Start a School : Application Process : 

Application Steps

STEP 1: Letter of Intent

During each application cycle, the ICSB accepts applications from all types of applicants, including:

  • New Operators seeking to launch one new charter school;
  • Experienced Operators seeking to launch one or more charter schools; and
  • Existing Indiana charter schools seeking to switch authorizers.

The ICSB defines "New Operators" as those applicants who have not previously operated a charter school and who do not intend to contract with an Education Service Provider (ESP) to oversee school operations. "Experienced Operators" are defined as either: (a) applicants that have previously operated a charter school or managed a network of charter schools; or (b) applicants that have not previously operated a charter school, but intend to contract with an ESP. Per IC § 20-24-1-6.1, ESP is defined as a "for profit education management organization, nonprofit charter management organization, school design provider, or any other partner entity with which a charter school intends to contract for educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management." Experienced Operators led by experienced Boards may apply for one or more charters.

All applicants seeking to submit a proposal to the ICSB are first required to submit a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) indicating their interest in applying to the ICSB. Only those applicants that meet the LOI deadline are eligible to submit a Full Application. Please note that submission of the LOI does not obligate the applicant to submit a Full Application.

The Letters of Intent must be submitted to by the deadlines established for each application cycle. Please refer to Application Process: Timeline for relevant dates and times.

Step 2: Full Application

Applicants that meet the LOI deadline are eligible to submit a Full Application. During each application cycle, the Full Application should be submitted to the ICSB no later than the established deadline. Please note that failure to submit a timely or complete application may serve as grounds to reject the application. All complete application submissions will be posted on the ICSB website approximately one week following the deadline.

On February 16, applicants may begin uploading documents to the online application submission system, Review Room. The ICSB Review Room site can be found at All technical questions should be emailed to

Each section of the application (overview, narrative, financial workbook, individual attachments) will be uploaded separately, so applicants may prepare each section as a separate document. However, please be mindful of the file naming conventions for each attachment, which are indicated within Review Room.

The ICSB, along with Public Impact, hosted a WebEx to review application requirements, explain the Innovation section, and to demonstrate submitting documents on Review Room. If you were unable to attend, the WebEx recording may be found here. A shorter WebEx about the 2014 Fall cycle may be found here.

Review Room will not allow you to submit your application until you have uploaded all required documents and completed the application checklist. Please be aware that it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all application materials are uploaded and complete by the established deadline. Review Room will automatically shut down access to all applications by the established deadline. Applications that have not been submitted by that time will not be accepted.

Before beginning the application, please review the ICSB Application FAQs for helpful information. In addition, please see our Application Resources page for informative links and documents on charter school laws, funding, insurance requirements, and facilities.

For New Operators and Experienced Operators

Change in Authorizer Requests

Application Rubrics and Evaluation Overview

STEP 3: Application Evaluation

All complete Full Application submissions are evaluated by ICSB staff and external experts utilizing an application evaluation rubric. Note there are two versions of the evaluation rubric: a New Operator and an Experienced Operator rubric. Blank copies of both rubrics are posted above.

STEP 4: Interview

After ICSB staff and external experts evaluate the Full Applications, applicant teams that submit complete applications will be interviewed to explore questions and concerns raised by the applications and to assess founding team capacity to implement the proposed program effectively. All interviews take place at 143 West Market Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Interviews are scheduled following the application deadline.

STEP 5: Public Hearing

Overview and Logistics
As required by Indiana law, a public hearing will be held to allow for comments from community members about Full Application submissions. The ICSB hosts regional public hearings, which are attended by ICSB staff and Board members. Hearing locations, dates and times will be scheduled and posted on the ICSB website approximately one week following the application deadline. Local media and the local school corporation will be notified of each scheduled hearing. Prior to the public hearings, community members may download Full Application submissions from the ICSB website. Applications are posted on the ICSB website approximately one week following the application deadline. Copies of Full Applications will not be distributed at public hearings.

The purpose of the public hearing is for ICSB representatives to hear comments from community members about the potential impact of the proposed charter school(s) upon the community. The hearing in not a Q & A session with ICSB representatives or applicant groups. In addition, the hearing is not a forum to discuss other public school options (whether district or charter) in the community. Members of the community may come prepared to make comments about the proposed charter school(s) based upon information contained within the Full Application, posted on the ICSB website.

The format for each regional public hearing consists of the following: first, ICSB staff members describe the format for the hearing and introduce each application to be discussed at the hearing. Next, applicant representatives are invited to provide a brief overview of their proposal. Please note that applicant representatives are not required to provide any such overview. Finally, members of the public are invited to make comments to ICSB representatives about each application. All individuals who wish to make comments during the hearing must sign in at the start of the hearing.

Email Your Public Comments
In addition to, or in lieu of, attending public hearings, community members are invited to submit public comments via email to the following address: Please note that all emails are subject to Indiana's Public Access Laws, including public records requests. During the Spring 2015 application cycle, emailed public comments will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 5, 2015. All emails will be submitted to ICSB Board members for their review. In your email, please indicate the name of the proposed charter school about which you are commenting, and indicate whether you are in favor of or opposed to the school.

STEP 6: Board Meeting

Members of the ICSB meet at 115 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The meeting is open to the public and streamed live over the internet.

During the first half of the meeting, ICSB Board members conduct a Q&A with each applicant group. During the second half of the meeting, ICSB staff members make an approval or declination recommendation to the Board regarding each Full Application. The Board votes on each application following the staff recommendation. Following the meeting, all Board decisions are posted on the ICSB website.