Charter Schools

Students

A charter school is a tuition-free public school operated by an independent board of directors that may be composed of parents, teachers and community members. A charter school is a school of choice within the school district, operating under a contract or "charter" between the board of the charter school community and the DCSD Board of Education.

The "charter," as defined in the Charter Schools Act (Sections 22-30.5-101et. seq. C.R.S.), spells out the school's mission and vision, academic goals, performance standards, educational design, governance and operations. Charter schools generally operate free from from many of the regulatory requirements applicable to other public schools; however, charter schools operate under the charter philosophy of "autonomy in exchange for accountability." School-centered governance, autonomy, and a clear design for how and what students will learn are the essential characteristics of a charter school. Charter school students are still required to take all state-mandated standardized tests, just like all other public school students. In addition, charter schools must provide the appropriate levels of services to students with special needs, English language learners, gifted and talented students, and all other students admitted to the charter school.

Enrollment of Students with Special Needs in Charters

There is a lot of misinformation about charter schools and their ability to serve students with special needs, including whether charter schools automatically exclude students with special needs. This is not the case.

As public schools, charter schools are required to serve students with special needs, just like any neighborhood public school. However, as with any other neighborhood public school, the charter school must be able to accommodate the student with special needs in order to provide an educational environment that will enable the student to thrive and be successful . It is important to remember that the needs of the student are paramount in selecting the school best suited to meet those needs.

Most charters in Douglas County run a lottery late in the year to randomly pull names from their wait lists for enrollment for the following year. These wait lists may contain the names of students with special needs, who should be given the same opportunities to enroll in the charter school, whenever the student’s needs can be met within the current framework of the charter school.

When the name of a student with special needs is pulled in the charter lottery (After your student is admitted), the charter school is legally required to ensure that it can provide the student with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) with reasonable modifications. The appropriate school team will meet with the parent and the team from the student’s current school, if any, along with a District representative to determine if FAPE is available to the student at the charter school prior to final admittance to the charter school. This meeting is required by federal law to ensure that the student’s needs can be met in that setting.

In order to ensure that the student’s needs can be met at the charter school, an IEP team meeting will take place. If the team determines that FAPE can be provided at the charter school, the student will be enrolled at the charter school and the team will ensure that reasonable modifications are available to allow the student to be successful.

For more information, contact the DCSD Personalized Learning department.

 

Our Charter Schools

Academy Charter School

American Academy 

Aspen View Academy

Ben Franklin Academy

Challenge to Excellence

DCS Montessori Charter School

Global Village Academy

HOPE Online Learning Academy

Leman Academy of Excellence

North Star Academy

Parker Core Knowledge

Parker Performing Arts School

Platte River Academy

Renaissance Secondary School

SkyView Academy

STEM School HIghlands Ranch

World Compass Academy

The Charter School Application Process

New Charter Application Information
Budget Template
Intent to Submits due 3/1
Applications Due between 3/1- 3/15

Link to Current Charter Contracts (Legal Counsel)

Administrative Resources

CDE District and Authorizer Info

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado Charter Schools

Charter Schools are Public Schools! Resources from the Colorado League of Charter Schools

Resources from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers

2022 Spring Cycle Charter Applications
Novastar Academy Charter-
New Charter Application
STEM School of Highlands Ranch-
Replication
Leman Academy of Excellence-
Replication

Charter School-
Renewal Applications

The Colorado Charter Schools Act
stipulates that charter school
operate under a contract agreed to
by the authorizer's Board of
Education (DCSD) and each
school's individual Board of
Directors. Charter schools apply
for a renewal of their contract on
or before September 1st of the
year which the contract expires.

22/23 renewals:
Academy Charter School
American Academy
Leman Academy of Excellence



Attachments area

 

 

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.

NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to [email protected]