John Muir Charter School

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A. Admission Criteria

JMCS will operate grades 9-12. JMCS will welcome, as resources are available, all students in the State of California. Admission shall not be determined according to place of residence of the pupil within the state, except that students must be qualified participants of the California Conservation Corps, and participating Local Conservation Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act programs. A “participating” Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, and Workforce Investment Act program is one that has signed a memorandum of understanding with JMCS that has been approved by the Superintendent and the Board or Directors. To remain eligible for enrollment in JMCS a student must be enrolled in the CCC or one of the other participating organizations.

There shall be no admission criteria, testing, or other evaluation required of any applicant. JMCS shall not charge an application fee nor shall it charge tuition [Education Code Section 47605(d)(1)]. JMCS shall be nonsectarian in its admission and enrollment policies and shall not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability [Education Code Section 47605(d)(1)].

B. Admission and Enrollment Preferences

JMCS shall admit and enroll all students who wish to attend the school provided that the school’s capacity is not exceeded [Education Code Section 47605(d)(2)(A)], capacity is determined by JMCS’s Board of Directors. Classes at each grade level will be filled according to the following order of preferences for students who are either continuing enrollment or being admitted for the first time (listed in order of priority) [Education Code' 47605(d)(2)(B)]:

  1. Participants employed at or receiving services from a JMCS site serving participants in the California Conservation Corps (CCC), participating Certified Local Corps, Job Corps, YouthBuild, or Workforce Investment Act programs

C. Admission Lottery and Admission Priority
If the number of students who wish to attend JMCS exceeds the school’s capacity as determined by the Board of Directors, then the admission of new students shall be determined by a public random drawing for each grade level. [Education Code Section 47605(d)(2)(B)](Students with preferences will be exempted from the lottery unless the number of students with preferences exceeds the capacity, in which case the lottery will be held with in the preference). JMCS shall maintain an admission priority list on the order in which applicants to each grade level in each admission preference category were selected in the admission lottery. The order of admission of students at any time during a school year shall be based solely on the order of applicants on the admission priority list. Admission shall be based solely on a first-come first-served basis if JMCS determines that space still exists at any grade level after the admission priority list has been exhausted.

D. Conditions of Enrollment

To enroll in JMCS, each student shall first:

  • Attend an orientation to receive an enrollment packet

  • Complete enrollment forms including emergency information cards

  • Students under age 18 must provide records documenting immunizations required by charter schools including tuberculosis testing

  • Sign Teacher/Student Contract

  • Sign a form allowing prior schools the student attended to send the student’s school records and test results to JMCS

E. Misrepresentation of Admission and Enrollment Information

JMCS shall have the right to expel students who misrepresent material information on any school document including but not limited to admission and enrollment forms.

Element Number Nine: Financial Audit
The manner in which annual, independent, financial audits shall be conducted, which shall employ generally accepted accounting principles, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the chartering authority.

A. Financial Audit

JMCS’s Board of Directors will direct the NCSOS business services department to approve an audit each fiscal year on its behalf, and to oversee selection of an independent auditor and the completion of an annual audit of the school’s financial affairs. NCSOS business services at the direction of the JMCS Board shall select an independent auditor by April 1st of each year. The audit will verify the accuracy of the school’s financial statements, attendance and enrollment accounting practices, and reviews 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 by October 15th of the fiscal year and that a copy of the auditor’s findings will be forwarded to the Superintendent no later than December 1st. NCSOS business services will review any audit exceptions or deficiencies and report to the JMCS Board of Directors with recommendations on how to resolve them. The Board of Directors will make a recommendation to the Superintendent regarding how the exceptions and deficiencies have been or will be resolved. Exceptions and deficiencies to the audit report will be corrected to the satisfaction of the Superintendent.

B. Programmatic Audit

JMCS will compile and provide to the granting authority an annual performance report. This report will, at a minimum, include:

  • Summary data showing student progress toward the goals and outcomes from assessment instruments and techniques listed herein

  • An analysis of whether student performance is meeting the goals

  • A summary of substantive decisions and policies established by the school’s Board of Directors during the year

  • Data from a student satisfaction survey

  • A current copy of the school’s health and safety procedures

  • Information on the school’s racial and ethnic population

  • Information on the school’s admissions practices during the year and data regarding the numbers of students enrolled and the numbers of students suspended and/or expelled

  • Other information as determined by the Board of Education to determine whether JMCS is complying with the education, administrative, legal, and governance provisions of this charter

Element Number Ten: Pupil Suspension and Expulsion

The procedures by which pupils can be suspended or expelled.

Each JMCS site shall develop and maintain a comprehensive set of student discipline procedures containing the JMCS code of conduct as stated in the JMCS Student Achievement Plan. These procedures will be printed and distributed as part of the school’s student handbook and will clearly describe the school’s expectations regarding attendance, mutual respect, substance abuse, violence, safety, and work habits. Each student will be required to verify that they have reviewed and understand the procedures prior to enrollment. All JMCS sites will provide all students with an opportunity for due process and will conform to applicable federal law regarding students with exceptional needs. JMCS will notify the Superintendent of any expulsions and will include the suspension and expulsion date in its annual performance report.
A JMCS student may face suspension from class for the following infractions:

  • Insubordination: Students found to be using behaviors or actions in defiance of direct instruction from JMCS staff or actions found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be suspended for 1-5 days.

  • Drug and Alcohol Use: Students found under the influence of drugs or alcohol on school premises or at school related activities may be suspended for 1-5 days.

  • Bullying and/or Harassment: Students found to be bullying, harassing or otherwise treating students, staff or others in a disrespectful or aggressive manner may be suspended for 1-5 days.

A JMCS student may face expulsion for the following infractions:

  • Violence on campus or at a school affiliated event towards other students, staff or others.

  • Possession of a weapon or use of any item as a weapon on campus or at a school affiliated event.

  • Possession of drugs, alcohol or a weapon on campus or at a school affiliated event.

  • Multiple (more than three) documented offenses in which a disciplinary suspension has occurred.

A student that has been suspended or expelled from JMCS may return provided:

  • The student petitions, on a form approved by the Board of Directors, the host agency and JMCS for reinstatement into both the client agency’s and JMCS’s program. Students and parents may appeal suspensions and expulsions at the site level, administrative level, JMCS governing board level, and to the Nevada County Board of Education.

  • JMCS or the Nevada County Board of Education approve the student’s petition based on strong evidence that the student is willing and able to comply with all rules and regulations of the client agency and the school, that they are committed to success at work and in the classroom, and that they understand the reasons for the suspension or expulsion.

  • Suspension and Expulsion Appeals materials are in appendix 2 of this document.

JMCS will follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding suspension and expulsion proceeding for special education services, including the student’s right to manifestation determination. A student that is currently receiving special education services and has been suspended or expelled from JMCS site will qualify for:

  • An intervention and revisiting of the IEP to insure appropriate services and accommodations are being provided for the student,

  • Continuing special education services off site at a location mutually agreed upon by the student, parent, JMCS administration and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools special education provider.

Element Number Eleven: Retirement System

The manner by which staff members of JMCS will be covered by the State Teachers Retirement System, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, or federal social security.

The employees of JMCS shall be able to participate in any eligible state or private retirement system including the social security system that they are eligible to join. It is the intent of JMCS to participate in STRS for certificated employees and PERS for non-certificated (classified) employees, and to participate in the Social Security System as appropriate.

Element Number Twelve: Attendance Alternatives

The public school attendance alternatives for pupils residing within the school district who choose not to attend charter schools.

Students who opt not to attend JMCS may attend other district schools or pursue an inter-district transfer in accordance with existing enrollment and transfer policies of their district or county of residence.

Element Number Thirteen: Description of Employee Rights

A description of the rights of any employee of the school district upon leaving the employment of the school district to work in a charter school, and of any rights of return to the school district after employment at a charter school.

The JMCS Board of Directors will hire all school staff, with the recommendation and assistance of the Executive Director. All employees, including those hired in the previous year by a public school district, shall be selected, employed, and released (if need be) by the Board of Directors in accordance with JMCS’s personnel contracts. JMCS Board of Directors shall set the terms and conditions of employment. Employees will be given at-will contracts and will be considered employees of JMCS.
Any employee of the NCSOS to be employed, without a break in service, by JMCS, such employee will not retain, subject to the policies and any applicable collective bargaining contracts of the granting authority, the return rights provided by the granting authority, including no right of a permanent teacher to return to the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools after employment by JMCS. While employed at JMCS the employee will be subject to JMCS’s operational procedures and practices.

Element Number Fourteen: Dispute Resolution Process

The procedures to be followed by JMCS and the entity granting the charter to resolve disputes relating to provisions of the charter.

A. Intent

The intent of this dispute resolution process is to (1) ensure a fair and timely resolution to disputes, and (2) frame a Charter School oversight and renewal process and timeline to avoid disputes regarding oversight and renewal matters.

B. Public Comments

The staff and Board of Directors of JMCS and the Board of Education agree to attempt to resolve all disputes regarding this charter pursuant to the terms of this section. Both shall refrain from public commentary regarding any disputes until the matter has progressed through the dispute resolution process. Notwithstanding anything in the charter to the contrary, the Board of Education shall not have to comply with this Section, or any other section of the charter, when addressing issues that may lead to the revocation of JMCS as per the Charter School Act.

C. Disputes Arising from within JMCS

Disputes arising from within JMCS, including all disputes among and between students, staff, parents, volunteers, advisors, partner organizations, and governing board members of the school, shall be resolved pursuant to policies and processes developed by JMCS. To the maximum extent feasible and appropriate, all parties to such disputes shall attempt to resolve them within the JMCS site at which the dispute arose. The Board of Education shall not intervene in any such internal disputes without the consent of the Board of Directors of JMCS and shall refer any complaints or reports regarding such disputes to the Board of Directors or Executive Director of the school for resolution. This section shall not impair the Superintendent’s rights as otherwise specified in this Charter or any applicable MOU.

D. Disputes Between JMCS and the Board of Education

In the event that JMCS and the Board of Education have disputes regarding the terms of this charter both parties agree to follow the process outlined below.

In the event of a dispute between JMCS and the Board of Education, the staff and Board of Directors of the school and the Superintendent, or designee, agree to first frame the issue in written format and refer the issue to the Superintendent and the Executive Director of JMCS.

The Executive Director and Superintendent, or designees, 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 to meet to resolve the dispute with the participation of the Executive Director and the Superintendent. If this joint meeting fails to resolve the dispute, the Superintendent and the Executive 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 the Executive Director, and shall incorporate informal rules of evidence and procedure unless both parties agree otherwise. The finding or recommendations of the arbitrator shall be non-binding, unless the Board of Directors of the school, the Superintendent and the Board of Education jointly agree to bind themselves. In the event that the above process does not result in an agreement over the dispute both parties agree the Board of Education reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary and appropriate to resolve the issue.

Element Number Fifteen: Exclusive Public School Employer/Labor Relations

A declaration whether or not the charter school shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer of the employees of the charter school for the purposes of the Educational Employment Relations Act, Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

JMCS shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer of the employees of JMCS for purposes of the Education Employment Relations Act.
Element Number Sixteen: Closure Procedures
A description of the procedures to be used if JMCS closes. The procedures shall ensure a final audit of the school to determine the disposition of all assets and liabilities of JMCS, including plans for disposing of any net assets and for the maintenance and transfer of pupil records.
In the event that the JMCS closes, the assets and liabilities of the school will be disposed of by the Board of Directors to another charter school, non-profit, or other appropriate entity in accordance with the asset disposition provisions of the school’s bylaws. The Board of Directors will attend to enumerating and disposing of the assets and liabilities as directed in the bylaws, and Board treasurer shall ensure that a final audit of JMCS’s assets and liabilities is performed. In the event that JMCS closes the following steps will be followed:

  • The school shall be dissolved in an official action by JMCS’s governing board, who shall notify students, parents, stakeholders, JMCS staff, NCSOS, retirement system representatives and the Nevada County SELPA.

  • The JMCS governing board and staff will assist currently enrolled students and/or their parents in finding placement at similar educational programs in their geographic areas.

  • All students enrolled at the time of closure will be mailed a final report card and official transcript.

  • All JMCS student records, paper and electronic will be transferred to NCSOS or another responsible agency for permanent storage.

  • JMCS will complete an audit of outstanding staff vacation liabilities for JMCS staff for inclusion in final pay.

  • At the direction of the Treasurer of JMCS’s Governing Board, a final fiscal audit will take place. All JMCS owned assets will be transferred to other schools or institutions in accordance with the JMCS governing board policy on inventory distribution.

  • All unencumbered balances will be transferred to NCSOS for distribution to other schools or county programs at the discretion of NCSOS.

  • School resources allowing, JMCS staff may retain for a period of designated weeks or months after JMCS closes to ensure that student records are transferred to students, and/or appropriate agencies and parents.

  • In the event that no such willing repository is available, JMCS will dispose of or destroy such records in a fashion that will ensure confidentiality of the records.

  • On closure, JMCS shall remain solely responsible for any and all liabilities arising from the operation of JMCS.

  • As JMCS is operated by a non-profit corporation, should the corporation close at the same time as the charter school, JMCS will file all necessary information with state and federal agencies for dissolution of a non-profit public benefit corporation.

Element Number Seventeen: Operational Policy
In summary of JMCS’s charter under which it must operate, the following shall be its plan of operation:
The Executive Director and Board of Directors should not be expected to take all the responsibility for things they can only nominally influence. Their roles should be more consequential ones. To make their jobs doable, their powers and duties must be refined to the few that matter; such as focusing on JMCS curricula that match students needs, funding that establishes site-based management, and holding school sites accountable for results of those in their charge.
Their roles are ones of assistance through recommendation and collaboration in matters of program implementation, hiring of teachers and staff, reconstituting or closing sites that do not teach effectively, and developing new sites to replace failed ones.
Any and all staff concerns will always be resolved at the site level though the Executive Director’s suggestions and recommendations may be requested.

Miscellaneous Clauses

A. Term

The term of this Charter shall be from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. Any and all revisions to this charter approved by the Nevada County Board of Education shall not renew or create a new term unless expressly stated otherwise.

B. Amendments

Any amendments to this charter shall be made by the mutual agreement of the Board of Directors of JMCS and the Board of Education upon the approval of the Superintendent. Material revisions and amendments shall be made pursuant to the standards, criteria, and timelines in Education Code Section 47605 and shall be approved in advance by the Superintendent.

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