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New School Application for schools interested in opening August, 2014

Introduction to the Charter School Institute

The CSI New School Application The supporting documents men-





Charter School Institute shall be to foster highquality public schools

tioned in this section of the application can be found on the CSI website at

choices offered through


Institute charter schools





academic content and

The first step in applying for

shall provide to its home

the submission. Failure to

high academic perfor-

a charter school contract is

district Board of Education

provide the district with

mance in a safe envi-

to submit an Executive Sum-

and Accountability Commit-

notice of the application

ronment and on par

mary as set forth in the 2013

tee a complete electronic

will result in denial of the

with the highest per-

Call for Applications. The

version of the application,

application by CSI.

forming schools, includ-

New School Application is

amendment, or supplement.

ing particularly schools

intended for applicants who

for at-risk students.

wish to apply for CSI authori-

The applicant shall provide

filed when the Institute re-

zation as a new school. It is

to the Institute proof that it

ceives the application either

strongly recommended that

has given such notice to the

in hard copy or electronical-

An application is considered

applicants use the 2013 New

Board of Educa-

The Charter Schools



Act was adopted in Col-

and consult the CSI Services


document while drafting their


1993. The




ly. Within 15 days after receiving


countability Committee


All application materials


application, CSI shall determine

General Assembly con-


The Charter

the school dis-

must be submitted by

sidered several alterna-

School Institute Board re-

trict in which the

August 14th, 2013.



serves the right to request

proposed school


posals before adopting

additional information of the

is to be located.


the Charter School In-

charter school applicant dur-

Such proof may consist of a

Specified in section 22-30.5



ing the application or inter-



-509(1) and is therefore

2004. CSI authorized

view processes, at its discre-

hand written receipt or other

complete. If the application

two charter schools in




is not complete, CSI shall








application satthe


from the recipient that writ-

notify the applicant within

total of 25 schools in its



ten notification was provid-

the 15 day period and pro-


must be submitted to the

ed. The Board of Education

vide a list of the information

Institute on or before


and Accountability Commit-

required to complete the

than 11,500 students in

gust 14th, 2013. Within five

tee may each comment on

application. The applicant


days of the date the applica-

the application, amendment

has 15 days after the date it

tion or any supplement ma-

or supplement to the Insti-

receives the notice to pro-

terials are submitted to the

tute, in writing, within 30


institute, the Applicant

days of receiving notice of

mation to CSI for review.

2005 and now has a


throughout with






Who May Apply An application may be submitted by one or more individuals, or by a nonprofit, governmental, or other entity or organization. For The Institute is not required to

accept any additional infor-

Applicants will be asked to

take action on the institute

mation the applicant provides

make a presentation to the

charter application if the appli-

that the Institute does not re-

CSI Board during a public

cant does not provide the re-

quest. Upon receipt of a com-

hearing scheduled for Octo-

quired information within the 15

plete application, and upon

ber 8,2013.

day period. CSI may request

sufficient answers to CSI re-

dates and times will be coor-




dinated with the applicant

the review period and provide

mation, the CSI Board, in a

upon receipt of the completed

reasonable time for the appli-

public hearing, will rule on the


cant to respond. The Institute

application on November 12,

may, but is not required to,






Any additional

A successful application should reflect the following components:

2. A comprehensive and research-based curriculum and assessment program designed to hold all students to high standards, including a plan to meet the differentiated needs of all students.

3. A clear plan for evaluating pupil performance across the curriculum, aligned with state performance standards, school performance goals, and accreditation requirements.

4. A plan for recruiting and hiring a strong and compatible leader.

geographically located in districts which have retained exclusive chartering authority, notice of the CSI application must be provided by the applicant to the district. A list of districts with their chartering authority status can be ac-

Essential Elements of a Quality Application 1. A demonstrated understanding of the population the school intends to serve.

new charter schools

5. A strong, knowledgeable, diverse, and capable board of governance or leadership team committed to best practices in school governance, business operations, and financial management.

6. A balanced budget and financial plan including revenues and expenditures complying with state and federal accounting and reporting requirements that demonstrates diligence in financial practice and alignment to other components of the application.

7. Multiple viable school facility options with a clear needs assessment for space utilization.

cessed via this link:

http:// cdechart/download/ ECA_2012.pdf

Private schools and current non-charter public schools may not apply to CSI through this process.

Who reviews the application?

Timeline of Events The table below outlines the application process steps that occur during the New School Cycle

Several members of CSI staff review the application, including representatives from all primary areas of the application components. In addition to CSI staff reviewing the application,



with external consultants who possess applicable expertise to review applications.

How often will the applicant meet with CSI? The




meet with CSI staff to review the process, timelines, and requirements. A representative of the review team will also attend and participate in a required geographic community meeting. There will be an applicant interview with the review team, which will allow the applicant to provide additional clarification or information to the review team. Additionally, the applicant will present to the CSI Board in a public hearing. All of these events will occur prior to the staff



Board decision. CSI will work with the applicant to arrange these dates.

What if the applicant did not submit a Letter of Intent or Executive Summary? If the applicant did not submit a

Writing the Application

Letter of Intent to Apply, please include with your application a

The standard application is divided into 9 primary application components, plus addenda, if applicable. It is important to remember that each of these components may require upfront training and education to meet the quality standard expected by the Institute and the State of Colorado. The proposal must be typed and supplied in both paper format (two copies in 3-ring binders) and in

electronic format to CSI. Number all pages within each section. Each section should adhere to the page limits indicated in the content pages of this application.

application, as well as a distinct and separate file for each individual application section. All of these may be placed into a single zipped file, flash drive, or folder for submission.

copy of this document and Ex-

Each of the 9 primary sections of the paper formant must be separated by labeled tab and begin on a separate page. The electronic format must include one file that contains all sections of the

To confirm that you have reviewed your application for completeness, the Application Component Checklist contained within this document must be signed and submitted along with the application.


ecutive Summary. This form with instruction can be found on the CSI website via the following link: Charter_School_Institute/ Prospective_Schools

If you have provided this information to the Institute already, the Institute will ensure a copy of these documents is included in your application review. If

Contact Us

information is not aligned, or has since changed since your

CSI staff is happy to supply applicants with additional information, clarification, and direction toward resources up until the application is submitted to CSI. Please contact CSI at 303.866.3299 or

initial submission, the Institute will request an updated copy.

Please note, these documents

Possible Resources Websites: /

help inform additional application requirements, such as necessary addenda.

Content of the New School Application Maximum page numbers are indicated in the parentheses adjacent to each content area. A. Vision and Mission (3 pages) 1. The vision will articulate what the school hopes to be. The mission should explain how the school will reach that goal.

B. Evidence of Need & Support (15 pages) 1. Include information about the proposed charter school’s student body, including the intended students’ educational needs and demographics (racial/cultural, socioeconomic, special needs, and ELL). The application, in its entirety, should reflect an understanding of the intended student population. 2. Provide a description of the programmatic offerings currently available to the target population that support the need for the proposed school. 3. Detail the type of broad outreach the founders conducted to make the student population and their families aware of the proposed charter school. This should include future outreach plans if the charter school is approved. 4. Detail the approximate number of students expressing an interest in the proposed school. This information should be disaggregated in a manner showing demographic information about prospective students. 5. If there are any existing or anticipated partnerships or networking relationships, provide an explanation of their role in development, as well as the planned resources or agreements that have been discussed or formalized. 6. Include information on community members, leaders, and parents who publicly support the proposed school and their role in the development

of the school. 7. Include a description of the efforts made to distribute information about the school, including opportunities for community involvement. Evidence may be included as attachments.

C. Leadership (5 pages) 1. Provide a detailed description of the recruiting, hiring, selection process, and timeline for identifying the school leader. 2. Detail the profile of your school’s ideal leader, including skills, qualifications, and characteristics. 3. Provide a job description and board evaluation process for the head of school.

D. Education Program (30 pages) 1. Provide a rationale for selecting the chosen model, including research-based evidence that supports the effectiveness of the selected model with the target population. 2. Describe the core content areas, including the curriculum and instructional strategies that are supported by research matching needs of the student population for the proposed school. 3. Provide an explanation of how the curriculum is either already aligned to state model content standards or will be aligned within the first year of school operation including a timeline and process for monitoring progress. 4. Include an explanation or plan for how the curriculum is or will be aligned vertically and horizontally for all grades the school will serve. 5. Describe the process and methods that will be

used to differentiate instruction based on identified student needs. 6. Discuss the use of supplemental curricula for electives or “special” courses that is thorough and based on state model content standards when available. 7. Detail the plans for supplemental programming (summer school, extracurricular activities, psychosocial programming, remediation and intervention). 8. Include a description of the organizational structure that allows for full implementation of the curriculum. 9. Include information about how the school calendar and schedule will comply with statutory requirements. 10. Describe the plan for selecting and engaging in professional development activities. 11. Include the process for staff evaluation.

E. Serving Students with Special Needs (15 pages) 1. Include the school policy for a Response to Intervention (RtI) or child study process that meets all legal requirements. 2. Detail plans to meet the unique needs of students with Individualized Education Plans (for special education), 504 Plans, Advanced Learning Plans (for gifted/talented), Health Plans and English Language Learners. Include information on plans for staffing, identification, documentation, assessment, progress monitoring, adaptation, and alignment with the budget.

3. Provide research-based evidence that supports the chosen strategies for interventions and support materials selected.

F. Goals, Objectives & Pupil Evaluation (20 pages) 1. Use the baseline targets template to provide academic goals aligning with state and Institute standards, as described in the Colorado School Performance Framework and CSI Performance Frameworks. 2. Provide a rationale for how the goals and objectives of the program were determined, that include alignment with the school’s vision and mission, and are based on reliable methods to measure progress along state, CSI, and school expectations. 3. Describe the purpose and frequency of assessments used. These selections must meet requirements of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act), Individual Learning Plans (ILPs), and federal requirements, such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 4. Describe the school’s data management plan to include staff roles and responsibilities, the Student Information System (SIS) and data warehouse to be used, and indicate its alignment with the budget. 5. Detail the plan to monitor progress towards meeting these goals, including how the school will collect, analyze, triangulate, manage, and use data on an ongoing basis, particularly to inform

Content of the New School Application Maximum page numbers are indicated in the parentheses adjacent to each content area. professional development and instruction. 

Provide a description of the procedures for taking corrective action in the event that pupil performance falls below the goals and objectives outlined in the application, including timeline, responsible person, and changes as appropriate. Explain how and when student data and school progress will be communicated to parents and the broader community.

percent reserve (in addition to the TABOR reserve) that the school can use for emergency purposes or as a long-term reserve.

Include a line item for independent financial audit of the school’s finances annually.

Include a list of planned services to be contracted to outside providers.

H. Governance & Operations (30 pages) 

Provide a description of the governance and operation of the school, including the nature and extent of parental, professional educator, and community involvement in the governance and operation of the proposed Institute charter school.

Attach the following:

G. Budget & Finance (10 pages) 

Include a five-year budget, a cash flow projection for the first year of operation, minimum enrollment needed for solvency, and adequate staffing. Applications must use the CSI budget template ( The budget should reflect an understanding of specific statutory requirements including separation of the general fund, Title funds and grants, Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) contributions, and a three percent TABOR reserve (Colo. Const. Art. X, Sect. 20) each year as well. The budget narrative reflects the financial policies and procedures and anticipated management plan that will ensure checks and balances in cash disbursement. The budget narrative details funding for facilities and FFE acquisition, the curriculum, professional development plan, and anticipated growth of the school. The proposed budget balances each year and includes a five-year plan to reach at least a five

Governing board bylaws

Articles of Incorporation

Organizational chart explaining the relationship between the board, the lead administrator, and committees

Resumes of applicant team members and/ or founding board members

Draft of initial board policies

Draft of the Board Member Agreement

Draft of Conflicts of Interest and Grievance Process and Dispute Resolution board policies

Provide an explanation and timeline of the proposed transition from an applicant team to the founding governing board including the identification of individuals making the transition. Further,

detail how the transition plan will provide for a shift of responsibilities and how the founder’s original vision and mission will be brought to fruition.

Provide a plan for ongoing board training and capacity building is included in a board calendar.

I. Facilities (5 pages)

Include a proposed policy detailing how the charter school intends to select students for enrollment including, but not limited to, proposed timeline, description of wait list or lottery process, any enrollment criteria, or pre- or post- enrollment testing.

Provide an explanation of how the community will receive information about the formation of a new charter school and any upcoming lottery or enrollment deadline.

Provide a facility needs assessment including number of classrooms, bathrooms, and offices needed; minimum size of each room; library, outdoor, and common space needed; overall size; cost per square foot; zoning and occupancy requirements; and how each facility aligns with the facility needs assessment is included in the narrative.

Include proposed locations for the school that are given based on school design and intended population with an explanation of prospective school sites and assistance to find them.

Arrange legal review by an experienced attorney of all contract negotiations and terms before final approval by the governing authority.

Include a proposed policy for student discipline, expulsion, or suspension that meets state law.

Provide an explanation of how the school will provide the expelled student with alternative education, if applicable.

Except as otherwise provided in C.R.S.22-30.5509 (r), a plan should be provided to settle any disputes between a charter school and its authorizer, concerning governing policy provisions of the charter contract, to include a reasonable written notice which gives a brief description of the matter in dispute and the scope of the disagreement between parties.

Include a list of anticipated requests for waivers from state statutes including rationale for requesting the waiver, replacement policy or explanation of intent, expected financial and implementation impact, and how the waiver will be evaluated.

Include a list of the types of insurance for which the charter school will contract and their fiscal impact.

Application Components Checklist To confirm that you have reviewed your application for completeness, this checklist MUST be signed, dated, and submitted along with your application materials.




The mission of the Charter School Institute shall be to foster high-quality public school choices offered through Institute schools that deliver rigorous academic content and high academic performance in a safe environment and on par with the highest performing schools, including particularly schools for at-risk students.

1580 Logan St, Suite 210 Denver, Colorado 80203 303.866.3299 ph 303.866.2530 fax

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