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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Accountability

Charter School Renewal

Considerations for Charter School Renewal

This memorandum documents key considerations related to accountability decisions for charter schools, including decisions to not renew or to revoke schools' charters. These considerations are not new; they have been developed and employed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) for the past several years.

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Considerations for Charter School Renewal Memo

Application for Renewal of a Public Charter School

According to the Charter School Regulations (603 CMR 1.00), a school may apply for renewal of its charter anytime from March 1 of its third year of operation to August 1 before the fifth and final year of its charter. The application process culminates with a Board of Education vote regarding the school's renewal. Renewal of a public charter school is based on affirmative evidence in three areas:

  • the success of the academic program,
  • the viability of the organization,
  • the faithfulness to the terms of the charter.

A fourth area is addressed in the renewal application regarding the school's capacity and plans for the term of the next charter.

The application for renewal of its charter is the school's opportunity to present evidence that demonstrates success in the three areas of charter school accountability. In short, it is the school's explanation of why the Board of Education should renew the school's charter. The application should provide affirmative, credible evidence of the school's success in each of the three accountability areas, as well as compelling information about the school's plans for the future. The application should address what steps have already been taken to improve any areas of weakness, as well as strategies for improvement that are likely to be effective during the next charter term. Schools should view this as an opportunity to advocate for themselves, provide deeper analysis of student academic achievement, underline successes, explain past troubles, and preempt questions that might arise during the renewal process.

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Application for Renewal of a Public School Charter

Renewal Inspection Protocol and Renewal Inspection Report Template

This protocol provides information about the Massachusetts public charter school renewal site visit process to a wide range of stakeholders in public charter schools. Individuals who participate as team members on the renewal site visits and public charter schools going through renewal can draw practical knowledge on how to prepare for and successfully implement renewal site visits. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education depends upon this protocol to describe the process used by evaluators to gather and analyze school performance data that will be considered when determining renewal or non-renewal of a public charter school. Parents and the general public may turn to this protocol for an explanation of one component of the greater accountability system that monitors public charter school performance over the five-year life of every charter.

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Renewal Inspection Protocol (Revised July 2015)
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Renewal Inspection Report Template (Revised September 2015)


Last Updated: Jun 16, 2016
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