Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - December 4, 2012


The State Charter School Commission held a meeting on December 4, 2012, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. The following members were present: James Banks; Richard (Dick) Barnes; John Bird; Jana Lapoint; Shelley Reed; and William Shuttleworth.

Also present:  Bob Kautz, executive director, and Deanne Lavallee, administrative assistant


Excused:  Heidi Sampson



Chair, Jana Lapoint called the meeting to order at 1:05 PM.


No adjustments


MOVED by John Bird, seconded by Shelley Reed, and nanimously voted by those present to approve the meeting minutes from November 6, 2012 and November 16, 2012.



Chair, Jana Lapoin


Chair has authorized Bob Kautz to complete the Registration as a Legislative Designee.  Bob will find out how Commission Members can be registered.


Spoke with Justin Belanger, Cornville - reminder of January visit; will send request of information needed for our review.


Meeting with Sawin Millett 11/19/12 -

The request was made for the Commission to become a "quasi" agency and per-diem payments for the Commission members, which would require a change in the language with the funding appropriation.  Sawin will get back to us, but no guarantee.  Commission needs legal support, which is not reflected in our budget proposal, hoping DOE can continue to provide some legal support.  Will be following up.


Firday, November 30, met with John Jaques, Baxter.


Add into agenda "Comments from the Executive Director" to the Commission.


Vice-chair, Richard Barnes


  • None

Executive Director, Bob Kautz


  • None


  1. Chapter 002 - Approval for rule making process
  2. Chapter 001 - Approval for rule making process
  3. Pre-Opening Plan Exhibit C - Approval for adoption


Motion to table new business A, B, and C by Jim Banks, seconded by Shelley Reed and unanimously voted by those present to table.

  1. Monitoring Plan Exhibit E - Approval for adoption

Motion to accept as presented by John Bird, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to approve.


Maine Charter School Commission

Monitoring Plan

Exhibit E


  • Complaints Received by the Charter School:
    • The School shall adopt and maintain a policy regarding the receipt and resolution of public concerns and complaints.  The School shall keep records of complaints received and their resolution and shall make those records available to the Commission annually.


  • Academic Proficiency, including Readiness for Postsecondary Enrollment:
    • Within 3 months of the start of the first school year (“Year One”), the School will provide the Commission with a protocol for fulfilling its assessment plan (formative and summative) as listed in the Charter Application. 

Target date:  January 15.


    • At the end of Year One, the School will provide a statistical summary of student scores in accordance with the appropriate MEDMS template.

Target date:  June 30.


    • Prior to the start of Year Two, the School will provide its plan for improving or maintaining student academic growth, based on its data from Year One. 

Target date:  September 1.


    • In Years Two through Five, at mid-year and end-of-year, the Commission will be provided copies of reports used by the School to track student academic growth. At least once a year, the School will meet with the Commission’s Executive Director to review these data reports and the annual plan to monitor and reach the academic targets for years 3, 4 and 5. (Refer to Performance Indicators for more specific areas)

Target dates:  January 15 and June 30.


  • Special Education Compliance Review
    • At the end of Year One, the Commission will review all data relating to child find and students identified as eligible under IDEA requirements as promulgated by MDOE.  

Target date: June 30.


    • The School will provide the Commission notification of a due process complaint or a request for due process hearing within five business days of receiving the complaint or request.  The Commission will monitor the School’s response and any subsequent plan for correction of noncompliance.


    • The Commission will review annually the agreement between the School and MDOE and/or an SAU or other approved provider for special education services to the school.

Target date: June 30.


  • Student Attendance and Enrollment
    • The Commission will receive simultaneous copies of student enrollment reports provided to sending SAUs in accordance with state reporting guidelines.  Within 30 calendar days of receipt of said reports, the Commission will review the status with the chief executive of the school and/or the Chair of the governing board.

Target dates: October 1, February 15 and June 30.


    • The Commission will receive an annual attendance report from the School, and the Commission will provide a report back to the School subsequent to its review.

Target date:  June 30.


  • Social and Academic Climate, including Academic Discipline
    • The Commission will receive copies of the academic disciplinary reports required under federal and state statutes on the required filing dates.


    • Copies of any expulsion records will be provided to the Commission within ten business days of any action taken by the governing board.


  • Parent and Community Engagement
    • Within three months of the start of Year One, the School will provide the Commission with a plan for parent engagement and conferences.

Target date:  December 1.


    • Annually, the School will provide a copy of its current parent-student handbook and related policies, highlighting any changes from that approved in the charter contract.

Target date:  September 1.


    • Commission members will meet annually with a representative group of parents, community members and/or volunteers for the purposes of receiving feedback on the school’s community engagement plan. 

Target date:  At the annual on-site review. (See section 9 below.)


  • Transportation Contract, Food Service, Facilities Maintenance and Performance Record.
    • Provide an annual report on performance based on the respective plans as approved in contract.      Target date: June 30.


    • If necessary, the School and the Commission may re-open any relevant contract provision related to transportation, food service or facility maintenance based on the first annual review.    Target date: June 30.



  • Financial Reports
    • The School will insure that monthly and quarterly financial reports are created and distributed to the governing board.  The School will provide quarterly reports to the Commission with the evidence that the Governing Board has reviewed them in compliance with standard auditing practices

Target dates: October 15, January 15, April 15 and July 15.


    • Quarterly financial statements will include revenues and expenses in accordance with state accounting reporting system. 


    • The School will complete an annual audit in accordance with standard auditing practices for public schools and file a copy of that report with the Commission.

Target date:  October 31.


    • The school will provide a revised annual financial plan, based on known and projected enrollments, including anticipated grant, foundation and fundraising revenues.

Target date: September 1.


  • Governance Reports
    • Once a year the chair of the governing board and the chief school executive will have an on-site visit and meeting with the Commission to discuss the role of the board in exercise of its oversight responsibilities to the school and its students and families. 

Target date:  During the last quarter of the school year, while school is in session.


  •  Standards and Processes for Revocation of a Contract
    • If at any time the Commission determines, as the result of receiving a complaint or on its own review of the information obtained through the monitoring process, that it has significant concerns regarding the School’s failure to comply with the terms of the Charter or governing law, or failure to meet any projected targets in one or more of the performance areas required by the Charter, the Commission will deliver a notice to the governing board of the School. Such notice shall identify the specific concerns, stating that the concerns represent potential violations of law or the Charter that could lead to sanctions by the Commission up to and including revocation of the Charter. The Commission shall require a written response, including a plan for timely remediation within thirty calendar days of receipt of the notice by the School. 


    • No later than ten business days after receipt of the School’s written response, the Commission will schedule an interview and public hearing to discuss the concerns identified by the Commission and the response as filed by the School.


    • For no less than five business days after the interview and hearing, the Commission will receive any further written comments from the School and/or the public.


    • After the additional response/comment period described above, the Commission will have thirty business days to issue a letter of findings including either : 1) conditions for the continued operation of the School including timelines for required remediation, or


  • 2)  the time and date under which the school is ordered to begin implementation of the Closure Plan.  Subsequent failure on the part of the School to comply with the conditions and timelines for continued operation without seeking additional assistance or relief from the Commission will result in notice of the time and date under which the School is ordered to begin implementation of the Closure Plan.


  • Emergency Closure
    • The Commission may order an emergency closure of the school upon a finding that the health, welfare or safety of pupils enrolled is at imminent risk.

11-28-12   Approved 12-4-12




  1. Establish tentative dates for public hearings and interviews of Charter School applicants.

Jana Lapoint turns discussion over to Bob Kautz.


*The in-person interview and public hearing date is contingent on the review of the application and recommendation by the review team and the subsequent Commission vote to approve the charter school application to move forward in this process.



Charter School  Applicant



Place for Interview/Hearing


Harpswell Coastal Academy



Place and


Heidi, Shelley, John

I  10-12:30


H  1-2

Date to

Heartwood Charter School



be added

for Visual and Performing Arts


John, Jim, William

I  10-12:30

H  1-2

Maine Virtual Academy (K-12)



William, Dick, Heidi

I  9-12

H  1-2

Maine Connections Academy



Dick, William, Jim

I  9-12

H  1-2

Queen City Academy  Charter School

Old Town


Shelley, Dick, Jana

I 10:30-1


I = In-person Interview  H = Hearing

H 1:30-2:30


February 5th is the regular Commission Meeting; the members will be voting on Fiddlehead and where applicable, should be ready to vote on the Fall 2012 applications.


From Shelley Reed:  Following is the In-Person Interview and Public Hearing information to be sent to applicants approved to proceed by Commission recommendation.


In-person Interview

Time allotted for the In-person Interview will be ninety minutes.

The Review Team Chair will assemble any questions or concerns that need to be addressed with the applicant as a result of the evaluation criteria review. The Review Team Chair will preside over the Interview and Hearing. The climate of the hearing should be similar to a job interview with appropriate room set up.

The Chair of the Board, Head of School/School Leadership Team, of the proposed Public Charter School will be asked to prepare a 10 minute talk about the vision for the school. Spontaneous questions /discussion items, not submitted to the applicant will follow.

Convince us that your financial model is sufficient   to open and sustain the school for the next 5 years

Why did you select this target population and how do you think your school will meet their needs?

Tell us how your governance/executive model will ensure successful operation of the school.

Discuss your staff recruitment and your professional development plan.

Other Commission members may then ask their questions.

Lastly the applicant will be asked,” Why should we be convinced that we should authorize a public charter school to you?”

Public Hearing

Review Team Chair will preside over the hearing opening it up to accomplish Chapter 2, section 7 (2).

”The purpose of the meeting is to elicit public comment on the expected impact if the purposed charter school on student, parents, the community to be served by the school, and public education in the State.”

Time allotted for the Public Hearing will be 90 minutes.

The Public Charter School Applicant will speak for 4 minutes presenting the core elements of the school and may if they choose provide handouts.

Written testimony will be accepted within 5 days of the Public Hearing.

Persons wishing to speak will be given 3 minutes for their remarks.

The final decision to authorize a public charter school will be made at a later date not at the time of the In Person Interview or Public Hearing.


P/Charter School/In-person Interviews – Public Hearings – Notifications/12-4-12 APPLICANT INSTRUCTIONS



  • Each of the chairs to talk to Bob Kautz regarding outside resources for review of the applications.


  • Turn in Expense Account Vouchers at the end of the meeting.


  • None.


MOVED by William Shuttleworth, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn the December 4, 2012 Maine Charter School Commission meeting at 2:05 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Deanne Lavallee.