
Charles County Public Schools
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Please complete the following information. If you require assistance from the Charles County Public Schools staff, please feel free to contact us and guidance will be provided. When this Formal Application is complete, please provide 12 bound copies and 1 unbound copy, which include page numbers and tabs to separate the content areas, to:
Superintendent of Schools
Charles County Public Schools
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Name of Applicant(s) Applying for the Charter
(Eligible applicants include staff of a public school; a parent or guardian of a student who attends a public school in the county; a nonsectarian nonprofit entity; a nonsectarian institution of higher education in the state; or any combination of these.)
Name of Proposed Charter School
o New School o Converted School
(The name of the school must by law include the term “Public Charter School.”)
Authorized Agent for Applicant
(This may be the individual applicant or an authorized member of the public charter management board.)
Authorized Agent Mailing Address
City State Zip
Day Time Phone: ( ) Fax: ( )
Please indicate if you have any existing legal arrangement with any of the following types of entities:
o Nonprofit Corporation o Corporation
o Partnership o Staff of Existing School
o Tribal Entity o Sectarian
o Institution of Higher Education o Other __________________________________
This application is intended to provide the Board of Education of Charles County with sufficient information to thoroughly review and render a decision. As you complete the information, please remember to focus on why your public charter school should be established in Charles County, and how your proposal will meet the needs of our students and the community.
Planning and Establishment
Profile of Founding Group
Describe the composition of the group or partnership that is working together to apply for a charter, including: (1) the names and addresses of individuals or entities submitting the application; (2) brief descriptions of any entities involved in the application process; (3) the names, addresses, and most recent annual reports of the organizations or corporations of which the individuals are directors or officers; and (4) a description of the role played and the resources contributed by each individual in the organizations or corporations noted above.
Management and Administrative Structure
Identify any proposed management and administrative structure applicable to the operation of the proposed public charter school. This would include the proposed governing board, principal, and any other person(s) responsible for operating the public charter school. (Note that, by law, the principal and any other employed staff of the public charter school will be deemed employees of the Charles County Public Schools and as such will be hired by the Board of Education and assigned by the Superintendent. However, the Board and Superintendent will look for input from the founding group as these individuals are selected.)
Required Resumes and Disclosure Forms
For each individual listed above as a member of the founding group or management or administrative structure, please provide a detailed resume which includes: (1) the individual’s employment history that supports his or her qualifications to operate or oversee a charter school, including any experience as it relates to the development of academic programs, operations of a school or a small business, and background in financial management; (2) the individual’s educational training (including degrees earned, dates enrolled, and institution) that supports his or her qualifications to operate a charter school; and (3) the individual’s personal statement regarding his or her role and responsibilities relating to this application and/or operation of the public charter school. Note that all information provided will be subject to verification by the Board. For each individual, also complete a Disclosure Form included in this Application and attach that completed form to the resume.
Please provide your public charter school’s mission statement. The mission statement should be a clear, concise articulation of the school’s central purpose and vision. The mission statement will guide your school’s instructional and non-instructional programs. In essence, it should state the school’s reason for existence and communicate the school’s uniqueness. A good mission statement should be clear, substantive, focused, and concise, and should guide the school community over the long term.
Mission statements are not set in concrete. They evolve over time. Management, faculty, students, alumni, and parents should be encouraged to participate in the continuing evolution of the mission statement to ensure that all of these stakeholders feel a sense of ownership in the school’s mission.
After deciding on a mission statement, the public charter school should establish goals aimed at fulfilling the mission. Unlike the mission statement (which focuses on the long-term objective and reason for existence), goals should be more concrete and obtainable in the short-term, providing a coherent and consistent basis on which to build an educational program aligned with the mission. Please list your public charter school’s goals, and specific, measurable objectives that will be used to determine if your school has met each goal.
The public charter school must include “Public Charter School” as part of its name. In addition, under Board policy, the school must not be named for a person who is living, and the name should not be too similar to that of an existing school in the county.
Student Population and Admissions
By law, the public charter school must accept any and all Charles County students in the grades served by the school who wish to attend the school, on a space-available basis. Although you may want to focus your school’s mission on serving a specific population of students (e.g., gifted and talented, those interested in the arts or in science, those needing special assistance, etc.), by law you may not exclude students who may want to attend, except if the number of applicants exceeds the number of projected openings in the school. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of projected openings, students must be admitted on a lottery basis.
By law, tuition may not be collected by the public charter school. However, tuition may be charged by Charles County Public Schools in the same manner tuition may be charged under Board policy to students (e.g., non-Charles County residents) attending other Charles County Public Schools.
If you plan to provide kindergarten services, note that state regulations and Charles County Board Policy require that a child admitted to the kindergarten program shall be at least 5 years old on or before September 1st of the school year the child applies for entrance.
In addition, current state law requires that there shall be full-day kindergarten programs in each county.
Please indicate that you understand and accept these legal requirements and whether you intend to provide full-day kindergarten services.
School Calendar and Length of School Days
Public charter schools must provide at least as much instruction time during a school year as required by other public schools. Accordingly, the minimum number of days of instruction is effectively 180, and the minimum number of hours is 1,080 (for grades 1-8) and 1,170 (for grades 9-12). Schools may not be open on Saturdays, Sundays, state recognized holidays, or year-round in order to meet the day and hour requirements. Schools must remain open 3 hours in one day in order to be counted as a “day of instruction” under state law. All of these day and hour requirements may be waived by the State Board of Education. In addition, the Charles County Board of Education adopts for each school year a calendar for student school days. The public charter school must follow this calendar, unless otherwise negotiated in the Charter Agreement between the Board and school.
Note that employees of the public charter school are considered employees of Charles County Public Schools and as such are covered by the Negotiated Agreements with the employee associations. If the number of employee working days and/or work hours will differ from those provided by the Negotiated Agreement, then the appropriate bargaining unit must bring that issue to the negotiations table to discuss it with the Board of Education. Therefore, you should discuss these matters with the appropriate representatives of the Education Association of Charles County (EACC), which represents teachers and other certificated staff, and representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2981 (AFSCME), which represents non-certificated employees and support staff.
The theory behind public charter schools is that the public charter school programs will provide educational options to students that are not available within the traditional public school system. The following is designed to provide a narrative description for the development of policy guidelines and an eventual application acceptance. The educational plan is a clearly articulated vision for an innovative public school, which will lead to improved educational outcomes and greater community ownership of the local school. Consistency between mission and the educational programs as a means to achieve this.
One of the hallmarks of public charter schools is that they have the choice to determine what grades they serve and how many students will be in each grade. Accordingly, public charter schools come in all sizes and many serve a different set of grades than a district public elementary, middle, or secondary school. Whether you plan to serve a few grades or a complete K-12 program, and whether you plan to have no growth or rapid growth in subsequent years, you should be able to provide a coherent rationale for having made that choice.
In determining the focus of the educational academic program, consider the mission and goals of the public charter school, and contemplate how the specific curriculum and objectives and course outlines will help the school meet the mission and goals.
Academic Program, Standards, and Curriculum
Improved student achievement is the major focus of the academic program and services offered by the Charles County Public Schools, and the aim of public charter schools should be no different. Before approving any charter, the Board of Education will consider whether the public charter school plans to offer innovative teaching methods and curriculum approaches in order to improve student achievement, and whether there is consistency between the school’s mission, goals, curriculum, and student population to be served. In addition, the Board must ensure that the public charter school will comply with applicable regulations to meet the needs of Limited English Learning and special needs students in the school program. As part of the Application, please complete the following in as much detail as possible to assist the Board in its decision.
Student assessment is an essential component of the charter schools educational plan. Assessment confirms student progress, identifies areas of low and high achievement, and improves the accountability of the school. It begins with the teacher’s evaluation of student progress based on written class work, oral contributions, and homework. Such evaluations are important, but may be insufficient to assess long-term subject mastery. Formal assessments, integrated with the curriculum, will indicate overall achievement levels. Assessment results allow teachers to determine which students would benefit from additional help or additional challenge. Commitment to high academic standards for all students; well-developed assessment mechanisms and understanding of the state assessment requirements is essential to public charter school planning.
The Operators of the public charter school are legally responsible for all transactions of the public charter school. The Operators owe the duty to exercise reasonable care when making a decision as stewards of the organization. You should develop a policy on conflict of interest, including statements regarding full disclosure of connections to anyone doing business with the organization, must be included in the application.
The application must include a copy of the Articles of Incorporation (if applicable) and the Bylaws or other instruments affecting the management of the public charter school. A proposed charter school must have a federal tax ID number.
A stable, effective, and comprehensive school management model consistent with the mission is a key in clearly defining roles of the operators of the school and its interaction with staff. Appropriate teacher and parent input in school decision-making is crucial as well. A well-developed, viable administrative management structure is important in establishing a public charter school.
Student Policies and Services
If the public charter school intends to waive any Board of Education policy, administrative regulations, and/or procedures relating to students, alternate policies must be provided with this application. The following list is not exhaustive, but provides examples of Board policies and regulations which must be complied with unless waived:
Student Discipline and the Code of Student Conduct
The public charter school must comply with all federal and state laws concerning student discipline. In addition, discipline policies and procedures must be the same as those stated in the Charles County Board of Education policies, as well as the Code of Student Conduct, unless otherwise modified in the Charter Agreement.
Employees of public charter schools are, by law, actually employees of the school system, and they have all of the rights and protections afforded them under Maryland law, as well as all of the responsibilities of a public school employee. Public charter staff are covered by the Negotiated Agreements, for example, and they must meet any state certification requirements for their positions.
As employees of the school system, public charter school staff are hired, assigned, and compensated by the school system. Thus, all personnel records are retained by the school system, and all employment laws are implemented and enforced by the school system. Employee background checks will be provided by the school system.
Nevertheless, the operators of a public charter school will be asked for input concerning the hiring and/or assignment of staff at the school, and school administrators will be responsible for ensuring that all school system policies concerning personnel are followed.
Audit and Reporting Requirements
The public charter school will be subject to regular audits and reporting requirements. Specific audits and reports will be negotiated as part of the Charter Agreement.
Parent Involvement and Community Participation
The most basic statement that can be made about parent and family involvement in education is that when it happens, everyone benefits. Research has conclusively shown that parental involvement and community participation in education benefits students, parents, teachers and schools, whether the program is at the elementary, middle, or high school level.
Prior to approving a charter, the Board of Education needs assurances that an adequate facility for the public charter school has been purchased, leased, or otherwise secured, or plans are well underway to do so. When acquiring a facility, there are many things that should be considered. All public schools, including public charter schools, must comply with all applicable health and safety laws, including any state and local building codes, and additionally any building used as a school must be able to physically accommodate all students (including disabled students), the programs, and the services offered. Thus, the selection of a facility should take into account the safety and accessibility of the facility and how effectively it can be used to educate students. Other considerations include cost for any needed renovation and/or retrofitting, rent or mortgage payments, and location.
Prior to approval of the charter, the Superintendent’s staff will need access to inspect all facilities to be used by the public charter school.
School Materials, Supplies, and Equipment
Obtaining a facility for a public charter school is only the first step in preparing a school for students. The school also needs to furnish the facility with necessary or desired materials and equipment, including both curriculum and non-curriculum related materials. Note that certain purchases you may make once the Charter Agreement has been signed may be subject to state procurement laws requiring the advertisement of bids and the proper handling of contract awards.
It is extremely important for the charter school to begin operation with an operating budget that is supported by sound financial planning. The operating budget for the charter application should be developed using local, state, and federal funds ONLY. Any other sources of income should be noted but not included in the basic operation of the school unless they represent secure sources of funding. Alternate income streams, including grants or private resources, do not represent secure sources until a guarantee is in hand.
The financial plan should include a two-year budget that is based on the projected enrollment for those two years. Budgeted allotments will change from year to year due to changes in the local and state per pupil allotments and in actual enrollment. The state funds schools based upon the number of students enrolled on September 30th of each school year, under guidelines established by law and through regulation. All students enrolled on a full-time basis are counted equally, except for special education and Limited English Learning students, which receive additional per pupil funding.
Federal categorical dollars such as Title I and the child nutrition (school lunch) program require that the school have information regarding household income. It is probably best to ask for this confidential information in the initial registration process. The questionnaire should include a statement of confidentiality and an explanation as to why this information is important to the child and the school.
State law requires that the Board disburse to the public charter school an amount of local, state, and federal money that is commensurate with the amount distributed on a per pupil basis to other public schools in the county. The specific amount of funding will be negotiated in the Charter Agreement.
Recruiting and Marketing Plan
A public charter school should have a plan to attract sufficient students to operate a school and make an effort to publicize the school to a broad audience in order to foster a student body representative of the local community. This would include recruitment efforts that seek to ensure a match between the school program and applicants’ educational and personal needs
Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness
Preparing students, staff, and parents to handle emergency situations is a vital part of any school safety plan. Charles County Public Schools requires that each school develop and maintain a school safety plan which is coordinated with the systemwide plan. School plans should include:
An emergency may prevent the safe evacuation of a school building and require steps to isolate students and faculty from danger by instituting a school lockdown. In an interior lockdown situation, all students are kept in classrooms or other designated locations that are away from the danger. Staff members are responsible for accounting for students and ensuring that no one leaves the safe area. School personnel will also secure building entrances, ensuring that no unauthorized individuals leave or enter the building. Exterior lockdown procedures may also be used to ensure the safety of students when an incident occurs in the community.
The specific actions taken by schools in any emergency situation, both district wide and at individual schools, will depend on the specifics of the situation, taking into account the level of threat and the advice of local, state, and federal agencies. The safety of students and staff members will be the primary concern in any decision.
As part of the Charter Agreement, student transportation will be negotiated between the Board and the public charter school. However, generally students are only transported to public school if they live within the attendance area zoned for that school, or if transportation services are required as part of a student’s special education services. Other students may be expected to provide their own means of transportation. Your public charter school will not have an actual attendance “zone”, since by law it must be opened to all students in Charles County, regardless of where they live within the county. Thus, transportation may be a major factor in determining the viability of your proposal.
Feel free to provide any additional information and documentation you think would be helpful to the Board in its decision whether or not to grant the charter.
Charles County Public Schools
P.O. Box 2770
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Name Social Sec. No.
Street_________________________ City_______________ State________ Zip______
Phone Date of Birth Place of Birth
I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR OR AFFIRM THAT THE FOREGOING INFORMATION PROVIDED BY ME IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE. I also agree to immediately notify the Charles County Public Schools should any information provided above change for any reason prior to the granting of the charter, and either for the duration the charter is in operation or as long as I remain actively involved in the operations of the public charter school, whichever is shorter. FURTHERMORE, SHOULD ANY PART OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN PROVIDED PROVE TO BE FALSE, or should I fail to notify the Charles County Public Schools of any changes as required above, I RECOGNIZE THAT IT SHALL BE JUST CAUSE FOR DENIAL OR REVOCATION OF the CHARTER BY THE CHARLES COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION. In addition, I hereby give permission to Charles County Public Schools to complete a background check and credit check on me.
NAME OF SCHOOL: _____________________________________ Public Charter School
Authorized Agent (please print) Authorized Agent Signature Date
This document will be used to determine if an application is complete. Please check off each requirement as completed and included in the Formal Application. Any required section not complete, including items left blank or unanswered or missing attachments and appendices, will result in an application being deemed INCOMPLETE. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the Board.
Insert the page number where each item listed below will be found within the Formal Application.
Senate Bill 75
SENATE BILL 75
Unofficial Copy 2003 Regular Session
-- Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs/Ways and Means --
Introduced by Senators Dyson, Hollinger, Colburn, DeGrange, Frosh,
Giannetti, Harris, Hooper, Kittleman, Lawlah, Mooney, and Stone
Read and Examined by Proofreaders:
Sealed with the Great Seal and presented to the Governor, for his approval this
_____ day of ____________ at ____________________ o’clock, _____M.
2 SENATE BILL 75
3 SENATE BILL 75
LIST OF SOME CHARTER SCHOOL RESOURCES ON WEB
Maryland State Department of Education –
Board of Education of Charles County, Maryland
Charter School Policy
COMMUNITY (Series 1000) Policy Number
Public Charter Schools 1950
In keeping with the Board of Education’s interest in providing varied innovative and instructional programs and recognizing that, under certain conditions, a non-traditional program may provide alternative educational opportunities for students, a charter school may be established in Charles County. By allowing charter schools, the Board intends to provide parents and students an alternative means within the existing public school system for additional innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of students.
“Public Charter School” means a public school that:
General Guidelines 1953
Any public charter school created under this policy operates under the authority of the Board. The public charter school must abide by the provisions of all laws, policies, and regulations governing other public schools in Charles County, except as otherwise provided in policy or state law.
The primary public chartering authority for the granting of a charter in Charles County is the Board of Education. The secondary public chartering authority for the granting of a charter is the State Board of Education. The State Board may assume chartering authority for a restructured school in accordance with state law.
An application to establish a public charter school may be submitted to the Board by:
Under state law, the Board may not grant a charter to:
Employees Assigned to a Public Charter School 1954
A member of the professional staff assigned to a public charter school shall hold the appropriate Maryland certification.
Employees assigned to a public charter school are Charles County Public Schools employees and shall have the same rights and responsibilities that all other Charles County Public Schools employees have.
Existing employee organizations and the public charter school may mutually agree to negotiate amendments to an existing agreement to address the needs of the particular public charter school.
Employees assigned to a public charter school shall be evaluated in a manner that is consistent with state law and applicable Board policies and regulations.
Public Charter School Facilities 1955
If the public charter school wishes to use existing Charles County Public Schools buildings, such use must be negotiated with the Board.
Policies and regulations related to facilities and the health and safety of students and staff will not be waived.
Student Tuition 1956
Students domiciled in Charles County will be eligible for admittance without tuition charge. Students not domiciled in Charles County will be eligible for admittance without tuition charge only as allowed by the school system for other non-domiciled students attending other schools in the school system.
The amount of any tuition charged will be calculated as if the student is attending any other public school in Charles County. The tuition will be paid to the Charles County Public Schools System. However, the funding provided by the school system to the charter school for that student will be calculated in the same manner as for all other students attending the charter school.
No eligible non-tuition-paying student may be denied admittance in the charter school in order to accept a tuition-paying student.
Student Admission 1957
The public charter school may not discriminate and must be in compliance with all federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
A random selection process must be used if the number of qualified applicants exceeds the predetermined student capacity in the public charter school.
Compliance with Laws, Policies, and Regulations 1958
A public charter school shall comply with the provisions of state law and regulations governing other public schools unless a waiver is granted by the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education is prohibited from granting a waiver from provisions of law or regulations relating to:
A public charter school shall comply with all policies and regulations of the Board unless the Board grants a waiver of a specific policy or regulation.
Students with special education identification will adhere to the normal IEP process. Specific additional resources allocated to a student, via the approved IEP, will remain with the student going to the public charter school.
Criminal background checks shall be required as dictated by other Board policies and regulations, and applicable state law.
A charter may not be granted to a school whose operation would be inconsistent with any public policy initiative, court order, or federal improvement plan governing special education that is applicable to Maryland.
The Superintendent shall ensure that prior to opening a public charter school the operators of the school are informed of and address the human, fiscal, and organizational capacity needed to fulfill the school's responsibilities related to children with disabilities.
The State Board shall provide technical assistance to the operators of a public charter school to help the school meet the requirements of federal and state laws, including 20 U.S.C. §1400, et seq 6 and §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794.
Evaluation of a Public Charter School 1959
The public charter school shall be evaluated based on student achievement, fiscal management, and other criteria pursuant to its approved application and the terms and conditions of its charter.
Revocation of a Charter 1960
The Board may place a public charter school on probationary status to allow the implementation of a remedial plan, pending a decision to revoke the school's charter.
The Board of Education may revoke a public charter school’s charter for the following reasons:
Upon revocation, personnel and students shall be reassigned pursuant to Board policy and procedure.
Upon revocation, resources provided by the school system shall remain under the control of the Board.
Reporting Requirements 1961
An annual report on each public charter school will be presented to the Board, including:
Public charter schools shall comply with all federal, state, and local reporting requirements, unless waived.
The Board of Education may require financial, programmatic, or compliance audits consistent with federal, state, and local law and procedures.
Funding, Materials, and Grants 1963
The Board of Education will annually determine a funding allocation that includes the per pupil allocation for public charter schools that is commensurate with the per pupil amount disbursed to other schools in the county.
The Board or the State Board of Education may give surplus educational materials, supplies, furniture, and other equipment to a public charter school.
An approved public charter school may seek and receive other grants through local, state, or federal government sources or private sources without a reduction in its fair share allocation, unless other provisions are included in the charter.
The charter shall include evidence of appropriate property and casualty insurance.
Public Charter School Application Process 1965
An applicant to operate a public charter school shall submit an application to the Board in accordance with the procedures established by the Board.
Prior to the submission of a completed application the applicant shall confer with the Superintendent or designee. The applicant, at a minimum, shall provide plans for addressing each of the components required for the formal application. The Superintendent or designee may provide advice and technical assistance as the formal application is finalized.
Applications shall include, but not be limited to, the following components:
Timeline for Non-Restructured School Applications 1966
For non-restructured schools, within 120 days of the receipt of a completed and required application for a public charter school (on a form provided by the Superintendent), the Board shall render a decision whether or not to grant the charter.
Timeline for Restructured School Applications 1967
Within 30 days of receipt of a completed and required application for creating a charter for a school that has been identified as meeting the conditions of restructuring (on a form provided by the Superintendent), the Board shall render a decision whether or not to grant the charter. The Board may apply to the State Board of Education for an extension of up to 15 days from this 30-day time limit. If an extension is not granted, and 30 days have elapsed, the State Board of Education may become a chartering authority. If an extension has been granted, and 45 days have elapsed, the State Board of Education may become a chartering authority.
Appeal Process for Charter Denials 1968
If the Board denies an application to establish a public charter school, the applicant may appeal the decision to the State Board of Education in accordance with §4-205(c) of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland. By law, the State Board shall render a decision within 120 days of the filing of an appeal under this section.
If the Board denies an application to establish a public charter school and the State Board of Education reverses that decision, the State Board of Education may direct the Board to grant a charter and shall mediate with the Board and the applicant to implement the charter.
The Superintendent may adopt regulations to implement this policy.
Effective Date 1970
This policy shall become effective on November 1, 2003.
Title 9 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, known as the “Maryland Public Charter School Program”.