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How to Become a KCPS Charter School

KCPS will consider sponsoring charter schools whose mission, vision, and core values are aligned with KCPS. Consideration is based on the charter school's ability to:

  1. Build a viable business plan and application.
  2. Demonstrate early on that the school will have high expectations for school staff, students, and families that will result in a high-performing, high-achieving school.
  3. Extend opportunities to students who are not well served in a traditional setting.
  4. Fill educational gaps in the community.
  5. Utilize technology to deliver education.
  6. Develop an innovative and relevant curriculum that maximizes personal potential and engages students in reading, math, and science.
  7. Hold their organization accountable to high academic standards.
  8. Hire an exceptional school leader and qualified teaching staff, and support continuing professional development.
  9. Demonstrate strong leadership in governance and community engagement.
  10. KCPS does not plan to accept charter schools contracting with a third-party management provider.

Applicants interested in KCPS becoming their sponsor will be encouraged to submit a letter of interest and any supporting documentation to the KCPS Charter Sponsor Liaison (CSL) no less than one year prior to submitting an application. Missouri law requires that charter school applications have to be approved by the State Board of Education by January 31st for opening the following fall. For an application to be reviewed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and approved by the State Board of Education, the application must be submitted before November 10th. The CSL will provide technical assistance throughout the process and ensure expectations on both sides are met. Applicants will also be encouraged to seek assistance from the Missouri Charter Public School Association.

All applications will be vetted by the KCPS Charter Sponsor Advisory Committee. The Committee is comprised of internal and external individuals with experience in public education, board governance, accounting and finance, data management, marketing, and charter school operations. A scoring guide, developed by KCPS and based on DESE’s application and guide for new charter applications, is posted on this website. KCPS Charter Pre-Application Rubric


A suggested timeline for consideration is below:

  • Letter of interest—may be submitted any time during the year.
  • Initial review by KCPS—will take place 14 days from date of receipt of the letter of interest and any supporting documentation.
  • Initial meeting to develop an application for consideration by KCPS—will begin one year prior to KCPS deadline for approving a charter application
  • Final acceptance by KCPS—will be communicated within 30 days of receipt of the final charter school application.
  • DESE submission and approval—will be completed by October for opening the following fall to ensure compliance with the law.

Charter School Application Review Process

KCPS will use a detailed process for vetting charter school applications, with applicants advancing to the next step based on points awarded. The process includes:

  1. The KCPS Charter School Liaison will facilitate meetings with potential applicants and provide technical assistance during the writing of the charter application several months prior to submission.
  2. Internal and external individuals are chosen to participate on the KCPS Charter School Advisory Committee to review and score applications.
  3. Initial review of applications, with points awarded for: student achievement plan; organizational and governance structure/expertise; financial plan including start-up dollars/budget; unique characteristics/need for type of school; community involvement; and quality of application.
  4. In-person interviews with major stakeholders (school director/administrator and board), with points awarded for: capacity of running the school; depth of investment in the school; demonstrated understanding of state/federal requirements; and response to interview questions.
  5. Final in-depth review of application, with suggested revisions prior to submission to DESE.
  6. The Office of Education Collaboration will issue a written letter of acceptance or denial within 30 days from receipt of the final application. If the office chooses not to sponsor an applicant, the letter of denial will provide reasons for denial with a copy sent to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
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