What We Do: Charter School Authorizers
The primary function of the Charter School Division is to engage in oversight of Osprey Wilds’ authorized schools in order to ensure they fulfill their purposes and responsibilities as public charter schools in the state of Minnesota, as well as honor the obligations agreed upon in the schools’ contracts with Osprey Wilds. This is achieved through regular monitoring and oversight, as well as comprehensive performance evaluations of schools which ultimately informs reauthorization decisions.
For more information about our practices, click on the buttons below. Our five-year authorizing plan was approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and provides a complete description of all authorizing practices and policies.
Minnesota charter school statute outlines the key expectations and accountability structure for charter schools and authorizers. All schools must follow state and federal statutes as well as other regulatory requirements outlined by MDE and local government. In addition, Osprey Wilds enters into a contract with each authorized school that outlines key responsibilities of each party and articulates goals and outcomes to be achieved by the charter school.
See these links for the charter school law Chapter 124E and for a template of the Osprey Wilds Charter Contract.
Osprey Wilds implements the following authorizing practices in order to hold schools accountable and to encourage continuous growth and reflection:
Data Review and Analysis – Osprey Wilds regularly reviews data that is publicly available, supplied by the school, or provided by MDE. This includes a review of state academic data, annual reports, budgets, financial audits, other compliance documents, and any other relevant data available to Osprey Wilds. This also includes a periodic review of financial reports and board meeting materials and minutes. Osprey Wilds reserves the right to request data from the school consistent with data privacy practices.
Site Visits & Board Observations – Osprey Wilds regularly visits authorized schools to verify performance and compliance. Osprey Wilds at its sole discretion determines the frequency and scope of site visits. During site visits, Osprey Wilds staff or contracted evaluators observe classrooms, tour the facilities and interview key school stakeholders including board members, school leadership, teachers, staff, parents and students. In a school’s reauthorization year, Osprey Wilds will send a team of evaluators to conduct Reauthorization Site Visits in preparation for recommendations to the Charter School Committee and Board of Directors.
Osprey Wilds attends at least one board meeting per year for each of its authorized schools in order to observe the school’s governance. Osprey Wilds, at its sole discretion, determines the frequency of attendance at board meetings. Osprey Wilds may also request time on a meeting agenda to present information to the school’s board.
Feedback & Strategic Intervention – Osprey Wilds provides feedback to schools in its portfolio through performance evaluations, presentations at school board meetings, formal written communication to the school leadership and board, and informal verbal communication. Osprey Wilds also gives schools the opportunity to provide additional information on any relevant issues that warrant explanation or clarification.
Osprey Wilds may, at its discretion, implement a formal intervention or provide strategic support to schools that are not in compliance with or are not on track to meet statutory or contractual expectations. Osprey Wilds’ Range of Possible Interventions is included as an exhibit in the charter contract.
During the final year of an authorized school’s active contract, the school is required to submit an application for renewal that summarizes how it fulfilled the terms of its active contract, the strategic direction it plans for the years of a reauthorized contract, and potential performance goals for a future contract. Osprey Wilds CSD reviews that application, conducts a Renewal Site Visit, completes a Renewal Evaluation Report, which consists of an academic, environmental education, financial, and operations evaluation. Then Osprey Wilds CSD compiles a recommendation for or against renewal to the Osprey Wilds Board of Directors. Those recommendations are reviewed and affirmed or amended by the Charter School Committee. The Charter School Committee’s recommendations are then presented to the Board for adoption or amendment.