Participants, people contemplating a new charter school and learning about how to write a charter school application and all of the other nuances related to opening a new charter school, are overwhelmed with the amount of new information they're getting at this week's Boot Camp.
Some of the things discussed so far are:
* There are three state-approved assessments for the CO Basic Literacy Act: DRA 2, PALS and DIBELS.
* Use at-will employee agreements that specifically state the conditions cannot be amended without charter school board approval.
* A founding group becomes a "public entity" when their charter is approved and then are immediately subject to Open Meetings and Open Records laws.
* No personally identifiable prospective student information should be included in the charter school application.
* The application should include both district policies and state laws that the charter school plans to waive from.
* Parent contracts and "mandatory" parent volunteer hours cannot be enforced, with consequences. They're strictly voluntary.
* Every charter school application should articulate why the curriculum was selected to match the needs of the intended student population.
* Charter schools cannot give any priorities in the lottery as long as they're receiving the federal charter school grant. This means even priorities for Free and Reduced Lunch-qualifying students.
* An attorney should be consulted any time a charter school is considering expelling a student with an IEP (Special Ed. plan).
* Management companies typically take 8-12% for their services.
* CSI recommends the charter school board having money for an independent financial audit and legal counsel if they're using a management company.