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Westwood USD |  AR  0420.4  Philosophy, Goals, Objectives and Comprehensive Plans

Charter School Authorization   

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Petition Signatures

A petition for the establishment of a start-up charter school within the district must be signed by one of the following: (Education Code 47605)

1. A number of parents/guardians equivalent to at least one-half of the number of students that the charter school estimates will enroll in the school for its first year of operation

2. A number of teachers equivalent to at least one-half of the number of teachers that the charter school estimates will be employed at the school during its first year of operation

If the charter petition calls for an existing public school to be converted to a charter school, the petition must be signed by at least 50 percent of the permanent status teachers currently employed at the school. (Education Code 47605)

(cf. 4116 - Permanent/Probationary Status)

In circulating a petition, the petitioners shall include a prominent statement explaining that a parent/guardian's signature means that the parent/guardian is meaningfully interested in having his/her child attend the charter school or, in the case of a teacher's signature, that the teacher is meaningfully interested in teaching at the charter school. The proposed charter shall be attached to the petition. (Education Code 47605)

Components of Charter Petition

A charter petition shall include affirmations of the conditions described in Education Code 47605(d) as well as descriptions of all of the following: (Education Code 47605, 47611.5)

1. The educational program of the school, designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is attempting to educate, what it means to be an "educated person" in the 21st century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified in that program shall include the objective of enabling students to become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners.

If the proposed school will serve high school students, the petition shall describe the manner in which the charter school will inform parents/guardians about the transferability of courses to other public high schools and the eligibility of courses to meet college entrance requirements. Courses offered by the charter school that are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges may be considered transferable, and courses approved by the University of California or the California State University as creditable under the "a-g" admissions criteria may be considered to meet college entrance requirements.

2. The measurable student outcomes identified for use by the charter school. Student outcomes means the extent to which all students of the school demonstrate that they have attained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals in the school's educational program.

3. The method by which student progress in meeting those student outcomes is to be measured.

4. The governance structure of the school, including, but not limited to, the process to be followed by the school to ensure parent/guardian involvement.

5.The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by the school.

6.The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. These procedures shall include the requirement that each school employee furnish the school with a criminal record summary as described in Education Code 44237.

7. The means by which the school will achieve a racial and ethnic balance among its students that is reflective of the general population residing within the district's territorial jurisdiction.

8.Admission requirements, if applicable.

9.The manner in which annual, independent financial audits shall be conducted, which shall employ generally accepted accounting principles, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the Board of Trustees.

10.The procedures by which students can be suspended or expelled.

11.The manner by which staff members of the charter school will be covered by the State Teachers' Retirement System, the Public Employees' Retirement System, or federal social security.

12. The public school attendance alternatives for students residing within the district who choose to not attend charter schools.

13.A description of the rights of any district employee upon leaving district employment to work in a charter school and of any rights of return to the district after employment at a charter school.

14. The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the Board to resolve disputes relating to charter provisions.

15. A declaration as to whether or not the charter school shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer of the school's employees for purposes of collective bargaining under Government Code 3540-3549.3.

16.The procedures to be used if the charter school closes.

These procedures shall include, but not be limited to: (5 CCR 11962)

a.Designation of a responsible entity to conduct closure-related activities

b. Notification of the closure to parents/guardians, the Board, the county office of education, the special education local plan area in which the school participates, the retirement systems in which the school's employees participate, and the CDE, providing at least the following information:

(1)The effective date of the closure

(2)The name(s) of and contact information for the person(s) to whom reasonable inquiries may be made regarding the closure

(3)The students' districts of residence

(4)The manner in which parents/guardians may obtain copies of student records, including specific information on completed courses and credits that meet graduation requirements

c.Provision of a list of students at each grade level, the classes they have completed, and the students' district of residence to the responsible entity designated in accordance with item #16a above

d.Transfer and maintenance of all student records, all state assessment results, and any special education records to the custody of the responsible entity designated in accordance with item #16a above, except for records and/or assessment results that the charter may require to be transferred to a different entity

e.Transfer and maintenance of personnel records in accordance with applicable law

f. Completion of an independent final audit within six months after the closure of the school that includes an accounting of all financial assets and liabilities pursuant to 5 CCR 11962 and an assessment of the disposition of any restricted funds received by or due to the school

g.Disposal of any net assets remaining after all liabilities of the school have been paid or otherwise addressed pursuant to 5 CCR 11962

h.Completion and filing of any annual reports required pursuant to Education Code 47604.33

i. Identification of funding for the activities identified in item #16a-h above

Charter school petitioners shall provide information to the Board regarding the proposed operation and potential effects of the school, including, but not limited to: (Education Code 47605)

1. The facilities to be used by the school, including where the school intends to locate

(cf. 7160 - Charter School Facilities)

2. The manner in which administrative services of the school are to be provided

3. Potential civil liability effects, if any, upon the school and district

4. Financial statements that include a proposed first-year operational budget, including start-up costs and cash-flow and financial projections for the first three years of operation

Location of Charter School

Unless otherwise exempted by law, the charter petition shall identify a single charter school that will operate within the geographic boundaries of the district. A charter school may propose to operate at multiple sites within the district as long as each location is identified in the petition. (Education Code 47605, 47605.1)

A charter school that is unable to locate within the district's jurisdictional boundaries may establish one site outside district boundaries but within the county, provided that: (Education Code 47605, 47605.1)

1.The district is notified prior to approval of the petition.

2.The County Superintendent/Principal of Schools and Superintendent/Principal of Public Instruction are notified before the charter school begins operations.

3. The school has attempted to locate a single site or facility to house the entire program

but such a facility or site is unavailable in the area in which the school chooses to

locate, or the site is needed for temporary use during a construction or expansion project.

A charter school may establish a resource center, meeting space, or other satellite facility located in an adjacent county if both of the following conditions are met: (Education Code 47605.1)

1.The facility is used exclusively for the educational support of students who are enrolled in nonclassroom-based independent study of the charter school.

2. The charter school provides its primary educational services in, and a majority of the students it serves are residents of, the county in which the school is authorized.

Petition Review Committee

At his/her discretion, the Superintendent/Principal or designee may establish a staff advisory committee to review submitted petitions and supporting documentation. Such a committee may be used to evaluate the completeness of proposals, the merits of the proposed educational programs, and any concerns that should be addressed by the petitioners. The Superintendent/Principal or designee shall also consult with legal counsel as appropriate regarding compliance of the proposals with legal requirements.

(cf. 1220 - Citizen Advisory Committees)


approved: June 27, 2012 Westwood, California