Deadline for charter school
Nearly halfway through the school year, Dinosaur Charter School has yet to meet many of the terms of its contract with Moffat County School District.
School District administration set a deadline of Jan. 18 for the charter school to meet 12 requirements, including some that would bring the school in compliance with state and federal law.
Previously, the school district was primarily concerned with the charter school’s finances and student enrollment, assistant superintendent Joel Sheridan said.
But after a conversation with state officials, district administration became aware the district was responsible for ensuring that the charter school was providing its student with a satisfactory education, Sheridan said.
After Sheridan and Superintendent Pete Bergmann visited the charter school in early December, they created a list of the school’s oversights.
“I think they are doing everything in good faith. It’s tough to run a school out there,” Sheridan said.
Among the items listed, the charter school must provide evidence that it is operating with a highly qualified staff in order to acquire funding from the state.
The school must establish a Parent Advisory Council and keep minutes at PAC meetings to comply with state law.
And the school must provide baseline assessment data on its students’ performances.
The school has only assessed its students with one test that the district found unsatisfactory. The school district is asking the charter school to conduct further tests to meet this requirement.
Charter school pPrincipal Dana Forbes has given no indication that the school won’t meet the requirements, Sheridan said.
At a workshop preceding the meeting, the board discussed the cost of the charter school to the school district. Bergmann said there were many hidden costs in operating the school.
But the cost could be mitigated if the charter school met the requirements of its contract, thereby lessening its need for district supervision, he said.
Board member JoAnn Baxter voiced concern about the education the charter school provides its students.
“I’m just really concerned if what’s going on out there is really the best for the children,” Baxter said.
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