CSO Launches New Renewal Process
December 05, 2017
This year, the Charter Schools Office launched a new process for evaluating schools that are nearing the end of their charter contracts. The goal of this process is twofold—to compile a body of evidence from academic performance data, submitted materials, and on-site observations that will inform renewal recommendations; and also to identify areas where the CSO can provide more and better support to each school.
The body of evidence that is collected is guided by a renewal visit framework based off of renewal guidelines from some of the nation’s other leading authorizers. This framework helps the CSO answer four, key questions about each school:
· Is the school an academic success?
· Is the school an effective, viable, organization?
· Is the school fiscally sound?
· Is the school a safe environment that promotes effective teaching and learning?
To date, renewal visits have been conducted at 10 schools, with each visit following a similar pattern. School leadership is first asked to submit evidence through Epicenter about the school’s performance relative to each of the four, key questions. Submitted material is then reviewed by the CSO to formulate questions prior to the visit.
On the day of the visit, the CSO and school leadership teams meet for lunch, followed by a conversation surrounding the evidence submitted. Members of the CSO then learn more about the school through classroom observations, conversations with teachers and staff, and time wrapping up with school leaders. The day concludes at approximately 3:30 p.m.
School board members are not required to be present at this visit. Each school’s CSO school consultant will meet individually with the board chair for a conversation about the school’s past performance and future aspirations.
A written report is issued to the school within two weeks that contains the CSO’s renewal recommendation, including the recommended length of the renewed charter contract to the GVSU Board of Trustees; accolades; and opportunities for improvement or greater partnership with GVSU. Suggested areas of partnership have included customized professional development and teacher training through GVSU’s College of Education.
For more information on the new renewal process, schools may contact their assigned CSO school consultant.
-- Don Cooper, Deputy Director for Charter Schools