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Proposed Addition to the Charter School Site Visit Reports - Feedback Requested

To:Charter School Leaders and Board Chairs
From:Claire Smithney, Coordinator of Accountability
Date:January 19, 2018


In conducting site visits, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is carrying out the requirements of the charter school regulations (603 CMR 1.00) which outline the ongoing review of charter schools. The resulting site visit reports, generated by the Department, are important components of the body of evidence used by the Commissioner and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) in making a renewal determination for each school.

While site visits and subsequent site visit reports are not intended to provide specific technical assistance or other advice to the school, the Department and other organizations already provide a number of resources that might be beneficial to schools. The Department plans to pilot the inclusion of Departmental and other resources from the attached resource memorandum in the appendices of site visits reports where schools receive below an "Exceeds" or "Meets" in any area of the Charter School Performance Criteria. Once we receive feedback on this memorandum, resources would be included in applicable site visit reports for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year. The entire memorandum would not be appended to site visit reports, only the relevant resources.

Massachusetts charter schools have autonomy in many areas, including their mission, curriculum, design elements, teaching methods, budgeting, and hiring. The resources are not meant to be prescriptive, nor is there an expectation that charter schools implement changes based on the resources. The resources are merely intended to more easily direct schools to information that may be helpful to effectively serve students. The Department will update the memorandum from time to time to ensure that the resources are relevant and current.

Prior to developing this memorandum, the Department sought input from a subset of school leaders to see if they believed adding resources to the site visit reports would be beneficial, and the feedback the Department received was positive. The Department is now seeking further feedback from the field on including applicable resources from the attached draft memorandum in future site visit reports. We welcome any questions or comments on the draft resource memo. We would appreciate it if you could provide feedback by February 2, 2018.

If you have any questions or wish to provide feedback please contact me at or 781-338-3213.

Thank you.


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Resource Memo

Last Updated: January 23, 2018
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