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District and Authorizer Information

District & Authorizer Information 

Colorado charter schools are public schools that operate by way of a contract (charter) that has been authorized by a local school district or the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI). The following links provide more information about Colorado school districts and charter school authorizers.

General Information

  • Charter School Institute (CSI) - Authorized to accept applications for schools (1) in districts without exclusive chartering authority (ECA) and (2) in districts which have retained ECA, with permission to the applicant from the district's board of education. Click on the link to be directed to the CSI Web site.
  • Exclusive Chartering Authority (ECA) - includes a list of Colorado districts with/without ECA.
  • Waivers - Information about how charter schools apply for state waivers, rules and laws that pertain to waiver requests, and a current list of waivers requested by each charter school.
  • Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers (CACSA) - CACSA was formed by and serves the professional staff in Colorado authorizers who work on all tasks associated with charter school oversight. These education leaders created CACSA to support all of Colorado’s authorizers, with the goals of improving charter school authoring practices, the quality of charter schools, and the education for all students in the state.

 

Authorizer Dissemination In Conjunction with Charter School Institute

As a part of the dissemination activities included in the Federal Charter Schools Program Grant that the Schools of Choice Unit received in 2018, the Schools of Choice unit and Charter School Institute have partnered together to release a series of case studies to support charter schools across the state enhance their practices in the following areas: annual reporting, charter renewals, and charter accountability, particularly charter accountability during COVID-19.


Templates

Standard Application Template and Evaluation Standards (2018)

This application has been developed in collaboration with the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers (CACSA), the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), the Colorado League of Charter Schools (CLCS) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).  The application is intended to assist authorizers with creating rigorous charter review processes that also incorporate spaces for local priorities. Furthermore, it is designed to assist charter school founders of various backgrounds with developing proposals that meet community needs.  This application is aligned with the Colorado Charter School Program (CCSP) grant to allow opportunities for schools to address eligibility criteria and requirements that are part of the grant application at the same time they are working on a charter application for the authorizer.
 

Standard Application & Evaluation Standards 2018 (docx)

Standard Application & Evaluation Standards 2018 (pdf)

Standard Application Rubric 2018 (docx)

 

Sample Contract Template (2021 - CACSA)

As part of a national dissemination grant from the United States Department of Education, the Colorado Charter School Institute and the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers was selected to develop a range of high quality charter authorizer documents - some of which are state specific. One such document is an updated model contract for Colorado. That document is available here: 

Sample Contract Language and Attachments (as published by the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers)

Editable Version  (as published by the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers)

 

Sample Renewal Framework (2021- CACSA)

As part of a national dissemination grant from the United States Department of Education, the Colorado Charter School Institute and the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers was selected to develop a range of high quality charter authorizer documents - some of which are state specific. One such document is an updated sample renewal framework. This document was also developed in collaboration with WestEd in their role supporting activities of the National Charter School Resource Center. That document is available here:

Sample Renewal Framework (as published by the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers and WestEd)

 

Sample Closure Framework (2011 - CDE)

A Colorado-specific guide to charter school closure. Closing a charter school can present many challenges, given the data that must be compiled and analyzed, public meetings that must be held, and the political considerations that must be addressed before a charter school chooses to voluntarily close or before the authorizer votes to not renew or to revoke the charter school contract. This checklist of tasks in a template format was developed to assist authorizers and charter schools with the closure process.

Sample Closure Framework (docx)

 

District & Authorizer Training Resources

Charter Board Training

The Schools of Choice Team has been working diligently in conjunction with the Colorado League of Charter Schools, the Colorado Charter School Institute, and the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers – incorporating feedback both from charter schools and charter school authorizers - to update the free, on-demand, governing board training that CDE has provided for many years. From this collaboration, we are now happy to announce Governance Board Training Resources accessible to all charter school practitioners .

To access this trainings please click here

Spring 2021 Equity Convening: Applying Equity Frameworks to Advance Systemic Change in Education

This one day convening, held Friday June 18th, 2021 assembled charter school leaders and authorizers to discuss how best to leverage frameworks when making systemic decisions around school improvement and policy change to advance equity. This event featured expert guest speakers, panel discussions, and workshops designed to build awareness and opportunities for peer-to-peer strategizing for implementation of equity frameworks at the school level and oversight and support activities for authorizers. Below are the recordings of each session of this event and the DropBox with additional resources.

Equal Access Series Authorizer Session: Authorizers’ Role in Continuous Improvement (Recorded on 4/17/2021)

Recently, there has been an increase of authorizers wanting to provide additional support to charter schools to improve students' outcomes outside of typical authorizer interventions (e.g., closure or non-renewal).  The session “Authorizer’s Role in Continuous Improvement”  recorded on April 7th, 2021 focused on the authorizers' role in supporting continuous improvement through the Unified Improvement Plan and a board strategic plan.

March Authorizer Summit

The March Authorizer Summit was recorded on March 5th. During this summit, the Schools of Choice Unit shared COVID-19 planning updates and updates on the CCSP grant. Renee Martinez, Principal Consultant of the Office of Online and Blended Learning, presented Remote Learning vs. Online Learning Beyond COVID-19. Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers (CACSA) presented updates and hosted a discussion on Community-Centered Charter Schooling facilitated by Dr. Karega Rausch, President, and CEO of National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).


Charter School Appeal Dispositions

Related Links

NOTE: None of the documents represented on this page, or referenced under the provided links, are meant to represent legal advice or to lessen the need for charter school developers or operators to seek legal counsel.