2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Starting a Charter School in Colorado

The Colorado Charter Schools Act was designed to support interested parties to open new and innovative charter school programs. However, the process of submitting an application can be difficult to navigate and, at times, confusing. This website was developed as a collaborative effort to assist charter school applicants as they formulate their submittals.

Each year the Schools of Choice Unit at the Colorado Department of Education, in collaboration with the Colorado League of Charter Schools, hosts a Charter School Boot Camp. This two-day intensive training is a must for charter school founding teams to understand the substantive information that is required in a charter school application.

Colorado Charter School: Application Process Flowchart

This flowchart suggests a process by which founding groups, and authorizers alike, might follow as a plan for submitting an application. The flowchart is divided into major steps for development: Preliminary Exploration, Initial Draft of the Application, Obtain Assistance and Feedback, Submit to the Authorizer, Contract and Negotiations. Each step is further subdivided into three components: Communication and Networking, Development and Process, and Training and Education.

View Application Process Flowchart

Colorado Charter School: Standard Application Guidebook and Review Rubric

This document was developed to provide guidance in the writing and review of new charter school submissions. The target audience for this document is both the founding group (the applicant) as they develop a charter school application and the potential authorizer (the school district or CSI) as they review and evaluate the quality of the application.

Access this resource by visiting the authorizer resource pages on the following websites:

CDE Schools of Choice – District & Authorizer Info
Colorado League of Charter Schools – Documents for Charter School Authorizers

Colorado Charter School: Contract Resources

The “Colorado Charter School: Sample Contract Language and Attachments” is intended to assist districts and charter schools in developing contracts that clearly spell out the rights and responsibilities of both parties and support high charter school student achievement and competent school operations. “Colorado Charter School: A Resource for Developing Charter School Contracts” was developed to provide useful information to assist districts and approved charter school applicants in writing effective charter school contracts.

Access this resource by visiting the authorizer resource pages on the following websites:

CDE Schools of Choice – District & Authorizer Info
Colorado League of Charter Schools – Documents for Charter School Authorizers

Information about the Start a Charter Colorado Website

This body of work was originally created through collaboration between the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado League of Charter Schools (the League) and the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI). The League manages this website and updates the information herein regularly.  Please contact the League if you find a link that is no longer working and we will work to correct it promptly. Please note that professionals from CSI participated in this collaborative effort to bring best practices in authorizing to light. While CSI’s contributions to this process are invaluable, the actual expectations and process for applicants wishing to submit to CSI may differ slightly. Please contact CSI directly for more information.

Wherever possible, the legally required elements of an application or application process have been noted. The information provided in this website is generalized and intended as a structural template for the application process. The actual process will vary and applicants should follow the individual authorizer’s timelines, documentation requirements, and application protocol.

Information presented on this website does not constitute legal advice. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website; content is regularly reviewed and updated. It is the responsibility of the reader to independently check the accuracy of the information contained in these pages before taking any action or entering into any commitment based upon that information. Links to other websites are provided solely for information and no inference should be drawn from the inclusion or exclusion of a site.

Collaborators On The Information Presented By This Website Include:

Colorado League of Charter Schools Colorado Department of Education

What is the difference between these entities?