Start a School : Application Process Introduction : 

Application Steps

STEP 1: Letter of Intent

During each application cycle, the ICSB accepts applications from all types of applicants, including:

  • New Operators seeking to launch one new charter school;
  • Experienced Operators seeking to launch one or more charter schools; and
  • Existing Indiana charter schools seeking to switch authorizers.

The ICSB defines "New Operators" as those applicants who have not previously operated a charter school and who do not intend to contract with an Education Service Provider (ESP) to oversee school operations. "Experienced Operators" are defined as either: (a) applicants that have previously operated a charter school or managed a network of charter schools; or (b) applicants that have not previously operated a charter school, but intend to contract with an ESP. Per IC § 20-24-1-6.1, ESP is defined as a "for profit education management organization, nonprofit charter management organization, school design provider, or any other partner entity with which a charter school intends to contract for educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management." Experienced Operators led by experienced Boards may apply for one or more charters.

All applicants seeking to submit a proposal to the ICSB are first required to submit a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) indicating their interest in applying to the ICSB. Only those applicants that meet the LOI deadline are eligible to submit a Full Application. Please note that submission of the LOI does not obligate the applicant to submit a Full Application.

The Letters of Intent must be submitted to by the deadlines established for each application cycle. Please refer to Application Process: Timeline for relevant dates and times.

Step 2: Full Application

Applicants that meet the LOI deadline are eligible to submit a full application. During each application cycle, the full application should be submitted to the ICSB no later than the established deadline. Please note that failure to submit a timely or complete application may serve as grounds to reject the application. All complete application submissions will be posted on the ICSB website.

Before beginning the application, please review the ICSB Application FAQs for helpful information. In addition, please see our Application Resources page for informative links and documents on charter school laws, funding, insurance requirements, and facilities.

For New Operators and Experienced Operators

Change in Authorizer Requests

Application Rubrics and Evaluation Overview

STEP 3: Application Evaluation

All complete full application submissions are evaluated by ICSB staff and external experts utilizing an application evaluation rubric. Please note that there are two versions of the evaluation rubric: a New Operator and an Experienced Operator rubric. Blank copies of both rubrics are posted above.

STEP 4: Interview

After ICSB staff and external experts evaluate the full applications, applicant teams that submit complete applications will be interviewed to explore questions and concerns raised by the applications and to assess founding team capacity to implement the proposed program effectively. Interviews will be scheduled following the application deadline.

STEP 5: Public Hearing

Overview and Logistics
As required by Indiana law, a public hearing will be held to allow for comments from community members about full application submissions. The ICSB hosts regional public hearings, which are attended by ICSB staff and Board members. Hearings are held within either the county or the school corporation where the proposed charter school would be located. Prior to the public hearings, community members may download Full Application submissions from the ICSB website. Copies of Full Applications will not be distributed at public hearings.

The purpose of the public hearing is for ICSB representatives to receive comments from community members about the potential impact of the proposed charter school(s) upon the community. The hearing is not a question and answer session with ICSB representatives or applicant groups.

At the public hearing, an applicant representative is offered the option to provide a brief overview of their proposal. Members of the public are invited to make comments to ICSB representatives about the application. All individuals who wish to make comments during the hearing must sign in at the start of the hearing.

Public Comments Through Email
In addition to, or in lieu of, attending public hearings, community members are invited to submit public comments via email to the following address: Please note that all emails are subject to Indiana's Public Access Laws including public records requests.  Those submitting public comment are asked to provide their name, the name of the proposed charter school that the comment regards as well as the substantive comment. 

STEP 6: Board Meeting

The ICSB meeting is open to the public and streamed live over the internet.

During the meeting, ICSB Board members conduct a Q&A with each applicant group, hear ICSB staff recommendations regarding each applicant group, and hold individual votes regarding either approval or declination of each applicant group. The Board votes on each application following the staff recommendation. Following the meeting, all Board decisions are posted on the ICSB website.