Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - May 29, 2012


The State Charter School Commission held a meeting on May 29, 2012, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. The following members were present: James Banks, Sr.; Richard (Dick) Barnes; Jana Lapoint (10:05); Donald Mordecai; Shelley Reed; and William Shuttleworth.


Excused:  Lynda Doyle



Chair, James A. Banks, Sr. called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM.



MOVED by Shelley Reed, seconded by Donald Mordecai, and unanimously voted by those present to approve the May 21, 2012 minutes.



Chair, James Banks, Sr.

  • None

Vice-chair, William Shuttleworth

  • Wants the group to discuss questions received by potential charter applicants at formal meetings – not via email.  It was suggested to do it via conference call in an emergency.



  1. Technical questions received last week needing response

Q:  Must the administrative staff and teachers be hired directly by the charter school or can they be hired by the ESP?

A:  The public charter school and its governing board must demonstrate that it has sufficient control over the operations of the ESP to meet all the requirements of its charter.


Q:  If an application is submitted on May 29 or 30, can a proposed charter school start accepting applications on June 1?

A:  So long as the application process follows the statute and DOE rules, provides a fair process for student enrollment, and that it is made very clear to all prospective students that a charter has not been issued and there may not be one for this school year.


Q:  Where is the best place to find news on when specific charter schools will be opening in Maine; specifically online?  Also, when they do open how do we go about enrolling our children there instead of the district they are currently in?

A:  Once submitted, applications for charter schools will be posted on the Maine Charter School Commission website (  You can also check there for approved charter schools.  You would contact the school directly to discuss enrollment questions.


Q:  Do we have to adhere to the State cut-off date of 10/15 for age requirements?  For example, can a 4 year old turning 5 in November be admitted?

A:  Yes, you must adhere to the state requirements.     No, not in a kindergarten program.


Q:  We have ages 4-10 for our targeted school population for the first 5 years – eventually we want to add a pre-k class, but for now start with kindergarten.  Can we allow 4 year olds who do not meet the state age/date cut off in our kindergarten program?

A:  No, not in a kindergarten program.


Q:  Can we do a pre-k/kindergarten program?

A:  Yes, and as long as it there is an approved pre-k program in the SAUs that the children are residents of you will receive the funding for them.


Q:  Does the Commission want us to submit our overall organizational budget, in addition to the budget for our proposed charter school?  We are a 10 year old well-established 501c3 already running a private school and after school program.

A:  Any information you can offer to provide the greatest overall picture of understanding would be appreciated. 


Q:  Can we contract for OT/PT/special education on an as needed basis?

A:  Yes


Q:  Can we contract with one of the local schools to access their special education services?

A:  Yes


Q:  What if we had a child with severe autism and have worked in all areas to support in the least restrictive educational alternative – what happens next?  How do we meet that need within our budget and service delivery?

A:  In your application, you need to describe how this student’s needs will be met.  Charter schools are public schools, and as such, must meet the educational needs of all students.  You should also refer to Public Law, Chapter 570, LD 1762 (pg.12, paragraph B)


Q:  Can or must we accept applications for a student who resides outside of our catchment area?  If so, do we need to provide transportation for this type of student?

A:  Yes.    You are not required to provide transportation outside the catchment area; however you should address this in your transportation plan.


Q:  How do we access licensed food service programs?

A:  Contact the Maine Department of Education for response.


Q:  Can we offer boxed lunches from a catering service?

A:  Yes


Q:  How about the Free and Reduced Lunch Program?  Is there subsidy offered to charter schools for eligible students?

A:  Contact the Maine Department of Education for response.


Q:  Can we offer the catering service initially until our kitchen is certified?  If yes, then are there special requirements a catering service would have to meet in order for us to use their services?

A:  The catering service must meet the state and local requirements for licensure as a catering service.

  1. Status update on review of applications to date
    • Maine Connections Academy
      • Application deemed complete
      • Assigned to Review Team 1 – William Shuttleworth, chair; Donald Mordecai (replaced Jim Banks); and Richard Barnes
      • Recommendation to the full Commission expected at June 5 meeting for June 15 interview and public hearing


  1. Status update on outside experts for review teams
    • Jim Banks has not sent out the list yet
    • Has multiple lists to vet and then will distribute to the Commission members
    • Question as to whether one expert will review more than one application
  1. Status update on Performance Indicators, Measures, Metrics and Contract Evaluation Criteria development
    • Richard Barnes could not print for distribution – it’s on legal size paper
      • Target to be negotiated in contract with charter school operator
      • Dates and Frequency for Collection of Evidence
      • Evidence – do we have it, where did we get it?
      • Meets Performance Expectations
    • Use when negotiating a contract and for follow-up performance monitoring
  1. Performance Monitoring
    • Monitoring timeline will be included in the contract
    • Reviewed draft document distributed on May 21, 2012
    • Questions needing Commission response
      • Should the monitoring teams be made up of only Commission members?  No, others as necessary.
      • Shelley Reed will rework draft including a schedule and check it against LD 1762 and § 2410-2411.
    • Began drafting the monitoring site review process and report out
  1. Questions for the interview phase of application/approval process
    • Reviewed draft document distributed on May 21, 2012
      • 60 minute Interview – Commission members meet for 5 minutes to touch base on any additional questions or information required – 20 minute wrap-up 
      • 30 minute break
      • 60 minute public hearing
    • Tentative schedule for June 15
      • 9:00 am – 10:30 am – Interview
      • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Public Hearing
      • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Interview
      • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Public Hearing
  2. Review teams
    • Team 1 and 5 - William Shuttleworth – chair, Don Mordecai, Richard Barnes (all virtual applications)
    • Team 2 and 6 - Jana Lapoint – chair, Jim Banks, Lynda Doyle
    • Team 3 and 7 - Richard Barnes – chair, Shelley Reed, Don Mordecai
    • Team 4 and 8 - Shelley Reed – chair, William Shuttleworth, Jana Lapoint
  1. Charter School Commission Meetings on June 5 and June 7
    • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm - workshop session – review teams meet
    • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – business meeting


  • Turn in Expense Account Vouchers at the end of the meeting.
  • Shelley Reed will go upstairs and make copies of the Performance Indicators, Measures, Metrics and Contract Evaluation Criteria.


  • None


MOVED by William Shuttleworth, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn the May 29, 2012 State Charter School Commission meeting at 12:41 PM.


Transcribed by Jennifer Pooler.