A r i z o n a S t a t e B o a r d f o r C h a r t e r S c h o o l s
N e w s l e t t e r
1700 W. Washington, #164 A u g u s t 2 0 0 3
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 364-3080
Fax: (602) 364-3089
As you wrap up your summer and gear up for another great school year, the staff of the State Board for Charter
Schools wishes you a productive year. This newsletter is full of reminders, updates, and announcements to
assist you with your upcoming year.
Five Additional Charters to Provide Distance Learning
The following schools will join PPEP & Affiliates and Sequoia Choice as charter schools approved to
participate in the Technology Assisted Project-based Instruction Program as described in HB 2093:
Sierra Vista Charter School, Inc.
Phoenix Special Programs, Inc.
Humanities and Sciences Academy of the United States, Inc.
Pinnacle Education, Inc.
Primavera Technical Learning Center
Changes in Auditing Requirements
At the June 9, 2003 meeting of the State Board for Charter Schools, the Board adopted a new compliance
questionnaire to be used for completion of the Fiscal Year 2003 audits and has moved up the deadline for audit
submission to November 15, beginning with the Fiscal Year 2004 audits. Audit guidelines, a sample
engagement letter, and copies of the questionnaires are all available on our website at
Expedited Mid-year Transfer Opportunity for State Board Sponsored Schools
An expedited transfer process has been approved by the Board for those schools currently sponsored by the
State Board of Education who wish to transfer mid-year to the State Board for Charter Schools. The deadline
for the expedited transfer is December 1, 2003. All schools currently sponsored by the State Board will be
receiving information from the Charter Board office regarding the transfer option. Please visit our website for
more information on the expedited transfer process.
Schools Sponsored by the State Board of Education
You are invited to attend a meeting to be held September 5 from 1-3 p.m. to introduce you to the Charter Board
staff and provide additional information and discuss the Notification and Amendment processes, Charter Board
policies, processing of complaints, Expedited Transfer process, any other questions you may have.
Applications for New Charters for the 2004-05 School Year
The application was posted on our website after it was approved by the Board in May. Over 100 individuals
have attended Prospective Applicant Workshops, which occurred throughout the summer. The deadline for
submission of applications is September 10, 2003. The Board is looking for Review Panel members who will
score preliminary applications. If you would like to volunteer your time and charter expertise, please contact
DeAnna at email@example.com.
Fingerprint Clearance Card and Fingerprint Criminal History Check Reminder
As you make personnel decisions for the up-coming school year, keep the following in mind.
In accordance with A.R.S. 15-183.C.4:
All persons engaged in instructional work directly as a classroom, laboratory or other teacher or indirectly
as a supervisory teacher, speech therapist or principal shall have a valid fingerprint clearance card.
o For compliance purposes, this could be verified via:
a copy of the valid fingerprint clearance card being placed in the individual’s file on site
a list that includes the individuals’ names, job description, clearance card number, and the date the
validity of card was confirmed.
o To confirm the validity of a fingerprint clearance card, an authorized individual may:
Verify the status of a card by logging on to Certification Search via Common Logon at
http://www.ade.az.gov/. This will work for certified teachers who were required to possess a
clearance card for certification purposes and those who checked the box for charter school
employment when applying for a clearance card.
Send a fax on your letterhead to DPS at 602-223-2947. The fax must include:
1. Contact name for the individual submitting the request.
2. Return fax number
3. First and last name of each card holder
4. Clearance card number for each card to be verified
5. Space next to each inquiry for DPS to provide a written response
DPS will respond by fax within 5 business days.
A charter school shall not employ a teacher whose certificate has been revoked for a violation of § 15-507
or 15-550 or for any offense that placed a pupil in danger.
o To verify if an individual ever held an Arizona teaching certificate, an authorized individual may
confirm the certification status of an individual by logging on to Certification Search via Common
Logon at http://www.ade.az.gov/.
All other personnel (those not covered in “all persons engaged in instructional work directly as a classroom,
laboratory or other teacher or indirectly as a supervisory teacher, speech therapist or principal”), whether
paid or unpaid, shall be fingerprint and background checked pursuant to § 15-512.
o For compliance purposes, this could be verified via:
a list that includes
1. The individuals’ names
2. Job description
3. Dates criminal history checks were received by the school, from both FBI and DPS. These are
obtained by a school when it follows the procedures for a fingerprint criminal history check
using the school’s ORI number.
4. Documented, good faith efforts to contact previous employers of a person to obtain information
and recommendations that may be relevant to a person’s fitness for employment as described in
An additional reminder: Schools sponsored by the State Board for Charter Schools must also be able to
demonstrate that up-to-date fingerprint criminal history check information has been obtained for each member
of its governing body as indicated in the charter contract.
For more information on the fingerprinting processes, visit the link on our website at
Estimated Count and Enrollment Form Reminder
The Arizona State Board for Charter School approved a motion to require charter schools to have specific
student and parent information on file for any student that is recorded on the estimated enrollment list. A letter
was sent May 1st explaining the new requirement and included a sample form.
All the required information for the submission of student data to School Finance, as well as the information the
Charter Board is requiring you to maintain on file, is listed below. Please note that it is important to have on
file specific parent contact information, as well as a parent signature. A charter operating more than one site
must have a separate enrollment form or a means to determine which specific site each enrollment form is for.
• Name: First, Middle Initial, Last
• Date of Birth
• Grade Level
• School Attended in 2003-03
• Special Education Category (if applicable)
• English Language Learner (if applicable)
• Name: First, Middle, Last
• Address & Phone: Street, Apartment #, City,
State, Zip, Phone
• Signature on Form
• School year for which the student is
registering, enrolling, or re-enrolling
• Address of site
Visit http://www.ade.az.gov/schoolfinance/DueDates/Charters/ to view the Data Collection Dates for Charters.
A copy of the calendar is also included with this newsletter. As indicated on the calendar, your estimated
enrollment lists should be updated by August 22 and September 19 to adequately reflect the enrollment forms
on file at each school.
AIMS and SAT9 Testing
The Critical Dates Calendar for 2003-2004 Testing is out. A copy of the calendar is included. Be sure you
include the following additions to your school’s testing dates:
• AIMS Field Test of Writing Prompts Grades 3,5,8, and 10 October 6-10, 2003
• AIMS Field Test Grades 4, 6, and 7 April 19-30
AIMS High School Test Dates have changed and makeup days have been added. Mark your calendars.
• Writing February 24 Makeup Day - March 2
• Reading February 25 Makeup Day - March 3
• Math April 22 Makeup Day - April 26
The Department of Education will be presenting Testing Workshops. Watch the ADE website for details.
Attorney General’s Opinion on Charter Schools and Prop 203
The office of the Attorney General for the State of Arizona has issued an opinion that charter schools are not
subject to the requirements of Proposition 203 unless a school’s charter provides otherwise. Charter schools
that do not follow Proposition 203 are not eligible for additional state funding for English learners ($314 per
pupil). While not required to follow the mandates of Prop 203, charter schools must comply with the federal
requirements under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act that requires any public school to take “appropriate
action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional
programs.” For a complete copy of the Opinion go to http://www.ag.state.az.us/opinions/I03-002.pdf.
2003 Arizona Accountability Communications Workshop
All charter school chief administrators should have received a letter from Superintendent Horne providing
information about this workshop coming to your county. The workshop will include information pertaining to:
• Legislative changes made to ARIZONA LEARNS
• Methodological changes made to ARIZONA LEARNS
• Results of negotiations between the Department and the U.S. Department of Education regarding the
implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
• Details about appeals procedures and timelines established by the Department for ARIZONA LEARNS and
the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
According to the letter, county superintendents will contact charter operators regarding the location, date and
time of the workshop in their area. Workshops are scheduled throughout the month of August.
Highly Qualified Teachers
The Certification Rules Task Force Committee and Subcommittees have been working to draft a rubric for
current teachers to be considered highly qualified. The State Board of Education is planning to review and
respond to the most up to date DRAFT at a study session scheduled for August 5th.
State Board of Education to Consider AZ LEARNS Formulas and Highly Qualified Teacher Rubric
The State Board is planning to discuss and consider the approval of both the AZ LEARNS Formulas and Highly
Qualified Teacher Rubric at its regularly scheduled meeting on August 25th.
Scholarships Available for Special Education Certification
Do you have a teacher who is interested in getting certified to teach special education in Arizona? If so, the
following announcement is for you! The Arizona State Improvement Grant has posted the scholarship
applications for the Fall semester at: www.azsig.com. Please let your teachers know!
Training Opportunities Available
Be sure to regularly check the ADE website that has direct registration links for ADE sponsored training in a
variety of areas including Academic Achievement, AZ READS, Exceptional Student Services, Standards Based
Teaching and Learning, and Child Nutrition. http://www.ade.az.gov/onlineregistration/
"HIGHLY QUALIFIED" Teachers Available for this School Year
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors and
diverse backgrounds who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and who become lifelong
leaders in the effort to expand opportunity for children. Corps members go above and beyond traditional
expectations to ensure their students make dramatic gains in academic achievement.
Currently, Teach For America enjoys a special and unique partnership with the Arizona State Department of
Education that guarantees teachers for its district and school partners that meet all federal and state requirements
for the NCLB legislation. As part of this partnership, all their teachers have taken and passed the AEPA, and
the Certification Unit has issued them a Teacher Intern Certificate, which allows for the assumption of full
teaching responsibilities with the "highly qualified" status.
Teach For America is still seeking additional partners for this school year (SY 2003-2004) from the Charter
School Community. Typical partner schools are located within Maricopa County and serve populations of
students from low-income communities struggling with academic achievement. The program places teachers in
all grade levels and subject areas, including special education, bilingual/ESL, math and science. If you are
interested in hiring "highly qualified" teachers from the Teach For America program, please contact their Senior
Program Director, Nicholas Krump, as soon as possible at 602-926-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a Great School Year!
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