People brand new to the charter school community have been attending a boot camp this week to prepare for writing a charter school application. The training is a collaboration with CDE, the League of Charter Schools and the state Charter School Institute.
Attending boot camp and hearing all the presentations, which include a wide variety of topics including the application components, has been likened to drinking from a fire hose. Most founders begin with learning the lingo we use in education. Almost every component of the application requires a great deal of background knowledge and discussion. The components interplay with each other to comprehensively communicate the school's vision and philosophies. Even the budget should reflect the school's vision.
There are a host of resources available for charter school applicants. Many are on the charter page of the CDE website. Resources include other charter school applications, the model application, primary documents such as bylaws and articles of incorporation, and financial models. The sample contract language that's now available was reviewed; in particular, the pre-opening checklist and ESP provisions attachments.
This boot camp is for three days each June and the fee is nominal (to cover food). The primary purpose of the training is exposure to people the applicants will need to contact for help as they go through the application process and explain the detail of what should be included in a charter school applicaction.