Glenwood Two Rivers charter school application put on slower track to allow for further review
A decision on whether Two Rivers Community School will be re-chartered under the Roaring Fork School District won’t come until at least February of 2020.
The proposal had been scheduled for possible action by the RFSD Board of Education as soon as next week under the timeline established by district policy after the application was submitted Sept. 30.
However, representatives from the Glenwood Springs-based school and the district mutually agreed late last month extend the timeline beyond the first of the year, Roaring Fork Schools Superintendent Rob Stein said.
“It’s an overly ambitious timeline,” Stein said of the district’s revised policy for considering new charter school requests, which has yet to be tested during his tenure as superintendent.
The last time the district reviewed a charter application was when Two Rivers first approached the district in 2012-13 about becoming a new start-up charter school. After the district rejected the initial application, Two Rivers was accepted by the Colorado Charter Institute as a state charter school.
The school has applied concurrently with both the state and the local school district for either re-authorization under the state, or re-chartering under the district.
“One we got into the details of the review, we realized it was going to take us more time to give it thorough consideration,” Stein said. “We met with them and agreed to slow down that timeline.”
Two Rivers Head of School Jamie Nims also indicated following an initial public hearing before the school board last month that the school may need extra time to supplement the application with more financial information and other details requested by the school district.
A key consideration in the negotiations, he said at the time, is whether the charter school would be able to share in future tax dollars. Other questions around resource-sharing also need to be answered, Nims said.
Shared resources is one factor making a district affiliation attractive compared to the current state charter, Nims also previously said.
Also factoring into the decision was the recent turnover on the five-member Roaring Fork School Board, which now has three new members following the Nov. 5 board elections. Stein said it will be important to get the new members up to speed on charter policy before the application comes up for consideration.
Once additional information has been gathered by the district, the charter application will be reviewed by an internal district committee, Stein said.
Then, a subcommittee of parents and community members on the District Accountability Committee will review the application and other information and make a recommendation to the board as outlined by the state Board of Education.
“The board is expected to receive the recommendation and the application for review no later than in early February,” according to a statement sent out to district parents and the community.
If approved for re-chartering under the district, Two Rivers Community School could still choose to remain under state authorization should the state also agree to renew the charter. That decision is expected yet this month.
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