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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Charter Developer Information

Information Sessions

2017-2018 Charter Developer Information Sessions Webinars

Are you interested in establishing a new charter school?

Join the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for an Information Session Webinar on how to apply for a Massachusetts public school charter. All sessions are held via Century Link Webinar. Instructions for joining the webinars will be sent to those who register.

Please include details about your proposed school (location, size, grade span and type of program) and why you are interested in opening a charter public school.

*These sessions are not intended for parents interested in enrolling children in a charter school. For enrollment inquires, contact 781-338-3227 or email charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

DateTime
November 2, 201712:00 pm to 1:30 pm
November 29, 201711:30 am to 1:00 pm
January 17, 201812:00 pm to 1:30 pm
February 14, 201811:30am to 1:00 pm
March 21, 201812:00 pm to 1:30 pm
April 25, 201812:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Please Register at 2017-2018 Charter Developer Information Sessions Webinars.

Apply to Open a Charter School (Standard)

Charter schools are public schools that are given the freedom to organize their activities around a core mission, curriculum, or teaching method and set their own budgets as well as manage their own staff. In return for this freedom, a charter school must demonstrate positive results within five years or lose its charter.

The Application for a Massachusetts Charter Public School: Proposed Commonwealth or Horace Mann Charter Schools is for use only by applicant groups who wish to form a charter school board of trustees and do not govern a current Massachusetts charter school. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) conducts a process that includes a prospectus and a final application phase, participation by internal and external reviewers for both phases, opportunities for written public comment and public hearings during the final application phase, as well as an interview with all final applicants.

Prospectuses and final applications are each reviewed against extensive criteria set forth in the charter statute, G.L. c. 71, § 89, and the charter school regulations, 603 CMR 1.04 and as further elaborated in the Application for a Massachusetts Charter Public School.

The objective of the charter application review process is to award charters to applicants who show the greatest probability of creating public schools of the highest quality.

Schedule for 2017-2018 Charter School Application and Review Process Timeline (Standard)

ActionDue Date
Letter of Intent DeadlineThursday, June 15, 2017 by 12:00 noon
Prospectus Deadline*Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon
Proven Provider Request Deadline (as applicable)Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon
Commissioner Invites Selected Applicant groups to Submit Final ApplicationSeptember 2017
Proven Provider Determination by Commissioner (as applicable)September 2017
Final Application Deadline*Wednesday, November 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon

* All Horace Mann charter applicants will be permitted to submit their signed Certification Statement up to 6 weeks after the prospectus deadline to accommodate school committee meeting schedules. For Horace Mann I and III applicants, the deadline for signed Certification Statements is Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. All other prospectus requirements for Horace Mann I and III applicants must be completed on or before the prospectus deadline of August 1 by 12:00 noon.

Horace Mann II applicants are encouraged to adhere to the standard schedule, but may submit a prospectus at any time. Applicants for Horace Mann II charter schools that choose not to adhere to the standard schedule are subject to the same review process as all other Horace Mann and Commonwealth applicants with the same approximate length of time for review of the prospectus and final application, a minimum of four months.

View HTML Page
Memorandum regarding the 2017-2018 Charter Application Process
Download Excel Document
District Information on Enrollment Projections for New Applications and Expansion Amendments
Download Word Document
Commonwealth and Horace Mann Charter School Application for New Operators 2017-2018
Download Excel Document
Five Year Budget and First Year Cash Flow Projection Template 2017-2018
Download Word Document
Applicant Questionnaire 2017-2018
Download Word Document
Instructions for Individual Candidates seeking Proven Provider 2017-2018
Download Word Document
Instructions for EMO/CMO/SSO seeking Proven Provider 2017-2018

Application Resources

Download Word Document
Required Elements for English Language Education Policies and Procedures
Download Word Document
Required Elements for Special Education Policies and Procedures
Download Word Document
Checklist for Board of Trustees Bylaws 2017
Download Word Document
Checklist for Enrollment Policy and Application for Admission 2017
Download Word Document
Draft Recruitment and Retention Plan for Applicant Use 2017
Download Word Document
Required Elements of Contracts for Educational Services for Applicant Use 2017
Download Word Document
Required and Recommended Elements of a Memorandum of Understanding (Horace Mann) (Final draft of the Memorandum of Understanding must be submitted at the final application stage.)

Apply to Open a Charter Public School (Current Board of Trustees)

The Application for a Massachusetts Commonwealth and Horace Mann Public Charter School for Current Boards of Trustees is for use only by current boards of trustees applying for additional charter(s). Current boards of trustees are exempt from submitting a prospectus but must still meet proven provider requirements, if applicable.

Boards of trustees must submit a complete final application for each proposed school in the network which addresses the criteria that is set forth in the charter statute, G.L. c. 71, § 89, and the charter school regulations, 603 CMR 1.04(3) and further elaborated in the Application for a Massachusetts Charter Public School for Current Boards of Trustees.

Boards of trustees that currently hold the charter(s) of school(s) that have undergone one successful renewal; are not presently under conditions or probation; are identified as Level 1 or Level 2, with school percentiles of 45 percent or higher under the Commonwealth's accountability system; and are identified as in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations are eligible to participate in the one stage cycle. Charter schools that do not meet all of these parameters may consult with the Department regarding their unique circumstances and eligibility. The final application review process for current boards of trustees is virtually identical to other categories of applicants.

Schedule for 2017-2018 Charter School Application and Review Process Timeline for Current Boards of Trustees

ActionDue Date
Letter of Intent DeadlineThursday, June 15, 2017 by 12:00 noon
Proven Provider Request Deadline (as applicable)Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon
Proven Provider Determination by Commissioner (as applicable)September 2017
Final Application DeadlineWednesday, November 1, 2017 by 12:00 noon

View HTML Page
Memorandum regarding the 2017-2018 Charter Application Process
Download Excel Document
District Information on Enrollment Projections for New Applications and Expansion Amendments
Download Word Document
Commonwealth and Horace Mann Charter School Application for Current Board of Trustees 2017-2018
Download Excel Document
Five Year Budget and First Year Cash Flow Projection Template 2017-2018
Download Word Document
Instructions for Current Board of Trustees seeking Proven Provider for New Charter 2016-2017

Application Resources

Download Word Document
Required Elements for English Language Education Policies and Procedures
Download Word Document
Required Elements for Special Education Policies and Procedures
Download Word Document
Checklist for Board of Trustees Bylaws 2017
Download Word Document
Checklist for Enrollment Policy and Application for Admission 2017
Download Word Document
Draft Recruitment and Retention Plan for Applicant Use 2017
Download Word Document
Required Elements of Contracts for Educational Services for Applicant Use 2017
Download Word Document
Required and Recommended Elements of a Memorandum of Understanding (Horace Mann)

Request for Qualified Reviewers to Participate in Charter Application Review Process

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) reaches out to highly qualified individuals in many different fields to join us in reviewing charter applications. Below is a brief synopsis to familiarize you with the application process as well as a volunteer form for you to complete and submit (along with a resume and/or biography) if you are interested in participating.

Why Serve on an Application Review?

Charter schools are at the cutting edge of education reform both in Massachusetts and nationally. Serving on a charter school application review is a unique opportunity to learn more about these public schools and to contribute to this important reform initiative. Your expertise will help make the charter school review process as robust and fair as possible and therefore more valuable to the schools and to the public.

Who Are We Looking For?

We seek volunteers with expertise in educational leadership, teaching, curriculum development, K-12 research, special education, English language development education, program evaluation, and non-profit governance. Administrators and teachers (from both charter and district schools), business people, educational researchers, and many others have served as excellent application reviewers in past. If you think your experience and professional expertise might be valuable in our review of charter schools, please contact us by completing and submitting the volunteer interest form below.

What Happens during the Charter Application Review Process?

The charter application review process has two phases - prospectus review and final application review. During the prospectus review stage, reviewers will be asked to read and comment on one or two 40-page prospectuses. Copies of prospectuses are distributed after submission on August 1, and reviewers use an online survey tool to record identified evidence based on specific criteria. Volunteers are required to submit their review on or before August 31. The Department will use the feedback from charter application reviewers to assist the Commissioner in determining which applicant groups will be invited to submit final charter applications in early November.

Volunteers who review final applications will be asked to read and comment on one or two final applications in November and December, as well as convene in early December at the Department in Malden to discuss the evidence provided within each application based on specific criteria. The questions raised by review panel participants serve as the basis of the applicant group interviews in early January. Application reviewers play an essential advisory role in the formulation of the Department's recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the charter authorizer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Download Word Document
Application Reviewer Volunteer Interest Form
Download Word Document
Application Reviewer Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form (required if invited to review)

Opening Procedures Handbook
A Guide for Boards of Trustees and Leaders of New Charter Schools

The Opening Procedures Handbook serves as the primary tool for boards of trustees and leaders of new charter schools as they progress through the Opening Procedures process. Successful completion of the Opening Procedures process, which is based on Massachusetts charter school law and regulations, as well as the laws applying to all public schools, provides new charter schools with an opportunity to demonstrate to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the public-at-large that it is fully prepared to open and serve public school students. The Handbook offers a strategy, timeline, and resources to support boards of trustees and school leaders to accomplish this goal.

Download Word Document
Opening Procedures Handbook


Last Updated: May 12, 2017
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