The State Charter School Board (SCSB) met January 14, 2015, to authorize new charter schools to open in the 2016-2017 school year. The SCSB was complimentary of each application and thanked everyone for the hard work each put into the process. The following schools were recommended to the Utah State Board of Education for approval to open in the 2016-2017 school year (in priority order):
- Wasatch Waldorf Charter School
- Franklin Discovery Academy
- Wallace Stegner Academy
- Athlos Academy of Utah
- George Academy
American Academy of Innovation was invited to return to the February 12 meeting to answer some specific governing board questions for further consideration.
The new charter application process began in July when 16 proposals were considered. Based on its interest in the proposed educational model, the SCSB invited 12 applicants to submit a full application. The SCSB then reviewed the 12 complete applications in September. Based on the applicant’s academic and operational design, SCSB invited nine applicants to make some revisions and present their plan at the January meeting.
In past years, the SCSB reviewed full applications; there were no proposals. Instead, evaluation teams made recommendations on the continuation of the applications based on how complete they were, with no capacity interview.
Governing boards from each of the proposed charters will now go through a capacity interview before doing their presentation for the State Charter School Board.
Marlies Burns, Ed.D., is the executive director of charter schools at the Utah State Office of Education.