005.15.12 Ark. Code R. § 004 - District Conversion or Limited Public Charter School new Application

August 31 Deadline for conversion or limited charter letters of intent to be filed with the ADE.

October 31 Deadline for conversion or limited charter applications to be submitted with letter of support from the school board to the ADE.

January/February Tentative date for application submitted to the State Board of Education. (Pending hearing timelines.)

*Note - All information must be received (not postmarked) in the Charter School Office of the Arkansas Department of Education no later than 4:00 p.m. on the date of the deadline. Information received in the Charter School Office after 4:00 p.m. on the established date will not be processed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to strongly adhere to the charter application timeline. Please take into consideration the length of the time that may be required for your application to reach the Charter School Office, particularly when mailing your application. Should the deadline date fall on a weekend, all materials must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. the following Monday.

REQUIREMENTS FOR LETTER OF INTENT

To Apply For A District Conversion or Limited Public School Charter

Applicants for district conversion or limited public charter schools are required to send a one (1) page "Letter of Intent to Apply for a District Conversion or Limited Public School Charter" to the Arkansas Department of Education.

Submit the letter of intent via certified mail to the Department of Education at the following address no later than the close of the business day (4:00 p.m.) on August 31, in order for the application to be considered by the State Board of Education at a later date:

Arkansas Department of Education

Charter School Office

Four Capitol Mall, Room 302-B

Little Rock, AR 72201

Required format to be followed for the letter of intent:

1. The letter of intent is to consist of only one (1) page;
2. Identify the school district which intends to apply for a charter;
3. Include the contact person's name, full address, daytime telephone number, FAX number, and e-mail address;
4. Give the name of the school which intends to apply for a charter
5. Give the name of the proposed charter school;
6. State whether the proposed charter school will be a district conversion public charter school or limited public charter school;
7. Describe the location of the proposed district conversion or limited public charter school;
8. Identify the grade levels of students to be served by the district conversion or limited public charter school;
9. Provide proposed student enrollment cap for district conversion or limited public charter school; and
10. Provide a one-paragraph description of the purpose or special emphasis of the proposed school.

The superintendent of the school district for the proposed district conversion or limited public charter school should sign the letter.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

APPLICATION FOR A DISTRICT CONVERSION OR LIMITED

PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL

A. GENERAL INFORMATION (Please type.)

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B. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

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C. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND CONTENTS: The total number of pages prepared by the applicant in response to Section D. of this application form plus any attachments used to support those responses cannot exceed 30 pages. Any attachments required by the application form are not to be included in the count for the total number of pages and are indicated by the word "required" in the list of contents below. Do not use dividers or separators noting the various parts of the application. All pages and attachments should be numbered and attachments clearly referred to in the narrative text.

The narrative responses should be given in the order requested. Brevity and clarity are strongly encouraged. The responses and all supporting attachments should be prepared/ typed on white, 8 ½" x 11" paper (copied on one side only) suitable for reproduction. The type should be in 12 point font or larger and page margins of at least one inch on all sides with page numbers clearly marked.

List of Contents:

The following is a list for the contents of the final application to be submitted to the State Board of Education. The contents must be arranged in the order listed below:

1. Sections A and B of the application form with all information provided (required)
2. Responses to all inquiries in Section D. in the prescribed order and numbered accordingly
3. Applicant's attachments (if any) supporting narrative responses
4. A copy of the school's calendar and daily schedule (required)
5. Proposed two-year budget using worksheet provided (required)
6. Proposed salary schedule for both administrative and teaching positions (required)
7. Evidence of parental and community support (required)
8. Signed Statement of Assurances Form (required)

Submit the original copy of the application with original pages for all attachments including original signatures on any attachment requiring a signature. DO NOT STAPLE THE ORIGINAL APPLICATION PAGES OR ANY OF THE ORIGINAL ATTACHMENTS.

In addition to the original unbound copy of the application and all attachments, please submit: Twelve (12) one sided bound/stapled copies (no notebooks); One (1) CD copy of the application in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Please ensure that the information saved on the CD can be accessed. CD should be labeled with the name of the proposed school.

All application materials must be received by the Charter School Office at the Arkansas Department of Education by 4:00 p.m. on October 31. Please make sure that applications being submitted by United States Postal Service are done so in a timely manner as to be received in the Charter School Office by the deadline. Facsimile transmissions (FAX) will not be accepted, and any application received after 4:00 p.m. on October 31 will not be forwarded to the State Board of Education for consideration. Applications should be mailed or hand-delivered to:

Arkansas Department of Education

Charter School Office

Four Capitol Mall, Room 302-B

Little Rock, AR 72201

D. REQUIRED INFORMATION

The applicant for the proposed district conversion or limited public charter, if approved by the State Board of Education, agrees to operate the educational program described below in accordance with the provisions described within this document, Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-23-101 et seq., the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Charter Schools, and the attached assurances. This is a narrative description of various components of the proposed charter school, and the responses to the following inquiries including any supporting attachment pages must be limited to no more than 30 pages.

Application Standards:

1. Describe the results of the public hearing, which was held for the purpose of assessing support for the establishment of this district conversion or limited public charter school. Provide verification that notice of the public hearing was distributed to the community, certified school personnel, and parents of all students enrolled in the public schools in the community to be served by the proposed charter school. Also, include verification that notice of the public hearing was published on a weekly basis for at least three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the school district.
2. Give the mission statement of the proposed district conversion or limited public charter school.
3. Describe the educational need for the school.
4. Describe the educational program to be offered by the district conversion or limited public charter school.
5. List the specific measurable goals in reading, reading comprehension, mathematics, and mathematic reasoning based on the state mandated assessments, and any other assessment tools if used, for improving student academic achievement for each year of the public charter schools' initial five (5) year period.
6. Describe the process that will be used to develop and align the curriculum with the Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks. Also describe plans to implement the curriculum requirements of the Common Core Standards in accordance with the timeframe adopted by the State Board of Education.
7. Describe the enrollment criteria and the student selection process. Include a statement of what student selection method will be utilized in the event that more students apply for admission to the district conversion or limited public charter school than can be accommodated under the terms of the charter.
8. Summarize the job descriptions of the school director and other key personnel. Specify the qualifications to be met by professional employees (administrators, teachers, counselors, etc.) of the program. List the types of administrative positions, teaching positions, and support positions and how many of each.
9. Describe the manner in which the school will make provisions for the following student services:
(A) Guidance Program
(B) Health Services
(C) Media Center
(D) Transportation
(E) Food Services
(F) Special Education
(G) Alternative Education/ALE
(H) Gifted and Talented Program

Please note that under federal guidelines students with disabilities shall be provided specific services and all aspects of IDEA apply. The public charter school cannot waive the responsibility of providing services for students with disabilities.

10. Provide a statement affirming that the charter school will participate in the Arkansas Public School Computer Network, as required by state statute or by State Board of Education rule, for reporting education and financial data, including grants or private donations received by the school.
11. Describe the facilities to be used. Give the present use of the facility and the use for the past three (3) years. Include a statement that the facility will comply with all requirements for accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and all other state and federal laws. If the facility does not currently meet these requirements, provide a list of items that will need to be addressed to bring the facility into compliance.

Include a statement that the facility will comply with all requirements for accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and all other state and federal laws. The facility will be inspected by staff of the ADE or its designee prior to any State Board of Education action on the application. If the facility does not currently meet these requirements, provide a list of items that will need to be addressed to bring the facility into compliance. Also include a statement of permissible uses for the facility from the local zoning authority, and whether there are any alcohol sales within 1000 feet of the facility.

12. List the provisions of Title 6 of the Arkansas Code Annotated (Education Code), Arkansas Department of Education rules, and the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts that the district conversion public charter school seeks to be exempted from in order to meet the goals of the school. Identify the specific statute, rule, or standard requested to be waived by title and section number if applicable. Provide a brief description of the rationale for each waiver requested.

If the application is for a limited public charter school, the only waivers which may be requested are those waivers listed in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-601. This limitation applies only to limited public charter schools.

13. Describe the potential impact of the proposed district conversion or limited public charter school on the efforts of a public school district or districts to comply with court orders and statutory obligations to create and maintain a unitary system of desegregated public schools.
14. Describe how the parents or guardians of the enrolled students will be involved with the school and its educational program.

Standards 15, 16, & 17 apply only to applications for limited public charter schools. They do not apply to applications for district conversion public charter schools.

15. If the application is for a limited public charter school, describe how the licensed employees of the school will be involved in:
A. Developing and implementing a school improvement plan that addresses how the school will improve student learning and meet the state education goals; and
B. Identifying performance criteria.
16. If the application is for a limited public charter school, describe how the school will enhance teacher performance and improve employee salaries, professional opportunities, and professional growth experiences.
17. If the application is for a limited public charter school, describe the alternative comprehensive staffing model by summarizing the job descriptions of the instructional personnel. Specifically the qualifications and compensation for each position. Identify the number of administrative positions, teaching positions, and support positions.

Attachments must be included in the following order:

* Applicant's attachments (if any) supporting narrative responses

* A copy of the school's calendar and daily schedule (required)

* Proposed two-year budget using worksheet as provided (required)

* Proposed salary schedule for both administrative and teaching positions (required)

* Evidence of parental and community support (required)

* Signed Statement of Assurances Form (required)

Charter School Budget Information

The Budget Worksheet has been developed for application purposes. It is intended to challenge the applicant to consider the many expenses incurred in the operation of a school. It is formatted to expedite the application process. Budget revenues must equal or exceed expenses for each school year.

Upon approval of the District Conversion or Limited Public Charter School, the ADE Public School Finance and Administrative Support Section will provide technical assistance. At that time, a detailed budget will be developed specific to the terms of the Charter. That budget will also meet the data reporting requirements of the Arkansas Public School Computer Network.

The Budget Worksheet is to be used as an estimate of the Revenues and Expenditures associated with the operation of the District Conversion or Limited Public Charter School. The Expenditures section is a comprehensive overview of the normal expenses incurred in the operation of a school.

The following definitions are provided to assist the applicant in the completion of the Budget Worksheet:

The "Number of Students" is the number of students expected to be enrolled in the district conversion or limited public charter school. The description of student numbers including addition of students by year and or grade must clearly be defined within the application.

All public schools in Arkansas receive "foundation funding," a set amount of money per student based upon average daily membership, the amount determined necessary to provide all students with an adequate education. Please note the funding amounts are based on the 2012-2013 amounts, as the General Assembly has not yet determined the funding amounts for future years.

Number of Positions, both certified and non-certified should be stated as the full time equivalent (FTE) of each position. For example, if the Charter will have 5 FTE's position at 1.00 and 3 part-time FTE's positions at .50 employees: the 5.00 FTE's position equal a total of 5.00 FTE's positions, the 3 part-time .50 FTE's positions equal a total of 1.50 FTE's positions, for a grand total of 6.50 FTE's positions.

Fringe Benefits at a minimum should include F.I.C.A., teacher retirement, health insurance, and unemployment obligations.

Two budget worksheets must be completed, one for the school's first year of operation and one for the school's second year of operation. The proposed budget should not rely on one-time grants or other funds that are not presently guaranteed.

Public Charter School Application Estimated Budget Worksheet, Year One (2013-2014)

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Public Charter School Application Estimated Budget Worksheet, Year Two (2014-2015)

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DISTRICT CONVERSION or LIMITED PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL APPLICATION STATEMENT OF ASSURANCES

The signature of the Superintendent of the School District of the public charter school certifies that the following statements are and will be addressed through policies adopted by the public charter school and, if the application is approved, the local board, administration, and staff of the district conversion or limited public charter school shall abide by them:

1. The information submitted in this application is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
2. The proposed district conversion or limited public charter school shall be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate in its admission policy on the basis of gender, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or academic or athletic eligibility, although the charter may provide for the exclusion of a student who has been expelled from another public school district.
3. In accordance with federal and state laws the proposed district conversion or limited public charter school hiring and retention policies of administrators, teachers, and other employees shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, or special need.
4. Any educator employed by a school district before the effective date of a charter for a district conversion or limited public charter school operated at a school district facility shall not be transferred to or employed by the public charter school over the educator's objection.
5. The proposed district conversion or limited public charter school shall operate in accordance with federal laws and rules governing public schools; applicable provisions of the Arkansas Constitution; and state statutes or regulations governing public school not so waived by the approved charter.
6. The proposed district conversion or limited public charter school shall ensure that any of its employees who qualify for membership in the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System or the State and Public School Employee Insurance Program shall be covered under those systems to the same extent a qualified employee of the school district is covered.
7. The proposed district conversion or limited public charter school shall comply with all health and safety laws, rules and regulations of the federal, state, county, region, or community that may apply to the facilities and school property.
8. The employees and volunteers of the district conversion or limited public charter school are held immune from liability to the same extent as other school district employees and volunteers under applicable state laws.
9. The district conversion or limited public charter school shall be reviewed for its potential impact on the efforts of a public school district to comply with court orders and statutory obligations to create and maintain a unitary system of desegregated public schools.
10. The charter applicant should know that certain provisions of state law shall not be waived. The proposed district conversion or limited public charter school is subject to any prohibition, restriction, or requirement imposed by Title 6 of the Arkansas Code Annotated and any rule and regulation approved by the State Board of Education under this title relating to:
(a) Monitoring compliance with Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-23-101 et seq. as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Education;
(b) Conducting criminal background checks for employees;
(c) High school graduation requirements as established by the State Board of Education;
(d) Special education programs as provided by this title;
(e) Public school accountability under this title; and
(f) Health and safety codes as established by the State Board of Education and local governmental entities.
11. The facilities of the proposed charter school shall comply with all requirements for accessibility for individuals with disabilities in accordance with the ADA and IDEA and all other state and federal laws.

_______________________________ Date:________________

Signature of Superintendent of School District

_______________________________

Print or type name

District Conversion or Limited Public Charter School Application Checklist

[] Submit one (1) page letter of intent, following the letter of intent guidelines, to ADE Charter School Office by certified mail. Letter of intent must be received by the Charter School Office no later than 4:00 p.m., August 31.

[] Notice of the public hearing shall be:

A. Distributed to the community, certified personnel, and the parents of all students enrolled at the public school for which the district initiated the application; and
B. Published in a newspaper having general circulation in the public school district at least three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

Documentation that these requirements have been met must be included in the charter school application.

[] Conduct the public hearing; include results of the public hearing in the charter school application.

[] Additional check points for the charter application

* Responses to section D of the application, including attachments, cannot exceed 30 pages

* Sections A and B of the application form are completed

* Copy of proposed two-year budget must be included

* Copy of the proposed school calendar must be included

* Copy of the proposed daily schedule must be included

* Copy of proposed salary schedule must be included

* Evidence of parental and community support must be included

* Signed statement of assurance page must be included

[] Submit final copies of the charter school application to ADE Charter School Office as follows:

* 1 original copy with original signatures (unbound)

* 12 copies of the original (bound/stapled, no notebooks)

* 1 cd copy in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF (labeled)

It is the applicant's responsibility to comply with all aspects of Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-23-101 et seq., the ADE Rules Governing Charter Schools, and the requirements outlined in the application for an district conversion public charter school. Contact the ADE Charter School Office for questions and for assistance with developing the application.

Charter School Application Evaluation Instrument

The following instrument will be used to evaluate applications submitted to the Arkansas Department of Education ("ADE") for the establishment of new district conversion or limited public charter schools. This instrument is only intended to provide clarity, transpareny and consisteny in the charter school application review process.

The ADE will use the following instrument only to evaluate the quality of a district conversion or limited charter school application against the criteria stated herein. For each of the application requirements, the criteria define the characteristics and elements of a response that meet the standard for charter approval. The following definitions will guide the rating of each information requirement:

Meets the Standard:

The response reflects a thorough understanding of key issues and demonstrates capacity to open and operate a quality charter school. It addresses the topic with specific and accurate information that shows thorough preparation and presents a clear, realistic picture of how the school expects to operate.

Partially Meets the Standard:

The response addresses most of the criteria, but response lacks meaningful detail and requires important additional information.

Does Not Meet the Standard:

The response lacks meaningful detail, demonstrates lack of preparation, or otherwise raises substantial concerns about the applicant's understanding of the issue in concept and/or ability to meet the requirement in practice.

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Notes

005.15.12 Ark. Code R. § 004
9/25/2012

State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.


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