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Application Process

Before you start...

Prior to starting the application process, an applicant must determine which type of application it will submit. The ICSB offers three types of applications: 

            1. An Application for New School Operators; 
            2. An Application for Experienced Operators; or 
            3. A Change in Authorizer Request Application.
An applicant group should file an Application for New School Operators if the group has not previously operated a charter school or is not planning to contract with an Education Service Provider (“ESP”) for education management services. Per IC § 20-24-1-6.1, an 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.”
The only time an applicant group who is contracting with an ESP should submit a New School Operator Application is if the ESP has never provided educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management services anywhere in the United States (e.g., it is a newly formed entity). Note that the fact that a member of the proposed governing body has formerly served on the board of another charter school does not disqualify an applicant group from applying as a New Operator.
An applicant group should file an Application for Experienced Operators if either: (a) the group has previously operated a charter school or a network of charter schools; or (b) the group has not previously operated a charter school but intends to contract with an ESP. The Application for Experienced Operators focuses on an evaluation of the existing school or schools currently managed by the applicant group or ESP, specifically academic and financial performance, and the capacity of the existing governing board to replicate.
An applicant group should file a Change in Authorizer Application if it is the governing body of an existing charter school currently not authorized by the ICSB. There are two types of change in authorizer requests: 1) requests from schools in good standing who have not received a notice of termination or nonrenewal of a charter agreement by the charter school’s current authorizer; and 2) requests following notice of termination or nonrenewal of a charter agreement by the charter school’s current authorizer.

STEP 1: Letter of Intent

All applicants seeking to submit a proposal during an application cycle are required first to submit a non-binding Letter of Intent (“LOI”) indicating their interest in applying to the ICSB. Information contained within the LOI will be utilized for planning purposes by the ICSB, and the legal name of the applicant group will be posted on the ICSB website. The LOI must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST by the LOI deadline using the following email address: charter-applications@icsb.in.gov. Please refer to Application Process: Timeline for relevant dates and times.  Please note that there is a customized LOI template for Change in Authorizer Requests.
Letter of Intent Templates

Step 2: Full Application

Once the LOI deadline has passed, ICSB staff will contact the applicant groups with information on how to submit the application through Epicenter, the ICSB online portal.  All applicants that submit a fully completed LOI by the LOI deadline are eligible to submit an application during the applicable cycle.  Please note that all submissions are final; however, ICSB staff reserves the right to ask for additional information to clarify and/or support specific answers given in the capacity interview. The requested information must be submitted within five business days of the time of the request. No extensions will be granted.
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.
Application Documents

Additional Required Forms 

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.
Application Rubrics and Evaluation Overview

STEP 4: Capacity Interview

After ICSB staff and external experts evaluate the full applications, applicant groups 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: charter-applications@icsb.in.gov. 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.
At least one day prior to the ICSB Board Meeting, ICSB staff will contact the designated representative for each applicant group to inform them of the staff recommendation for the proposed school. At this time, the applicant group may choose to “withdraw” its application from consideration which means that, while ICSB board members have been provided with a copy of the staff recommendation for the school, no discussion or vote will occur with respect to the application. Applicants who withdraw because the staff recommendation is declination or who are declined by the ICSB board are free to reapply in a later application cycle or to another authorizer.
During the meeting, ICSB board members conduct a question and answer session with each applicant group, hear ICSB staff recommendations, and hold individual votes whether to approve or decline each application. Following the meeting, all decisions of the ICSB board are posted on the ICSB website. The ICSB meeting is open to the public and streamed live over the internet.