In-District Charter Schools FAQ2020-02-17T19:48:37+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions
about In-District Charter Schools

What is an in-district charter school?2018-08-27T21:36:25+00:00

An in-district charter school is an SAISD school that has been granted a “charter” by the SAISD Board of Trustees. State law allows school boards to grant in-district charters to educators who are interested in creating new, high quality schools or redesigning neighborhood schools. In-district charter schools are subject to many of the same laws as regular district schools, such as laws on state accountability, special education, and student safety. However, the Board of Trustees has the ability to grant increased autonomy to in-district charter schools in return for greater accountability for student achievement. The theory of action behind in-district charter schools is that by empowering educators with the autonomy to design and run high-quality schools, SAISD will increase the number of best-fit school options that students can access, regardless of their academic abilities or geographic constraints. To learn more about in-district charter schools in the state of Texas, visit this Texas Education Agency website.

Why should my school consider becoming an in-district charter?2018-09-12T16:41:42+00:00

Create staff and community ownership. Participating in a strategic school design process through the Annual Call encourages school leaders to deeply engage with their campus staff, parents, and community. This type of engagement will create greater collaboration with your school community and lead to more long-term support for your campus.

Drive school autonomy. All approved in-district charters receive exemptions from specific district policies and procedures that will drive greater decision-making authority to the campus. This autonomy will allow you to tailor your school to the unique needs of your students, staff, and families.

Attract and retain students. San Antonio families have a wide array of school options, both inside and outside SAISD. Creating an in-district charter school gives your campus the opportunity to differentiate itself from other schools, better meet your families’ needs, and engage families who haven’t chosen your school in the past.

Seek increased campus funding. New in-district charter schools may apply for competitive federal start-up grants. In the past, schools have been awarded approximately $800,000 over two years to support planning and start-up expenses related to the schools’ redesign. There may also be other grants to support in-district charter schools; the district does not guarantee additional funding, but there are significant opportunities.

Improve student outcomes. Ultimately the most important reason to create an in-district charter school is to allow a campus to design a school that meets the needs of its students in the service of driving better student outcomes.

Are in-district charter schools meant to be a way to add a new program to an existing school?2018-08-27T20:35:23+00:00

In-district charter schools are not meant to be solely a method for seeking additional resources to fund one or more new programs at a school. To be approved for an in-district charter, applicant teams need to propose a comprehensive and strategic redesign of their school under a school-wide academic model around which teaching and learning for all students happens.

Are there more financial resources available to in-district charter schools?2018-08-27T20:37:11+00:00

New in-district charter applicants may be eligible for federal Charter School Program (CSP) grants, which are one-time grants to support school planning and start up expenses like professional development and technology. (This is not a permanent infusion of school funding.) If a school has received a CSP grant in the past, it will not be eligible for another grant. This is a competitive grant, so the award is not guaranteed. Awards are typically in the range of $800,000 per school over two years.

Schools are also encouraged to fundraise on their own. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that the creation of a new school model through the in-district charter application process will open up additional opportunities to pursue grants and philanthropy.

Will in-district charter schools be financially sustainable over the long term?2018-08-27T20:34:54+00:00

All in-district charter schools are expected to be financially sustainable over the long term. Enrollment size for schools will vary depending on the needs of the campus, but each school will grow to be large enough to ensure financial sustainability on per pupil allotments. As described above, schools may be eligible to apply for one-time start up grants for planning year and start-up needs to support their redesign. Through the in-district charter application and review process, schools will be expected to create implementation plans that ensure sustainability of programmatic costs.

How does staffing work at in-district charter schools?2018-08-27T21:04:18+00:00

For new in-district charter schools, school leadership will hire and select their own staff.  For existing neighborhood schools that convert into a charter school, the school will maintain the existing staff at the campus.  Schools must secure 2/3 support of the classroom teachers to be eligible for a charter, so no charter will be approved without significant staff support.  However, if any campus employee is uncomfortable with the new approach and would like to transfer elsewhere, the district will allow the employee the opportunity to apply for other positions in the district.

Who can apply to an in-district charter school, and what are the rules for student enrollment?2018-08-27T20:58:58+00:00

All in-district charter schools will be accountable to the district’s unified enrollment policy and administrative procedures. Schools that currently have attendance zones will maintain those attendance zones, while also being able to offer seats to students living outside the boundary.

Other schools without attendance boundaries will be open to students living within and outside of SAISD while ensuring equitable access to historically disadvantaged students. Please see Administrative Procedure F51 and www.saisdchoice.com for more information on student enrollment.

Are there any entry requirements for a student to attend an in-district charter school?2018-08-27T20:59:34+00:00

There are no entry requirements to attend an in-district charter school. For example, that means no minimum academic criteria, student auditions, or mandatory parent meetings. All students will be eligible to apply, regardless of academic ability. Existing neighborhood schools will maintain their attendance zones, and students residing within those boundaries will be guaranteed admission.

How are in-district charters governed?2018-08-27T20:38:00+00:00

All SAISD in-district charter schools will be authorized and held accountable by the SAISD Board of Trustees. In addition, applicant teams are required to propose a campus governing board. The structure of this board is largely up to the applicant team, as long as the plan aligns with best practices for effective governance and the board is comprised of vested stakeholders in the community. A campus governing board will provide strategic advice, offer input from the community, support the school through fundraising efforts, and hold the principal accountable to the in-district charter application and performance contract. The Office of Innovation will hold a workshop on board governance to assist applicants with this critical function.

Do I need to be an in-district charter school to have autonomy?2018-08-27T20:28:47+00:00

Not necessarily. Certain autonomies that do not impact board policy may be granted by a principal’s supervisor and in collaboration with district departments, such as the ability to choose your own professional development. If an autonomy impacts board policy, approval of the Superintendent and the full board is required.

The advantage of seeking autonomy through the in-district charter application process is that board policy EL(LOCAL) grants operational and decision-making autonomies to approved in-district charter applicants, at minimum, in the areas of curriculum and instruction; staff selection; ratios/class sizes; professional development; administrative procedures, such as E3 (lesson plans); DL(LEGAL) (workload); DK(LOCAL) (assignments and schedules); and EB(LOCAL) (school year). Also, including autonomies in an in-district charter ensures those rights, which are board approved, will continue beyond any potential changes in district leadership or strategy, provided that the school remains in good standing and meets its performance goals.

Are in-district charter schools held to different types of accountability or performance standards?2020-01-27T23:06:12+00:00

All in-district charter schools must meet state and federal accountability requirements in the same manner as all schools in the district. Additionally, all charter applicants will sign a performance contract set forth by the SAISD Board of Trustees that will contain, at a minimum, metrics on student achievement, core academic model milestones, and financial and operational audit requirements.

Do in-district charter schools have to comply with state and federal accountability standards?2018-08-27T20:38:43+00:00

Yes. All in-district charter schools must meet state and federal accountability requirements in the same manner as neighborhood schools. In addition, all in-district charter schools will be subject to a performance contract, as described in board policy EL(LOCAL).

Are there certain rules from which charter schools cannot be exempt?2018-08-27T21:02:47+00:00

Yes. Schools will follow district policy on student enrollment and school choice, including but not limited to FDB(LOCAL) and F51. Schools are subject to local, state, and federal accountability requirements. All schools will also participate in MAP testing and be evaluated using the district’s school performance framework.

If I am an existing school, how do I obtain and submit petitions from teachers and parents?2018-08-27T20:21:24+00:00

Existing campuses must obtain signed petition documents from 2/3 of the campus teachers and 2/3 of the parents/guardians, using the forms found here. The process by which campuses gather these petitions is up to the school’s discretion, provided that the process is fair and transparent, the required forms are used, and all forms are submitted with the final application by the required deadline. Electronic forms will not be accepted. All submitted petitions will be verified by SAISD’s Internal Audit Department to confirm an accurate petition count. On September 26th, the Office of Innovation will conduct a workshop on recommended best practices for gathering petitions.

Do I have to demonstrate a certain level of support from my teachers and parents for a charter application?2018-08-27T21:01:50+00:00

Yes. According to EL(LOCAL), converting a neighborhood school into a charter school or revising an existing charter requires the support of 2/3 of the classroom teachers and 2/3 of the parents/guardians of students at the campus. If a family has more than one student at a campus, that family signs only one petition.

If the charter is a new school, all applicants are required to demonstrate that they have engaged with parents and community members in the consideration of the charter application, and there must be a clear plan to continue engaging parents and the community after the charter is approved.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?2020-02-12T23:37:17+00:00

The Annual Call 2.0 timeline is published here.

How long does this process take, and when would the new in-district charter become effective?2019-05-21T15:37:40+00:00

From the start of the open call to board approval of the in-district charter application, the process can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months. In-district charters may be approved for the upcoming school year or for the following school year.

What is a performance contract?2018-08-27T20:57:29+00:00

A performance contract is a legally binding agreement, separate from the in-district charter application, that is signed by the Board of Trustees and the applicant team. State law and Board policy require every in-district charter school to have a performance contract. The contract will contain, at a minimum, metrics on student achievement, core academic model milestones, and financial and operational audit requirements. The Board of Trustees will authorize performance contracts with a three or five-year performance review and renewal cycle.

Can the Board revoke a charter or place it on probation?2018-08-27T21:03:54+00:00

Yes.  The Board of Trustees may place a charter on probation or revoke a charter in accordance with the charter contract if the campus (1) violates the law; (2) fails to meet student achievement metrics established in its performance contract; (3) is rated Improvement Required, fails to meet state accountability standards or is at the bottom 5% of district campuses in student achievement at the end of two years; or (4) fails to meet generally accepted accounting standards for fiscal management.  See Board Policy EL(LOCAL) for more details.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?2018-08-27T21:05:01+00:00

The Office of Innovation is excited to support schools through this process.  Please contact us at InnovateSAISD@saisd.net or 210.554.2662.

What is a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T16:47:34+00:00

In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1882, which grants additional funding to school districts that agree to work collaboratively with nonprofit partners. These new partnerships offer districts the opportunity to expand options and provide resources for neighborhood schools, bring in targeted expertise for innovation and support, and empower educators with greater autonomy. SAISD has a long history of working collaboratively with nonprofit organizations like Communities in Schools, City Year, Boys and Girls Club, and Say Sí. These new SB 1882 partnerships allow schools to engage mission-aligned nonprofits at a deeper level for the benefit of students and staff.

How does a school become a Senate Bill 1882 partnership school?2020-11-13T18:06:28+00:00

When considering a school partnership, the district will seek mission-aligned nonprofit organizations with a strong track record of collaboration and driving student outcomes, particularly with historically disadvantaged communities. All partners must align with SAISD’s mission and core values and provide expertise that meets the unique needs of specific schools. For example, an International Baccalaureate (IB) school might consider partnering with an organization that specializes in supporting IB schools. A school wanting to elevate its fine arts program might partner with a local arts organization that could offer professional artistic expertise for students and teachers.

Existing schools interested in pursuing a partnership must first complete the district’s rigorous in-district charter application process, called the Annual Call for Quality Schools. The Annual Call process takes one school year to complete. All partners will be extensively vetted by the school leadership team and district staff prior to being evaluated and approved by the SAISD Board. A partnership agreement between the nonprofit organization and SAISD Board must then be submitted to TEA for review and approval, along with other application documents. For more information on the process for a district to apply for SB 1882 benefits, please visit the Texas Education Agency’s website at www.txpartnerships.org.

What are the benefits of a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2020-11-13T18:23:10+00:00

Partnership schools that are approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will receive increased state funding, currently estimated at SAISD to be $800 per student on an annual basis, adjusted for average daily attendance (ADA). For example, a school with 500 students and ADA of 96% may be eligible for $384,000 in additional funds annually (500 x 800 x .96 = $384,000). The majority of those funds will be directed to the schools. The district will retain a small amount of SB 1882 funds to pay for school support services, and an additional amount will be paid to the partner to build and sustain the nonprofit organization’s capacity to support the partnership schools. The amount of SB 1882 funding will always be subject to the district’s financial allotments from the state and federal government.

In addition, the school will receive support from a mission-aligned nonprofit organization with expertise in whatever the school needs to be successful, whether it be academic coaching, professional development, new student learning opportunities, and/or strategic thought partnering. Finally, schools will be able to leverage the charter application process to seek autonomy over time, talent and resources, in exchange for greater accountability for performance.

How are Senate Bill 1882 partnerships structured?2020-11-13T18:24:03+00:00

Each nonprofit organization will hire a small number of staff to support and coach the school’s leadership, provide professional development opportunities for school staff, and ensure the nonprofit meets all of the district’s expectations, such as producing an annual financial audit. The partner will also maintain a governing board comprised of community stakeholders and professionals with the experience and passion necessary to support the school in achieving its goals. The governing board will collaborate with the campus in selecting the curriculum, school calendar, and student assessments. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the nonprofit partner will work closely with the district and the school’s community to select the school’s principal.

At any partnership school, the SAISD Board retains ultimate authority and oversight over the school, which will always remain an SAISD campus. The district will hold the partner accountable for strong academic and financial performance through a board-approved performance contract and regular monitoring of the school’s charter by district staff and the SAISD Board.

What types of organizations are eligible to be a Senate Bill 1882 partner?2019-06-11T16:51:08+00:00

Partner organizations must be nonprofits, institutions of higher education, or government entities. They must have a strong track record of success, align with SAISD’s mission and core values, and provide specific expertise that meets the unique needs of the partnership schools. In conjunction with the District’s Annual Call for Quality Schools, all partners will be extensively vetted by the school leadership team and district staff prior to being evaluated and approved by the SAISD Board.

Must a school be an in-district charter school in order to be eligible for a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2020-01-27T23:12:42+00:00

Yes. In order to be eligible for this type of partnership, the school must be an SAISD in-district charter school, which is a district school that is authorized by the SAISD board with enhanced autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. The theory of action behind in-district charter schools is that by empowering educators with the autonomy to design and run high-quality schools, SAISD will increase the number of best-fit school options that students can access, regardless of their academic abilities or where they live. Educators interested in opening an in-district charter school must participate in a rigorous application process, which includes extensive support from the District’s Office of Innovation and an application evaluation process that involves both internal and external experts.

Neighborhood schools seeking to becoming an in-district charter school must obtain the support of a majority of the school’s teachers and parents through a petition process. For a new start-up school or a historically struggling school subject to a state-mandated sanction, applicants are required to demonstrate that they have engaged with parents and community members in the consideration of the in-district charter application. For all in-district charter schools, there must be a clear plan to continue engaging parents and the community after the charter is approved.

SAISD board policy EL(LOCAL) defines how the district authorizes in-district charter schools and holds them accountable. A detailed FAQ on SAISD in-district charter schools can be found at the Innovate SAISD website.

How does SAISD hold the nonprofit partner and the school accountable?2019-06-11T17:23:36+00:00

Senate Bill 1882 partnerships ultimately exist to improve student outcomes and empower educators, so partnership agreements are written to ensure strong accountability and give the district the flexibility to end the partnership if it’s not benefiting students and staff. The SAISD Board will review the performance of all in-district charter schools and SB 1882 partnerships every 3 to 5 years, as required by Board Policy EL(LOCAL). If a performance evaluation during a review cycle shows that the in-district charter school and its nonprofit partner are not meeting the district’s academic and operational expectations, the district may end the partnership or revoke the in-district charter or place it on probation. If the schools are meeting their 3 to 5-year performance goals, and the partner is fully complying with the partnership agreement and applicable law, then the length of the partnership can be up to 10 years. During the term of the partnership, a nonprofit partner will be subject to a minimum of two and as many as three separate performance review cycles, along with the annual audit requirement.

The district can end the partnership or revoke the in-district charter at any time if any of the following occurs: (i) the schools fail to meet their 3 or 5-year performance metrics; (ii) the school or partner violates applicable state or federal law; (iii) the schools fail to meet generally accepted accounting standards; or (iv) after two years, the schools are rated as “Improvement Required” or are in the bottom 5% in comparison to all district campuses based on academic performance.

Are the partner organizations required to conduct an audit?2019-06-11T16:53:10+00:00

Yes. In accordance with state law and the partnership agreement, partners are required to conduct an external and comprehensive financial audit of their nonprofit operations every year. The partner must provide an unqualified (“clean”) audit report to the district and TEA. If the audit raises any concerns or deficiencies that are not corrected by the partner, the district can terminate the partnership. Audits are important to ensure that the nonprofit is a healthy organization that can provide all of the support services that the schools need to be successful. This audit requirement establishes an even higher bar for quality and accountability than is generally required for existing nonprofit organizations that are not part of an SB 1882 partnership at SAISD.

How do these partnerships benefit other schools within SAISD?2020-11-13T18:24:41+00:00

A key goal of these partnerships will be to share best practices so that the schools and the district learn from each other in the pursuit of improved educational outcomes and closing the achievement gap. All in-district charter schools will serve as learning labs for the entire school district. Furthermore, the district and nonprofit partner will share academic and operational data on a regular basis and work collaboratively in a spirit of continuous improvement. Learning labs like these are critical for SAISD to pilot and scale innovative best practices that help all students.

How do these partnerships impact the school’s charter? Can a partner change a school’s charter?2019-06-11T16:55:02+00:00

The nonprofit partner does not have the legal authority to change a school’s charter. If an in-district charter school was created through teacher and parent petition support, any revisions to the charter must be approved by school staff, parents, and the SAISD Board. With a district-initiated start-up school or a school subject to state-mandated sanctions, any charter revision must be approved by the SAISD Board of Trustees in collaboration with school staff and parents.

The role of the partner is to support the school staff and community in fulfilling their charter, and as long as the school is meeting its performance goals, the school’s charter will remain in place. That remains true even if the district terminates the partnership agreement due to a partner not meeting its obligations under the partnership agreement. The SAISD Board will end the partnership or revoke the in-district charter if any of the following occurs: (i) the schools fail to meet their 3 or 5-year performance metrics; (ii) the school or nonprofit partner violates applicable state or federal law; (iii) the school or nonprofit partner fails to meet generally accepted accounting standards; or (iv) after two years, the schools are rated as “Improvement Required” or are in the bottom 5% in comparison to all district campuses based on academic performance.

Can a nonprofit partner organization revoke the school’s charter or close the school?2019-06-11T18:02:54+00:00

No. Only the SAISD Board of Trustees has the authority to revoke a school’s charter or close a school, as described above in Question 10. A revocation of a school’s charter or the termination of a partnership will not lead to the closure of a school. Any type of school in SAISD that experiences multiple years of Improvement Required status, whether or not it is an in-district charter school or a school with an SB 1882 partnership, will always be subject to state-level sanctions, which may include school reconstitution or closure. See Texas House Bill 1842, which defines state-mandated sanctions for all district schools, including in-district charter schools.

What will happen to neighborhood students if their school becomes an in-district charter school with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T16:58:56+00:00

If a school becomes an in-district charter school with an SB 1882 partnership, all neighborhood students will remain at their school, and all students living within the school’s attendance boundary will be guaranteed admission. Students at all SAISD schools, including in-district charter schools, do not have to apply to attend their neighborhood school. In-district charter schools may also become open to students residing outside of the attendance zone. The in-district charter process is intended to offer more quality school options for all students; it is not meant to add entry requirements or reduce available seats for neighborhood students at schools with an established attendance zone. It is also illegal for in-district charter schools to discriminate against students based on their social, behavioral, or academic background.

Who can apply to Senate Bill 1882 partnership schools, and what are the rules for student enrollment?2020-11-13T18:25:18+00:00

All SB 1882 partnership schools will follow the district’s unified enrollment policy and administrative procedures. Schools that currently have attendance zones will maintain those attendance zones and students living in the attendance zone will be guaranteed admission. In-district charters with attendance boundaries are also able to offer seats to students living outside of their boundary. In-district charter schools without attendance boundaries will be open to students living within and outside of SAISD while ensuring equitable access for historically disadvantaged students. Please see SAISD Administrative Procedure F51 and the Office of Access and Enrollment Services website for more information on student enrollment.

What will be the rules for student discipline, suspension, and expulsion at schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T16:59:25+00:00

For student discipline, all schools will adopt the district’s student discipline policies and administrative procedures, including the SAISD Student Code of Conduct. The school staff, in collaboration with the nonprofit partner, will have the freedom to develop the school culture (including events and activities) and select their own behavior management programs and strategies, as long as they are in alignment with the District’s Code of Conduct. For all SAISD schools, including in-district charter schools, suspensions and expulsions must be done in accordance with SAISD’s Student Code of conduct.

How will schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership accommodate English Language Learners and students needing special education services, Section 504 services, and Gifted and Talented programming?2019-06-11T17:24:51+00:00

Students attending a school with an SB 1882 partnership will continue to qualify for the same services that a student would receive at any other SAISD school, so the district, nonprofit partner, and school staff will closely collaborate to ensure that the unique needs of each student are met. The campus staff and nonprofit partner will fully comply with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); the Americans with Disabilities Act; Titles VI and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The district will also provide related services for special education, Section 504, dyslexia, dysgraphia, hearing, vision, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, speech, psychology, orientation and mobility, reading, adaptive physical education, and occupational and physical therapy.

District and school staff at all SB 1882 partnership schools will continue to support English language learners (ELLs), including those who have been identified as immigrant, migrant and refugee students, in the same manner as all other district schools. ELLs may be served through Dual Language, Transitional Bilingual Late Exit, or English as a Second Language (ESL) program models.

Do Senate Bill 1882 partnerships impact the employment rights or contracts of current SAISD employees?2019-06-11T17:01:24+00:00

No. As required by state law and stated in the partnership agreement, these partnerships will not affect the status of SAISD employees’ contracts or change any of the due process protections given by those contracts. All staff employed by the district and working at the schools will remain district employees and will keep all of their existing contract rights, including protections related to employee terminations.

Who will be responsible for hiring and managing employees at schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T17:01:41+00:00

The school’s principal and campus-based leadership team, in collaboration with the nonprofit partner, will make decisions related to campus staff evaluation, work hours, assignment, job description, and duties at the school, all in accordance with the school’s charter. Employment decisions like termination or non-renewal must be done in accordance with District policy and procedure and all applicable laws. The district will be responsible for determining all salaries, compensation and benefits of district employees working at the schools.

The partner organization will directly employ at least one staff person to oversee support for the school (e.g., professional development, school improvement strategies, mentoring, school leadership coaching, etc.) and to assist the partner organization’s governing board. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the district will work closely with the nonprofit partner and the school’s community to select the school’s principal.

What is the role of the nonprofit partner’s governing board in an Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2020-11-13T18:26:08+00:00

The role of the nonprofit governing board is to support the school with whatever the school needs to be successful, whether it be academic coaching, professional development, or new student learning opportunities, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization’s staff and in accordance with the school’s charter. The board will be comprised of community stakeholders and professionals with specific expertise that is aligned to the programs and strategies described in the charter. For example, the governing board for a nonprofit partner that is supporting an early childhood school model will have experts in early childhood development. Additionally, the nonprofit partner and school leadership team may decide to bring expertise to the governing board from other industries, such as law, engineering, communications, etc. The nonprofit governing board will largely act as advisors and strategic thought partners for the nonprofit staff and school leadership team.

The nonprofit governing board and staff will collaborate with the campus leadership team in assessing and refining the curriculum, school calendar, and professional development opportunities. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the nonprofit partner’s governing board and staff will work closely with the district and the school’s community to select the school’s principal. Like any SAISD in-district charter school, SB 1882 partnership schools are held to a rigorous performance contract and fully accountable to the SAISD Board. The SAISD Board retains ultimate authority and oversight over the school, which will always remain an SAISD campus.

Who is responsible for setting the mission, vision, and academic programming at the school?2019-06-11T17:02:13+00:00

The mission, vision and core values of the school are defined in the school’s charter. As discussed above, an in-district charter school is a district public school that is authorized by the SAISD Board with enhanced autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. Educators interested in opening an in-district charter school must participate in a rigorous application process, and neighborhood schools must obtain the support of a majority of the school’s teachers and parents through a petition process to become an in-district charter school. The role of the nonprofit partner is to support the school staff in achieving the mission, vision, and core values that are outlined in the school’s charter application. The charter also empowers the school to determine its academic programming, extra-curricular activities and curriculum (subject to state standards), length and design of the school day, calendar, professional development, and other school-based programming. Ultimately the SAISD Board will hold the school-based leadership team and nonprofit partner’s governing board accountable for implementing and refining the school’s charter.

What types of autonomies will the SAISD Board grant to schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T17:24:06+00:00

All schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership must participate in the Annual Call for Quality Schools and receive approval from the SAISD Board of Trustees to become an in-district charter school. The SAISD Board will grant autonomies to in-district charter schools and their nonprofit partners in the areas of time, talent, and resources, in accordance with SAISD board policy EL(LOCAL). Through the Annual Call, schools are encouraged to request a wide range of autonomies that have been shown to improve operational efficiency and academic outcomes at the campus level. Focus areas may include professional development, curriculum, school calendar, scheduling, staffing, and resource allocation. A detailed list of potential autonomies available to approved in-district charter applicants can be found here.

Which support services will the district provide to Senate Bill 1882 partnership schools?2019-06-11T17:04:22+00:00

The district is responsible for providing the same services that it provides to other district schools, including, but not limited to:

    • Ongoing collaboration opportunities with the district’s instructional support departments, including Teaching and Learning, Special Education, and Research and Evaluation;
    • Ensuring that the school complies with all applicable laws, such as Section 504, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and FERPA;
    • Providing related services for special education, Section 504, dyslexia, dysgraphia, hearing, vision, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, speech, psychology, orientation and mobility, reading, adaptive physical education, and occupational and physical therapy;
    • All child nutrition program services (breakfast, lunch, etc.);
    • Facility maintenance and repair services;
    • Technology infrastructure and repair;
    • Grant reporting and payment processing;
    • Assisting with the recruiting, hiring, and processing of campus employees;
    • Overseeing employee grievances and due process;
    • Providing schools with substitute teachers; and
    • Maintaining all students in the District’s student information system and performing all mandatory reporting to TEA.
Which support services will approved nonprofit partners provide to Senate Bill 1882 partnership schools?2019-06-11T17:12:33+00:00

Each partner organization has its own unique background and expertise that is aligned to the needs of the school and the school’s charter, so the type of support provided will depend on the partner organization and the school. For example, a nonprofit partner may offer marketing and community engagement support to a school that is working to increase its student enrollment and improve parent outreach. A partner might assist a high school in securing adult mentors and job shadowing opportunities for its students. On an ongoing basis, all nonprofit partners and governing boards are expected to review and refine the core tenants of a school’s charter (mission, vision, academic model), in close collaboration with the school leadership team, to ensure that the charter is being implemented successfully. Student achievement and fulfilling the school’s charter must be a constant focus for each partner organization’s staff and governing board, while ultimately remaining accountable to the SAISD Board.

How are Senate Bill 1882 schools funded?2020-11-13T18:31:01+00:00

Partnership schools that are approved by TEA will receive increased state funding, currently estimated at SAISD to be $800 per student on an annual basis, adjusted for average daily attendance (ADA). For example, a school with 500 students and ADA of 96% may be eligible for $384,000 in additional funds annually (500 x 800 x .96 = $384,000). The majority of those funds will be directed to the campus.

Schools will be empowered to spend these additional funds on identified campus needs that are aligned to its academic model, such as hiring staff to support the International Baccalaureate program or expanding student learning opportunities (projects, field trips, job shadowing, etc.).

The district will retain a small amount of SB 1882 funds to pay for school support services, and an additional amount will be paid to the partner to build and sustain the nonprofit organization’s capacity to support the partnership schools. Nonprofit partners will complete a comprehensive and external financial audit every year to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with the partnership agreement and applicable laws. The amount of SB 1882 funding will always be subject to the district’s financial allotments from the state and federal government. 

What will happen to the school building if the school enters into a Senate Bill 1882 partnership?2019-06-11T17:05:27+00:00

The district will continue to own all school buildings and property. SB 1882 partnerships have no impact on the district’s ownership of buildings and property. School facilities will be maintained and managed like all other district campuses. All partner organization staff who have passed the district’s criminal background check will be granted access to the schools as necessary to support the schools and comply with the partnership agreement.

Where can I find more information on Senate Bill 1882 partnerships?2020-11-13T18:35:56+00:00
  • For general information on SB 1882 partnerships, as well as individual partner websites and partnership agreements, please visit SAISD’s website here.
  • For information on state laws and the required application process for these partnerships, please visit TEA’s website at www.txpartnerships.org.
  • State law on in-district charter schools and SB 1882 partnerships is described in SAISD Board Policy EL(LEGAL), which can be found here.
  • The district’s process and requirements for in-district charter schools, performance contracts, and the renewal/probation/termination process is described in Policy EL(LOCAL), which can be found here.
  • Student enrollment and registration rules are described in Policy FDB(LOCAL), which can be found here, and Administrative Procedure F51, which can be found here.
  • For more information on specific aspects of SAISD’s SB 1882 partnerships, please see the following sections in the relevant partnership agreement:
Partnership Focus Areas Partnership Agreement Section
Overview of partnership and legal structure Page 1 recitals and Section 1
Partner adherence to school’s charter Section 1
Student enrollment Section 2
School operations and academic programming Section 3
Special education, gifted and talented, English language learners Section 3
Student discipline, suspension and expulsions Section 3
Support services and legal compliance Sections 3 and 5
Employment matters (hiring, terminations, evaluation, etc.) Section 4
Partner governing boards Section 7
Finances Sections 8 and 9
Performance contracts and audit Section 10 and Exhibit A
School facilities Section 11
District services for partner schools Section 12
Collaboration and sharing best practices Section 13
Intellectual property (trademark, copyright, patent) Section 15
Length of agreement and termination Section 16
School-specific mission, goals, academic model, etc. See individual school’s charter
  • A pdf of the entire FAQ for Senate Bill 1882 partnerships is available here.
Which Senate Bill 1882 partnerships currently exist within SAISD?2020-11-13T18:43:23+00:00

Here is a description of each of the existing SB 1882 partnerships at San Antonio ISD. For links to each partner’s website and the SAISD Board-approved partnership agreements, please see https://innovatesaisd.org/sb_1882_partnerships/.

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Partner: Alamo Colleges District  

Network Schools: Fox Tech High School, St. Philip’s College Early College High Schools, Travis Early College High School 

The mission of Alamo Colleges District is to empower our diverse communities for success. The vision for the ACD partnership is to establish the three high schools as “learning labs” to deepen and strengthen SAISD’s partnership with ACD. The partnership will seek to expand dual credit and internship opportunities and student support services. ACD also plans to develop additional programmatic pathways offered within schools, including the creation of a grow-your-own teacher preparation program across all three high schools. Partnership funds will support a network associate principal and senior coordinator of operations for the three schools. 

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Partner: CAST Network
Network Schools: CAST Tech High School, CAST Med High School (opening Fall 2019), Advanced Learning Academy

CAST Network’s mission is to maximize opportunities for its graduates and thereby reinvent schooling as an applied, project-based setting connected to high-wage jobs in peak local demand. At CAST Network schools, teachers work with technology and business partners such as H-E-B, Rackspace, USAA, and AT&T to prepare students for in-demand careers. The partnership allows for more hands-on projects, digital learning, teacher training, mentoring, and job opportunities for students upon graduation.

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Partner: Relay Lab Schools
Schools: Ogden Elementary School, Storm Elementary School

The mission of Relay Lab Schools is to partner with urban public school districts to create and manage neighborhood schools that prepare all students to enter, succeed in, and graduate from college. Relay Lab Schools places teacher residents in every classroom, learning from a Master Teacher. The partnership has significantly enhanced personalized learning and increased students’ access to technology with a 1:1 student/device ratio.

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Partner: Democracy Prep Public Schools
School: Democracy Prep at Stewart Elementary School

Democracy Prep Public Schools’ mission is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. At Stewart Elementary, school staff provide rigorous, college-preparatory academics within a structured and supportive school culture that focuses on student scholars becoming well-rounded citizens and knowledgeable voters.

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Partner: HighScope
Schools: Carroll Early Childhood Education Center, Tynan Early Childhood Education Center

The mission of HighScope is to ensure every child receives a high-quality, equitable early education. Founded in 1970, HighScope is a nationally-recognized expert in early childhood research and curriculum design across the birth through age eight continuum. Carroll and Tynan will benefit from HighScope’s highly regarded curriculum and support from early childhood development research and professional development.

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Partner: School Innovation Collaborative
Schools: Bowden Elementary School, Gates Elementary School, Lamar Elementary School

School Innovation Collaborative’s mission is to develop, empower and support great school leaders to design and lead partner networks resulting in more great Texas schools. SIC’s flagship school leaders are partnering with Rice University to co-create a Partner Design Lab – which will serve as a learning community where leaders will develop and share best practices for managing multiple schools.

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Partner: Texas Council for International Studies
Schools: Briscoe Elementary School, Burbank High School, Fenwick Elementary School, Harris Middle School, Huppertz Elementary School, Jefferson High School, Woodlawn Academy, Woodlawn Hills Elementary

The mission of Texas Council for International Studies is to partner with Texas school districts to achieve the highest quality implementation of the International Baccalaureate program. TCIS is supported by Texas IB Schools, the most respected provider of International Baccalaureate professional development in Texas. The schools in this network are either established IB World Schools or candidate schools working to earn the IB designation.

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Partner: Young Women’s Preparatory Network
Schools: Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Young Women’s Leadership Academy Primary at Page

Young Women’s Preparatory Network’s mission is to support single-gender, college-preparatory, public education in Texas and beyond, giving young women the academic and leadership skills to achieve success in college and in life. YWPN has been the supporting partner for Young Women’s Leadership Academy since the school’s founding in 2007. SAISD expanded the YWLA model to elementary students at YWLA Primary, starting in 2019.

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Partner: Texans Can Academies
School: Texans Can at Highlands High School

The mission of Texans Can Academies is to provide the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, in order to ensure their economic independence. Texans Can provides students the opportunity to pursue their dreams while removing barriers that keep them from attaining their education. From day care services to clothes, eyeglasses, or other basic human needs, school staff provide flexible solutions and dedicated support for students.