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FAQ for Multi-district Certification Applications & Single District Process

Multi-District Certification Application FAQ Links:

MOU FAQ Links:

Single District Online School or Program FAQ Links:

Multi-district Certification Application FAQs

1. What is the due date for multi-district certification applications?

There are two application windows for multi-district certification. The first deadline is the first business day in January and the second deadline is the first business day in April. Check the Multi-district Certification Application information for the specific dates for the current year. 

2. Who or what is an Authorizer and what is their role in the application process?

An Authorizer is an entity that authorizes or oversees schools, and is ultimately responsible for the compliance and accountability of the schools it authorizes. A multi-district online school Authorizer can be a school district, a group of two or more school districts, the state Charter School Institute (CCSI) or a BOCES. The Authorizer must demonstrate that it possesses the resources and capacity to provide sufficient oversight of a multi-district online school. 

4. What are the Quality Standards?

The Quality Standards an be found on the here within the Rules for the Administration and Oversight of Colorado Online Programs and are also listed on the multi-district application as a checklist. The Quality Standards are statutory based and were established to provide evaluation criteria guidance and best practices in operations of multi-district online schools. 

5. Who would be the person to sign as the authorizer on the application?

If the online school is authorized by a district, the Superintendent would act as the signature authority for the authorizer. The director of the Charter School Institute or the director of a BOCES would act as the signature authority in the instance a school is authorized by the Charter School Institute or a BOCES. 

6. What is the timeline for review of applications?

The review time for a multi-district application will not exceed 60 days for the first submission. 

7. Who reviews the applications?

Multi-district applications for certification are reviewed both externally by a panel of reviewers with experience in online learning and internally by the Office of Online and Blended Learning. Each application for certification will be reviewed and rated individually by internal and external reviewers using the review rubric. Reviewers will evaluate each required component of the application to determine if the application’s description of that component meets expectations for certification set out in the review rubric. 

8. What is the next step in the process after the application has been reviewed for certification?

After the application been reviewed, the application and supporting materials are submitted for a vote at the next scheduled State Board of Education meeting. Once the State Board has voted to approve the application, a letter will be sent with notification of the certification approval. 

9. What happens if the application is returned for resubmission?

If it is determined during the initial review that more information is needed to meet criteria expectations, the applicant will be notified and will be provided with specific feedback about the sections that require more information. The applicant will have the opportunity to revise  to meet criteria expectations for those sections of the application and resubmit a revised application. The resubmission will then be reviewed prior to being submitted to the State Board of Education for voting.

10. Is there a re-certification process for multi-district online programs that are already certified?

Under current Colorado Revised Statutes, once the multi-district online school has been certified, the multi-district online school remains certified indefinitely, as long as it remains in good standing with statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to online schools. 

11. What is the MOU (Memo of Understanding) process and is it necessary to submit a MOU with the certification application?

For a multi-district online school with physical facilities defined in law and regulations as “Learning Centers” located in a district other than the authorizing district, an additional step beyond certification is required: the Authorizer must notify the district in which the Learning Center is located and must offer to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the district. The MOU details agreements related to facilities, communication, sharing of student data, and inter-district sharing of resources and other means to improve student achievement. It is required to be submitted only when a multi-district online school intends to operate Learning Centers that are located outside of the boundaries of the authorizing district. 

12. What happens once the local school district receives the MOU for the proposed learning center in their district?

Once the local school district receives the MOU, there are four possibilities that may occur:

  1. The local school district may accept the MOU and sign to indicate acceptance. In this situation, the local school district and Multi-District school may mutually agree to change the information in the standard MOU form provided with the notice to include information in addition to what is currently included in the MOU form.
  2. The local school district and multi-district online program may mutually agree in writing to decline to enter into a MOU.
  3. The local school district may decline to enter into a MOU with the multi-district online school if the standard MOU form provided by the multi-district online school fails to satisfy the statutory requirements or the local school district reasonably determines that the multi-district online school is contrary to the best interests of the pupils, parents, community or school district. In this situation, the multi-district online school may appeal the school district’s decision to the state board.
  4. If the local school district does not provide notice of its decision within forty-five days, the MOU shall become effective on the forty-sixth day following the school district’s receipt of the notice, and the applicant may proceed under the terms of the MOU as provided to the local school district. 

Single District Online School or Program FAQs

14. What is the process for new single-district programs and schools?

All single-district online programs and schools must submit Authorizer Assurances to the Office of Online and Blended Learning and notify the Office of Online and Blended Learning before the school or program begins operations. 

15.  Do I need to apply for a school code?

Single-district online programs are not required to apply for a school code unless pupil enrollment exceeds 100 students. A single-district school with a school code operates with its own administrator, a separate budget and is subject to the same accountability requirements as any other public school in the state.

16. Is there a process for supplemental online programs?

There is not a process for supplemental online programs, however, districts should be familiar with the funding requirements and guidance for supplemental online course.  Supplemental programs are those programs that offer one or more online courses to students to augment an educational program provided by a school district, charter school or BOCES.