Opening a new public charter school is not easy but it is very rewarding when you witness the difference that a charter school can make in the lives of your students. For a more detailed outline of the authorization process, please see our step by step guide, How to Start a Charter School.

Phase I: Exploration

The first step in the process usually occurs when someone becomes interested in public charter schools and wants to learn more about them. This phase includes exploring your reasons for choosing to start a charter school, gathering basic background information on charter schools, and assembling a school design team and framework

Phase II: Application: Drafting, Presenting, and Getting the Charter Approved

This phase includes writing and negotiating the terms of an actual charter document and applying to the State Board of Education for approval. All charters must be approved by the State Board of Education.

Phase III: Pre-Operations: Getting Ready

This phase follows the approval of the charter application and includes the start-up process to open the school. Below are pointers for navigating this phase.

Develop a detailed plan and timeline with the core founding group listing all of the tasks that need to be accomplished before doors open. The plan should identify who will address each issue, when, and how, and how the work will be coordinated.

Phase IV: Operations: Opening the Doors, Troubleshooting, and Making Improvements

This stage includes opening the school to students, establishing the culture of the school, clarifying the school’s expectations and beliefs, and beginning to use data on student performance as the primary guide for school planning and policy making.