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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Board Governance and Charter Amendments

Board Governance

Notification and Amendments

Amendments of Board and School Policies, such as Bylaws and Enrollment Policy, and Mission-related Elements

Subject to Approval of the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

All amendments to board approved policies that require alignment to published Department guidance require provisional approval by the Department prior to Commissioner approval. Provisional approval ensures that all changes align to current Department guidance and requirements. Please refer to the table below to determine the staff member who will review and provide provisional approval to the type of document the school seeks to amend. Prior to submission, any specific questions regarding Department guidance or the review process should be directed to the individual named below. Please submit the draft document directly to the individual via email.

Preliminary approval is required for changes to:

Accountability Plan Patrick Buckwalter
Download Word Document
Accountability Plan Guidelines
Bylaws Alyssa Hopkins
Download Word Document
Criteria for Bylaws Checklist
Enrollment policy & application for admission Brenton Stewart
View HTML Page
Charter School Technical Advisory 16-3: Enrollment Processes and FAQ's
View HTML Page
Enrollment Policy and Practice Frequently Asked Questions
Download Word Document
Criteria for Enrollment Policy and Application for Admission Checklist
Expulsion policy Melissa Gordon
Download Word Document
Criteria for Expulsion Policy Checklist
Memorandum of understanding for Horace Mann charter schools Alyssa Hopkins
Download Word Document
Required and Recommended Elements of a Memorandum of Understanding

All other amendments to terms of the school's charter may be voted upon by the board and submitted directly to the Department via for Commissioner approval without consultation with the Department.

Consultation with Department staff is not required prior to submission for changes to:

  • School name;
  • Mission;
  • Governance or leadership structure;
  • Educational programs, curriculum models, or whole-school designs that are inconsistent with those specified in the school's charter;
  • Membership of the board of trustees;
  • Schedule (e.g. length of school year, school week, or school day); and
  • Location of facilities, if such change involves relocating or expanding to another municipality within the charter region.

If a school is proposing to permanently change its schedule, length of school year, school week, or school day), the school must also submit a completed School Schedule Template with the request.

Download Word Document
School Schedule Template

For information on how to complete an amendment request, please refer to the Amendment Guidelines below:

Download Word Document
Charter Amendment Guidelines

All amendment requests shall include a Charter Amendment Cover Sheet and a Charter Amendment Request Letter for Commissioner Approval. Charter Amendment Request Letters should briefly describe how the board came to decide to submit the charter amendment, why the amendment should be granted, and indicate specific concerns if the request is not granted, as applicable.

Templates for both documents can be found below.

Download Word Document
Charter Amendment Cover Sheet
Download Word Document
Template of Request Letter for Charter Amendment Subject to Commissioner Approval

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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