2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Preliminary Exploration

During preliminary exploration, charter school founders discover and investigate the process for developing a charter school. This includes an examination of Colorado’s charter school law networks of support, and new school development resources.  In addition, founders must investigate the educational needs in the community and understand the structures for meeting those needs.  Founders must research whether there is sufficient support for the proposed charter school program and the proposed educational model in the community by marketing the idea.  The founding group should also look to the authorizer and to the larger educational community for evidence that the model for the educational program is desirable.  There are numerous examples of successful models across the state of Colorado, you can contact the League or CDE’s Schools of Choice office for examples of these successful models.

The founding group must also coalesce into a steering committee to oversee the development of the charter application package.  The steering committee should identify timelines and funding resources for the initial development stages of the school.  A process of continuous improvement and professional development should be modeled from inception.  The steering committee should plan for participating in the numerous training and technical assistance programs offered for charter school developers in Colorado.

The reward of producing a successful program is wonderfully fulfilling; however, navigating the requirements for new school development can be arduous.  The founding group must scrutinize their ability to commit a significant amount of time and energy toward the development of a charter school before embarking on the application process.

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