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Public Charter System School

over 5 years ago

In March 2014 the Candler County Board of Education approved a recommendation to seek Charter School System Status. A state mandate says that all systems must choose between one of the following options by June 30,2015: 1) Status Quo, 2) IE2 (Excellence in Education) or 3) Charter System Status. The Charter System choice provides broad based flexibility in how the instruction is designed and delivered to our students. The Board of Education feels that this choice will lead to more engaging and innovative learning opportunities for our students.

 Recent stakeholder surveys and interviews revealed a desire to be more innovative in 1) Fine arts, 2) Career Technology Agriculture education (CTAE), as well as 3) Acceleration opportunities for our students.

 The Candler County Board of Education will seek additional input from community members, parents, other school systems, students and of course our astute teachers and administrators regarding innovations that would help our students achieve and excel in the workplace as well as in post-secondary training. The investigation of the Charter School System has been an ongoing process with the board members and staff over the past 12 months.

 The anticipated date to deliver the charter application to the state is early October 2014.

  •  May/Sept. 2014 - Continue to seek input from school staff
  •  Aug./Sept. -Two public hearings.
  •  June/Aug.- Community group (Archway) investigate other school systems' charters' and discuss our prior identified needs with Innovation elsewhere.
  •  Aug./Sept. - Begin to formulate draft
  •  Sept. - School faculties and community review application draft
  •  Late Sept. - Board meeting action item on Approving Application for Charter System Status
  •  Oct. - Submission to State DOE


To provide feedback or discuss this topic further please contact Tom Bigwood at 912-685-5713

Ext 221 or email


The Process of Applying for Charter System Status

1. Board of Education met October 2012 to determine greatest strengths and gaps in program needs. (3 hour workshop).

2. Fall-Winter- 2012/2013- Meetings with faculties in a workshop setting to determine greatest strengths and program needs.

3. Meetings with parents at each school to determine strengths and gaps in program offerings -Spring 2013

4. Meeting with student groups each school to determine strengths and gaps in program offerings - Spring 2013

Unanimous outcome with all constituent groups was to build upon program offerings in Fine arts, CTAE as well as to accommodate students who are able to accelerate with course program offerings.

5. Board workshop (3) October 2013

Innovation and Charter System compatibility

6. Howard Hendley presented to board and school and district leadership teams Jan. 2014

7. February 2014- Board members, All principals, district level leaders went to Morgan

County to learn about the Charter System process, practices and programs

8. February 2014- All assistant principals and Asst. Supt. Dr. Longgrear went to Warren

County to learn about Charter System process.

9. February 2014- We discussed the decision to go charter system with school faculties.

10. March 2014- Presented to Archway Executive committee

11. April 15,2014- Board meeting- Louis Erste- attends our workshop to lead us through the scenarios that help us develop the rationale for our Charter. He provided details on pieces needed in the application

12. April2014- presented to the Candler Chamber of Commerce.

13. April 2014- presented Powerpoint to the MES and MMS faculty

14. May 2014- Met with MES School Council

15. May 12, 2014- Leadership meeting in Candler- Sherri Sherman attends our meeting to establish the process and timeline for completion of our application.

16. June 4, 2014-Attended a Charter System Sponsored Foundation Meeting in Dublin GA. The focus was on innovation and governance. The meeting provided numerous ideas on innovation (virtual school, flexible curriculum, individual course design, etc.) and clarity on how governance can be managed. Attended by Rhonda Hendrix, BOE Vice-Chair; John Jordan, High School Principal; Ralph Carlyle, Middle School Principal; Lesa Brown, Elementary School Principal and Dr. Bubba Longgrear, Asst. Superintendent.

17. June 12, 2014 - Met with Archway Coordinator, Betsy McGriff, to plan for a meeting with our local Archway executive and officials from Hart County. Hart County recently was approved to become a charter system.

18. June 25, 2014, met with Hart County Superintendent and community officials to seek input on how they identified needs based on community input and learned about innovation they intend to implement in the immediate future.

19. July 16, 2014 Devoted  three (3) hours at our summer leadership workshop to discuss academic priorities and innovative practices for The Charter application. 
 Note:  An executive summary was provided.

20. July 17, 2014 Discussed our recent developments with board members at regular July board meeting and reiterated the timeline for seeking input from community and parents.

21. July 22, 2014 Met with a parent group to seek input on the Initiative – Acceleration.  We asked their opinion on a flex (self-paced curriculum) and noted their comments. .   Our Archway professional assisted with this sharing session.

22. July 24, 2014 Met with a parent group to seek input on the Initiative – Acceleration.  We asked their opinion on a flex (self-paced curriculum) and noted their comments.   Our Archway professional assisted with this sharing session.

23. July 25, 2014 A group of our administrative leaders led by Assistant Superintendent CaDeisha Cooper  went to the Charter Foundation sponsored workshop in Calhoun, Ga

24. July 24- a one hour phone conference with Sherri Sherman providing us guidance on completing the application.

25. July 29, 30, 31 -  Business and Industry visits (14) with local businesses.  Southeastern tech College officials participated with Candler County Colleagues.  Purpose:  Identified needed skill sets to meet local and regional employment opportunities.   These sessions will affirm current pathways and will help to lead either to restructuring present ones or starting new ones. 

26. August 12: - Shared findings from Business and Industry visits at the Archway meetings. 
27. August 14 - Agri-Science Advisory council met to discuss program offerings resulting from discussions about state grant dollars and the anticipated  Charter System Petition.

28. August 15 - District Leaders met to prioritize next steps .  It was determined to seek more input from faculty members and parents during the month of August and early September.    Also, we will prioritize objectives and major initiatives for our application at the August 25th district leader meeting.

29. August 19 - Will update our board members at the Board Workshop on the processes we have engaged in preparing for the Charter System petition  to BOE.
30. August 19-2014 - Attended parent orientation at MES/MIS and distributed a survey to receive input on digital learning.

31. August 25, 2014 - Charter system was a key topic on the Principals Meeting agenda. We reviewed key initiatives (CTAE, Acceleration, and Fine Arts)and updated our strategic plan. We also focused on lagging data with CCRPI and tentatively decided on performance objectives.

NOTE: Dr. Longgrear compiled the information and drafted responses to key questions on the Charter application.

32. August 26, 2014 - Attended Metter Middle School parent orientation and distributed the survey seeking input on Digital learning.

33. September 9 - Met with MHS Faculty to share portions of the charter application. (the case challenges, performance goals and strategic plan).

34. September 15 - Principals Meeting devoted one hour to seeking input on content of the charter application.

35. September 16 - Board Workshop – 40 minutes on the agenda devotes to the components of the Charter Application

36. September 16 - Met with MIS Faculty to share portions of the charter application. (the case challenges, performance goals and strategic plan).

37. September 23 - Met with Metter Elementary faculty to discuss components of our Charter application.

38. September 24 & 25 - Considerable email feedback on application components provided by Sherri Sherman

39. September 26 - All District leaders met from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. to review the Charter System Performance measures. The group came to a consensus on 3 Performance measures as well as the structure of the school Governance Council.

40. September 29 - Met with Metter Middle School faculty to discuss components of our Charter Application

41. September 30 - Submitted Revised application to Sherry Sherman for feedback

42. October 1 - Metter Advertiser announced our upcoming Public Meetings on October 6 at 4:00p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

43. October 6 - All district and school level leaders met to review and update our Balanced Scorecard and Innovative Strategic Plan.

44. October 7 - Met with Dr. Myers, Executive Director of FDRESA to design board workshop in November.  The focus will be on alignment of Charter System initiatives with the system strategic plan.