Thinking about Starting a Charter School in Colorado?
First, contact the Colorado League of Charter School's New School Development team so they can help you get started on the right path.
- Lori Ventimiglia
Director of New School Development
email | 303-989-5356 x113
- Kathy Zlomke
New School Development Manager
email | 303-989-5356 x104
Second, familiarize yourself with all of the resources on this website and be sure to visit the StartaCharterColorado website to learn more in depth about the Application Process Flowchart.
Six Quality Outcomes for New Schools
A new charter school, at the end of its first year, should be able to demonstrate these six quality outcomes. Each quality outcome carries equal importance. A healthy school will have a solid foundation in each of these areas
that are critical toward the overall health and long-term success of a school.
- Qualified and Competent School Leadership: Has instilled confidence from teachers, parents, board and students and has effectively begun to implement many components of school proposal.
- Sound Operational Practices: Foundations for strong fiscal management and effective business operations have been established and are being adhered to.
- Functional Governing Board: Board has obtained initial training, is committed to ongoing training, and adheres to state statutes and board policies with fidelity.
- Effective Academics & Instruction: Curriculum in place and effectively implemented by instructional staff to engage students for optimal learning using multiple approaches (MTSS).
- Robust Performance Management Plan: Data from a Student Information System, Data Management System and Interim Assessments are being used effectively to guide instruction and school culture.
- Clear, Mission-Driven School Culture: A strong, mission-driven culture has been established and can be easily observed throughout most aspects of the school.
Phases of School Development
Targeted Supports in the Planning Phase (Building your Steering Committee, Community Outreach, and Application Development):
- Face to face/phone meetings with developer/team to discuss authorizer landscape, statutory requirements, application process, resources, etc.
- Planning timeline documents, model and sample application sections, budget templates and other resources
- Ongoing technical support as needed
- Planning grants totaling up to $15,000 designed to significantly contribute to the actual charter application and overall school development
- Extensive two-stage application review with verbal and written feedback
- Mock interview with verbal and written feedback (by invitation only)
- Fiscal sponsor services
- Calendar of critical trainings and events
- Monthly newsletter
- Boot Camp for Charter Schools: A three day training that guides school development teams through the complexities of writing the charter application (offered annually in April). Contact Lori Ventimiglia for more information.
Targeted Supports in Startup Phase (Post Application Approval through Opening):
- Readiness checklist, purchasing calendars, sample contract language, etc.
- Access to the League’s online charter school job board
- Listing your school on the League website
- Calendar of critical trainings and events
- Brokering connections and collaborations
- Face to face meetings as needed
- Onboarding Your Charter School - A training for newly (and nearly) approved schools that provides information and resources necessary to navigate next steps to open your school’s doors (occurs twice a year; in the summer and fall). Contact Lori Ventimiglia for more information.
Targeted Supports in Year-1 (Opening Through End of Year):
- Touchpoint and ongoing technical assistance
- Document reviews: board agendas and minutes, financial transparency posts, etc.
- Sharing of model documents
- Calendar of critical trainings and events: governance, finance, MTSS, data teams, UIP, SPF, assessments, etc.
- Critical connections: administrator, board and business manager cohorts, etc.
- Readiness checklist review
- Year-One Spring Visit - As you near the end of your first year of operation, we hope that you will invite the League's new schools team for a visit. It will include: a tour of your school, classroom observations, a meeting with school leadership and time given for a friendly review of critical documents. Verbal and written feedback will be provided following this visit. For recipients of the CSP grant, this visit could be used as a friendly audit to help prepare for the required CSSI visit the following year. This time together is intended to be supportive and unobtrusive and will be customized to your school’s needs.
Click here for more information on New School Development Services.