Policies and Procedures Handbook
Created by the Resource Center
Contact the
Last Updated: 9/27/2012
Garrett County Board of Education
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550

Application for a Public Charter School


Purpose:  To provide parents and students who reside in Garrett County an alternative means within the existing public school system for additional innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of students. 

Persons interested in creating a Public Charter School should express their interest in writing to the Garrett County Superintendent of Schools.   This written expression of interest should include contact information, projected grade levels to be served, and general needs to be addressed by the public charter school.   The superintendent will then assign staff to meet with the applicants and explain the process.   The flow chart on page 2 of this procedure is provided to guide applicants through the process and to assist in compliance with important timelines.

All applications for a public charter school and operation thereof must be in compliance with Garrett County Board of Education Policy 939.  Applications must address in outline and narrative format the components listed on pages 3 – 6 of this procedure.   Applications must be submitted between October 15 and November 1.  (Example:  If a public charter school is to be opened for the 2013-14 school year the public charter school application must be filed by between the dates of October 15 and November 1, 2012.) 

The Maryland Public Charter School Law permits the conversion of an existing public school to a public charter school.  In addition to complying with Garrett County Board of Education Policy 939 and all other aspects of this procedure, applicants interested in such a conversion must provide documentation that 85% of parents with children attending the school are in agreement with the conversion and that 85% of the certified staff currently assigned to the school are also in agreement.

Source:  Maryland Public Charter Schools Model Policy and Resources Guide

Draft July 2003


Applications must address the following components in an outline and narrative format.

I.    Executive Summary 

      A.    An overview of the needs to be addressed by the public charter school.

      B.    A description of the program to be implemented, which includes any special or specific focus of the program.


II.   Management and Administrative Structure 

A.   The legal entity and/or corporate structure of the public charter school applicant.

B.   The roles, responsibilities, and functions of the charter school’s governing boards.

C.   The administrative practices.

D.   The school management model.

E.   An organizational chart of the public charter school.

F.   An administrative staffing plan

G.  Job descriptions for all staff members—administrative, instructional, and clerical.

H.   The procedures for outreach to the community, including public information procedures.


III.  Education Program 

A.   The program’s mission, philosophy, and goals.

B.   The education levels to be offered, i.e., elementary, middle, secondary, or combination.

C.   Any special focus areas of the school program.

D.   The curriculum and instructional methods.

E.   The anticipated educational outcomes to be achieved.

F.   The informal and formal procedures for assessing school performance and student achievement.

G.  The extended day programs or supplemental programs to be offered.

H.   The ratio of students to teachers and/or average class size.

I.    Any extra-curricular activities, both on and off campus.

J.   The availability and use of appropriate technology.

K.   The provision of library and media resources. 


IV.  Student Performance Accountability 

A.   The method for reporting student performance and progress.

B.   The reporting of the data from state assessments and student performance.

C.   The strategies for meeting local performance standards.

D.   The procedures for determining student promotion and graduation requirements.


V.   Student Affairs 

A.   The school’s enrollment catchment area.

B.   The procedures that will be used to recruit students from the school system.

C.   The lottery system to be utilized, as appropriate, for student enrollment decisions.

D.   The policies related to the admission, attendance, and withdrawal of students.

E.   The school’s non-discriminatory practices.

F.   The involvement of parents and community members in the life and governance of the charter school.

G.  The process that will be used to provide orientation opportunities for students, parents, staff, and the community.

H.   The plans that will be employed to disseminate information to parents and the general public. 


VI.  Special Populations

A.   The provisions for students with disabilities and their conformance to IDEA and Section 504.

B.   The provisions for English Language Learners.


VII. Transportation 

A.   The projection of student transportation needs.

B.   The funding required to support any contracts or agreements for the provision of transportation services to students.

C.   The delineation of bus routes, including pickup and drop-off plans.

VIII. Facilities 

A.   The identification and location of the site (if know at the time of the application).

B.   The identification and location of the site pending approval of the application.

C.   The building site plan and appropriate floor plans.

D.   The building’s gross and net square footages.

E.   The proposed utilization of the building’s space.

F.   The inclusion of building inspection reports.

G.  The condition of the building systems and materials.

H.   The compliance with applicable building and occupancy codes.

I.    The compliance with all safety and health codes.

J.   The compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

K.   The identification and elimination of hazardous materials.

L.   The purchase of casualty insurance.

M.  The verification of facility acquisition and/or lease. 

N.   The compliance with all planning and zoning regulations.

O.  Any plans for site redevelopment, new construction or renovation, and estimated costs for their completion.

P.   A schedule for the occupancy of the building.

Q.  The plans for the provision of building security, maintenance, and custodial services. 


IX.  Qualifications for Professional/Support Personnel

A.   Job descriptions for all staff providing direct service to students.

B.   The qualifications and certification of teachers and other professional staff.

C.   The documentation of fingerprinting and criminal background checks for all staff and volunteers.

D.   The inclusion of resumes for all professional staff.

E.   The evaluation and accountability system that will be employed for all personnel. 


X.   Student Support Services 

A.   The written policies and procedures for providing student support services.

B.   The procedures for the collection and maintenance of student enrollment and attendance data.

C.   The compliance with compulsory attendance regulations.

D.   The length of the student instructional day.

E.   The tuition policy for nonresident students.

F.   The policy for student withdrawals and dismissal.

G.  The policy for the promotion and/or retention of students.

H.   The discipline procedures used with specific reference to suspensions, expulsions, and any alternative consequences employed.

I.    The requirements for student records and forms.

J.   The standards and procedures for ensuring student and family confidentiality.

K.   The emergency plans for the school and procedures for student safety.

L.   The policies implemented for the health and safety of students and staff.

M.  Health services provided for students.

N.   The compliance with mandatory immunizations, as defined in COMAR.

O.  The provision of food services to the students. 


XI.  Regulations and Legal Considerations

A.   The inclusion of all assurances forms as mandated by local and state requirements.

B.   The process for an annual review and the compliance with all reporting requirements.

C.   The documentation that appropriate civil liability insurance has been obtained.

D.   The documentation that appropriate general liability insurance has been purchased. 

E.   The explication of a plan to maintain compliance with all state and federal education program regulations and requirements.

F.   An explanation of the procedures that will be used for the maintenance and distribution of student records.

G.  The documentation that appropriate licenses to operate have been obtained. 


XII. Professional and Support Staff Services 

A.   The procedures used for personnel recruitment.

B.   The policies followed for employment.

C.   The employee salary scales and benefit packages.

D.   The provision for employee collective bargaining.

E.   The articulation of employee performance standards and assessment.

F.   The provision of tenure and other related employee matters.

G.  The use of professional development plans.

H.   The procedures used to govern employee relationships and staff discipline.

I.    The policy followed for granting leave to school personnel.

J.   The procedures used for the resolution of grievances, conflicts, and disputes.

K.   The documentation of non-discriminatory practices in the recruitment, employment, discipline, promotion, and evaluation of professional and support staff. 


XIII. Budget and Finance

A.   The provision of appropriate financial support for the initial planning, set-up, and pre-opening expenses associated with the formation of the public charter school.

B.   The presentation of a start-up budget.

C.   An annual plan for the distribution of state, local, and federal funds.

D.   The inclusion of a capital budget.

E.   A plan for the financing of the physical plant/facility.

F.   The presentation of an annual operating budget for the duration of the charter agreement.

G.  A delineation of anticipated sources of funding.

H.   The procedures that will be followed relative to financial management and the accounting system that will be used.

I.    A discussion of annual cash flow projections.

J.   The procedures that will be employed for periodic financial/budget reviews.

K.   The provisions for financial audits by school system personnel.

L.   The procedures to be used for the supervision and inventory control of materials, equipment, and supplies.

M.  An explanation of any planned annual fundraising programs. 


XIV. Application Review Process

A.   The review process will be comprised of five committees and be focused on categories including; Education Plan, Operating Plan, Facilities Plan, Business Plan, and Founders.

B.   Recognizing the complexity of school operation, each committee will address the topics with the applicant related to their category. In some cases topics may span more than one category.

C.   Each committee will have a chairperson who will lead the evaluation process by involving appropriate individuals deemed to have expert knowledge in the topics supporting their category. The Superintendent will name each chairperson and approve the make-up of each committee.

D.   The Assistant Superintendent will serve as point of contact who will work directly with applicant and committee chairs to facilitate the process in accordance with timeline.

E.   When all committees have completed the review of the application, committee chairs will meet and collectively score the application based on a rubric. Then each committee chair will provide in writing to the Superintendent his/her recommendation on behalf of the committee.

F.   An executive summary complete with each committee’s recommendation, will be advanced to the Superintendent for the Superintendent’s review.

F.   The Superintendent will make his/her recommendation to the board. The board will then vote in a public meeting to accept or reject his/her recommendation.

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School-Community Relations 939.1 DDF, BEM
Adopted 10/14/03

Revised 12/13/05 BEM, SW, 09/11/12