SCSC Newsletter
February 2021
The SCSC Celebrates National School Choice Week, Welcomes Returning Staff Member & Requests School Photos
2021 has quickly ramped up as we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping school communities safe, healthy, and learning. The SCSC will hold its next board meeting on February 24, 2021 at 10 AM. Meeting details and a list of board meetings for 2021 are listed on the meetings page of our website.

In January, the SCSC celebrated National School Choice Week (Jan. 24 - Jan. 30, 2021) and it was excited to see the energy in a virtual setting. National School Choice Week celebrates choice in education and empowers parents to find learning options that best meet their child’s unique needs. To learn more and see how you can get involved next year, click here.

The SCSC is pleased to announce the return of Charter Development Manager, Kristen Easterbrook, from maternity leave. She was greatly missed and we are excited to have her back!

Finally, the SCSC is celebrating Black History Month in February by honoring the educational contributions of Black Americans. We invite you to follow along on social media and tag us in your Black History Month celebrations. We are also requesting photos from schools to showcase on social media and the SCSC website. Please send all photos with any accompanying release or opt-out forms to

Testing Window Extensions & 2019-2020 SCSC CPF Update

Spring Administration Window Extensions
Due to the ongoing challenges associated with the pandemic and adjustments districts are making to their school calendars, GaDOE is extending the spring state testing windows.

  • The Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) Spring Administration Window has been extended to May 28 and will now be open April 12 – May 28, 2021.
  • The Georgia Milestones End of Course (EOC) Spring Administration Window has been extended to June 4 and will now be open April 19 – June 4, 2021. 
  • The Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) Spring Administration Window has been extended to begin on March 8, when materials arrive in districts, and will now be open March 8 – April 30, 2021.

Please reach out to your Assessment Specialist if you have any additional questions.

2019-2020 SCSC CPF Update
Preliminary SCSC CPF results for the 2019-2020 school year were shared with schools on Monday January 25, 2021. 2019-2020 CPF results only include scores for the Financial and Operations section of the CPF. Academic scores are not available as no CCRPI, VAM or BTO scores were calculated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of statewide summative assessments.

Although Financial and Operational scores were calculated for all state charter schools, those scores will only be used for renewal consideration if they benefit the school’s track record of performance, so essential it is a hold harmless year. However, these scores may still be utilized by the SCSC for the continued monitoring and oversight purposes (e.g. designation of High-Risk status, continuing obligations, charter amendment requests, etc.). Final scores will be shared with commissioners on Wednesday, February 17th, one week prior to when SCSC staff will share them publicly at the February 24th SCSC board meeting.

CPF reports will be posted to the SCSC website following the February meeting. 
Vaccination Survey & Federal Mask Mandate

Vaccination Survey for School Personnel
In preparation for when an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine is available for school personnel to be vaccinated, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH) has requested school system information on plans and considerations for vaccination of personnel.

These results will assist GaDPH and the Governor’s office in providing the supports and resources necessary for school personnel willing to be vaccinated to receive vaccines.

This survey has been extended to close at 11:59pm on Wednesday, February 17th.
View a PDF copy of the entire survey before clicking on the survey here

Federal Mask Mandate for Surface Transportation Providers
Many of you may have received questions related to the CDC’s Executive Order regarding surface transportation providers.

The executive order mandates masks on conveyances, but there are differing opinions as to how it relates to pupil transportation, so we encourage you to work with your local staff/BOE attorney to determine applicability.

Liberty Tech Charter School Earns 5-Year Charter Renewal 

At the January 27, 2021 SCSC board meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to approve the staff’s recommendation to execute a standard 5-year charter renewal contract for Liberty Tech Charter School. The school is located in Fayette County, has a statewide attendance zone, and serves students in grades K-8. Liberty Tech met academic, financial and operational standards as outlined in the SCSC CPF for a majority of its contract term. The school consistently demonstrated strong academic performance by outperforming its attendance zone on state academic accountability metrics across all grade bands served (i.e. elementary and middle).
State Charter Schools Foundation Hosts
Student Art Exhibit & Provides Laptops to Students
The State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia (SCSF) is accepting entries for the first annual Art of Connection Exhibition of Student Art! This year's theme is "How I Stay Connected to Others," inviting students to show how they stayed close with friends and family during the pandemic. All state charter school students are invited to apply. Entries will be featured in the virtual art gallery, and winners in each age group will receive an Amazon gift card! Submit an entry, view the virtual gallery, or read about Georgia artists serving as judges on the SCSF website at
Students Receive Laptops

Fifty students at Resurgence Hall Charter School were given laptops and tablets as a part of the State Charter Schools Foundation's initiative to bridge the digital divide. Inspiredu, one of the SCSF's nonprofit partners, distributed the refurbished devices and will provide digital literacy training, a warranty, and technical support for families. Students will keep these devices, knowing that they will always be able to access learning opportunities at home. Another 160 students at Ethos Classical and Genesis Innovation Academy will be receiving their devices in the coming weeks.

"Students need devices at school during the day, but they also need devices at home. Having an electronic device is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. By giving devices directly to students, we are promoting digital literacy and dignity," says Michele Neely, SCSF president. "We are grateful for the work of Inspiredu and their commitment to state charter school students. They are changing lives every time they give a laptop or tablet to a child."

The SCSF estimates that over 5,000 low-income and vulnerable state charter school students need a device at home. To help, please give generously today: To give laptops, tablets, or bags, please email
Authorizer Standards Updates 

At the January board meeting, the SCSC staff presented an update on Georgia's authorizer standards. As established through House Bill 430 (2017), the Georgia Department of Education and the State Charter Schools Commission are charged with jointly developing standards and principles to guide local boards of education, the State Board of Education, and the SCSC in meeting high-quality authorizing practices. The State Board of Education is expected to adopt the standards in May and provide for the annual evaluation of Georgia charter school authorizers. Prior to SBOE adoption, charter schools and authorizers will have an opportunity to provide input. See full presentation here.

State Charter Chatter
Schools Opening Fall 2021
Four new state charter schools will welcome students in fall 2021. These schools are Savannah Exploratory Charter Academy, Amana Academy West Atlanta, Atlanta SMART Academy, and Northwest Classical Academy! Find more information on these schools, and all state charters enrolling students in 2021, here.
SCSC Meetings
The next SCSC monthly board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24, 2021 at 10 a.m. A list of upcoming meetings for 2021 can be found on the meetings page of the SCSC website.

Student Wellness Survey & Mental Health Symposium

Student Wellness Survey
The Georgia Student Health Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, and Georgia School Personnel Survey will not be administered during the 2020-21 school year. Instead, GaDOE has developed a brief Student Wellness Survey which will be administered to middle and high-school students. The administration window will be open from February 1, 2021 through April 2, 2021.
The Student Wellness Survey was designed to collect data on student wellness during the current school year; it is anonymous and completely voluntary and includes questions about peer and adult social support, bullying, stress, mental health, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. There is no mandatory participation rate required by GaDOE and no thresholds to meet for the survey, since it is voluntary. The data will not be used to calculate School Climate Star Ratings. The survey results will provide districts and schools with data regarding the non-academic barriers to learning being faced by their students.
Mental Health Symposium
The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are many, including the impact of isolation and other factors on the wellbeing of individuals. GaDOE has announced its dedication to providing training and resources to equip school staff with knowledge and skills to support the mental health and wellbeing of students, staff, and other members of the school community.

Since 2018, the RESA/GaDOE MHAT Project has provided no cost mental health awareness training through schools, districts, and RESAs to over 28,000 school staff throughout the state in a blend of face to face and online platforms. Join them virtually February 22-24, 2021 for Coping With COVID-19: Supporting Mental Health in Our Schools, a mental health awareness training symposium. Over the course of three days, trainings from the MHAT menu will be offered as live virtual sessions at no cost. If there are trainings you’ve missed or haven’t been able to schedule, this is your opportunity to participate.

Please note, attendees WILL NOT be required to participate in all 3 days of training, only the sessions they register to attend. Click on the registration link below to select trainings on any or all of the three days, based on your schedule and your needs. 
L4GA 2019 Cohort Two Grant Competition

The Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia 2019 (L4GA 2019) Cohort Two grant application materials are now available here (see the left column of the page under “2021 L4GA19 C2 Competition Information”). The L4GA Grant webpage also includes information, ideas, and examples of previously funded grant applications. 
Georgia is a proud awardee of the federal competitive Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant. Funded applicants to L4G Cohort Two will benefit from the Georgia’s award of over $178 million. As part of Cohort One, 24 new districts were awarded funding in June 2020.  
This second cohort competition allows for districts who received an award in 2018 an opportunity to apply to continue their work. Districts not currently funded (or seeking funding for a new feeder pattern) are also eligible to apply.  
Application materials are due for review by March 1, 2021.
If you need technical assistance, please use the Calendly link on the L4GA Grant website (upper right) to schedule an online meeting during available hours. 
If you have any questions, please contact Julie Morrill,

FY21 Reporting Calendar
The State Charter Schools Commission’s (SCSC) FY21 Reporting Deadlines calendar is available on the SCSC website here. Please note that most deadlines are established by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and are subject to change. The SCSC makes every attempt to ensure that it maintains all dates as accurately as possible. However, all schools are encouraged to stay up to date of any changes to the timeline made by GaDOE. Any failure by a state charter school to meet deadlines established and enforced by the SCSC and GaDOE will be reflected in the school’s assessment through the SCSC Comprehensive Performance Framework.
Data Collections Deadlines
FY21 GaDOE Data Collections Deadline
  • Student Record, Student and Enrollment Initial transmission is due February 10, 2021.
  • CPI Cycle 2 Collection - Initial transmission is due March 11 and final transmission is due March 25, 2021.
  • Student Class March Cycle - Initial transmission is due March 11 and final transmission is due March 25, 2021.
SCSC Upcoming Trainings & Events
Governance Training Live Session (Opportunity 3 of 3)
Target Audience: Governing board members and school leaders
Apr. 13, 2021- Held Virtually
Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2084(f), requires every member of a governing board of a state charter school to participate in annual governing board training. State charter school governing board members may attend one of the two governing board training opportunities provided to state charters by the SCSC at no charge to fulfill this obligation.
The SCSC strongly encourages state charter school governing board members to attend one of the governance trainings conducted by the SCSC as these trainings provides board members the unique opportunity to discuss issues and concerns directly with their authorizer. The SCSC staff’s unique understanding of the compliance issues facing state charter schools ensures that SCSC training sessions are always topical, relevant, and timely.
Topics will include the roles and responsibilities of board members and administrators, the SCSC Comprehensive Performance Framework, school finance, legal obligations, among others. Sign up here for this training.
Funding & Professional Development Opportunities
2021 National Charter Schools Conference
Registration is open for the 2021 National Charter Schools Conference. The conference will be held virtually June 20-23. Here are more details and a link to register. You can also complete this survey on what, and who, you want to see at NCSC21.

GaDOE Professional Learning Catalog
The Georgia Department of Education released its latest professional learning catalog. The catalog is available at the link here Professional Learning Catalog from the Georgia Department of Education. 

2021 Winter Instructional Leadership Conference 
The Office of School Improvement will host the 2021 Winter Instructional Leadership Conference – Reimagining K-12 Education virtually on March 2-3, 2021. The two-day event will provide information on new and practical resources from divisions across the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), hear from successful practitioners across the state, and learn about available assistance from partnering agencies to support improvement efforts.

  • Registration: Registration information will be released on GaDOE’s Events and Conference webpage on Feb. 1, 2021. We encourage early registration, as seats are limited for each session. There are no registration fees associated with this conference. For more information, you may contact GaDOE’s professional learning program specialist, Dawn Ashmore by email at

  • Requests for Proposals: GaDOE is currently looking for school and district leaders to share innovative and successful practices with conference attendees. The goal is to highlight the great work happening in Georgia schools in support of the whole child. Presentations can be presented individually, in groups, or by partnering with GaDOE or RESA specialists to share success stories and provide detailed information on the processes used to increase instructional effectiveness, teacher and/or leadership capacity, and ultimately, student achievement. Leaders may submit a request for proposal to present during the conference using this link. Detailed information can be found within the JotForm on the process and requirements. Proposals are due by the close of business on Jan. 6, 2021.  

Further information from GaDOE about the 2021 Winter Instructional Leadership Conference is available at the document here.
GCSA Facility Resource Center Lunch & Learn Series
Georgia Charter Schools Association will host a lunch and learn series focusing on charter facility issues in January and February. The 45-minute sessions will be held at noon February 24. A description of each of the sessions are listed below. Register for the upcoming sessions here. If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Bonnie Holliday, GCSA's Executive VP of Policy and External Relations, by email at

  • February 24, 2021: Facility Issues
No two properties are identical. However, many of the challenges and issues faced by schools are overcome using common techniques and strategies. During this training we will cover the most common mistakes and challenges schools face and provide attendees with some tangible strategies and questions the facility team should be considering.
Get Georgia Reading Campaign
This campaign is geared toward getting all of Georgia’s children on a path to third grade reading proficiency by 2020. The campaign unites public and private partners to pursue language, literacy, development, and sustainability to reach this goal. Get involved or read more about the initiative here.
State Charter Schools Commission |
For real-time updates and announcements:
The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) is a state-level, independent charter school authorizing entity. The SCSC has the power to approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, nonrenew, or terminate state charter school contracts in accordance with Georgia law.
Copyright © 2020 State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia, All rights reserved.