John Muir Charter School

Element Number Three: Assessing Pupil Progress

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Element Number Three: Assessing Pupil Progress
The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil outcomes is to be measured.

A. Assessment of Student and School Outcomes

JMCS will employ a variety of assessment tools to measure academic progress and diagnose problems. JMCS will:

  • Assess students at entry on a commonly accepted grade level equivalency student assessment test(s)

  • Periodically assess students (e.g., quarterly) on the same assessment instrument to measure progress

  • Use assessment instruments to diagnose each student’s academic strengths and challenges

  • Confer with client-agency staff on an ongoing basis to track student progress at the worksite

Students will:

  • Maintain Student Achievement Plans, detailing their assessments, goals, struggles and accomplishments
  • Conduct self-assessments and peer-assessments

  • Demonstrate competency and mastery of the JMCS Curriculum Benchmarks and Course Outlines during exhibitions and oral presentations

  • Demonstrate academic and job skills at the worksite

JMCS will conduct frequent teacher/student/client agency conferences to give students ongoing feedback and to ensure that students are progressing toward their goals. JMCS teachers and staff will report student and classroom assessment results to the Board of Directors, Nevada County School Board, and Nevada County Superintendent of Schools on an ongoing basis.

The assessment tools used at JMCS will be standardized, authentic, and performance-based assessments as guided by the State Frameworks and Performance Standards. While the standard, on-demand assessments enables JMCS to monitor both the individual student’s and the school’s performance, these assessment might not fully meet the assessment needs of the students or their instructors. JMCS will require students, teachers, and staff to measure their own performance, thereby empowering them to recognize and be responsible for their own learning. JMCS therefore, will supplement standardized assessments with alternative assessments. To document student learning, the alternative assessments will include projects, exhibitions, and other tasks that students complete during the year. JMCS will engage students to the maximum extent in the assessment process.

Element Number Four: Governance Structure of School

The governance structure of the school, including, but not limited to, the process to be followed by the school to ensure parental involvement.

JMCS is constituted as a California nonprofit public-benefit corporation pursuant to California law.

A. Board of Directors

JMCS shall have at least a four (4) person Board of Directors that will serve as the Board of Directors of JMCS, a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation. The Board of Directors shall be governed in its operations and its actions by the corporate bylaws of JMCS, which shall be consistent with the terms of the Charter, the Charter Schools Act, and all other applicable laws. The Board of Directors shall have sole authority for all aspects of JMCS’s operation and education program related to curriculum, enrichment and extracurricular educational activities, student evaluation, personnel, professional development, budget and finance, facilities and maintenance, admissions, scheduling, community relations, classroom usage, use of the school site, safety, discipline, proposals for charter revision and renewal, dispute resolution, and interactions with the granting agency.

The membership, voting rights, term etc. of the Board of Directors shall be delineated in the corporate bylaws. The Board of Directors shall meet at least three times a year.
The Nevada County Board of Education and Superintendent shall have the right to appoint one representative and one alternate representative to the Board of Directors. The Board/Superintendent’s representative shall act as the Chair of the Board of Directors meetings.
The authority of JMCS, as stated above and elsewhere in this Charter, shall be limited by the following rights and duties of the Superintendent of the County in her/his oversight role:

  1. The Superintendent will be consulted on the development of the agenda for meetings of the Board of Directors. The Superintendent will have the authority to add matters to the agenda.

  1. Meetings will be scheduled such that the Superintendent, or designee, is available to attend all meetings.

  1. The Board of Directors shall agree that the Superintendent, or designee, is a necessary advisor as a representative of the County Board of Education. As such, they shall agree that the Superintendent has a standing invitation to be present during the closed sessions of the Board of Directors. The Superintendent may then be present at all closed sessions, but may step out during matters that may present a conflict of interest.

  1. The Superintendent of Schools will have the duty and the right to seek reconsideration of any action taken by the Board of Directors of JMCS that the Superintendent determines in her/his professional judgment not to be in the best interest of the school. The Board of Directors of JMCS must place the matter on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board meeting for reconsideration or sooner at a special meeting if necessary. Neither the Board of Directors of JMCS nor its staff may implement any action taken by the Board of Directors once the Superintendent makes such a request for reconsideration. If after reconsidering the action taken, the Board of Directors disagrees with the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Superintendent may bring the matter to the County Board of Education, which may then direct the Superintendent to resolve the matter pursuant to the dispute resolution procedure between the Superintendent and JMCS or seek revocation if applicable.

JMCS 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.

JMCS will comply with all applicable federal laws, and state and local laws that are applicable to independent public charter schools. JMCS will retain its own legal counsel when necessary. JMCS will purchase and maintain as necessary general liability, automotive liability, errors and omissions,

property, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance policies, either as part of the granting authority’s insurance program or its own insurance program.

The Board of Directors may initiate and carry on any program, activity, or may otherwise act in any manner which is not in conflict with or inconsistent with, or preempted by, any law and which is not in conflict with the purposes for which charter schools are established.
The Board of Directors may execute any powers delegated by law to it and shall discharge any duty imposed by law upon it and may delegate to an officer or employee of JMCS or a third party any of those duties. The Board of Directors, however, retains ultimate responsibility over the performance of those powers or duties so delegated.

B. Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

The Executive Director/CEO shall be selected by the Board of Directors and shall be employed by JMCS under a contract of employment approved by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director/CEO’s central governance role is to act as manager of JMCS as outlined in the position’s job specification. The Board of Directors shall adopt a job specification for the position of Executive Director/CEO that further defines the day-to-day job responsibilities for the Executive Director/CEO. The Executive Director/CEO shall coordinate JMCS educational programs with the person(s) the CCC, Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act programs designate as liaisons.

C. Advisory Board

When needed, the JMCS governing board may direct the Executive Director/CEO to form an Advisory Board comprised of distinguished members of the community representing the public and/or private sectors of education, business, and government. The Advisory Board shall have at least one representative of the Superintendent, the CCC and each participating Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act program and shall meet as needed on an ad-hoc basis. The Advisory Board shall report to the Executive Director/CEO. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide advice, expertise, and resources related to pedagogy, assessment, workforce preparation, charter schools, fund raising, community relations, and other areas relevant to the success of the school. The Executive Director/CEO and/or the Board of Directors may consult with the Advisory Board or its members when appropriate. The Advisory Board will be selected by the Board of Directors from applications received or solicited by JMCS with the exception of the Superintendent, CCC, Local Corps, Job Corp, YouthBuild and WIA representatives. The Executive Director/CEO will report to the Advisory Board on JMCS activities and issues as prescribed by the Board of Directors.

D. Teacher/Student Contract
JMCS shall develop a Teacher/Student contract to be approved by the Board of Directors and be included in the Student Achievement Plan. At a minimum, the Teacher/Student Contract shall:

  • Require students and teachers to complete and return all forms, questionnaires, and other requests for information that may be required by the school

  • Require students to complete all class work and homework the teacher assigns

  • Require teachers to correct and return student assignments with useful comments in a timely manner

  • Require all students to follow the Student Conduct Code and all rules of the program in which they are participating (i.e., California Conservation Corps, Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, or Workforce Investment Act program).

  • Require students and teachers to attend all student-teacher conferences as scheduled by the teacher or student

  • Require students and teachers to follow all rules and procedures as approved by the Board of Directors

Element Number Five: Employee Qualifications

The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by the school.

JMCS will retain or employ teaching staff persons that hold appropriate California teaching certificates or permits issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. JMCS will comply with Section 47605(l), which states:
Teachers in charter schools shall be required to hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold. It is the intent of the Legislature that charter schools be given flexibility with regard to non-core, non-college-preparatory courses.

A. Executive Director/CEO Qualifications

The Executive Director/CEO and any other administrator at JMCS should possess leadership abilities and a comprehensive educational background and vision that is consistent with JMCS’s mission and education program. The Executive Director/CEO should possess extensive knowledge and background in the operational models and structures of the California Conservation Corps, Certified Local Conservation Corps, YouthBuild, Job Corps and Workforce Investment Act funded programs. The Executive Director should also possess skills in hiring and supervising excellent teachers, technological and data-analysis experience, and, if possible, business experience. The Executive Director of JMCS should possess active and up to date teaching and administrative credentials in the State of California.

All staff will operate under at-will contracts with JMCS and be evaluated on an annual basis using a process developed and approved by the JMCS governing board.

B. Teacher Qualifications

JMCS will employ and retain teachers that hold California K-12 teaching certificates, permits, or other documents issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and have experience commensurate with the applicable job specifications. Each student will be assigned to a teacher of record who is responsible for overseeing the student's academic progress and who will monitor all grading and matriculation decisions. JMCS 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 serve as the teacher of record for individual pupils and may not assign grades or approve student work assignments without the approval of the teacher of record, except in non-core, non-college preparatory courses and activities. All non-instructional staff will possess experience and expertise appropriate for their position with the school required by law.

JMCS teachers shall:

  • Care about students and their success in learning

  • Be familiar with the JMCS’s curriculum, methods of instruction, and administrative procedures

  • Demonstrate effectiveness in teaching, mentoring, and writing

  • Demonstrate effectiveness in data driven instructional models

  • Provide leadership for the school as a whole

  • Accept the mission and philosophy of JMCS

  • Be willing to work flexible schedules to accommodate the varying needs and schedules of enrolled students and our client agencies

  • Accept responsibility for student outcomes

C. Specific Qualifications for all Staff Include

The Board of Directors shall define specific employee minimum qualifications that shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Dedication to putting in time, energy and effort in developing the JMCS educational program

  • Dedication to the basic philosophy of emphasizing the JMCS curriculum benchmarks and course outlines

  • Strong, written and verbal communication skills

  • Knowledge about, or willingness to become knowledgeable about, the developmental needs of students

  • Sensitivity to the social as well as academic needs of the students

  • Willingness and ability to plan cooperatively and collaboratively with other staff

  • Willingness to continue education through additional courses, training, workshops, in-services, seminars and staff development

  • Willingness to be an active participant in staff meetings

  • Willingness to work closely with the school staff by providing any information regarding a student's behavior, attitude and/or classroom performance

  • Willingness to take a active or leadership roles in the school’s development

All individuals employed by JMCS must possess the personal characteristics, knowledge, and experiences as described in the school’s job descriptions. All employees must comply with the employee processing policies and procedures (e.g., finger printing, criminal-record checks, provision of proof of identity, evidence of right-to-work in the United States, and TB screening) as required by law.

Element Number Six: Health and Safety Procedures

The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff. These procedures shall include the requirement that each employee of the school furnish the school with a criminal record summary as described in Section 44237.

JMCS has adopted and implemented a comprehensive set of health, safety, and risk management procedures as set forth by the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and state law. At a minimum, JMCS policies shall comply with State laws and procedures related to:
Documenting Immunizations: In compliance with California state law and education code, all JMCS students below the age of 18 are required to present up to data immunization records documenting all required immunizations for enrollment in California public schools. Students under age 18 without current immunization records may not enroll in JMCS, and JMCS may not collect average daily attendance revenues on students below age 18 without immunization records.
Emergency-response procedures: In partnership with our partnering agencies, each JMCS site must have an emergency plan in place dictating lock down, earthquake, fire or other natural disaster procedures. Each JMCS classroom must have in place (posted) an emergency exit and evacuation map. A template for these policies and procedures and examples from current JMCS sites are included in Appendix 1.
Preventing contact with blood-borne pathogens: Each JMCS site needs to have onsite a first-aid kit with materials suffienct to prevent blood born pathogens (mask, disposable gloves, eye shield, CPR mask/barrier. Each certificated JMCS staff member is required to maintain current CPR certification.
Administration of prescription drugs and other medicines: Approximately 93.5% of JMCS students are over age 18 and therefore legally adults. JMCS students over age 18 are responsible for administration of their own prescription medicines. For those students over age 18 that require specific accomodations for administering prescription medicines, an IEP or 504 plan will be developed to meet those accomodations. For students under age 18, a medication administration plan including accomodations required under IEP or 504 plans is to be approved and implemented under the recommendations and approvals of the NEVCO SELPA and the NCSOS school nurse.
Assurances that school buildings meet Fire Marshal approval and have been evaluated by structural engineers to present no substantial seismic safety hazard: JMCS classroom facilities are all located on the premises obtained by our partnering agencies. JMCS holds no direct leases aside from it administrative offices in Sacramento, CA and Grass Valley, CA. Maintaining current permits and approvals from Fire Marshals and zoning departments to operate Conservation Corps, YouthBuild, Job Corps or WIA Programs in specific locations remains the sole responsibility of JMCS’s partnering agencies,
Establishing JMCS as a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free workplace: JMCS is an alcohol, drug and tobacco free workplace and educational zone. Use of alcohol, illegal (non-prescription) drugs and tobacco on school premises is prohibited. JMCS’s partnering agencies may designate a location away from areas dedicated to JMCS operations for tobacco use for those over age 18.
The 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: All JMCS employees must submit to live-scan fingerprinting and a criminal background check as required by Education Code Section 44237. No JMCS employee may begin working or receive pay until this background check has been completed and approved by JMCS’s business services contractor NSCSOS and JMCS’s Executive Director/CEO or his/her designee.
The JMCS health and safety procedures referenced above are listed in Appendix 1. JMCS will periodically apprise and review with students, teachers, and staff of these aforementioned goals.

Element Number Seven: Means to Achieve Racial/Ethnic Balance
The means by which the school will achieve a racial and ethnic balance among its pupils that is reflective of the general population residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the school district to which the charter petition is submitted.
JMCS enrolls students who are participants in the CCC, Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act programs. These programs enroll participants from many races, ethnicities, and cultures. Consequently, JMCS serves a very diverse student population. In ensuring that JMCS will continue to recruit andf retain a diverse student population at all of its program sites, JMCS will:

  • Ensure that recruitment materials reflect the diversity of JMCS’s student body

  • Analyze census and other State demographic materials to insure that recruitment of students is from population centers that reflect California’s diversity.

  • Work with collaborating agencies to ensure their recruitment practices align with JMCS’s commitments to achieve a racial and ethnic balance among its student body.

  • Regularly review student demographic, attrtition and performance data to ensure all students are receiving equal and excellent educational services.

Element Number Eight: Admission Requirements
Admission requirements, if applicable.
The Board of Directors shall determine all processes and procedures governing application, admission, and enrollment at JMCS. All students attending JMCS must follow the application, admission, and enrollment procedures of the school sites.
The application packet for admission to JMCS shall include information that allows students to be informed about the schools operation as a charter school, its education programs, the academic and behavior expectations of students, and the rights and responsibilities of students who wish to become part of the JMCS. The application packet shall include:

  • A brief description of what charter schools are and how they differ from regular public schools

  • A JMCS Student Achievement Plan

  • JMCS’s Mission Statement and a summary of the school’s education philosophy

  • A description of JMCS’s education program including a school calendar, daily schedule; core curriculum; enrichment and extracurricular programs, attendance expectations; grading, testing, and evaluation procedures; and promotion, retention, and graduation standards (exit outcomes)

  • An overview of the academic performance of students who have attended JMCS

  • A copy of the Teacher/Student Contract

  • A listing of the rights and responsibilities of JMCS teachers and students

  • Descriptions of admission criteria, admission and enrollment preferences, conditions of enrollment, and consequences of misrepresenting admission and enrollment information

  • School capacity

The Board of Directors shall have the sole authority to determine the size and grade-level breakdown of the student body at JMCS. The determination of school capacity shall be based on the school’s academic program, the school’s fiscal viability, the educational needs of currently enrolled students, the capacity of the school site, and the level of interest shown by students who want to attend the school.

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