Historically, the ICSB has utilized annual site visits as an integral part of its Accountability System. These visits included a pre-opening, formal, monitoring and end-of-term visit. However, effective 2016, the ICSB discontinued its practice of conducting annual site visits for each school it authorizes. Instead, each school is asked to provide certain documentation to the ICSB throughout the year to allow the ICSB to gauge the school's progress toward meeting academic success, financial health and organizational compliance goals. Please review our Site Visit and Reporting Guidance for further details on the topics below.
Pre-Opening Site Visit: A charter school's ability to successfully fulfill the terms of its charter agreement depends a great deal upon what happens before the doors of the school ever open. Some of the most complicated tasks and critical timelines occur during a charter school's pre-operational year(s).
Guided by a detailed Prior Action Checklist, ICSB staff members work with each new school to ensure that it is ready to start its first school year in full compliance with education, financial, health, legal, safety and other requirements. Progress toward completion of Prior Action Checklist items will be regularly assessed by ICSB staff. In addition, the school should anticipate a minimum of one Pre-Opening site visit. For additional guidance, please refer to the Prior Action Checklist attached to the charter agreement and posted on the ICSB website.
Monitoring Site Visit: ICSB staff members may, at their discretion, conduct Monitoring Site Visits. The ICSB may conduct monitoring site visits any time throughout the year to fulfill its duties as an authorizer. Reasons for a monitoring site visit include, but are not limited to, follow-up on implementation of improvement plans or documentation of best practices. Monitoring site visits may be with or without notice. At its discretion, ICSB staff may opt not to conduct monitoring site visits for schools that are performing well across all Accountability Plan dimensions.
End-of-Term Site Visit: The End-of-Term site visit is conducted by ICSB staff and expert external evaluators in the Fall of Year 5. This site visit is conducted after a school has submitted a Charter Renewal Application and provides a summative evaluation of the school's performance over the entire term of the charter. Written feedback is provided to the Board of Directors and school leadership and is used to determine charter renewal recommendations. External evaluator fees are paid by the ICSB.