SCSC Newsletter
October 2020
SCSC to Offer Governance Training Virtually
In FY21, the State Charter Schools Commission (SCSC) will offer three opportunities for state charter school board members to receive training through the SCSC free of charge. Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 20‐2‐2084(f), requires that every member of a governing board of a state charter school participate in annual governing board training.
This year, the SCSC will offer all Governance Training opportunities virtually. In order to fully participate in SCSC training, board members must attend one of the three live session dates listed below. These live sessions will replace the general sessions typically held at the in-person training events. Board members must plan to attend these during the scheduled time in order to receive credit for attending.
The 2020-21 SCSC governance training sessions will be offered on the following dates:
The remaining breakout sessions will be available as pre-recorded webinars that board members can complete at their convenience. Each training will have a short quiz to verify participation. Breakout webinars will launch following the first live session on November 10th. The breakout sessions will be posted on the SCSC’s website here.
Board members will have until June 30, 2021 to complete their governance training requirements for FY21. Board members of operational schools can also fulfill their annual governance training requirement by receiving training through an SBOE approved provider.

Please note that the option to use an alternate provider is only available to operational schools. Schools that are in their planning year must attend SCSC-provided training. For more information about alternate training requirements and approved providers, please visit our website here.
SCSC Board Meeting Recap
The State Charter Schools Commission (SCSC) held its most recent board meeting on September 30. 

By unanimous vote, the SCSC approved the SCSC’s staff recommendation for DuBois Integrity Academy to expand from serving grades K-5 to serving grades 6-8 in addition. Also, by unanimous vote, the SCSC approved the 2021 Start-Up Charter School Petition Application.

The Commission and Commission Staff thanked Rennie Laryea, the outgoing Associate General Counsel, for her service to the commission.

A meeting minutes summary can be found on the SCSC website. The next SCSC board meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2020.
State Charter Schools Job Openings
The SCSC has job opportunities available for an Associate General Counsel and an Administrative Assistant. Please review the job openings on our website here.
U.S. Department of Education Approves GADOE’s Charter Schools Program Waiver 
The U.S. Department of Education approved GaDOE’s request to repurpose $12M of our state’s 2016 Charter Schools Program grant for charter school COVID-19 support. The waiver allows GaDOE to award subgrants to eligible charter schools to support remote learning and to support schools’ transition back to in-person instruction. GaDOE is currently working with USED on the finalization of requirements. More information on how to apply for these funds is forthcoming.
Georgia RISE Award 2020-2021 Application
Applications are open for the U.S. Department of Education’s Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award. The first-time award will be presented to a full- or part-time classified school employee who provides exemplary service to students in pre-kindergarten through high school.

The Governor of each state has been invited to nominate up to two classi­fied school employees by November 1, 2020. Georgia is running a state-level process, the Georgia RISE Award, to select its nominees. Winners of this state-level recognition, in addition to being nominated for the national award, will be recognized at the Georgia Teacher of the Year awards banquet in spring 2021.

Employees in the following job categories are eligible for consideration (these categories are set by the U.S. Department of Education for the national award):
  • Paraprofessional
  • Clerical and administrative services
  • Transportation services
  • Food and nutrition services
  • Custodial and maintenance services
  • Security services
  • Health and student services
  • Technical services
  • Skilled trades

Nominees and nominators must be employees of Georgia public schools or districts. The school principal (for school-level employees) or district superintendent (for district-level employees) must be aware of and sign off on the application.

To submit a nominee for consideration for the Georgia RISE Award, fill out the application and email it, along with two letters of recommendation to Meghan Frick ( by Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Instructions for recommendation letters are included in the application.
Virtual Attendance Guidance

As your school completes its October Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) student counts, the SCSC encourages schools to monitor student enrollment in the Georgia Unique Identifier for Education system (GUIDE) to ensure enrolled students remain “claimed” by your school. Due to the unusual nature of this school year with expanded remote learning and delayed start dates, it irregularities may occur on a broader level. Monitoring student enrollment in GUIDE on the front end will minimize any corrective action needed later.
The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) provided us with the following guidance:

  • During the first few months of school, large districts should check and claim students in GUIDE on a regular basis. Data coordinators can run the Claimed-Out report in GUIDE to see if students have been claimed by another school. 

  • In Student Record, Student Class, and FTE, edit checks will show if School A reports a student, but is claimed by School B in GUIDE. Then School A will need to claim the student back in GUIDE. Thus, if schools ensure reports are correct in GUIDE before Student Record, Student Class, and FTE reports are due, there will be less work later.

As a reminder, schools should only claim students in GUIDE that are enrolled and have been attending in accordance with your school’s policies and state guidelines. GaDOE provided the guidance on virtual/remote attendance for schools that are offering these options due to COVID-19.

For any questions or concerns, please reach out to the following GaDOE contacts:

GUIDE questions: Patty Miller at
FTE questions: Irish Saxton at

GaDOE Assessment Update 

At its October board meeting, the State Board of Education (SBOE) considered Superintendent Woods’ recommendation to reduce End of Course (EOC) exam assessments from 20 percent of a student’s final grade to 0.01 percent for the 2020-21 school year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBOE instead proposed reducing the EOC percentage weight from 20% to 10%. This proposal has been posted for public comment; click here to provide feedback.

For the 2020-21 school year, schools are given the flexibility to: assess students during the spring midmonth or spring administration windows, as needed, to ensure a more appropriate amount of instructional time is available prior to the administration of the EOC; request extending their local testing window later in the school day to include afternoon and possible evening sessions, where needed; and utilize a compressed testing schedule (i.e., using fewer days for testing, choosing the order of assessments, and combining sections into one day) due to the updated Georgia Milestones test design, which includes a significant decrease in student testing time.

The Assessment Division will work with schools 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 if needed. 
State Charter Schools Still Enrolling
for the 2020-21 School Year
The State Charter Schools Foundation (SCSF) is featuring state charter schools that have open spots for new students for this school year on social media platforms and their website.

Many schools offer expanded or statewide attendance zones, and each has a plan for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of high-quality state charter schools with immediate openings for new students, please see the SCSF website.

If you would like your state charter school to be featured, please email the SCSF at
Support the State Charter Schools Foundation
Support schools by giving to the State Charter Schools Foundation (SCSF). Your tax-deductible donation will help provide state charter schools their own electronic devices and access to the Internet. You can support the SCSF by giving online today. Visit the SCSF website for more details.
State Charter Chatter
  • Mountain Education Charter High School opened its newest location in Cherokee County. The school hosted an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, September 30th. The new site has more than 100 students registered. A news story with more information about the grand opening can be read here.

  • A teacher from the Odyssey Charter School in Newnan, Georgia appeared on the Today Show. Ms. Ashley Graham was one of six teachers interviewed for World Teachers’ Day. Watch here.

  • Academy for Classical Education was named as a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School. Read more about the school's recognition in the story from FOX 24 here.

  • Ethos Classical was featured in the EdLANTA newsletter for offering effective virtual learning for their students. Read more here.

  • Foothills Education Charter High School released an October newsletter. You can read the newsletter here.
SCSC Meetings
The next SCSC monthly board meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. A list of upcoming meetings can be found on the meetings page of the SCSC website.
Georgia Alternate Assessment 1% Participation Application Available in Portal 
The Georgia Alternate Assessment 1% Participation Application (GAA) is now available in the secure MyGaDOE portal to assessment directors. Each year, the GaDOE provides a GAA 1% Participation Application for district assessment directors to complete in collaboration with special education directors. The application will close on October 22, 2020 at 4 p.m.
The Every Student Succeeds Act places a 1 percent statewide cap on student participation in alternate assessments. Georgia is seeking a one-year waiver extension from this cap for the 2020-2021 school year from the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. Ed.). As a part of this work, GaDOE is collecting the necessary data through the GAA 1% application.
As a reminder, the U.S. Ed. approved a one-year waiver extension from this cap for Georgia for 2019-2020. As required by the approved waiver, the GaDOE worked with districts during the 2019-2020 school year to help ensure that the Georgia Alternate Assessment 2.0 (GAA 2.0) is used to assess only those students with significant cognitive disabilities.
The accountability team has recorded a webinar to review the GAA participation application. The recording and accompanying PPT, as well as the user guide, are located in the CCRPI MyGaDOE portal under CCRPI Resources. 
  • If you have questions about how to complete the application, contact the accountability specialist assigned to work with your district.

  • If you have questions about the GAA 2.0, contact Mary Nesbit-McBride, assessment specialist, at or (404)232-1207.

  • If you have questions about accessing the MyGaDOE web portal, contact the Technology Management Customer Support Center by emailing or by calling 1-(800) 869-1011. Please provide a detailed message as well as contact information.
GaDOE Data Reporting Deadlines
Please review and mark your calendars with the upcoming reporting deadlines from the Georgia Department of Education. The current data collections are due Tuesday Oct. 27 for the following:

  • CPI
  • FTE
  • Student Class
FY21 Reporting Calendar
The State Charter Schools Commission’s (SCSC) FY21 Reporting Deadlines calendar is now live 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.
Georgia Accountability Waiver
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has indicated that states should not expect assessment/testing waivers, but it will likely provide states with an opportunity to modify and/or waive accountability requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. GaDOE will seek all flexibility afforded. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Consolidated Application Course
The Georgia Department of Education’s Federal Programs Division requests that each state charter school complete the “Navigating the Portal and the Consolidated Application” course located in the Professional Learning Opportunities (PLO) section of the MyGaDOE Portal. This course will assist state charter school staff in how to understand all aspects of the Consolidated Application (ConApp).
SCSC Upcoming Trainings & Events
Petitioner Webinar Series
Target Audience: Start-up Charter Petitioners
October 22, 2020 and October 29, 2020 – Held Virtually

The SCSC will offer a series of webinars following the petitioner boot camp to assist applicants in the petition development process.

•           Overview of Funding and Budget Template – October 22, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Register Here
•           Overview of Application and Fluid Review – October 29, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Register Here

Governance Training (Opportunity 1 of 3)          
Target Audience: Governing board members and school leaders
November 9-10, 2020- 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
Registration for Georgia Tech's 2020-2021 K-12 InVenture Prize Open
Registration for the 2020-2021 K-12 InVenture Prize is now open. The K-12 Inventure Prize is an invention competition offered by Georgia Tech for elementary, middle, and high school students. This is an opportunity suitable for in-person or distance/remote learning.

Georgia Tech is hosting mock pitch practice virtually in October, and the state finals will be held in March 2021. School-level registration is available here. Please complete one registration per school. The deadline to register your school is October 30th, 2020.

Additional information is available at the following links:

·      Introductory Video
·      Webpage
·      Curriculum Webpage

If you have any questions, please direct them to
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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