327P Appendix A - Charter School Application


FREDERICK COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATION


Any person, group or organization may submit an application for the formation of a charter school.  Applicants must follow state law and School Board policy regarding charter schools.  A complete Frederick County Public Schools Charter School Application (“Application”) consists of (i) the Applicant’s Virginia Public Charter School Application package submitted to the State Board of Education, (ii) the result of the State Board of Education’s review of the Applicant’s state application, and (iii) the Frederick County Public Schools Charter School Application prepared in accordance with Frederick County Public Schools Policy 327P, Instruction- Public Charter Schools.  However, charter school applications initiated by the School Board of Frederick County, Virginia, are not required to receive Board of Education review and comment prior to action by the School Board.

 

Applications must be received by the Superintendent or designee on or before September 1 prior to the year in which the charter school desires to open.  An original plus three copies of the application must be submitted.  An application fee of $1,000 shall be submitted with the application.  Applicants must follow the application addendum format provided below.

I.    Goals and Objectives; Educational Program
      Provide a statement of the goals and objectives of the proposed public charter   school.  The following components must be addressed:

A.     A description of the performance-based goals. To the extent possible, the application should include the academic performance indicators, measures and metrics that will guide the School Board’s evaluations of the charter school and should include, at minimum:

      • student academic proficiency;
      • student academic growth;
      • academic gaps in both proficiency and growth between major student subgroups;
      • attendance;
      • recurrent enrollment from year to year; 
      • and postsecondary readiness (for high schools). 

B.     A description of the measurable educational objectives to be achieved by the public charter school. 

C.     A description of the pupil performance standards and curriculum, which must meet or exceed any applicable Virginia Standards of Quality. 

D.     A description of how the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and the corresponding SOL Curriculum Framework will be used as the foundation for curricula to be implemented for each grade or course in the public charter school. Include within the description how the goals and objectives of the curricula will meet or exceed the Virginia Standards of Learning, address student performance standards related to state and federal assessment standards and include measurable outcomes. 

E.      A description of any internal and external assessment to be used to measure pupil progress towards achievement of the school’s pupil performance standards, in addition to the SOL assessments prescribed by Va. Code         § 22.1-253.13:3. 

F.      A description of the public charter school assessment plan to obtain student performance data, which includes how the data will be used to monitor and improve achievement and how program effectiveness will be                     measured over a specified period of time. Also provide benchmark data on how student achievement will be measured and how these data will be established and documented in the first year of operation and how the data         will be measured over each year of the term of the charter. The benchmark data should address targets for student improvement to be met in each year. 

G.     The timeline for achievement of pupil performance standards, in accordance with the Virginia SOL. 

H.     An explanation of the corrective actions to be taken in the event that pupil performance at the public charter school falls below the standards outlined in the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. 

I.      Information regarding the minimum and maximum enrollment per grade for each year during the term of the charter contract, as well as class size and structure for each grade served by the public charter school. 

J.       Information regarding the proposed calendar and a sample daily schedule, including any plans to open prior to Labor Day. 

K.      A description of plans for identifying and successfully serving students with disabilities, English Learners, academically at-risk students and gifted and talented students which include the extent of the involvement of the School Board in providing such services. 

L.      If applicable, the following components should be addressed:

      • any plans to utilize virtual learning in the educational program, including identification of the virtual learning source and a description of how virtual learning will be used and an estimate of how many students are expected to participate.
      • a general description of any alternative accreditation plans, in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131-420), that the public charter school will request the School Board to submit to the Virginia Board of Education for approval.
      • a general description of any alternative accreditation plan for serving students with disabilities, in accordance with the Virginia Board of Education’s Regulations
      • Governing Special Education Programs For Children With Disabilities in Virginia that the public charter school will request the School Board to submit to the Virginia Board of Education for approval.
II.    Evidence of Support
       Provide evidence that an adequate number of parents, teachers, pupils or any combination thereof, supports the formation of a public charter school. The following components must be addressed:
      • Information and materials indicating how parents, the community and other stakeholders were involved in supporting the application for the public charter school.
      • Tangible evidence of support for the public charter school from parents, teachers, students and residents, or any combination thereof, including but not limited to information regarding the number of persons and organizations involved in the process and petitions related to the establishment of the charter school. 
      • A description of how parental involvement will be used to support the education needs of the students, the school’s mission and philosophy and its educational focus.
III.    Statement of Need
        Describe the need for a public charter school in the school division or relevant part of the school division. The following components must be addressed:
      • A statement of the need for a public charter school that describes the targeted school population to be served and the reasons for locating the school in its proposed location.
      • An explanation of why the public charter school is being formed. (Is the school being formed at the requests of parents or community organizations? How was the need determined? What data were examined as part of the needs assessment? Briefly describe the need and include a summary of the quantitative data.)
      • An explanation of why a public charter school is an appropriate vehicle to address the identified need.
IV.    Applicant Information
        List the name, address, phone number and qualifications of the applicant(s) and designate an applicant contact person.

V.    Facility
       Describe the facility(ies) to be used for the charter school or the plan for the acquisition of a facility.  The description should address:

      • how the facility provides suitable instructional space;
      • provisions for library services;
      • provisions for the safe administration and storage of student records;
      • provisions for the safe administration and storage of student medications;
      • the applicant’s plan for complying with building and fire codes and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
      • information on emergency evacuation plans;
      • information regarding site location and preparation;
      • the structure of operation and maintenance services; and
      • financial arrangements for the facility, including any lease arrangements with the School Board or other entities and whether any debt will be incurred.
      • If the facility is not property of the school division, then the following must be provided: (1) a certificate of occupancy; (2) a health inspection certificate; (3) an annual fire certificate of inspection; (4) proof of compliance with federal, state and local health and safety laws and regulations; and (5) a copy of the lease or contract under which the charter school will use the facility.  If the facility is property of the school division, then describe plans, if any, for alteration or renovation.

VI.    Enrollment Lottery Process
        Describe the enrollment process that is consistent with all federal and state laws and regulations and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination that are applicable to public schools and with any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the school division or, in the case of a regional public charter school, in effect for any of the relevant school divisions. The following components must be addressed: 

      • A description of the lottery process to be used for the establishment of a waiting list for students for whom space is not available.
      • A description of a tailored admission policy that meets the specific mission or focus of the public charter school, if applicable.
      • A timeline for when the lottery process will begin for the first academic year of enrollment and when parents will be notified of the outcome of the lottery process.
      • A description of any enrollment-related policies and procedures that address special situations, such as the enrollment of siblings and children of faculty and founders and the enrollment of nonresident students, if applicable. 
      • An explanation of how the applicant will ensure that, consistent with the public charter school’s mission and purpose, community outreach has been undertaken so that special populations are aware of the formation of the public charter school and that enrollment is open to all students residing in the school division where the public charter school is located or in school divisions participating in a regional charter school.
      • A description of how the transfer of student records and other program information to and from the public charter school will be accomplished.
      • A description of how students seeking enrollment after the school year begins will be accommodated.
      • In the case of the conversion of an existing public school, describe how students who attend the school and the siblings of such students shall be given the opportunity to enroll in advance of the lottery process. 
VII.    Employment Terms and Conditions
          Provide an explanation of the relationship that will exist between the proposed public charter school and its employees, including evidence that the terms and conditions of employment have been addressed with affected employees. At the discretion of the School Board, charter school personnel may be employees of the School Board, or Boards, granting the charter. Any personnel not employed by the School Board shall remain subject to the                     provisions of Va. Code §§ 22.1-296.1, 22.1-296.2, and 22.1-296.4.  The following components must be addressed:
      • A plan that addresses the qualification of teachers and administrators at the public charter school, including compliance with state law and regulation regarding Virginia Board of Education licensing requirements.
      • A plan to provide high-quality professional develop programs.
      • Provisions for the evaluation of staff at regular intervals and in accordance with state law and regulation.
      • Provisions for a human resource policy for the public charter school that is consistent with state and federal law.
      • Notification to all school employees of the terms and conditions of employment.
VIII.    Transportation
           Describe how the public charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils. The following components must be addressed:

                A.    A description of how the transportation of students will be provided: 
      • by the local school division;
      • by the public charter school;
      • by the parent(s); or
      • though a combination of these options.
                B.    If transportation services will be provided by the public charter school, explain whether the school will contract for transportation with the School Board or with another entity or have its own means of transportation and indicate whether transportation will be provided to all students attending the school. 

                C.   A description of transportation services for students with disabilities in compliance with Va. Code § 22.1-221 and the Board of Education’s Regulations Governing Special Education Programs For Children With Disabilities in Virginia.

                 D.  A description of transportation services for students in foster care in compliance with federal law.

IX.    Residential Charter Schools
        If the application is for a residential charter school for at-risk students, the following components must be addressed:
A.     A description of the residential program to include:  
  • the educational program;
  • a facilities description to include grounds, dormitories and staffing;
  • a program for parental education and involvement;
  • a description of after-care initiatives;
  • the funding sources for the residential facility and other services provided;
  • any counseling and other social services to be provided and their coordination with current state and local initiatives; and
  • a description of enrichment activities available to students.

B.     A description of how the facility will be maintained including, but not limited to:

      •  custodial and regular maintenance services and
      •  security services to ensure the safety of students and staff.
X.        Services to be Provided by the School Board
            List the services and their estimated costs that the applicant wishes the School Board to provide; for example, food service, payroll or conducting criminal background checks. Also, list the services and their estimated costs that will be provided by others.

XI.      Timeline
           Provide a detailed timeline, identifying each step required to establish the charter school, including, but not limited to, staff hiring, location and purchase of materials, implementing the evaluation plan, obtaining necessary services, opening an appropriate facility and consulting with experts, if necessary. Please remember that, as with establishing Regional Vocational and Governor’s Schools, it will take at least 8-12 months to implement the proposal.

XII.     Health and Safety
          Describe the procedures the charter school will implement to ensure the health and safety of the students and employees, including how and if the management committee will conduct a state criminal record check on all employees; how the charter school will conduct fingerprinting and federal criminal record checks, if applicable; how the charter school will comply with the requirement to report child abuse; and how the charter school will comply with                           Occupational Safety & Health Act requirements.

XIII.    Indemnity
          Assure that the School Board will be defended, held harmless and indemnified against any claim, action, loss, damage, injury, liability, cost or expense of any kind as a result of the operation of the charter school or actions by its agents, employees, invitees or contractors 

XIV.     Renewal
           Assure that if the charter school wants to renew its contract, it shall apply at least six months prior to the expiration of the contract.

XV.    Displacement Plans:  Pupils and Employees 

                        A.    Describe the plan for the displacement of pupils, teachers and other employees who will not attend or be employed in the public charter school, in instances of the conversion of an existing public school to a public charter school, and for the placement of public charter school pupils, teachers and employees upon termination or revocation of the charter.

    The following components must be addressed:

      • Identification of a member of the school’s leadership who will serve as a single point of contact for all activities that may need to take place for the school to close, including but not limited to the transfer of students to another school, the management of student records and the settlement of financial obligations. 
      • A notification process to parents/guardians of students attending the school and teachers and administrators of the closure date. 
      • A notification process to parents/guardians of students attending the public charter school of alternative public school placements within a set time period from the date that the closure is announced. 
      • Provisions for ensuring that student records are provided to the parent/guardian or another school identified by the parent or guardian within a set time period. If the student transfers to another school division, provisions for the transfer of the student’s record to the school division to which the student transfers shall be made upon request of that school division. 
      • Notification to the School Board of a list of all students in the school and the names of the schools to which these students will transfer. 
      • A placement plan for school employees that details the assistance to be provided, if any, within a set period of time from the date of closure. For teachers and administrators, the plan of assistance should address finding employment with the school division where the public charter school is located or other public school divisions. 
      • A close-out plan related to financial obligations and audits, the termination of contracts and leases, and the sale and/or disposition of assets within a set period of time from the date of closure. The plan shall include the disposition of the school records and financial accounts upon closure.

     B.     Describe the plan for the placement of students and employees if the charter school facility is destroyed (e.g. by flood or fire), unable to be occupied for any reason.

XVI.    Management and Operation

Describe the management and operation of the charter school, including the nature and extent of parental, professional educator and community involvement.  List the names, addresses, and relevant experience of the proposed management committee.  This section should include (1) a detailed description of the relationship between the management committee and the local school board, including the charter school spokesperson (i.e. who is accountable to the school board); (2) how the charter school will be accountable to the public, including a plan for compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Public Records Act, and reporting requirements; (3) how the management committee is selected and its relationship to the teachers and administrators; (4) a description of the rules and procedures followed to arrive at policy and operational decisions; and (5) summaries of the job descriptions of key personnel, including the school leader/principal. 
The following components must also be addressed:
    • An explanation of how support services will be funded and delivered. These services include, but are not limited to food services, school health services, custodial services, extracurricular activities, and security services
    • An explanation of any partnership or contractual relationships (education management organization, food services, school health services, custodial services, security services, etc.) central to the school’s operations or mission, including information regarding the relationship of all contractors to the governing board of the public charter school, and information regarding how contractors and the employees of the contractors having direct contract with students will comply with Va. Code § 22.1-296.1.
    • Plans for recruiting and developing school leadership and staff. 
XVII.    Financial Plan: Evidence of Economical Soundness, Proposed Budget and Annual Audit
Provide a budget and any other information that illustrates the proposed charter school is economically sound for both the charter school and the school division.  Include detailed sources of revenue and expenditures for the proposed term of the charter (at most five years) and a description of the manner in which an annual audit of the financial and administrative operations of the charter school, including any services provided by the school division, will be conducted.  Anticipated gifts, grants or donations and a student fee schedule should be included.  The following components must also be included: (1) Proposed start-up and three-year budgets with clearly stated assumptions and information regarding projected revenues and expenditures; (2) Proposed start-up and three-year cash flow projections with clearly stated assumptions and indications of short- and long-term sources of revenue; and (3) A proposed funding agreement with the School Board including information regarding anticipated local, state and federal per-pupil-amounts to be received and any information pertaining to the maintenance of facilities. In accordance with Va. Code § 22.1-212.14, the per pupil funding provided to the charter school will be negotiated in the charter agreement and will be commensurate with the average school-based costs of educating the students in the existing schools in the division or divisions unless the cost of operating the charter school is less than that average school-based cost. To the extent discussions have been held with the school division, please describe the outcome of those discussions. If there have been no discussions to date, please indicate the reason. 

XVIII.    Legal Liability and Insurance Coverage
            Describe the proposed arrangement between the charter school and the School Board regarding their respective legal liability and applicable insurance coverage including the types of insurance that will be obtained for the public charter school, its property, its employees, the charter school management committee and the School Board and its agents and the levels of insurance sought. Types of insurance include, but are not limited to, general liability; health; property; property and casualty (including vehicle coverage);  officer and employee liability; and workers’ compensation.

XIX.    Disclosures
Disclose ownership or financial interest in the public charter school by the charter applicant and the governing body, administrators, and other personnel of the proposed public charter school, and require that the applicant and the governing body, administrators, and other personnel of the public charter school shall have a continuing duty to disclose such interests during the term of the charter. The following components must be addressed:
      • A description of how the applicant and members of the management committee will disclose any ownership or financial interest.
      • Information regarding the frequency by which such disclosures will be made during the term of the charter.
      • A description of ownership or financial interest of the applicant and/or members of the management committee in the proposed charter school. This includes any relationships that parties may have with vendors performing services at the school.

XX.    Waivers
            Describe and justify any waiver from School Board policies and state regulations that the charter school requests. The Standards of Quality, and by reference the Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Learning, may not be waived. Please note that state law only allows waivers of policy and regulation; no waiver of state statutes or federal statutes or regulations is permitted.

XXI.    Discrimination
            Assure that the charter school will follow state and federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, or the need for special education services and shall be subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect in the school division.

XXII.    Assurance
            By signing and submitting this application for a public charter school, the applicant expressly assures the School Board that if the application is approved by the School Board, the school leadership of the public charter school will be retained on contract no later than 60 days prior to the opening date of the school.

XXIII.    Signatures
            The Applicant hereby certifies that the information and assurances contained within the Virginia Public Charter School Application submitted on behalf of the proposed charter school to the Virginia Board of Education and the information contained in this Public Charter School Application Addendum is correct. 

 

Name of Authorized Official:                                                     Title:

 

______________________________________        _________________________

 

Signature of Authorized Official:                                                Date:

 

______________________________________        __________________________

 

 

 

Adopted:          June 17, 2014

Amended:         January 6, 2015

Amended:         June 20, 2017

Amended:         April 17, 2018