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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Proposed change to the Charter Amendment and Notification Guidelines — Feedback Requested

To:Charter School Leaders and Board Chairs
From:Alyssa Hopkins, School Development Manager, Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Date:May 26, 2017

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The Charter Amendment and Notification Guidelines (Guidelines) provide and clarify guidance to charter schools about the kinds of changes, as defined in 603 CMR 1.10, that require approval from the Commissioner and/or the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Guidelines are revised on an annual basis by the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign to ensure clear and informative instructions related to the processes for requesting charter amendments as well as changes that require notification to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) rather than an amendment.

As outlined in the current Guidelines, charter school boards of trustees may submit charter amendments subject to Commissioner approval throughout the calendar year. Requests to increase enrollment, change grade span, and/or change charter region require the approval of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The deadline for the submission of these requests remains August 1. The Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign proposes to create a specific timeline for submission of requests subject to Commissioner approval to maximize efficiencies for boards of trustees as well as the Department.

The changes are as follows:

Type of Amendment Subject to Commissioner Approval Proposed Timeline for Submission
School nameFebruary 1 –May 1
MissionFebruary 1 –May 1
Governance/leadership structureFebruary 1–May 1
Educational programs, curriculum models, or whole school designsFebruary 1 –May 1
Bylaws [Horace Mann and Commonwealth]February 1 –May 1
ScheduleFebruary 1 –May 1
Accountability planFebruary 1 –May 1
Expulsion policyFebruary 1 –May 1
Location of facility [change in municipality]February 1 –May 1
Enrollment policy and application for admissionFebruary 1 –October 1
Horace Mann amendments

[Amendments subject to school committee approval are provided an extended window]

February 1 –October 1
Membership of the board of trustees [All schools]Any time

In the case of extraordinary circumstances, the Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign will consider review of amendments subject to Commissioner approval outside of the indicated time periods on an as needed basis.

We welcome any questions or comments on the proposed timeline for submission of charter amendment requests subject to Commissioner approval. We would appreciate it if you could provide feedback by June 7, 2017. We anticipate implementing these changes beginning in 2017-2018 school year. We anticipate posting a finalized update of the Amendment Guidelines on our website by June 9, 2017.

If you have any questions or wish to provide feedback please contact Alyssa Hopkins at ahopkins@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3219.

Thank you.



Last Updated: May 26, 2017
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