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. Applications must be received by the superintendent on or before October 1 prior to the year in which the charter school desires to open. An original plus 12 copies of the application must be submitted. An application fee of $100 shall be submitted with the application. Applicants must follow the application format provided below.
A. Mission Statement
Describe the mission of the proposed charter school, including any specific area of concentration (i.e. math and science, technology, or the arts). This statement should include the core philosophy or purpose of the school as well as the target student population, including whether the school intends to increase the opportunities of educationally at-risk students. As required by law, the mission must be consistent with the Standards of Quality, and by reference the Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Learning.
B. Goals and Educational Objectives
Describe the goals and educational objectives of the proposed charter school. This section should include broad student achievement goals. The objectives should be expressed as a concrete, measurable statement of what students should know and be able to do at various levels of education and identify practices that will improve teaching and enhance learning. As required by law, the objectives and goals must meet or exceed the Standards of Learning.
C. Evidence of Support
Provide tangible evidence of support for the formation of the charter school from an adequate number of parents, teachers, pupils, or any combination thereof.
D. Statement of Need
Describe the need for the charter school and how that need was determined.
E. Description of the Education, Student Performance Standards, and Curriculum
Describe the curriculum and the methods of instruction, including teaching materials and any innovative techniques to be used. List the student performance standards and how they were established. This section should also provide the school calendar. As required by law, the elements in this section must meet or exceed applicable Standards of Quality, and by reference the Standards of Accreditation and Standards of Learning.
F. Pupil Evaluation: Assessments, Timeline and Corrective Action
Describe the plan for evaluating student performance, including the types of assessments that will be used to measure student progress toward achieving the stated student performance standards and educational goals. Include a timeline for the achievement of the stated standards and goals and a procedure for corrective action if student performance falls below the stated standards and goals. This section should demonstrate how the charter school will be accountable to the school board, parents, the community, and the state.
G. Admissions Process
Describe the student admission policy including the lottery (random) process to be used if there are more applicants than spaces available. If applicable, the admission policy may be tailored to meet the specific mission and goals of the charter school. Any admission process must be consistent with federal and state laws, regulations, and constitutions regarding discrimination and any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect in the school division.
This section should include a timeframe for registering and admitting students, and how the school will seek a cross section of the community’s children, including at-risk students.
H. Financial Plan: Evidence of Economical Soundness, Proposed Budget and Annual Audit
Provide a budget and any other information which illustrates that 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, three 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.
I. Displacement Plan: Pupils and Employees
Describe the displacement plan for students and employees who will not attend or be employed in the charter school if the charter school is formed from an existing school and for the placement of students and employees upon termination or revocation of the charter. This section should also include a 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 or dissolved for any reason.
J. Management and Operation
Describe the management and operation of the charter school, including the nature and extent of parental, professional education, and community involvement. List the names and addresses 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 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.
K. Employee Relations
Explain the relationship that will exist between the charter school and its employees, including evidence that the terms and conditions of employment have been addressed with affected employees.
L. Legal Liability and Insurance Coverage
Describe the arrangement between the charter school and the school board regarding their respective legal liability and applicable insurance coverage. Insurance coverage should include health, property and casualty (automobile liability, general liability, property, officer, and employee liability) and workers’ compensation.
Describe the plan for transporting students to and from school, including arrangements made with the school board, private providers, or parents.
Assure that the charter school is non-sectarian and will not charge tuition by including a statement to that effect.
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.
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.
Q. Applicant Information
List the name, address, phone number, and qualifications of the applicant(s) and designate an applicant contact person.
Describe the facility (ies) to be used for the charter school or the plan for the acquisition of a facility. 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.
S. 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.
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.
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 services and their estimated costs that will be provided by others.
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 approximately eight-12 months to implement the proposal.
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.
Adopted by School Board: October 3, 2000