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HCPSS / POLICIES

Policy 10040 Implementation Procedures - Charter Schools

Implementation Procedures

I. Public Charter School Application Process

  1. The application process, overseen by the Superintendent/Designee, incorporates three phases:

    1. Pre-application.

    2. Submission of the Application to Form a Public Charter School within the Howard County Public School System (Application).

    3. Review and evaluation of the Application.

  2. The Superintendent/Designee will provide assistance throughout the public charter school application process in order to help ensure that all technical requirements of the application process are met.

  3. It is the responsibility of the applicant to meet the requirements of the application process.

II. Pre-Application

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will make the following available to persons interested in operating a public charter school:

    1. A Letter of Intent Form and Prospectus guidelines.

    2. The Application that includes directions for completion.

    3. Deadlines for submissions.

  2. Persons interested in operating a public charter school will submit to the Superintendent/Designee by the established deadline:

    1. A notarized Letter of Intent Form.

    2. A Prospectus (i.e., a concise description of the proposed public charter school and who is submitting the Application).

  3. The Superintendent/Designee will review the Letter of Intent Form and Prospectus and respond to the applicant within 30 calendar days. The Superintendent/Designee will accept a formal completed Application only from applicants who have submitted a Letter of Intent Form and Prospectus by the deadlines established by the HCPSS.

III. Submission of the Application

  1. Persons interested in operating a public charter school will submit the completed formal Application to the Board of Education of Howard County through the Superintendent/Designee by the established deadline.

  2. The Application provides detailed instructions that need to be followed by persons interested in operating a public charter school in Howard County to complete the Application. Various components of the Application include, but are not limited to:

    1. Education Plan – What students will achieve, how they will achieve it, and how the school will evaluate student performance.

    2. Organizational Plan – Management roles and responsibilities and organizational structure.

    3. Business Plan – Financial management, operational management, resource management, and pre-opening procedures.

  3. Waiver requests will be submitted with the Application and may be negotiated for inclusion in the Charter, pursuant to the following:

    1. Waivers regarding local policies and procedures will be submitted for approval by the Board of Education of Howard County.

    2. Waivers regarding policies of the state will be submitted for approval by the State Board of Education.

    3. Waivers may not be granted from laws or regulations relating to:

      1. Audit requirements.

      2. The measurement of student academic achievement, including all assessments required for other public schools and other assessments mutually agreed upon by the public chartering authority and the school.

      3. The health, safety, or civil rights of a student or an employee of the public charter school.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will make the operators of a public charter school aware of technical assistance available from the State Department of Education to help the school meet the requirements of federal and state law.

IV. Review and Evaluation of the Application

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will facilitate the review and evaluation, through a review/evaluation committee, of a completed formal Application submitted in accordance with established deadlines. Appropriate recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Education of Howard County for consideration.

  2. The review/evaluation committee will consist of various stakeholders, including each division of the HCPSS and community representatives, who will review and evaluate the sections of the Application that pertain to their area of expertise.

  3. At any point in the committee’s review and evaluation process of the Application, an interview may be scheduled with the applicant to ascertain capacity to fulfill stated intentions or to clarify aspects of the Application.

  4. Approval or denial of all completed formal applications submitted to the Board of Education of Howard County will occur within the established deadline in state law.

  5. An applicant may appeal an Application denial decision to the State Board of Education.

V. Funding, Expenses, and Material Resources

  1. A public charter school may seek and receive other grants through local, state, or federal government sources or private sources without a reduction in its “per student allocation” unless other provisions are included in the Charter.

  2. Surplus items that include educational materials, supplies, furniture, and other equipment may be given to a public charter school by the Board of Education of Howard County.

  3. A public charter school will immediately notify the Superintendent/Designee if at any time during the year it forecasts that the school may not be able to meet its financial obligations. The public charter school will provide the school system with the necessary details and will work with the school system in resolving the financial situation.

VI. Annual Review and Evaluation

The Superintendent/Designee will facilitate an annual evaluation of the public charter school, in order to assess student achievement, fiscal management, ethical integrity, and any other criteria pursuant to its Charter.

VII. Reporting Requirements

  1. Public charter schools will comply with all federal, state, and local reporting requirements, unless previously waived.

  2. The Charter School Governing Board will present an annual status report to the Board that will address student achievement, fiscal management, and any other criteria pursuant to its Charter.

VIII. Employees at a Public Charter School

  1. Employees at a public charter school are public school employees and have all rights and responsibilities as other HCPSS employees including being subject to all rules, regulations, and policies of the HCPSS.

  2. The Superintendent retains the authority to assign and transfer employees as the needs of the system require.

  3. Each member of the professional staff assigned to a public charter school will hold the appropriate Maryland certification.

  4. Employees at a public charter school are represented by the bargaining unit representative that represents other public school employees in similar job classifications and are entitled to the salaries, benefits, and working conditions in the existing negotiated agreement for their job classification.

  5. Employees at a public charter school will be evaluated in a manner consistent with state law and applicable policies and procedures of the Board of Education of Howard County and any applicable negotiated agreement provisions.

  6. Criminal background checks for all public charter school employees will be required as dictated by policies and procedures of the Board of Education of Howard County, and applicable state law.

  7. Amendments to existing bargaining unit agreements to address the particular needs of a public charter school may be negotiated among the charter school, the bargaining unit representative and the Board of Education of Howard County.

IX. Students’ Admission and Tuition

  1. Enrollment in a public charter school is subject to Policy 9000 Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment, and tuition may only be charged in accordance with that policy.

  2. A public charter school is open to all eligible students on a space available basis. If more students apply than can be accommodated, a lottery selection process will be used as specified in the Charter, consistent with state law.

X. Revocation of a Charter or Termination of a Public Charter School

  1. A public charter school may be placed on probationary status to allow the implementation of a remedial plan pending a decision to revoke the school’s Charter.

  2. A Charter of a public charter school may be revoked if the school fails to meet the terms of its Charter and/or:

    1. The school has failed to comply with the provisions of federal, state, or local law.

    2. The academic condition of the school is substantially deficient.

    3. The physical environment presents a safety or health risk to building occupants.

    4. The fiscal condition of the school is substantially deficient.

    5. The facility can no longer support the needs of the educational program.

    6. The school is not able to meet the needs of its students.

    7. The school is not able to maintain high levels of parent involvement.

    8. The school is not able to maintain the specified level of student enrollment.

  3. If the Charter School Governing Board intends to close the public charter school it will provide notice of its intent in accordance with its Charter.

  4. Employees and students of a public charter school that is closing will be reassigned pursuant to policies and procedures of the Board of Education of Howard County.

  5. Resources provided by the school system to a public charter school that is closing will remain under the supervision of the Board of Education of Howard County.

XI. History

ADOPTED: October 23, 2003

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED: May 8, 2014

REVISED: April 10, 2008, April 14, 2016

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2016