OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN A CHARTER COMMUNITY
Oversight and Accountability
Unlike traditional public schools – where schools located within a certain jurisdiction are subject to uniform rules and regulations set by a local or state school board – Charter schools are independent public schools that are given educational and operational autonomy in exchange for performance-based accountability.
To Whom is a Charter School Responsible?
In exchange for operational freedom and flexibility, Charter schools are subject to a higher level of accountability via performance-based contracts and must meet certain academic, financial and legal standards within an allotted time frame or risk closure of the Charter school. Stargate School is accountable to the families in the school, its charter authorizer and the state.
How Does a Performance-Based Charter Work?
A public Charter school comes to life through, and is generally governed by, a Charter Contract between the School and an Authorizer. Stargate School is authorized through the Adams 12 Five Star Schools District.
Similar to all other service contracts, the Charter Contract is a legal agreement that sets the expectation for the School and Authorizer over a set term. It defines both the School’s rights to manage the school and the Authorizer’s monitoring and oversight responsibilities.
The validity of each Charter Contract is contingent upon the school’s ability to meet certain academic, financial and legal standards within an allotted time frame. If the school meets those requirements, then the contract can be renewed for another set time period; but if the school fails to do so, the contract cannot be renewed and the school will either be closed altogether or transferred to a different operator. Additionally, the Charter Contract can be revoked at any time by a majority vote of the Authorizer if the Authorizer finds that the Operator violates the contract, fiscal standards, or the law (this type of revocation generally occurs when there is a gross violation, or health and safety of students are at risk).
How Frequently are Contracts Renewed?
Stargate’s Charter Contract with Adams 12 School District is renewed every 3-5 years based on performance. A link to the current contract can be found with Stargate's governing documents on the Handbooks & Policies page.
What Other Performance Measures are Available for Review?
In addition to metrics outlined in their Charter contract, Charter schools are required to participate in the state-mandated Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP). It is through the CSAP that Charter schools, along with all other public schools in the state, are measured. School Accountability Reports (SAR) are issued annually for all public schools in the state including Charter schools.
Financial Transparency for Colorado Schools
All public schools in Colorado, including Charter schools, are required to share revenue and expenditure information via their own school websites, as well as via the Colorado K12 Financial Transparency website. Visit the Financial Transparency section of the Stargate website to learn more.
Where Can I Learn More About the Rules Associated with School Oversight and Accountability?
In Colorado, there are 3 primary sources for Charter school laws, rules, and regulations. These include:
Law: Charter Schools Act (C.R.S. 22-30.5-101 through C.R.S. 22-30.5-704)
Policy: Stargate School follows policies that are currently approved by the Adams 12 School District unless specifically waived as part of the contract. In addition, Stargate School maintains additional policies in the policy manual that is managed by the Board of Directors.
Contract: Charter contracts are unique to each individual school. Stargate School operates through a contract agreement with Adams 12 School District.