2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Parental and Community Support

The ability to demonstrate parental and community support can be critical during the application process. School founders should demonstrate that the school is not only well-supported at the time of application, but that it will continue to have community support in the future as well. Because the authorizer will be allocating public funds to the charter school, there is an obligation on the part of the authorizing board of education to ensure the community is in support of the decision to approve the charter application. The founding group should ensure that potential parents are well-informed about the process, that parental and community support is documented, and that a supportive contingency is present at the public hearings.

In addition to a presence at the application hearings, the founding group should demonstrate support by collecting "Intent to Enroll" forms from prospective parents. While the school cannot actually enroll students and transfer student records until the charter is approved and a fully executed contract is in place, the school can collect information regarding interest in enrolling at the proposed school. General information and aggregate data from "Intent to Enroll" forms may be shared with an authorizer, but individual student information must be kept confidential at this point in the process.

The Colorado League of Charter Schools can assist founding groups with a marketing plan to build school support in advance of receiving an approved charter. Maintaining current information on the proposed school's website, conducting community meetings, mailing fliers and newsletters, and planning celebrations at critical milestones will all help the school gain visibility and momentum.

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