First Year Reviews
All charter schools in their first year of operation will undergo a First Year Review, pursuant to A.R.S §15-182(E)(1) and A.A.C. R7-5-505. Board staff will conduct a review to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, Arizona Administrative Code, and the charter contract, and meet with charter and school leadership to discuss and confirm alignment with the program of instruction as approved in the application or amendment process. The ASBCS First Year Review Guide has been created to help charter and school leadership prepare for this review.
First Year Financial Reviews
The Board’s Financial Performance Framework requires Board staff to conduct a financial site visit of first-year schools. The financial visit is conducted primarily through a desk review. The First-Year Financial Review Overview has been created to help charter and school leadership prepare for this review.
Second Year Reviews
For charters created through the New Charter Application process, charter operators in their second year of operation will undergo a Second Year Review, pursuant to A.R.S §15-182(E)(1) and A.A.C. R7-5-501(B) and A.A.C. R7-5-502. Board staff will conduct a review to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, Arizona Administrative Code, and the charter contract. Additionally, Board staff will collect documentation from the charter holder to demonstrate implementation of the school’s program of instruction and Academic Systems Plan, as approved in the New Charter Application. The ASBCS Second Year Review Guide has been created to help charter and school leadership prepare for this review.
Five Year Interval Reviews
A.R.S §15-183(I)(3) requires a charter school sponsor to review a charter at five-year intervals using a performance framework adopted by the sponsor. At five-year intervals throughout the term of the charter, a charter holder will be notified of the review, as well as the submission requirements determined based upon the charter holder's performance in relation to the performance framework adopted by the Board. As part of the Five-Year Interval Review, Board staff will conduct an Academic Systems Review (ASR), including a review of compliance, and a pop-in visit for each of the schools operated by the charter holder.
The ASR is conducted virtually to gather evidence regarding the school's implementation in providing a comprehensive program of instruction and designing a method to measure pupil progress toward pupil outcomes, as required in the charter contract. An ASR visit is an unannounced visit conducted during an identified two week window. A minimum of two weeks prior to a school's virtual call, the charter holder will be notified of a 14 day window in which the visit will occur, and provided a deadline to submit documents electronically.
A list of charter holders undergoing an interval review is posted annually on the Board's website. See the list of charter holders below. More detailed information on the Five-Year Interval Review process is provided below.
All schools in the first year of operation will receive a pop-in visit. All charters in the second, fifth, tenth, or renewal year will receive a pop-in visit in the scheduled review year. Any school in the portfolio could receive a pop-in visit at any time throughout a school year.
Pop-in visits will focus on reviews of safety documentation (such as fingerprinting and occupancy), as well as adherence to, and implementation of, a charter holder’s program of instruction. At a pop-in visit, Board staff will conduct classroom observations, review key compliance documentation, and meet with school administration (if available) for a quick conversation. The pop-in visit should be no more than three hours as the amount of time needed from charter or school staff will be limited.
The focus of a pop-in goes beyond compliance. Pop-ins are intended to familiarize Board staff with schools, build relationships with charter and school leaders, and to see the hard and good work schools do each and every day.
Board staff has created the following resources to assist in preparing for the pop-in: