Charter School Processes

Douglas County School District New Charter Application Procedure


The Board of Education shall support efforts by parents, teachers or other persons or organizations interested in establishing charter schools within the district. In accordance with state law, charter schools are intended to:

1.     Expand learning opportunities for all students

2.     Encourage diverse approaches to learning using different, proven or innovative teaching methods

3.     Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the type of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system

4.     Encourage parental and community involvement with public schools.

Ref: Senate Bill 12-061 Ref: District policy LBD; LBD-R-1 Charter School Procedure Manual

All charter school applications must be submitted through , an online platform used by DCSD for receiving and reviewing charter school applications. Applicants must access the website, create an account, and may begin working on their application up until the due date when it must be submitted. 




1. Submit application in

2.    Intent to Apply - Please submit through, and email Gordon Mosher - [email protected] and Kristin Schmidt[email protected]

3.    Charter Application (Use this PDF as a guide, final application MUST be submitted electronically through Please use this LINK New Charter Application to access

       the application for submission of your application to DCSD.*

4.    Application Evaluation Standards Review and plan using these standards

5.    Budget Template ALL Applications MUST Use this budget template


New Application Important Dates:


January 15

Intent to Submit due by 4:00pm

Between February 1 and April 1

Application due in Anvilar by 4:00pm on 4-1

April 15

DAC, FOC, LRPC meet to create questions for the DCSD Board

April 23

Public hearing #1 at the DCSD Board of Education meeting

April 23 (and 24 if needed)

Full CARTeam conducts Capacity Interviews for all applicants.

CARTeam process ends, staff recommendation phase begins.

April 30

DCSD Staff meets to create recommendation to DCSD Cabinet

May 28 or June 18 (TBD)

Public Hearing #2

May 28 or June 18 (TBD)

DCSD Board of Education Approves or Denies Application


Applications received in 2023:  John Dewey Institute, Alexandria School of Innovation

Charter School Renewal Process:


The charter contract renewal process examines several factors revealing the health of the charter school. This process is most transparent when it is characterized by the following criteria: 

1.     Putting the interests of children first;

2.     Identifying performance indicators that have been in place for the duration of the contract;

3.     Gathering accurate performance, financial and governance data;

4.     Undertaking annual performance evaluations;

5.     Adopting reasonable academic performance expectations;

6.     Considering multiple measures, including comparable school performance, across three or more years;

7.     Weighing the evidence based on importance, rather than relying on numeric cut scores;

8.     Listening to the points of view of both the district staff and the charter school;

9.     Taking into account the number of years that the school has been operating.

Charter school contracts in DCSD will be reviewed for renewal in the year prior to the charter expiration year.  The charter school must submit a Charter School Intent to Renew Contract form on or before June 1 of the year prior to the year that the contract expires. See the renewal timeline on the next page for renewal deadlines.


Charter schools are evaluated for renewal based on their yearly Accreditation, financial health, and governance and operations. The charter school Accreditation procedure answers the following key questions that are essential for renewal status:


·       Is the educational program a success?

·       Are school operations effective and efficient?

·       Is the school meeting its legal and other obligations?

·       Does the school have excellent governance and leadership?


DCSD Renewal Timeline:



Between March 1 and May 15 of the year prior to the charter’s expiration

The parties meet so that the district can explain the renewal process, application format and timeline, and address any questions regarding the process

June 1 of the year prior to expiration

The school formally submits the Intent to Renew letter, renewal narrative and additional data to the Office of Choice Programming

September 1 of the year prior to expiration

Choice programming coordinates site visit to be done by outside reviewers.

No later than November 1 of the year prior to expiration 

The school submits the contract appendix documents to the Office of Choice Programming which includes:

1. Board Conflict of Interest form

       2. ESP Agreement, if applicable

       3. Request for Automatic Waivers of State Laws

       4. Request for Additional Waivers of State Laws (if any)

       5. Request for additional Waivers of District Policy (if any)

       6. Preferences, Methods, Timelines and Procedures for Enrollment

November 15 of the year prior to expiration

District staff submits to the superintendent’s cabinet a renewal review and supporting data.

Prior to December district board meeting

District staff reviews the renewal recommendation and adds additional information as needed


District board of education meeting:

       1. Board asks questions and requests clarifications as needed.

       2. Charter school responds to the staff report and recommendation.

       3. Charter parents and other interested persons may address the board.

Prior to January district board meeting

District staff sends any additional written information and clarifications to the board of education

No later than February 1

District board of education acts by resolution to approve or deny the request to renew the charter

No more than 30 days after the district board decision

A notice of appeal may be filed with the State Board of Education

No more than 60 days after the notice of appeal has been filed

The State Board of Education holds a hearing and makes a decision to uphold the district’s decision or remand the decision back to the district for reconsideration

2023 Schools in Renewal:  Ben Franklin Academy, STEM School, North Star Academy

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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], 303-387-0127.

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.


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 at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).