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Our charter was granted on January 14, 2002, by the Ramona Unified School District Board of Education. We have subsequently organized as a California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation.

 

Charter of

Sun Valley Charter School  

(Note: Appendices referenced in this document are not attached at the end, but can be found on other parts of this site under the appropriate headings.)

AFFIRMATIONS 

The Sun Valley Charter School is committed to the following affirmations:

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The Charter School shall participate in all required statewide assessment tests.

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The Charter School shall meet all statewide standards applicable to non-charter public schools.

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The Charter School shall be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations.

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The Charter School will not charge tuition.

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The Charter School will not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. 

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The Charter School will admit all pupils who wish to attend the charter school, subject only to capacity and independent study laws and regulations. 

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The Meetings of the Board of Directors for the Charter School shall be held in accordance with the Brown Act. 

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The Charter School shall comply with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (“IDEA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504"), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). 

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The Charter School shall comply with the Public Records Act and the Federal Educational Privacy Rights Act (“FERPA”) 

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Admission to the Charter School shall not be determined according to the place of residence of the pupil, or of his or her parent or guardian, within California. 

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The Charter School shall continually strive for a healthy, collaborative, synergistic relationship with the District.  

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The Charter School shall comply with state laws regarding independent study, pursuant to Education Code Section 47612.5 (b). 

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The Charter School shall offer, at a minimum, the same number of minutes of instruction set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Education Code Section 46201 for the appropriate grade levels. 

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The Charter School shall maintain written contemporaneous records that document all pupil attendance and make those records available for audit and inspection. 

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The Charter School shall comply with the Public Records Act and the Family Rights in Education Privacy Rights Act. 

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The Charter School shall comply with all laws establishing minimum age for public school attendance and with all laws related to generating charter school apportionments for pupils over 19 years of age. 

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The Charter School shall submit monthly financial statements to Ramona Unified School District. 

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The Charter School will develop a conflicts code in accordance with the conflicts code of the Ramona Unified School District. 

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The Charter School shall maintain student cumulative files on site and permit Ramona Unified School District access to such files as requested. 

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All policies of the Charter School shall be approved by the Sun Valley Charter School Board of Directors prior to implementation.

 

Element 1: Educational Program

 Mission Statement 

The mission of Sun Valley Charter School is to inform, inspire, and empower students, ages thirteen through adult, living in the rural community of Ramona, utilizing creative instructors, a comprehensive curriculum, an integrated educational philosophy, and an innovative learning environment. Through Sun Valley Charter School, students will cultivate academic excellence, achieve technological proficiency, and develop practical skills; they will understand our diverse society from a perspective that comprises world, national, and family history; they will become self-motivated, competent, lifelong learners, and they will kindle a lifelong desire for personal enrichment, strong family relationships, and community involvement.

Educational Philosophy 

The Charter School will educate all students who enroll in the Charter School regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or disability.  It is assumed that the School will draw students from Ramona and surrounding communities. 

The Petitioners of Sun Valley Charter School believe learning best occurs when education is: 

Integrated: Life is an integrated experience, not a series of compartmentalized activities. Education should mirror life, not just connecting the various realms of knowledge, but also intertwining them.

 Sequential: We understand our personal life as a series of integrated sequential events. Education should help us to understand our world in a like manner.

 Demanding: Life gives us increasingly demanding challenges. As we master those challenges, we are strengthened. Education should accord us similar challenges and provide the means by which we can master them.

 Diverse and Individual: The world is comprised of people with diverse interests, talents, and abilities. Education should recognize this diversity and provide opportunities for individual development.

 Mental and Physical: In life, we must exercise both the mind and the body to become a well-balanced individual. Education should serve and enhance both the mental and physical sides of our nature.

 Theoretical and Practical: Success in life is dependent not only on the knowledge we have acquired, but also on the skills we have mastered. Education should encompass both the theoretical and the practical.

 Intellectual and Emotional: We experience life with the head and heart, intellect and emotion. Education should help us to develop both.

 Empowering: In life, knowledge is power. Education should empower us to lead free and independent lives, acting responsibly on behalf of our families, our community, and our nation.

          Petitioners believe that an educated person in the 21st Century is empowered by strong ties with community and family; understanding world, national and local history, and has the academic, technical, and practical skill proficiency to achieve his or her own interpretation of success. 

Educational Strategy 

Starting with History and English as a foundation, students will round out their education with studies in these additional areas of emphasis: (1) Science and Technology, (2) Philosophy and Government, (3) Logic and Mathematics, (4) Arts and Literature, (5) Communications, (6) Self-Reliance, and (7) Family and Community.  

History provides the context for all other inquiries. It furnishes the background necessary to understand all human achievements, whether mental or physical, intellectual or emotional. History is that element which connects us to our fellow human beings and to our collective past. English skills provide us with the means to articulate our thoughts in all areas of knowledge. The ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner allows us to make use of the knowledge we have gained. The additional areas of emphasis are intertwined with history and English in real life, and will be fully integrated within the curriculum. 

All subjects will be addressed in a setting that allows the free flow of ideas across artificial academic boundaries. Faculty and students will be encouraged to explore the connections between the subject matter in one area with that of another. Ideas discussed in one class will be elaborated upon in others, but from a different perspective.

The curriculum will seek to open doors, not close minds. Within each field of study, students will be given choices for further exploration. Individual research, in areas of interest to the student, will stimulate a greater enthusiasm for the topic and give the student a sense of ownership in the work. Students will be encouraged to challenge old notions and seek out new explanations. 

The lines between home, school, and community will be blurred as students spend time outside of class, and off campus, working on projects related to their education. Students may participate in seminars, labs and independent research on campus. They may work on projects at home and take field trips with relatives to museums, historical sites, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and commercial establishments.  They may assist local charities and non-profit organizations and participate in internship programs with local businesses. Students may also take classes at local community colleges to supplement their high school curriculum. They will learn that the entire world around them is a classroom, and that learning is not limited to the time spent at school. 

Academic Standards 

The Board of Directors of Sun Valley Charter School ("Board") will adopt academic standards consistent with the California State Content and Performance Standards. Standards for subjects outside these core areas will be developed by the faculty and approved by the Board of the Charter School. 

Curriculum

The standard curriculum will be based on a four-year course of study, with the first two years providing a unified core of knowledge and the last two years providing diversification into practical and academic fields. Students may spend one day per week with a family member, and in their last two years, they may spend at least one day per week in community service, internships, or community college.  A Proposed Curriculum Development Plan and a Proposed Curriculum Outline are attached as Appendix A. 

Educational Structure 

Basic Structure: Sun Valley Charter School ("School") will provide year-round educational programs for students, in grades nine through adult, at multiple locations throughout Ramona. Each student will receive a personal education plan that can include, but is not limited to, classroom instruction, group work, independent research, supervised study, tutoring, seminars, labs, Internet instruction, service activities, internships, off-site instruction, and community college interface.  

Mentors and Home Teams: Upon admission to the School, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor who will work with that student until graduation, providing academic and career guidance, research assistance, and moral support. Faculty members will mentor no more than thirty students, and will have a balance of students from each grade level. The faculty mentor and his/her students will meet as a group, each morning, before classes. These groups, or home teams, will promote interaction between students across grade levels, provide peer support, and encourage involvement and acceptance. 

Modular Scheduling: The School will operate with modular scheduling and may incorporate a variety of learning activities. Large blocks will be used to enhance the learning environment and limit disruptions. Regular classes may meet only once during the week and will be augmented with seminars, labs, and/or independent research. Mathematics will be taught in a lab setting where students can advance at their own pace. In addition to the math lab, the School will have writing, research, and multi-media labs. 

Read Aloud Theater: The School may sponsor a “Read Aloud Theater@ that will operate every day. Faculty members, selected students, and parents will read novels or plays to the students for one half hour following lunch. The novel or play will be selected by the reader and approved by the Board. Students will listen to the book or play they find most interesting. No notes will be taken, and no tests will be given. Students will listen for pleasure only. This activity will stimulate imagination, increase vocabulary, and help students develop a love for books. 

Technology: Classrooms and labs will employ the latest computer, audio-visual, and other technologies, compatible with those used in modern industries and businesses. Students will be trained to use this technology for instruction, research, and communication. Textbooks, historical documents, photographs, etc. will be disseminated to students via electronic media whenever possible. Attendance and other administrative functions will be processed electronically in the most efficient manner. 

Certifications/Licenses: Students will be given the opportunity to qualify for certifications and licenses in many areas, including, but not limited to: Computer certification (i.e., Microsoft, Novell, etc.), first aid/CPR, amateur radio, etc. 

Home Day: Each student, if chosen as part of their personal educational plan, may spend one day per week at home, working with a parent, guardian, or other appointed family member or close family friend. The Charter School will develop strict standards for a structure of Home Day.  Home Day will be used to: work on personal projects, take field trips, explore family history, and develop adult interpersonal skills. Work will be entered into a log and counted as educational time by a credentialed teacher and consistent with independent study laws, rules and guidelines. 

Campus Service: Students may, if chosen as part of their personal educational plan, participate in service activities on campus as a part of their course of study. In their first year, they may work with a professional to provide the necessary janitorial services on campus. In their second year, they may work with a professional to provide campus maintenance and landscape services. In their third year, they may work with a professional to provide campus food services. In each of these areas, they will learn practical life skills. 

Community Service: Older students may participate in community service activities off campus. Students may be placed with charitable and non-profit organizations in the Ramona area to provide one day of service per week. This will help build a sense of community and start students on the path of lifelong service. This service may replace Home Day. 

Internships: Those students who have chosen the practical skills path may be placed in internships with businesses or trade unions within their field of interest. They may work one or more days per week, at a business or in a trade, learning real world applications for their skills.  

Community College Interface: Students may take a portion of their courses at local community colleges. They will be allowed to earn dual credit for the courses taken. 

Distance Learning Program: In addition to the Campus Learning Program outlined above, Sun Valley Charter School will offer a Distance Learning Program (DLP") to allow students to take courses at home consistent with all independent study laws, rules and guidelines, including the maintenance of a pupil to teacher ratio that does not exceed that of the pupil to teacher ratio of all programs except for independent study and special day classes for the largest unified school district in the county or counties in which the Charter School operates pursuant to the California Code of Regulations Section 11704.  It is likely that the comparison school district for the Sun Valley Charter School shall be the San Diego Unified School District.  The Charter School shall notify the District yearly by August 1st of the applicable pupil to teacher ratio based upon its calculations under California Code of Regulations Section 11704.  It is anticipated that the Sun Valley Charter School distance learning program shall not exceed fifty (50) students in the first year, ninety-five (95) the second year, one hundred forty (145) the third year, and (160) in each following year of operation.  The Distance Learning Program will be a year-round program.  It is anticipated that many students in the Distance Learning Program will graduate in less than four years.  DLP students will be enrolled at Sun Valley Charter School, and will be expected to meet or exceed the academic standards established for the Campus Learning Program. It is anticipated that some students will learn best in a home environment, under the tutelage of a parent or guardian. In those cases when a parent or guardian opts to teach their child(ren) at home, the School will provide them with all the course materials, including curriculum outlines, lesson plans, remote access to electronic resources, and monitoring and testing services. Mid-term and final examinations will be administered on campus. Community service opportunities will be available to DLP students, but internships will not. For those DLP students who are college bound, the required lab classes may be taken at the School.  Attached, as Appendix L, please find a draft independent study policy and agreement to be adopted by the SVCS Board of Directors. 

Facilities: Sun Valley Charter School plans to operate in temporary facilities for the first year or two, until suitable permanent facilities can be acquired or built. Vacant commercial space or portable structures, that meet state and local codes, will be suitable for housing the school initially. Within a few years, the school would move to facilities on land suitable for the requirements of its agricultural component. It is anticipated that Sun Valley Charter School would build permanent structures on this land. One option that may be considered is to construct low-cost, energy efficient dome structures.  

Special Education Students/Section 504/ADA:  The Charter School shall comply with the IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA.  The Charter School shall be solely responsible for compliance with Section 504 and the ADA.  With regard to serving special education students, the Charter School shall be considered a public school of the Local Educational Agency (“LEA”) that granted the charter pursuant to Education Code Section 47641 and shall work jointly with the District to ensure full compliance with the IDEA.  The Charter School shall seek out an agreement with the District regarding the flow of special education services to Charter School students in accordance with Education Code Section 47646.  In accordance with Education Code Section 51745(c), no student with special needs shall be allowed to participate in independent study unless it is written into his or her Individual Education Plan. 

English Language Learners:  The Charter School shall comply with all applicable federal law in regard to services and the education of English Language Learner (“ELL”) students.  The Charter School shall develop and implement, and maintain policies and procedures for the provision of services to ELL students in accordance with guidance published by the Office Of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.   At a minimum these policies and procedures shall ensure the following: 

 

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Identify students who need assistance,

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Develop a program that, in the view of experts in the field, has a reasonable chance for success,

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Ensure that necessary staff, curricular materials, and facilities are in place and used properly,

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Develop appropriate evaluation standards, including program exit criteria, for measuring the progress of students; and assess the success of the program and modify it where needed.  The Charter School shall offer the SABE2.  Attached, as Appendix M, please find a draft ELL policy to be adopted by the Board of Directors of Sun Valley Charter School.
 

Element 2: Measurable Pupil Outcomes 

Students of Sun Valley Charter School will be able to demonstrate the following upon graduation: 

In the field of academic knowledge, students will:

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 Enjoy reading, be good at it, and use it to gain knowledge

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Be exposed to and appreciate great literature from around the world

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Speak English clearly and correctly, and communicate ideas effectively

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Write English clearly and correctly, communicate ideas effectively, understand different writing formats, and be able to use a word processor

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Calculate basic mathematical equations accurately

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 Be able to apply an appropriate level of mathematics, in accordance with their life goals

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Be familiar with the basic laws of nature through a study of the fundamental earth sciences

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Comprehend the framework of world and national history within which we operate

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Place themselves in historical context through an exploration of family history

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Understand the principles upon which our government is founded, the mechanics of government, and the reality of politics

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Appreciate the influence of ancient and modern philosophies and religions on cultures, governments, and individuals worldwide

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Be exposed to, and participate in, a broad range of art, music, and drama

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Pass the High School Exit Exam 

In the field of practical skills, students will:

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 Employ modern technology for research, communication, and other practical applications

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 Be able to grow, store, and prepare a variety foods, efficiently and safely

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Understand the fundamentals of proper nutrition and cleanliness

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Participate in regular exercise and organized physical activities

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Develop the fundamental skills necessary for independent living

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Be exposed to a variety of building and mechanical trades

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Participate in small business operations on campus and through internships in the community

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Prepare to take standardized tests 

In the field of personal development, students will:

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Develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information

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Seek creative and innovative ways to address challenges

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Take the initiative to act and think independently

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Develop the organizational skills necessary to establish reasonable long and short-term goals

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Act responsibly, exercising free will in accordance with the rules of society

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Be tolerant of viewpoints, cultures, and religions different from their own

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Strengthen family relationships and develop a better understanding of their families' values

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Expand their appreciation for others by participating in community service

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Develop a lifelong commitment to learning

These student exit outcomes will be further subdivided into a list of specific "classroom-level" skills required in each of the above areas at different grade and skill levels. These specific grade and skill-level standards will be consistent with the California State Content and Performance Standards. Students wishing to enroll in a public university in California will have the opportunity to pursue a course of study at Sun Valley Charter School which meets the "A-G Requirements." In addition to attaining specific content area and grade/skill-level standards, students will also demonstrate their overall progress toward graduation readiness through a series of "benchmark" performances at various points throughout their experience at the School. These benchmark and classroom-level skills will be developed prior to the School commencing instructional operations. 

In order to best serve our students and community, Sun Valley Charter School will continue to examine and refine its list of student outcomes over time to reflect the School's mission and any changes to state or local standards that support such mission. The School will submit to the RUSD Board of Education, at any time prior to expiration, a description of any changes to the above student outcomes as an amendment of the charter. The RUSD Board of Education agrees to hear and render an amendment decision pursuant to the time lines and processes as specified in the Education Code Section 47605(b). 

It is the goal of Sun Valley Charter School that 75% or more of its students will show at least one grade or skill level's worth of progress each academic year, as evidenced by scores on the Stanford 9 and/or other standardized tests and successful completion of required portfolios and exhibitions. Performance standards and assessments for students with exceptional needs or English language learners will be adapted as appropriate to their Individualized Education Plans or English proficiency levels. 

            Attached, as Appendix O is a draft Supplementary Instruction/Intervention policy to be adopted by the Sun Valley Charter School Board of Directors. 

Element 3: Methods To Assess Pupil Progress Toward Meeting Outcomes 

Sun Valley Charter School students will be assessed in each of the academic knowledge areas by a combination of "authentic" assessments, such as portfolios and public exhibitions, and standardized tests, including the Stanford 9 Achievement Test and any appropriate district tests or statewide assessments as mandated by law.  

Students will be assessed in each of the practical skill areas by a combination of "authentic" assessments, such as demonstrations and public exhibitions, the products of their labors, and any appropriate district tests. 

Students will be assessed in each of the personal development areas by a combination of "authentic" assessments, such as portfolios and public exhibitions, and faculty observations and evaluations. 

            For those outcomes that are important, but more difficult to “measure”, such as a student’s enjoyment of reading, the Charter School shall rely on teacher observations, discussions, and interaction with students as a measurement of student growth. 

Students will demonstrate proficiency in all of the core academic areas. For non-special and non-limited English language learner “ELL” students, "proficiency" will be defined as a stanine score, on the Stanford 9, of 4 or above, and grades of C or better on all year-end academic portfolios and exhibitions. Portfolios and exhibitions will be assessed according to School-wide rubrics, with input from teachers across all content areas and outside community members. "Proficiency" for students with exceptional needs and ELL students will be defined appropriately according to their Individualized Education Plans and English proficiency levels. It shall always be the intent of the Charter School to strive for the best possible achievement for all of its students, and to meet or exceed the achievement of District students whether measured through achievement on standardized tests or Academic Performance Index.  

As required by law, all students will be required to pass the High School Exit Exam as a condition to graduation. 

Element 4: Governance Structure 

Sun Valley Charter School will constitute itself as a non-profit California Public Benefit Corporation pursuant to California law. The School will be governed pursuant to the bylaws adopted by incorporators, as subsequently amended pursuant to the amendment process specified in the bylaws. A Board of Directors, composed of five voting members and two nonvoting members, will govern the School. The organizers of the Charter School will recruit and install the initial slate of voting Board members. One representative of the Charter School’s faculty will sit on the Board as a nonvoting member. The School's bylaws will also permit one representative of the board of directors of the Ramona Unified School District to serve on the Board as a Director. This representative will sit on the Board as a nonvoting Director who facilitates communications and mutual understanding between the School and RUSD.  

With the exception of the initial slate of directors, the five voting members will be designated by the existing Board as follows: The chairman of the Board shall appoint a committee to nominate qualified candidates for election to the Board at least thirty days before the date of any election of directors. The committee shall report at least seven days before the election. New directors will be designated from among the names submitted by the nominating committee by simple majority vote of the Board. The Board of Education of the RUSD will select their nonvoting representative in a manner of their choosing. The School’s faculty will select their nonvoting representative in a manner of their choosing. 

With the exception of the initial slate of directors, the five voting members will serve two-year terms and may serve no more than two consecutive terms. The nonvoting members will serve one-year terms and may serve no more than two consecutive terms with the exception of the District’s representative who will serve a two-year term, but with unlimited terms of office as determined by the Board of RUSD. The initial slate of directors will serve terms as follows: Two directors will serve one, three-year term as drawn by lot. The remaining three directors will serve one, two-year term. The initial slate of directors will be eligible to serve additional terms in accordance with the above provisions. 

The Board's major roles and responsibilities will include establishing and approving all major educational and operational policies, approving all major contracts, approving the School's annual budget and overseeing the School's fiscal affairs, and selecting and evaluating the top administrative staff. The School will maintain in effect general liability and Board errors and omissions insurance policies. Sun Valley Charter School will be non-sectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, shall not charge tuition, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.  

Role of parents in the school 

An essential tenant of the philosophy of the Charter School is that students are best able to reach their full potential when there is a high level of involvement by their parents in their education.  The Charter School encourages all groups to participate in and share responsibility for the educational process and educational results.  Parents will have the opportunity to be involved in their child’s education through the participation on advisory committees as discussed above and as follows: 

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Advisory meetings - parents, students, and advisors meet at least twice per year to plan and assess the students’ learning progress and determine goals.  

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Exhibition panels - parents will sit on exhibition panels to review student work.

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School and staff evaluations - parents fill out a survey each year evaluating the strengths and weaknesses they identify with the program at the Charter School.

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Volunteer opportunities at the Charter School site - various opportunities will arise for parents to volunteer. Opportunities may include but are not limited to assisting in classrooms, leading extracurricular activities, assisting in event planning, attending field trips, and serving on parent committees.

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Fund-raising - parents and community members may work with the Charter School to raise additional resources to support students in the charter school program.

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Advocacy - parents and community members will communicate the Charter School design and outcomes to the public, educators, and policy makers and advocate for necessary policies and resources. 

Element 5: Employee Qualifications 

Sun Valley Charter School will retain or employ teaching staff that hold appropriate California teaching certificates, permits, or other documents issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. These teachers will teach the core academic classes. These teachers will be responsible for overseeing the students' academic progress and for monitoring grading and matriculation decisions as specified in the School's operational policies. 

            The School may also employ or retain non-certificated instructional support staff in any case where a prospective staff member has an appropriate mix of subject matter expertise, professional experience, and the demonstrated capacity to work successfully in an instructional support capacity. Instructional support staff will not assign grades or approve student work assignments without the approval of a teacher except in non-core or non-college preparatory courses and activities. All non-instructional staff will possess experience and expertise appropriate for their position within the School.  Attached as Appendix H, please find proposed job descriptions of Charter School personnel.
 

Element 6: Health and Safety Procedures            

            Prior to commencing instruction, Sun Valley Charter School will adopt and implement a comprehensive set of health, safety, and risk management policies. These policies will be developed in consultation with the School's insurance carriers and at a minimum will address the following topics: 

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A requirement that all enrolling students and staff provide records documenting immunizations to the extent required for enrollment in non-charter public schools

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Policies and procedures for response to natural disasters and emergencies, including fires and earthquakes

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Policies relating to preventing contact with blood-borne pathogens

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A policy requiring that instructional and administrative staff receive training in emergency response, including appropriate "first responder" training or its equivalent

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Policies relating to the administration of prescription drugs and other medicines

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A policy that the School will be housed in facilities that have received state Fire Marshal approval and that have been evaluated by a qualified structural engineer who has determined that the facilities present no substantial seismic safety hazard

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A policy establishing that the School functions as a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free workplace

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A requirement that each employee of the School submit to a criminal background check and furnish a criminal record summary as required by Education Code Section 44237 

            These policies will be incorporated as appropriate into the School's student and staff handbooks and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in the School's staff development efforts and Board policies.  Until such time as the Charter School adopts its own Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, the School will adopt and implement the Health and Safety Policies of RUSD.   

            Prior to commencing operations, a representative of the Charter School will meet with a District representative to determine which Health and Safety policies of the District may apply to the Charter School and where gaps may exist that will require policies to be adopted by the Charter School before opening.             

Element 7: Means to Achieve Racial/Ethnic Balance Reflective of District 

Sun Valley Charter School will implement a student recruitment strategy that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following elements or strategies to attempt to ensure a racial and ethnic balance among students that is reflective of the district: 

1.                   An enrollment process that is scheduled and adopted to include a timeline that allows for a broad-based recruiting and application process

2.                   The development of promotional and informational material that appeals to all of the various racial and ethnic groups represented within the boundaries of the RUSD

3.                   The appropriate development of promotional and informational materials in languages other than English to appeal to English language learners populations

4.                   The distribution of promotional and informational materials to a broad variety of community groups and agencies that serve the various racial, ethnic, and interest groups represented within the boundaries of the RUSD

5.                   Outreach meetings in several areas of the district to reach prospective students and parents

Element 8: Admission Requirements and Priorities 

Sun Valley Charter School will actively recruit a diverse student population from within the boundaries of the RUSD and surrounding areas who understand and value the School's mission and are committed to the School's instructional and operational philosophy. Admission to the School shall be open to any resident of the State of California. Prospective students and their parents or guardians will be briefed regarding the School's instructional and operational philosophy and will be given a copy or summary of the School's student-related policies. 

If demand should exceed School capacity, students will be accepted by order of preference group until capacity is reached.  Once capacity is reached, enrollment will be determined by public random drawing in the order of each preference group in each grade level.  The preference groups are as follows:

1.          Students currently enrolled at Sun Valley Charter School will be guaranteed enrollment.

2.          Siblings of students currently enrolled at Sun Valley Charter School.

3.                   Students residing within the boundaries of the RUSD.   

The School will hold one or more open enrollment periods each spring that will culminate in a public random drawing.   A waiting list will be created from those applicants not enrolled in order of their drawing in the public random drawing.  All applications submitted after the open enrollment periods for the school year are completed will be date stamped and numbered in the order received and placed accordingly on the waiting list.  In the case of an opening in any given grade level, the first applicable student on the waiting list for that grade level will be offered enrollment.  The waiting list will not carry over to the following school year.  

Element 9: Financial Audit 

The Board will form an audit committee each fiscal year to oversee selection of an independent auditor and the completion of an annual audit of the School's financial affairs. The audit will verify the accuracy of the School's financial statements, attendance and enrollment accounting practices, and review the School's internal controls. The audit will be conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applicable to the School. To the extent required under applicable federal law, the audit scope will be expanded to include items and processes specified in any applicable Office of Management and Budget Circulars. It is anticipated that the annual audit will be completed within four (4)  months of the close of the fiscal year and that a copy of the auditor's findings will be forwarded to the chief financial officer of the RUSD. The School's audit committee will review any audit exceptions or deficiencies and report to the Board with recommendations on how to resolve them. The Board will report to the RUSD regarding how the exceptions and deficiencies have been or will be resolved by November 1st. The final audit report shall be submitted to the State Board of Education on December 15th.  Any disputes regarding the resolution of audit exceptions and deficiencies will be referred to the dispute resolution process. 

Element 10: Programmatic Audit 

Sun Valley Charter School will compile and provide to the RUSD an annual performance report. This report will, at a minimum, include the following data: 

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Summary data showing student progress toward the goals and outcomes specified in Element 2 from assessment instruments and techniques listed in Element 3

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An analysis of whether student performance is meeting the goals specified in Element 2. This data will be displayed on both a School-wide basis and by major racial and ethnic categories to the extent feasible without compromising student confidentiality

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A summary of major decisions and policies established by the Board during the year

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Data on the level of parent involvement in the School's governance and summary data from an annual parent and student satisfaction survey

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Data regarding the number of staff working at the School and their qualifications

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A copy of the School's health and safety policies and/or a summary of any major changes to those policies during the year

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Information demonstrating whether the School implemented the means listed in charter Element 7 to attempt to achieve a racially and ethnically balanced student population reflective of the District

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An overview of the School's admissions practices during the year and data regarding the number of students enrolled, the number on waiting lists, and the number of students expelled and/or suspended

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Analysis of the effectiveness of the School's internal and external dispute mechanisms and data on the number and resolution of disputes and complaints

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Other information regarding the educational program and the administrative, legal, and governance operations of the School relative to compliance with the terms of the charter generally 

            The School and the RUSD will jointly develop the content, evaluation criteria, timelines, and process for the annual performance reports. The School and the RUSD will also jointly develop a site visitation process and protocol to enable the RUSD to gather information needed to confirm the School's performance and compliance with the terms of this charter.  

Element 11: Pupil Suspension and Expulsion 

The Sun Valley Charter School Pupil Suspension and Expulsion Policy is attached as Appendix P.  

Element 12: Retirement System 

            Staff at Sun Valley Charter School will participate in the federal Social Security system and will have access to other School-sponsored retirement plans according to policies developed by the Board and adopted as the School's employee policies. The School retains the option for its Board to elect to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System and/or Public Employees Retirement System and coordinate such participation, as appropriate, with the Social Security system or other reciprocal systems in the future, should it find that participation enables the School to attract and retain a higher quality staff. If the School should opt to participate in the STRS or PERS systems, the RUSD shall cooperate as necessary to create necessary reports as requested by the Charter School.  The School shall pay the District its actual costs for the provision of such services.             

Element 13: Attendance Alternatives  

            Students who opt not to attend Sun Valley Charter School may attend other District of residence schools or pursue an inter-district transfer in accordance with existing enrollment and transfer policies of the District of residence or the San Diego County Office of Education.            

Element 14: Description of Employee Rights 

Upon leaving employment at RUSD to work at the Charter School, employees will not have any automatic right of return, nor maintenance of tenure. 

Element 15: Dispute Resolution Process, Oversight, Reporting, and Renewal 

Intent 

The intent of this dispute resolution process is to (1) resolve disputes within the School pursuant to the School's policies, (2) minimize the oversight burden on the RUSD, (3) ensure a fair and timely resolution of disputes, and (4) frame a charter oversight and renewal process and timeline so as to avoid disputes regarding oversight and renewal matters.

Public Comments 

The staff and Board members of the School and the RUSD agree to attempt to resolve all disputes regarding this charter pursuant to the terms of this section. Both shall refrain from public commentary as allowed by law regarding any disputes until the matter has progressed through the dispute resolution process. 

Disputes Arising from within the School 

            Disputes arising from within the School, including all disputes among and between students, staff, parents, volunteers, advisors, partner organizations, and Board members, shall be resolved pursuant to policies and processes developed by the School.  

The RUSD shall not intervene in any such internal disputes without the consent of the Board and shall refer any complaints or reports regarding such disputes to the Board or director of the School for resolution pursuant to the School's policies. The RUSD agrees not to intervene or become involved in the dispute unless the dispute has given the RUSD reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this charter or related laws or agreements has occurred which may relate to one of the reasons for which a charter may be revoked under Education Code Section 47607, or unless the governing Board has requested the RUSD to intervene in the dispute. 

Disputes between the School and the RUSD 

            In the event that the School or RUSD have disputes regarding the terms of this charter or any other issue regarding the School and RUSD's relationship, both parties agree to follow the process outlined below.  

In the event of a dispute between the School and the RUSD, the School staff and Board members and the RUSD agree to first frame the issue in written format and refer the issue to the superintendent of the RUSD and director of the School. In the event that the RUSD believes that the dispute relates to an issue that could lead to revocation of the charter, this shall be specifically noted in the written dispute statement.  

The director and superintendent shall informally meet and confer in a timely fashion to attempt to resolve the dispute. In the event that this informal meeting fails to resolve the dispute, both parties shall identify two governing board members from their respective boards who shall jointly meet with the superintendent of the RUSD and director of the School and attempt to resolve the dispute. If this joint meeting fails to resolve the dispute, the superintendent and director shall meet to jointly identify a neutral, third party arbitrator. The format of the arbitration session shall be developed jointly by the superintendent and director, and shall incorporate informal rules of evidence and procedure unless both parties agree otherwise. The findings or recommendations of the arbitrator shall be non-binding, unless the governing boards of the School and RUSD jointly agree to bind themselves. 

Oversight, Reporting, Revocation, and Renewal

The RUSD may inspect or observe any part of the School at any time. If the governing board of the RUSD believes it has cause to revoke this charter pursuant to Education Code Section 47607, the RUSD board of directors agrees to notify the Board in writing, noting the specific reasons for which the charter may be revoked, and grant the School reasonable time to respond to the notice and take appropriate corrective action. 

The RUSD agrees to receive and review the annual fiscal and programmatic audit and annual performance report as specified in Element 10. Within sixty days  of the receipt of this annual review, the RUSD must notify the Board as to whether it considers the School to be making satisfactory progress relative to the goals specified in this charter. This annual notification will include the specific reasons for the RUSD=s conclusions.  

The Charter shall be submitted for renewal along with any amendments on or before March 1st of the fifth year of operation. 

Element 16: Labor Relations           

Sun Valley Charter School shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer of the employees of the School for the purposes of the Education Employment Relations Act. 

Element 17: Term, Amendments, Severability and Oversight             

Term 

The term of this charter shall begin on the date of approval by the RUSD Board of Education, and expire five years thereafter. 

Amendments 

             Material revisions and amendments to the charter shall be made by mutual agreement of the Board of RUSD and the Board of the Charter School pursuant to the standards, criteria, and timelines in Education Code Section 47605. 

Severability 

            The terms of this charter contract are severable. In the event that any of the provisions are determined to be unenforceable or invalid for any reason, the remainder of the charter shall remain in effect, unless mutually agreed otherwise by the RUSD and the Board or unless the charter is revoked pursuant to Education Code Section 47607. The RUSD and School agree to meet to discuss and resolve any issues or differences relating to invalidated provisions in a timely, good faith fashion. 

Oversight 

                Pursuant to Education Code Section 47613, the Charter School shall pay the District for its actual costs in providing supervisorial oversight of the Charter School not to exceed one percent (1%) of the publicly funded revenues of the Charter School. 

Element 18:  Facilities 

The Charter School shall only acquire facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  All structures and buildings in which the Charter School occupies shall meet construction and fire and life safety standards in accordance with the provisions of the 1998 California Building Standards Code (“CSBC”) as set forth in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations applicable to educational occupancies. 

The Charter School shall notify the District upon acquisition of facilities.  The Charter School recognizes that as part of the District’s oversight role, it may tour and review.  Attached as Appendix N, please find a synopsis of negotiations for a temporary facility between the Charter School and the Day Company.

The Charter School recognizes that any allocation of facilities by RUSD to the Charter School shall only be granted pursuant to Proposition 39 and its implementing regulations.  Any request for facilities under Proposition 39 shall be made by the Charter School by March 1, 2002, for the 2002-2003 school year and  by October 1st prior to each following school year. 

 

Copyright © 2002 Sun Valley Charter High School

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