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A charter school authorized by the Mayor’s Office of Indianapolis may begin the charter renewal application process in the summer prior to its seventh year of operation. Each school’s charter expires 45 days after the last instructional day of the current charter. For each school seeking renewal, the Mayor will issue a decision during the school’s seventh year of operation. If the charter is renewed, the current Charter Attachment B is updated using all current amendments and information from the Charter Renewal Application Section B to reflect the most up to date description of the school’s model. The renewal charter becomes the official Charter Attachment C.
If the Mayor determines a school should not receive a full, seven-year renewal, but a shorter conditional renewal, the school must receive a site visit at least once during the time allotted by the Mayor. The school will not receive specific conditions for meeting renewal at the time of the extension, but will be held to the full Performance Framework, just as with the first application for renewal.
The charter renewal decision is based on an array of evidence collected over the charter term pertaining to the four Core Questions set forth in the Performance Framework for Mayor-sponsored charter schools:
1. Is the educational program a success?
2. Is the organization in sound fiscal health?
3. Is the organization effective and well-run?
4. Is the school providing the appropriate conditions for success?
In addition, a fifth important area of focus for the renewal application and decision is the school’s strategies for sustaining success and continuing to improve over the next charter term.
Renewal decisions are based on the Performance Framework in its entirety. The Mayor’s Office does not use a formula for determining the number of areas in which an applicant meets or exceeds standard in order to make renewal decisions. Each decision is completely individual to that school.
The Mayor’s Office requires charter schools to apply for renewal to fulfill two key purposes: (1) To present any important new or supplemental information pertaining to the above Core Questions, to enable a more comprehensive assessment of school performance; and (2) To articulate a school’s strategies and capacities for sustaining success and continuing to improve over the next charter term.
The renewal application is not meant to be a redundant exercise. The Mayor’s Office will base its evaluation of each school’s performance on the body of data amassed over the charter term. The extensive evidence already collected allows each school’s renewal application to be substantially streamlined. Therefore, schools’ renewal applications should be focused on only new or supplemental information, as well as a description of the school’s long-term sustainability and plans for ongoing improvement.
The renewal application should be concise and complete, not requiring further explanation or clarification by the school. All necessary documentation should be included as attachments, which should be limited to information that a) meaningfully augments the body of evidence the Mayor’s Office has already collected on the school’s performance, and/or b) illustrates or supports plans or strategies discussed in the application.