School Board Unanimously OKs Plan for Charter School Accountability

On Tuesday, May 29 the Des Moines School Board unanimously approved steps to assure greater accountability in the operations of the Des Moines Public Charter School. The following is the motion adopted on a 7-0 vote by the School Board:

The Des Moines Public Charter School be placed on a probationary status for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years and required to comply with the following measures of accountability as established by the DMPS Board: 


  1. that the Charter Advisory Council complete the development of all policies,  procedures and handbooks governing the school and its operation including a  draft to the DMPS general counsel for review with final approval of the document(s) by the DMPS Board by July 1, 2012;
  2. that the Charter Advisory Council be reconstituted  as set out in the DMPS Board Committee recommendations and that elections of new board members take place within 30 days of the start of the 2012-13 Charter school year;
  3. that the newly constituted Charter Advisory Council develop and adopt governance procedures including bylaws and/or Council operating procedures and participate in training appropriate to their roles as the governing body of the school;
  4. that the Charter Advisory Council provide written and oral quarterly reports to the DMPS Board as set out in the Board Committee recommendations including schedule and content areas as recommended;
  5. that student achievement data be reviewed and a plan of action developed and presented to the DMPS Board in August 2012 to address any student achievement deficiencies identified in the report;
  6. that the Charter Advisory Council complete a business plan and 4 year budget projections to be submitted to the DMPS Board by October 30th and predicated on the following:
    • enrollment projections that are realistic and coincide with current enrollment figures and take into consideration matriculation trends for grades 9-12
    • facilities and space projections that are realistic and account  for enrollment projections;
    • additional required teaching staff with endorsements necessary in meeting all requirements for grades 9-12;
    • additional support staff necessary in providing a realistic level of building and administrative support to insure operational effectiveness of the Charter;
    • funds provided by the Charter School Foundation, private foundations, corporations, individual donors, and others are be identified and supported by written commitments;
  7. that an audit of Charter School operations and finances by undertaken in the spring of 2013 to determine compliance with District financial and reporting requirements;
  8. that the DMPS Board engage in discussions with the Iowa Department of Education informing them of the Charter School’s probationary status including the accountability measures adopted by the Board and creating a common understanding of issues to be addressed and future actions that can be taken, if required, prior to the end of the initial four year Charter period.
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