SCSC Newsletter
November 2020
SCSC Board Meeting Recap
The State Charter Schools Commission (SCSC) held its most recent board meeting on Oct. 28. 
By unanimous vote, the SCSC approved the SCSC’s staff recommendation of the 2021 renewal application for Liberty Tech Charter School.

The Commission also announced the departure of SCSC board chair Paul Williams. Williams served on the commission since its establishment in 2013.
A meeting minutes summary can be found on the SCSC website. The next SCSC board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2020.
Georgia Charter Schools Program Grant Available to Assist with Remote Learning

The Georgia Department of Education’s (GaDOE) District Flexibility and Charter School Division has been granted a waiver by U.S. Department of Education to utilize a portion of its available Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grant Funds to assist Georgia Charter schools with remote learning expenses incurred due to COVID-19. The request for application (RFA) detailing this project grant and an FAQ provides additional information.

GaDOE will host a webinar on Friday, Nov. 13 with further details. GaDOE will send out a notice for the webinar through its listserv once the webinar has been posted. As described in the RFA, letters of intent to apply for the grant must be submitted electronically by Friday, Nov. 20. Grant applications are due Friday, Dec. 4.
GaDOE Releases TKES/LKES Guidance
Effective immediately, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is providing the below flexibility to school leaders and teachers for the 2020-21 school year:  

  • Teacher Effectiveness Measures (TEM) and Leader Effectiveness Measures (LEM) ratings will not be determined due to the suspension of the student growth scores for the 2020-2021 school year. Student growth cannot be calculated this year as there was no testing last spring.   

  • The “pre-evaluation conference, mid-year evaluation conference, and summative evaluation conference” must still be conducted per state law. When conferences are utilized, they should be conducted in support of a teacher’s professional growth during these unprecedented times and should not be punitive in nature. Evidence does not have to be uploaded to the Platform. The Platform will remain open all year. 

  • Expectations for the self-assessment have been suspended. The self-assessment may still be conducted, but it is not required. If self-assessment is utilized, it should be conducted in support of a teacher’s professional growth during these unprecedented times.   

  • TAPS and LAPS Summative Assessment Ratings cannot be determined because of the challenge of rating all performance standards; therefore, they are not required by GaDOE or GaPSC for the 2020-2021 school year. Certificate renewal will not be affected since summative ratings are suspended this year. If an educator needs to remediate, remediation plans must be established at the local level. 

  • State law and Board rule require “multiple observations.” GaDOE interprets this as two observations for all teachers for the 2020-2021 school year. School leaders should strongly consider not conducting these during an online or blended instructional environment and wait to conduct them in a traditional instructional environment. Observations can occur at any time during the school year. GaDOE strongly recommends that observations occur during the second half of the school year.  

  • Professional learning requirements are in state law. However, school system leaders will determine what is appropriate considering the local context and system expectations, and GaPSC will accept verification from school system leaders for renewal purposes. 

GaPSC will follow the above announcement with additional information regarding the impact of the actions above on certification. 

GaDOE Assessment Update 

GaDOE Assessment and Accountability for the 2020-2021 school year: 

End of Course (EOC) Grades: At the Oct. 1 State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting, superintendent Richard Woods recommended that the Georgia Milestones EOC percentage weight be included in a student’s final grade be reduced from 20% to 0.01%. The SBOE did not approve this recommendation, and instead proposed reducing the EOC percentage weight from 20% to 10%. This proposal (10%) has been posted for public comment; click here to provide feedback. The SBOE is expected to consider this proposal at their Nov. 19 meeting. State charters are subject to the SBOE decision regarding end of course exam grade weights.

Promotion and Retention: GaDOE released a directive stating that school districts with flexibility contracts (Charter System or Strategic Waiver School System) should use input from teachers and parents, placement committees, class performance, and formative tools to determine the need to promote or retain their students at the end of the 2020-2021 school year and that Georgia Milestones results should not be used. State charters are not subject to this directive. In other words, you have the authority to use your school’s policy for promotion/retention decisions, which may include Georgia Milestones performance.

Scheduling Flexibility Allowances: The GaDOE assessment division will work with districts to provide as much flexibility as possible to assist with the appropriate and safe administration of Georgia Milestones and other required assessments. Please reach out to your assessment specialist as needed. 

Middle School Flexibility Waiver: Georgia will submit a new waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education to seek flexibility to reduce double-testing for middle school students enrolled in high school Algebra/Coordinate Algebra. The public notice for this waiver request has now been posted and comments can be provided at this link though November 29, 2020. 

Accountability for 2020-2021: Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced an opportunity to make one-year modifications to accountability for 2020-2021. GaDOE is currently reviewing that guidance and determining next steps. We are committed to seeking the maximum flexibility possible, including seeking flexibility with the 95% assessment participation requirement. Additional information and opportunities to provide feedback will be available soon. 
Support the State Charter Schools Foundation
You can give state charter school teachers a sweet treat to show your appreciation for their hard work. The State Charter Schools Foundation (SCSF) is selling "digital dozen" certificates redeemable for Krispy Kreme donuts as a part of their Donuts for Teachers program.

Purchase donuts to be given to a specific state charter school or let the SCSF select a school. You can also buy donuts for yourself, knowing that all proceeds will benefit the SCSF and their efforts to support state charter schools. Purchase donuts online at through November 15.
State Charter Chatter
  • Cirrus Academy was featured for their mock election debate. You can see the story featured on 41 NBC here.
  • DuBois Integrity Academy and Ethos Classical were selected as a regional finalists for the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards. You can vote for these state charter schools from November 7-21 through the Chick-fil-A app. For instructions, see the Chick-fil-A website here. 
SCSC Meetings
The next SCSC monthly board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2020 at 10 a.m. A list of upcoming meetings can be found on the meetings page of the SCSC website.
FY21 Reporting Calendar
The State Charter Schools Commission’s (SCSC) FY21 Reporting Deadlines calendar is now 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.
GaDOE Data Reporting Deadlines
Please review and mark your calendars with the upcoming reporting deadlines from the Georgia Department of Education. 

  • Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020: Final Transmission Deadline for Free and Reduced Meal Eligibility Data Collection and Private School Data Collection

SCSC Upcoming Trainings & Events
Staffing and Recruitment Practices for New Schools
Target Audience: Governing board members and school leaders
Jan. 21, 2021- SCSC Training Room

This training is to help new schools plan for staffing and hiring as well as student recruitment. Topics to be covered include: effective marketing strategies that target the communities within your attendance zone, the impact of student recruitment and enrollment on funding, health insurance and benefits practices for teachers and staff as well as state charter-specific staffing considerations for teachers and finding the right school leader/ leadership model. Sign up here for this training.

Governance Training Live Session (Opportunity 2 of 3)
Target Audience: Governing board members and school leaders
Feb. 2, 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
Advanced Placement Teacher Training Grant Application Now Open
The Georgia Department of Education has announced its Advanced Placement (AP) Teacher Training Grant. The grant will provide financial support for teachers to receive training during the summer of 2021. This will allow schools to offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses during the 2021-2022 school year or the 2022-2023 school year.

Local school districts may apply for a grant to fund AP teacher training in up to two courses per school. Funding is to cover costs, or to partially cover costs, of training expenses, including registration, travel (based on current state rate per mile), meals and lodging, if necessary. The grant award may not be used for supplies, classroom resources, or stipends. The grant may only be used to train classroom teachers, not administrators. For more information, review the application from GaDOE here.
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 |
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.
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