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Charter School Institute (8001)

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DENVER, CO 80202


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Terry Croy Lewis

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About Charter School Institute (8001)


Charter School Institute


The Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) is a statewide charter school authorizer. Our mission is to foster high-quality charter public school options for all students. CSI oversees schools across Colorado, from Fruita to Aurora, Durango to Steamboat Springs. We believe that every child should have access to high-performing school choices. Accordingly, we seek to foster a portfolio of high-quality charter public school options that offer diverse educational models to meet the needs of every c hild. Our approach to authorizing balances autonomy and accountability. As such, we offer our schools flexibility to choose the methods to best meet the needs of their students. In return, we hold them accountable to clear expectations for performance. This naturally prevents interference in the more qualitative aspects of school operations, including curriculum, professional development, assessment, and other inputs-based endeavors that remain the decision of localized leadership. Unlike a traditional school district, this shapes the type of influence CSI has. Although we cannot direct our schools in the areas of inputs (such as curriculum, instruction, staffing, and professional development), CSI strives to both support and hold schools accountable through the continued development of accountability systems, tools, and resources. These accountability efforts inform high-stakes decision-making around charter renewal and performance oversight?the primary processes that allow for authorizer intervention. Therefore, in addition to standard trends, portfolio wide analyses include evaluation against the CSI Mission (fostering high-quality charter public school choices, particularly those closing the achievement gap for at-risk students) and against these cycles of intervention (new school evaluation, charter renewal, requests to expand or replicate, and transfer school requests). Over the past five years, CSI has seen an increase in service to traditionally under-served populations, including students with disabilities, students with a 504, and multilingual learners. Nearly all applications submitted to CSI for consideration allude to service of at-risk populations that surpasses the state or geographic district. However, many CSI schools have disparities in growth outcomes for specific student populations. Therefore, CSI is aligning and strengthening its performance oversight structures to specifically highlight schools with high growth scores and provide additional oversight and support to schools with growth score gaps.



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