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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Access and Equity

Criteria 2: Access and Equity - Charter School Performance Criteria

The Charter School Performance Criteria (Criteria) are presented in the three guiding areas of charter school accountability defined in the current regulations, 603 CMR 1.00: faithfulness to charter, academic program success, and organizational viability.

There are ten (10) Criteria that define expected performance in the three guiding areas of charter school accountability: faithfulness to charter, academic program success, and organizational viability. The Department evaluates these criteria through the use of quantitative and/or qualitative data as well as affirmative evidence presented by the school, compiled over the course of the school's charter term. For more detailed information on the Criteria, select the Accountability tab to the left.

Criteria 2: Access and Equity is under the guiding area of faithfulness to charter in the Criteria. Criteria 2 defines the expectations for schools to ensure program access and equity for all students eligible to attend the school. The following links are a collection of laws and resources for schools to reference related to Criteria 2.

Annual Report: Recruitment and Retention Plans

Every charter school must submit a Recruitment and Retention Plan every year as part of the Annual Report. The plan must list deliberate, specific strategies the school will use to attract, enroll, and retain a student population that includes students who are:

  • Limited English Proficient,
  • Special education,
  • Low income (free lunch and reduced-price eligible, Economically disadvantaged),
  • Sub-proficient on the MCAS (or PARCC),
  • At risk of dropping out of school,
  • Have dropped out of school,
  • Any others who should be targeted to eliminate achievement gaps.

The Department has created tools to help schools create annual Recruitment and Retention Plans:

Charter Analysis and Review Tool (CHART)

CHART is designed to assist charter schools in monitoring progress toward the goal of enrolling a demographically comparable population. It is a tool that specifically helps schools formulate annual Recruitment and Retention Plans that include deliberate, specific strategies the school will use to attract, to enroll, and to retain a student population that is demographically comparable to similar grades in schools from which the charter school enrolls students. The tool provides multi-school, multi-year demographic comparison data in three categories: Enrollment percentages by subgroup, attrition percentages by grade level and subgroup, and student indicator statistics, including suspensions.

Compendium of Recruitment Strategies Download PDF Document  Download Word Document

The compendium of strategies was collected from both Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools recruitment and retention plans from across the state. These are samples of activities designed to increase applications and enrollment for students' in particular demographic groups.

Recruitment and Retention Webinar

The Department and the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association (MCPSA) presented a joint webinar on the purpose, successful practices, and suggestions around Recruitment and Retention Plans found in Annual Reports Download PDF Document.

Other Recruitment and Retention Resources:

Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools: A Toolkit for Charter School Leaders:
This toolkit is designed to help design and implement intentionally diverse charter schools. Leaders will learn how to: measure student diversity, intentionally recruit and retain students, ensure that diversity is supported and experienced at a variety of levels.



Last Updated: August 16, 2017
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