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Alternative Charter School Designation Policy

Policy TitleAlternative Charter School Designation Policy
Policy CategoryPublic School Employee Charter Schools Administration (CHTR)
Policy IDCHTR-020
Policy Date2017-03-02

Unless otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, a charter school that meets specific criteria may be eligible to be designated an “Alternative School” for purposes of participation in the North Carolina Alternative Schools’ Alternative Accountability Model. Following are the criteria for eligibility and the procedures for applying for this designation:

    1. In order to qualify for designation as an “alternative school” for purposes of accountability under this policy, the charter school must demonstrate that it serves a student population as follows:
      1. The school must include grades 9-12.
      2. At least 75% of the school’s population in grades 9-12 must be at-risk of academic failure as defined in GCS-Q-001, I.B, and must also meet one or more of the following indicators:
        1. The student must either be recently released from a juvenile justice facility, or otherwise be subject to and participating in the juvenile justice court process;
        2. The student must be currently served by a treatment facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 122C of the General Statutes, or have recently been discharged from such a facility;
        3. The student must be currently under long-term suspension from a public or private school ; or
        4. The student must be a high-school dropout as defined in GCS-Q-001; or be imminently at risk of dropping out as demonstrated by adequate documentation in the charter school’s application for designation under this policy.
    2. A charter school meeting the eligibility criteria set forth in this policy and seeking designation as an “alternative school” must submit an application to the Office of Charter Schools describing in detail the school’s mission as it relates to the request for designation; the criteria the school plans to use that will meet the eligibility requirements set forth above, including the documentation the school will use to support its admissions process; how the school intends to serve the select population, educationally and otherwise; and the goals the school is setting for academic achievement for this population.  The application must also include an admission plan that is well-defined and specifically limited to serving at-risk students as described in the application.  A plan that is not well-defined will not be approved.
    3. The School must, in its application, designate which of the alternative accountability options it is requesting under GCS-C-038.  The option selected, if approved, cannot be changed except at the time of renewal under III below.
    1. The CSAB will, if appropriate, establish a timeline for the submission of applications and for the review and approval of such applications.
    2. The CSAB shall develop an application template to be used for applicants for alternative school designation.
    3. Upon submission of an application, the OCS will first review the application for completeness and will then submit all complete applications to the CSAB for its review.
    4. If the CSAB determines the application meets the criteria set forth in this policy and is otherwise approvable, it may recommend the application to the SBE for final approval.
    5. Approvals are valid for three years from the effective date of the approval, which effective date will be set forth in the approval document.
    1. The CSAB will review each alternative charter school every three years to determine if the school should continue with the designation.  In reviewing the school, the CSAB will utilize the criteria set forth above for initial approval but will also evaluate the academic progress of the schools and the achievement of projected outcomes as set forth by the school initially.
    2. If the review meets criteria and is otherwise approvable, the CSAB may recommends to the SBE for final approval for another three-year designation. 
    1. If at any time it appears the school is not meeting the criteria for designation under this policy, or is otherwise not in compliance with law, regulation, or policy, the CSAB may direct the OCS or DPI to investigate, and if appropriate, may direct the school to appear before it and respond to questions.
    2. In the event the CSAB finds cause to revoke the designation, it may make such a recommendation to the SBE and the SBE will take action as appropriate.
    3. In the event that federal or State law affects the designation of “alternative school” under this policy, making such designation impossible, or illegal, the school’s designation will cease without the need for any further action by the CSAB or the SBE.


*This policy will become effective during the 2017-18 school year.

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