Waivers

Under Colorado law, public charter schools are allowed certain waivers from requirements placed on conventional public schools. These waivers allow charter schools to be more flexible with their school culture as part of their public mission to develop innovative, alternative educational programs. The following waivers from state requirements were requested by Pagosa Peak Open School in its August 2016 Charter Application. (You can download the full application here.)

Automatic Waivers

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(b)

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(f)

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(n)(II)(A)

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(t)

C.R.S. § 22-32-110(1)(h)

C.R.S. §22-32-110(1)(i)

C.R.S. § 22-32-110(1)(j)

C.R.S. § 22-32-110(1)(k)

C.R.S. § 22-32-110(1)(y)

C.R.S. §22-32-110(1)(e)

C.R.S. §22-32-126

C.R.S. §22-33-104(4)

C.R.S. §22-63-301

C.R.S. §22-63-302

C.R.S. §22-63-401

C.R.S. §22-63-402

C.R.S. §22-63-403

C.R.S. §22-1-112

Non-Automatic Waivers

C.R.S. § 22-9-106

Local Board of Education – Duties

This statute establishes the duties and requirements of school districts regarding the evaluation of certificated personnel, the district’s reporting requirements to the state Board, and the minimum information required in the district’s written evaluation system.

Rationale: In order for the School to function according to its unique needs and design, the School Director and Board of Directors must develop and adopt their own system of evaluation.

Replacement Plan: PPOS will provide a yearly evaluation for all staff. Teachers will be held accountable to the School Director. The evaluation system will be further developed and submitted to the District prior to commencing school operations. The PPOS School Director must have the ability to perform the evaluation of all personnel. Should the School Director not have a Type D certificate, this should not preclude him or her from administering the evaluations. The School Director has the authority to identify, prepare, and designate school-based evaluators to conduct staff evaluations.   See Staffing Plan (Appendix Q) and Staff Evaluation section and the Teacher Evaluation Tool included in Appendix H for complete evaluation tools and standards.

School Director designated evaluators of professional staff members may or may not possess an administrative certificate issued by CDE. All evaluators will receive CDE approved training in evaluation skills by the school’s director. The school’s evaluation system will meet the standards of Colorado Senate Bill 10-191. Evaluation instruments for all non-licensed evaluators who evaluate school staff including professional educators shall indicate on the evaluation whether or not the evaluator possesses an administrative certificate. The Board of Directors or a board appointed committee, shall review all evaluations conducted by non-licensed administrators when necessary and shall discuss with them procedure and form. The school’s director shall receive an annual evaluation by the Board of Directors or committee designee. All Advisors will receive at least one formal evaluation each year and/or be evaluated multiple times in each of the rubric indicators within a given year.

Duration of the Waivers: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None to either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to PPOS as set forth in this application.

Expected Outcome: With this waiver, PPOS will be able to implement its program and evaluate its teachers /Advisors in a manner that produces a greater accountability to the school. This will benefit staff members as well as students and the community.

 

C.R.S. § 22-63-201

Prohibits Board from entering into an employment contract with a person who does not hold a teacher’s certificate or letter of authorization.

Rationale: PPOS will be solely responsible for selecting, supervising, disciplining, terminating, and determining compensation for its employees. Selection of personnel is subject to compliance with all federal and state rules and regulations including regulations of “Highly Qualified” staff as defined in NCLB and ESSA.

Replacement Plan: PPOS may, where possible, hire certified teachers and school directors. However, it may be beneficial for PPOS to be able to hire teachers, directors and administration without a certificate and who are “Highly Qualified” possessing unique backgrounds and/or skills or fill a need for the school. The school will employ highly qualified and licensed teachers for teaching of core content. Teachers in all necessary areas will be highly qualified. The school may employ non-licensed teachers for supplemental and enrichment instruction consistent with the innovation plan. Core content teachers that are the primary provider of instruction will be highly qualified in their particular content area(s), Language Arts; Math; Science; Foreign language; Social Studies (Civics, Government, History, Geography, Economics); Arts (Visual Arts, Music).

Duration of the Waivers: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None to either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will be measured by the evaluation system set forth in this application.

Expected Outcome: As a result of these waivers, PPOS will be able to employ professional staff possessing unique skills, and/or backgrounds, or filling needed positions.

 

C.R.S. § 22-63-202

Requires a written employment contract with teachers, including a damages provision. Provides for temporary suspension of employment and cancellation of contract.

C.R.S. § 22-63-203

This section establishes specific requirements for the employment of probationary teachers and the renewal or not, of their contracts.

C.R.S. § 22-63-206

Permits transfer of teachers between schools upon recommendation of the District’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Rationale: The Charter Schools Act allows a charter school to be responsible for its own personnel matters. It is inconsistent with this statute for the District to make transfers with/or for PPOS. PPOS is an at will employer therefore employment policies may differ from that of the Archuleta JT50 policies.

Replacement Plan: PPOS will make staff assignments based on its needs and educational goals. No staff will be assigned to positions for which they are not qualified. PPOS does not intend to participate in teacher transfers with other district schools. District teachers who are qualified for a vacant position at the school will have an opportunity to apply for the position, and, if hired, will be compensated with a salary corresponding to the position and the years of service.

Duration of the Waivers: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waiver will be evaluated: The impact of these waivers will be measured by the performance criteria and assessments that apply to PPOS as set forth in this application.

Expected Outcome: PPOS expects that as a result of this waiver it will be able to manage its own personnel affairs.

 

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(n)(I)

Board’s duty to prescribe length of school year and hours of teacher-pupil instruction and to

adopt a calendar.

C.R.S. § 22-32-109(1)(n)(II)(B)

Determine teacher-pupil contact hours

Rationale: The school will prescribe the actual details of its own school calendar and hours of teacher-pupil contact. The total number of student hours in school will equal or exceed those of the District and comply with state requirements.

Replacement Plan: The final calendar and school day of PPOS will be designed after approval of the Charter and hiring of the School Director. The School has the authority to determine its own annual calendar and daily schedule, provided it meets or exceeds minimum statutory requirements. PPOS has the authority to determine the number of professional development days, days off, and late starts/early release days. In accordance with the innovation plan, the school’s director shall determine, prior to the end of a school year, the length of time the school will be in session during the next school year. The actual hours of teacher-pupil instruction and teacher-pupil contact shall meet or exceed the minimum hours set by the district and state for public instruction. Input from parents/guardians and teachers will be sought prior to scheduling in-service programs and other non-student contact days. All calendars shall include planned work dates for required staff in service programs. Any change in the calendar except for emergency closings or other unforeseen circumstances shall be preceded by adequate and timely notice of no less than 30 days. A copy of the upcoming school-year calendar and school day schedule shall be provided to all parents/guardians of students who are currently enrolled. The approved upcoming school year calendar and school day hours will be placed on the school’s website prior to May 1 of the prior academic year and a copy shall be provided to the school’s Instructional Superintendent.

Duration of the Waivers: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on the budget of either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waivers will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to PPOS as set forth in the application.

Expected Outcome: As a result of this waiver, PPOS will be able to operate with a longer school year and under its own schedule, which is vital to the success of its program.

 

C.R.S. § 22-63-204

Receiving moneys from the sale of goods.

Rationale: Because PPOS has a unique program, it is essential that the school be granted the latitude to raise money through grants and fundraising and to spend such funds to accomplish its educational objectives. PPOS staff needs to be allowed to accept pay for sale of goods to accomplish educational objectives.

Replacement Plan: The PPOS Board will establish policy for receiving gifts, donations, and grants and will monitor expenditures against instructional objectives. The School will establish an account to manage receipt of locally raised money and will have autonomy in making deposits in and withdrawals from the account when such actions are taken to further the academic achievement of students at the school. The school will account for all moneys that it receives directly and will report to the PPOS board by providing quarterly trial balances to their designated budget partner.

Duration of the Waivers: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waivers will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to the school, as set forth in the application.

Expected Outcome: As a result of the waiver, the PPOS Board will have the latitude to expend funds as needed and will be able to act more quickly while maintaining accountability.

 

C.R.S. § 22-63-103 (10)

Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal – Definitions – Substitute Teacher

This section describes a substitute teacher and the qualifications of such.

Rationale: Developing and maintaining a qualified pool of substitute teachers can be challenging for a Project-based charter school since the expectations vary from those of traditional public schools.

Replacement Plan: The School Director shall have the authority to select part-time and substitute teachers/Advisors.

Duration of the Waiver: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waiver will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to the School, as set forth in this application.

Expected Outcome: As a result of this waiver, the School will be able to employ part-time and substitute teachers possessing unique skills and/or background necessary for the smooth operation of the school.

 

C.R.S. §22-33-106

Grounds for suspension, expulsion and denial of admission

C.R.S. §22-32-109(1)(cc)

Adopt dress code policy

Rationale: Pursuant to the Charter Schools Act, a charter school is responsible for its own personnel matters. Charter schools have unique status and are expected to be experimental and innovative in educational reform. The School must have the authority to determine its own policies, rules, and regulations regarding student behavior and discipline.

Replacement Plan: The PPOS Board will adopt policies and the School Director will prescribe rules and regulations for operation of student behavior and discipline, attire, and grounds for suspension, expulsion and denial of admission that are in alignment with said statute.

Duration of the Waiver: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waiver will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to the School, as set forth in this Charter School Proposal.

Expected Outcome: As a result of this waiver, the School will be able to develop a discipline policy aligned to the core values of the mission and vision of the Pagosa Peak Open School.

 

C.R.S. §22-32-113

Transportation of Pupils

Rationale: With a low student count and a vast rural population, The Pagosa Peak Open School can afford a very minimal transportation inventory, which would cause some students to spend multiple hours each school day commuting to and from school on a bus. This practice conflicts with the PPOS mission of healthy environmental living.

Replacement Plan: Parents shall be responsible for the transportation of their students to and from school each day. The Parents Committee of PPOS will be in charge of organizing parent car-pool partnerships as well as fundraise to help offset public transportation costs to students and their families. PPOS shall request of Mountain Express Public Transit to add the school location to their daily routes.

Duration of the Waiver: PPOS requests that the waiver be for the duration of its Charter.

Financial Impact: None on either the District or PPOS.

How the Impact of the Waivers will be evaluated: The impact of the waiver will be measured by the same performance criteria and assessments that apply to the School, as set forth in this application

Expected Outcome: As a result of this waiver, the school will be able to use scarce school funds in a more effective manner while cultivating a deeper school culture that extends outside of the classroom

Pagosa Peak Open School reserves the right to identify, during its implementation period, those Colorado Revised Statutes which are impediments to effective operation and to request waivers of those statutes, as specified in C.R.S. § 22-2-117 and 22-30.5-104 (6) and 22-30.5-105(3).

 

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