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Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 1.00:
Charter Schools

Section:
1.01:
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1.02: Definitions

As used in 603 CMR 1.00, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, terms shall have the following meanings:

Accountability Plan: A charter school creates an Accountability plan by the end of its first year of operation in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department. An Accountability Plan articulates the goals the school has set to measure its success.

Administrator: Any individual duly authorized by a charter school's board of trustees to manage the programs and operations of the charter school, or a network of schools, in accordance with its charter as well as federal and state laws and regulations.

Application Cycle: The period beginning with the availability of application information for charter schools and extending through the receipt of final charter school applications for review, ending no later than the following February when the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education makes final decisions on awarding new charters. The various stages of the application cycle occur in accordance with the schedule established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Board: The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or a person duly authorized by the Board.

Board of Trustees: Public agents authorized by the state to supervise and oversee a charter school or a network of charter schools. The boards of trustees shall be considered public employers for purposes of tort liability under M.G.L. c. 258. Boards of trustees of Commonwealth charter schools shall be considered public employers for collective bargaining purposes under M.G.L. c. 150E. In the case of Horace Mann charter schools, the school committee shall be considered the public employer for purposes of collective bargaining under M.G.L. c. 150E. A board of trustees may be authorized to hold more than one charter.

Campus: The location at which a charter school educates students. A charter school may have multiple locations under one charter.

Charter: A license issued by the Board under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, and 603 CMR 1.00, allowing the grantee to operate a charter school for a period of five years.

Charter Applicant: As defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 89(d), a charter applicant shall include but is not limited to: (a) a non-profit business or corporate entity; (b) two or more certified teachers; or (c) ten or more parents/guardians; provided, however, that for profit business or corporate entities shall be prohibited from applying for a charter. The charter school application may be filed in conjunction with a college, university, museum, or other similar non-profit entity, or any combination.

Charter School: A public school operated under a charter granted by the Board and refers to both Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools unless otherwise specified. A charter school is managed by a board of trustees and operates independent of any school committee. A Commonwealth charter school is considered a local education agency for all purposes. A Horace Mann charter school is a school or part of a school that operates under a charter approved and granted pursuant to 603 CMR 1.04. A Horace Mann charter school is considered a local education agency except for purposes of state aid, certain state and federal grant programs, collective bargaining, and any other purposes where such designation would conflict with law or regulation.

Commissioner: The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education or the Commissioner's designee.

Department: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

District: A city, town, or regional school district.

Memorandum of Understanding: A written agreement or agreements between or among a Horace Mann charter school, the school committee of the district in which the charter school is located, and the collective bargaining unit for the district that, at a minimum, defines any modifications of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s), services, and facilities provided by the district to the charter school, and funding of the charter school by the district The Memorandum of Understanding is a material term of the charter. The charter school must submit the Memorandum of Understanding to the Department for approval.

Network: Multiple charter schools overseen by a single board of trustees. Each charter school is granted its own charter.

Proven Provider: A Proven Provider is:

(a) two or more persons who had primary or significant responsibility serving, for at least five years, in a leadership role in a school or similar program that has a record of academic success and organizational viability;
(b) a non-profit education management organization or non-profit charter management organization, in operation for at least five years, that has a record of academic success and organizational viability;
(c) the board of trustees of an existing charter school that has a record of academic success and organizational viability; or
(d) an education management organization, charter management organization, or school support organization that has a record of academic success and organizational viability in operating or starting public schools with which an applicant proposes to contract.

Qualifications for Proven Providers are described in 603 CMR 1.04(4).

Recruitment and Retention Plan: A charter school's written plan to recruit and retain diverse students under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, and 603 CMR 1.00. For the purposes of a Recruitment and Retention plan, retention shall be defined as the charter school's ability to maintain enrollment of its students with low turnover and limited attrition.

Regional Charter School: A charter school with a charter designating it as "regional" is required to give preference in enrollment to students residing in a specified region containing more than one district.

Sending District: A Massachusetts city, town, or regional school district in which a charter school student resides and where the student would otherwise attend a public school. If a charter school has a residential component, the sending district is the city, town, or regional school district in which the parent or legal guardian of the charter school student resides or, if no parent or legal guardian can be identified, the school district in which the student last attended school.

Sibling: Persons who have a common parent, either biologically or legally through adoption.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 69, §§ 1J and 1K, as amended by St. 2010, c. 12, § 3; c. 71, § 38G.



Last Updated: September 24, 2015
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