Insight Online

 September 2015
In This Issue
Ohio Alliance for Public
Charter Schools
33 N Third St. Ste. 600
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 744-2266
Fax: (614) 744-2255 
A Message from Dr. Darlene Chambers, President & CEO 

It seems fitting this Fall newsletter coincides with the Labor Day holiday. Teaching is the career people frequently label as being a labor of love. The hard work, long days and creative efforts required to lead classrooms and schools can often go unnoticed. For those who dedicate their professional lives to charter schools, every day is a chance to broaden opportunities for students. The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools is grateful and appreciative of the talent and dedication teachers and school leaders so generously share all year to sustain quality and choice for families.

As the new school year begins, we renew our commitment to be a resource for the entire charter community in Ohio. To better serve all stakeholders, OAPCS has launched a new website and we invite you to visit and bookmark our site for updates, new research, important studies and inspiring stories.  Our address is, so please let us know what you think. We urge you to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to connect to our social media community and stay current with all our initiatives.
Summer recess ends this month for the Ohio General Assembly. They reconvene September 30th  and charter school reform legislation will be a key focus for legislators. We anticipate both the House and Senate will agree to send House Bill 2 to a conference committee to make final decisions across a range of financial and operational areas. House and Senate leadership indicate there is a serious commitment to reach consensus and pass charter reform legislation this Fall. The OAPCS legislative team continues to work with leadership and carry the views of our members to the Statehouse to shape a bill that preserves autonomy in exchange for accountability.

An additional focus for OAPCS is monitoring the ongoing reevaluation of the Sponsor Performance Review (SPR) by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). An external panel of three professionals has been appointed to advise ODE following the retraction of previous SPR ratings in July. We remain hopeful an evaluation process that assures credibility and reliability can be redeployed without a long delay.

This issue of Insight Online also brings you updates on the upcoming OAPCS Charter School Law Summit September 25th at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio, and the OAPCS 9th Annual Charter Schools Conference to be held November 12-13th at the Ohio Union on the Ohio State University campus. National crisis communications expert Mark Weaver is the keynote for the Law Summit and top charter school attorneys will be presenting sessions on collective bargaining, HR law and transportation. We have also posted information on 40 dynamic breakout sessions for the OAPCS state conference on our website, with tracks that will provide inspiring ideas for school leaders, teachers, school board members, authorizers and business officers.

Watch our website and Facebook page for details in November on the release of the Ohio Facilities Report, an initiative we have undertaken with the Colorado League of Charter Schools and the U.S. Department of Education. The report will be a tremendous resource in advocating for equity in charter school facilities and more financing for building improvements.

Our OAPCS team welcomed a new board member and staff member this summer. Attorney Elizabeth T. Smith of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP joined the Board of Directors in August. In July, Stefanie Hatfield became our Data Support Specialist for the Center for Charter School Quality (CCSQ). With a decade of experience as a charter school teacher and leader, she brings deep expertise in data driven methods and will be a tremendous asset to our Data Matters Consortium.

We are also proud to welcome 27 new OAPCS charter school members and we look forward to seeing many new faces at our upcoming workshops and the state conference.
Trint Hatt's September Legislative Update: Funding Provisions and Charter Reform Legislation
As Fall begins for community schools and the Ohio General Assembly, it is worthwhile to look back at the funding provisions contained in the Biennial Budget Bill signed June 30th  and look ahead to the legislative activity that will resume this month. The OAPCS legislative team is prepared to advocate for members as the representatives and senators return to focus on pending legislation affecting charter schools. It is always our goal to assist members in every way to achieve smooth school operations without burdensome bureaucracy and we continue to carry that message forward.

To look back, in Am. Sub. House Bill 64, the Biennial Budget Bill, community schools were allocated increases in funding provisions, an outcome we worked hard to achieve.

The full list of provisions affecting community schools in the budget can be found here. The following are highlights of Am. Sub. House Bill 64, as this budget bill: 
  • Increases the per-pupil foundation payments to $5,900 in FY16 and $6,000 in FY17, up from current law of $5,800;
  • Increases the per-pupil funding for facilities for brick and mortar schools to $150 in FY 2016 and $200 in FY 2017, up from current law of $100. Also provides a first time supplement for E-schools in each fiscal year of $25 per-pupil to aid with testing and counseling centers;
  • Provides $25 million for a "Community School Classroom Facilities Grant" which can be accessed by high-performing schools as defined in the bill;
  • Increases the per-pupil payment amount to $33 in FY 2016 for all ESCs and increases the per-pupil payment amount for non-high-performing ESCs to $33 in FY 2017; and,
  • Provides community schools and STEM schools with performance bonus payments related to four-year graduation rates. Community schools that reach targets for third grade reading proficiency scores can also receive performance bonus payments.
The OAPCS legislative team declared this two-year operating budget a win and moving forward will continue to listen to our members regarding budget matters. It is vital to our advocacy efforts that we hear from our OAPCS members as the Fall Statehouse calendar advances.

Looking ahead, legislators will be focused on the passage of House Bill 2 this session. As we recently reported, the bill was stalled in June. In my talks with Statehouse leadership and staff members, it appears legislators are highly motivated to pass the bill. We are working tirelessly to ensure that the final product represents a strong reform package while allowing charter schools to retain the autonomy that is an essential component of operations. When the legislature reconvenes September 30, the most likely course is that the House will vote to send the bill to a conference committee. A conference committee is comprised of three members from the House and Senate who will make the final decisions on any proposed changes. Until the committee vote occurs, it's unknown who will be appointed. As soon as more information is available, we will pass it along.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced August 19 that a three-member panel will advise ODE on reworking the Sponsor Performance Review (SPR) evaluation system. Previous SPR ratings were retracted by ODE in July following the resignation of David Hansen, the former Office of Quality School Choice Director. Hansen had acknowledged to State Board of Education members that academic data from online and dropout recovery schools had been omitted from the initial SPR ratings.

Members of the panel are: Thomas Hosler, superintendent of Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools; Phillip Dennison, a certified public accountant with Packer Thomas in Canfield; and, Mark Hatcher, a partner with BakerHostetler law firm in Columbus. As more details about the review process emerge, we will keep members updated.

As always, I appreciate member feedback on any issues that you have concerns with. I also welcome ideas on improving our advocacy efforts. Contact me at or call 614-744-2266 ext. 210.
Membership Spotlight: OAPCS Welcomes 27 New Members
The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools welcomed 27 new charter school members this summer. As a dedicated membership organization, OAPCS strives to support the entire movement for charter schools and quality educational options. OAPCS members are provided with a wide range of benefits that include professional development, networking opportunities, targeted advocacy and educational programs. Members are also eligible for cost saving discounts at OAPCS sponsored conferences, seminars and workshops.
The Charter Marketplace launched in August and this benefit is available to all members. The Charter Marketplace connects schools with quality providers at a discounted rate. Our current partners include ePluno, IGS Energy, Staples, CDW-G, Grainger, NWEA, AJ Gallagher, Hertz Furniture and PSI. It is our goal to help your school save time and money. Check out the Charter Marketplace by visiting to take advantage of member benefits.

Welcome to All New Charter School Members of OAPCS:
  • Ohio College Preparatory School
  • Akron Preparatory School
  • Berwyn East Academy
  • Canton College Preparatory School
  • Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy
  • Constellation Schools: Collingwood Village Academy
  • Constellation Schools: Eastside Arts Academy
  • Constellation Schools: Elyria Community
  • Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Middle
  • Constellation Schools: Madison Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Middle
  • Constellation Schools: Outreach Academy for Students with Disabilities
  • Constellation Schools: Parma Community
  • Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Middle
  • Constellation Schools: Stockyard Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Stockyard Community Middle
  • Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Elementary
  • Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Middle
  • Constellation Schools: Westside Community School of the Arts
  • Northpointe Academy
  • Ohio Virtual Academy
  • SunBridge Schools
  • University of Cleveland Preparatory School
  • Zenith Academy West
OAPCS also welcomes back our returning member schools and associate members. See the full list at

Charter School Law Summit Features Crisis Communications Expert
Mark Weaver
Mark Weaver, an attorney and expert in crisis communications, will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 OAPCS Charter School Law Summit on Friday, September 25, 2015, at the Conference Center at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio.

Weaver will discuss developing a crisis communications plan and the rules of media engagement to succeed in today's 24-hour news cycle. A practicing attorney in Ohio, Weaver will also address legal and ethical standards for what can be said during high profile litigation and regulatory matters. The founder of Communications Counsel, Weaver is a communications advisor with decades of national and Ohio-based media campaign experience.

According to Weaver, one key message he will bring is the importance of conducting annual crisis communications training for staff and updating the organization's plan. To succeed in sharing positive accomplishments, he noted, school leaders and staff need to understand the elements of newsworthiness and drive media coverage with active social media accounts. "Someone in the organization should also monitor events and news coverage to spot an incoming problem," he added. "Just like a weather radio can give you valuable time to prepare for a storm, so too can a crisis warning system."

Prior to starting his firm, Weaver was the Deputy Attorney General of Ohio, where he was responsible for crisis management, strategic counseling and all communications. He also served on the Attorney General's executive staff and acted as senior policy advisor and chief spokesman. While there, he co-authored a National Association of Attorney Generals' Management Study on Communications Management in five different state Attorney General offices.

Weaver will be joined at the summit by Ohio charter school attorneys presenting on topics ranging from collective bargaining to HR law and transportation. Presenting attorneys include: 
  • Amy Borman (Dickinson Wright)
  • Jamie Callender (The Callender Group)
  • Arthur L. "Tim" Clements (Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC)
  • Amy Goodson (Amy Goodson Co., LLC)
  • Maria Markakis (Day Ketterer)
Click here for full speaker biographies.

The Summit runs from 10 AM to 3 PM. Five CLE total hours have been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education. Discounted registration rates for OAPCS members and non-members are available until September 18, 2015. To register for the conference, click here.
Breakout Sessions Announced for the OAPCS 9th Annual Ohio Charter Schools Conference
National, state and regional experts will present more than 40 breakout sessions at the OAPCS 9th Annual Ohio Charter Schools Conference   at the  Ohio Union on The Ohio State University Campus  November 12-13, 2015. T opics, organized into four tracks, will range from policy trends to teacher recruitment.

One breakout "Super Session" will feature Ohio legislators on a panel to discuss community school reform legislation. Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Ohio Senate Education Committee, and State Representative Bill Hayes, chair of the Ohio House Education Committee, will be joined by David Robinson of the Montrose Group.

Tony Bagshaw
Tony Bagshaw, Managing Director of Human Capital at Battelle for Kids in Columbus, will headline two sessions addressing recruitment, retention and performance of teachers and leaders in charter schools. Bagshaw, a national expert and presenter on human resources and talent acquisition in education, forecasts that all schools will be competing aggressively for a shrinking pool of teachers. "It is clear to me from data and college enrollment figures that there is a drop in students who are identifying teaching as a career," he noted. "The pool is getting smaller at a time when we need talent, so the challenge is, how do we approach human capital in education and how do we create a pool?"

Bagshaw will focus his session, "Engaging Staff and Students," on strategies to create school environments where talent thrives and employees are fully committed to excellence. "The key is quality leadership," he said. "People will work harder for a compelling leader." His second breakout, "HR Branding and Selection: Attract, Hire and Retain Great Educators," will outline methods for schools to create and sustain a brand to develop teaching talent and nurture motivation. 

Additional breakout sessions by track are:
  • Six Levels of Leadership: Going from Ordinary to Extraordinary
  • Bullying and Harassment: Litigation Protection Strategies
Teaching/Student Achievement
  • College Credit Plus Program
  • Flip Your Class Using Technology: Online Strategies for Diverse Learners
Legislative and Advocacy/Communications
  • Issues Community Schools Avoid But Must Address
  • Charter School Policy Trends Around the Great Lakes
Charter Accountability/Finance
  • Career Tech Expenditures in Charter Schools
  • Whose Student is This?
Opening Keynote to Present "Fireside Chat"

The opening General Session will feature a "Fireside Chat" with a panel of national charter school leaders that will be moderated by Dr. Darlene Chambers, President and CEO of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS).

The panelists are:
Nina Rees
President & CEO
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Greg Richmond
President & CEO
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
Kenneth Campbell
Founding Board Member
Black Alliance for
Educational Options
Click here for panelist biographies.

Friday Keynote

Ember Reichgott Junge
Ember Reichgott Junge is the author of Minnesota's 1991 first-in-nation charter school law. A legislator for 18 years, Reichgott Junge will speak about the national challenges and successes of the charter movement. Her presentation is titled "Chartering: From Pioneering Origins to Coming of Age." She is the author of  Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story, a memoir of her work in creating the first charter school law in the nation. Click here  to read an interview with Reichgott Junge.

Register Now to bring a team to get the most out of your conference experience. Special conference rates are available at the Hyatt Place and Hyatt Regency Hotels. Shuttles will be provided between the hotels and the Ohio Union.

Hotel Reservations


E-mail the OAPCS conference team or call Conference Coordinator Bretta Beveridge at 206-235-8249.
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Awards Grant to OAPCS
The Cleveland-based Martha Holden Jennings Foundation has awarded a grant to the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools to enroll two urban charter schools into the OAPCS performance management program known as the Data Matters Consortium.

The grant will enable OAPCS to add Zenith Academy West (K-5) in Columbus and Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy (K-12) to the consortium, which assists schools in generating a sustainable culture centered on student data and performance. The training implemented at these schools through the foundation grant will implement technology in the classroom, increase collaborative teaching and maximize performance outcomes for students. OAPCS now facilitates the program in 19 charter schools across the state through the Center for Charter School Quality (CCSQ).

"We are honored to accept this grant and work in partnership with the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation to expand this program and serve more students and teachers in Ohio," said Dr. Darlene Chambers, CEO and President of OAPCS. "With this grant, CCSQ will provide a team to work with school leaders and teachers to improve quality and sustain effective teaching through current data-driven tools," she added.

The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation supports and promotes more effective teaching in Ohio schools, with a special focus on schools serving disadvantaged students and those with significant achievement gaps. Of the two schools supported through this grant, Zenith Academy West has an enrollment in which 99 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged and 97 percent are minority students. At Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy, 100 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged and 100 percent are minority students.

"There is a clear correlation between poverty and academic performance in urban schools and that gap continues to widen for both charter and traditional schools," Dr. Chambers noted. "This grant will be a significant collaboration between OAPCS and the foundation to help address the needs and resources these schools require to help close that gap."

The Data Matters program provides CCSQ experts who train staff in the Illuminate Education program, a web-based tool customized for Ohio's charter schools. Data teams at each school are also created and trained by CCSQ staff so teachers can work together to problem solve, apply best practices in data-driven models and improve curriculum delivery through a "lessons learned" system.

For more information on CCSQ, click here.
New Board Member Joins OAPCS  

Elizabeth T. Smith
The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools welcomed attorney Elizabeth T. Smith as a new member of the OAPCS Board of Directors in August. Smith is a partner with the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP and a member of the litigation group. Her practice includes business, commercial, contract, employment, intentional torts and probate litigation. She has also engaged in charter school and education issues, consumer sales practice investigations and Ohio ethics law investigations. She served as Chief Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General from January 2003 to May 2005. She has argued cases in various state appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Women's Bar Association and Women Lawyers of Franklin County. 

Smith received her J.D. from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law and her Bachelor's degree from Heidelberg College. She served on the OAPCS Advisory Board for the past five years and is a trustee of Heidelberg College and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.
OAPCS Welcomes New Staff Member
Stefanie Hatfield
Stefanie Hatfield joined OAPCS in July as a Data Support Specialist for the Center for Charter School Quality (CCSQ). She plans and delivers professional development in the Data Teams process, data analysis and data driven curriculum modifications. She brings more than a decade of experience as a teacher and administrator in Columbus charter schools. As the lead trainer for the Illuminate and Data Teams system in the Data Matters Consortium, she applies her expertise to build quality throughout the community schools in the program. She received a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Wittenberg University and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. She can be reached at 614-744-2266 ext. 213 or via e-mail at .
OAPCS Facilities Initiative Update
For the past eight months, the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the Colorado League of Charter Schools and the U.S. Department of Education have collaborated to complete an extensive survey of Ohio charter school facilities, collecting data to address facility and policy related issues in the state. The information is now in the final phase of analysis, with a November release date planned for the Ohio Facilities Report. All brick and mortar charter schools in the state were invited to participate in the survey, with 81 percent responding. Data gathered for the report included facilities funding, site and classroom size, ownership, financing, shared use information and space utilization. Similar surveys have been conducted in 14 other states to help advocate for funding increases and legislative changes to address challenges to equitable access for facilities and financing. When released, the report will be available through OAPCS and the Colorado League.

To review other states' reports, go to:

New 2015-2016 Window for School Assessments Announced
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has released a new school assessment calendar for the 2015-2016 school year. This follows legislative directives to withdraw Ohio from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and transition to new tests supplied through a state contract with the American Institutes of Research. The new ODE calendar calls for Ohio schools to administer their 2016 spring assessments in a month-long window beginning in April for math, science, social studies and English. The window for English assessments will be April 4 to April 22 for paper tests and April 4 to April 29 for online tests. For math, science and social studies testing, the assessment period is April 4 to May 6 for paper tests and April 4 to May 13 for online tests. School districts will have to choose 10-day periods within the window to administer paper tests or 15-day periods for online tests. Science and social studies practice tests are now available from ODE and sample questions will be available in October for students in grades 3-8. For details about test windows and practice tests, click here.

Because of the transition to new tests, the General Assembly also extended and modified a number of safe harbor provisions. These provisions permit the Ohio School Report Card to suspend the calculation of an overall letter grade until the 2018 Report Card (from school year 2017-2018). All other results and letter grades will be reported on the Ohio School Report Card as they have been in previous years. There will also be no consequences tied to the results of state tests given in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Safe harbor provides districts, schools, teachers and students time to adjust to the new tests. For more information about safe harbor provisions, click here.

Testing changes have also been made by ODE connected to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) will no longer be administered. Ohio's state test in grade 3 English language arts, to be administered November 30 to December 11, 2015, will replace the third grade reading OAA. The state test will meet the requirements of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
October Deadline Announced for Non-State Educational Agency Grant Competition
The U.S. Department of Education's Charter Schools Program (CSP) has announced an application deadline of October 6, 2015 for the Non-State Educational Agency (Non-SEA) grant competition. This competition is open to charter schools that are in states that do NOT have an SEA grant. Ohio has a pending SEA grant now under review and in late September grant applicants will be notified if their proposals are approved. Ohio charter schools would be eligible to move forward and enter the Non-SEA grant competition if the state SEA grant proposal is NOT funded, but the turnaround time will be short to meet the October deadline.

Two grant categories are available in the program.
The CSP's Non-SEA Planning, Program Design, and Implementation competition provides grants directly to charter school developers so they can plan, design and complete the initial implementation of their school. The Non-SEA Dissemination competition awards grants directly to existing public charter schools. These funds can then be used by the grantee to help other schools adapt successful programs used in the grantee's school. The grantee can also apply the funds to disseminate information about their charter school model, programs and methods.

For both categories, applicants must meet the grant priority of supporting projects that are designed to improve academic outcomes and learning environments for students who are living in poverty and are served by schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty.

The Department plans to use up to $4,000,000 for these competitions and estimates making between 18 and 22 awards. The average size of awards is $200,000 per year for up to three years for planning, program design and initial implementation, or up to two years for dissemination.  Applications are due by October 6, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. EST and must be submitted through The grant application is available at

Be aware that does not require registration to download and work on the application, but does require registration to submit, which you can complete here. It's recommended applicants allow up to four weeks to complete the registration process.

More details about the implementation grants are available here and about the dissemination grants here. A pre-application meeting will be held via webinar on Wednesday, September 9, 3:30 PM to 5 PM EST. For those interested in participating in the September 9 webinar, you can access the webinar here. The password for the webinar is nsea. For questions, contact Lourdes Rivery at or at 202-453-7060.
Panel on Charter Schools Featured at Ohio State University's Glenn College Leadership Forum
OAPCS Director of Government Affairs Trint Hatt will be a panelist at the Ohio State University Glenn College Leadership Forum to be held September 25, 2015. The panel, which addresses charter schools in Ohio, will be moderated by Stephane Lavertu, associate professor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and Paolo DeMaria, principal consultant with Education First, are also on the panel. Panelists will address improved public policy and implementation of charter schools in the state. The forum will take place at the Nationwide and 4-H Farm Bureau Center on Ohio State's campus at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, Ohio, 43210.
Radio Program Features Discussion of Charter School Oversight
Dr. Darlene Chambers, CEO and President of OAPCS, appeared on the All Sides with Ann Fisher program on WOSU FM September 1, 2015 to discuss charter school oversight and evaluation. To view the podcast, click here.
Charter School Roundup: Transitions and Back to Class News
Online Learning Day in Columbus Set for October

The Ohio eSchool Families and Friends Coalition, in collaboration with OAPCS and other eSchool stakeholders, is organizing an Online Learning Day at the Ohio Statehouse to be held October 7, 2015. The day-long event will be based at the Columbus Athenaeum, 32 North 4 th  Street, to celebrate online learning and highlight student success stories. Transportation will be provided for families from various cities in Ohio, according to Sheryl Stecker, one of the event organizers.  Additional details about the event and logistics will be available at and .

Call for Nominations Now Open for School Leader of the Year and Teacher of the Year Awards

Th Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools is now accepting nominations for School Leader of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards. OAPCS will announce the winners of these awards at the OAPCS Charter Schools Conference on November 12-13, 2015 at the Ohio Union on The Ohio State University campus. Deadline for nominations is September 30, 2015. For full details and nomination materials, click here.

Imagine Schools Transition to Nonprofit

Imagine Schools, a national network of 63 public charter campuses with more than 30,000 students in 11 states, has announced the completion of its transition to a nonprofit organization. "We are excited about this next evolution for Imagine Schools as an education service provider," said Jason Bryant, President and CEO of Imagine Schools. Co-founders Dennis and Eileen Bakke, who created the organization 11 years ago, gifted their entire ownership in Imagine Schools, Inc. to Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc.

Charter School Career Tech Expenditures

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has disseminated a webinar and reminder to authorizers and charter schools that have received Career-Tech Expenditures (CTE) and CTE Additional Funds detailing new compliance and reporting requirements mandated by House Bill 59. Current statute requires that no more than 25 percent of CTE funds can be expended on personnel costs, with the remaining 75 percent being expended on equipment and supplies. The statutory requirement of the 75/25 expenditure rule became effective in September 2013 through HB 59. Under the bill, charter schools were assigned to Career Technical Planning Districts and with that change all schools that access CTE funds are now required to operate under the 25/75 percent rule. Prior to September 2013, charter schools had been exempt from this requirement. Charter schools and authorizers that fail to comply with the fund allocation or annual reporting requirements can potentially see their CTE funding and CTE programming face sanctions. For more information on the CTE require-ments, contact CTE Liaison and Program Developer John Taracko, at 614-644-9741 or email

Tool-kit Released to Build Collaborations

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) recently released a tool-kit for district and charter school representatives interested in establishing collaborations. The guide contains a framework based on lessons learned from leaders who have successfully created joint programs and projects. To read the tool-kit, click here.

Recommendations Made for New Drug Abuse Prevention Curriculum

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and Governor Kasich's Opiate Action Team recently released guidance for school districts that must comply with a new legislative mandate to teach students about the danger of opiate narcotics. House Bill 367, passed in 2014, requires the board of education of each local district to deliver a health curriculum that includes instruction on the medical consequences of prescription opioid abuse and addiction.

The recommendations are divided into grade levels for instruction and content and linked to supporting resources from agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The grade bands are K-2, 3-5, 6, 7-8, 9, 10-11, 12. For the full set of recommendations, click here.

New Faces and New Places

Thousands of charter school students bid farewell to summer last month and started a new year of learning. OAPCS wishes them and their teachers, parents and school leaders great success in the months ahead. 

Here's how a few students and staff started back to school:

Toledo Preparatory and Fitness Academy students stand tall in new school uniforms.

Teachers at Imagine Schools get the textbooks organized.


It's a serious reading circle for students at Northland Preparatory and Fitness Academy.

Breakthrough Schools opened their doors to smiles.


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