2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Prospective Parents

Developing groups need to deliver the message about their school proposal to the community in order to gauge interest and garner support. One required section of the charter application is a demonstration of an adequate number of parents (and students if they are older) interested in this school. There will also be opportunities for the community to rally support for the school as it goes through the chartering process, and this is a great way to build that base.

There are many ways a group can get information out to the community relatively inexpensively. Many libraries and community centers have meeting rooms, often free of charge. Posting meeting notices on bulletin boards at day care centers, after school programs, libraries, grocery stores, rec. centers, and other areas where families would be likely to see them are all helpful in getting the message out. Newspapers often have public meeting sections where notices can be included for free with enough lead time (which can be 4 weeks, so plan ahead.) A developing group will also want to establish a clear way to provide ongoing information such as via a website, email, and mailings.

Parents can show support in many ways , including everything from writing letters of support (these must have signatures attached), to signing support petitions, to filling out an "Intent to Enroll" form, attending meetings and speaking on behalf of the school. There is some availability of preference spots for founding families, and this must be clearly defined. However, prospective parents must understand they can't be guaranteed a place in the school once it opens, especially if it is oversubscribed and there is a lottery, and also that by signing a petition or intent form they aren't obligated to send their child. Parents need to be assured that the only information that will be shared from the data they provide in the letter of intent is a breakdown of the numbers of students by age, the grade they will attend, and what district and school they are currently attending. Names of students are only submitted to an authorizing district once a school is approved and a child is officially enrolled.

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