Charter School - Grizzly Youth Academy

Charter School - Grizzly Youth Academy

GRIZZLY CHALLENGE CHARTER SCHOOL: A Champion for Positive Change Countywide Charter Renewal Petition and Supporting Documents Submitted to the San Lu...

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GRIZZLY CHALLENGE CHARTER SCHOOL: A Champion for Positive Change

Countywide Charter Renewal Petition and Supporting Documents Submitted to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Education San Luis Obispo, CA February 2013

Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School Countywide Charter Petition for Renewal February 2013 Table of Contents Grizzly Stories ........................................................................................................................................................... p. 3 Justifications and Affirmations ........................................................................................................................ p. 10 Required Elements ............................................................................................................................................... p. 11 Fiscal Operations .................................................................................................................................................. p. 39 Exhibits ..................................................................................................................................................................... p. 41

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

p. 2

Grizzly Stories: Fifteen Years of Positive Change – One Young Person at a Time In the semirural hills of California’s Central Coast lies a school where change happens every day. Big change in the lives of teens who choose to come live and learn on the Camp San Luis National Guard Base as cadets at the Grizzly Youth Academy. The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School is responsible for providing the academic component of this intense five and a half month experience that offers young people from across the state “a second chance” after difficult histories of academic failure, chronic truancy, crime, or other risk behaviors. They arrive desiring change but lacking skills and experience to turn their lives around. They graduate transformed. Ready to return to their communities and continue their path to adulthood on firmer footing, with new confidence and humility, with respect for others and respect for themselves, with knowledge and curiosity, with the wisdom of experience and a plan for their next steps in life. A Paso Roblan Turnaround “Brian” was a local. He had grown up in Paso Robles and was known at the high school as “the guy with the bad attitude.” Surly and disengaged, Brian successfully alienated himself from just about all of his teachers and many of his peers. Hardly the environment that would be easy to make a life change in if ever he felt ready. That was where Grizzly came in. Brian’s parents had heard about this residential program and charter school at the National Guard base just a few miles down the Cuesta Grade, and they suggested he give it a shot. Brian figured “why not.” He enrolled in the spring of his Junior year, not entirely sure what he was getting himself into. What he discovered while there was that he was able to get himself out of old patterns, and could build a new sense of purpose and interest in the world. Senior year Brian returned to Paso Robles High School. He included in his class schedule a Spanish course that he had almost flunked sophomore year. The teacher was astonished when he showed up the first day and asked him why he chose to return to her classroom after showing no interest the first time around. “Because it’s an important life skill and I’m ready for it now,” was the simple straightforward response. He earned an A.

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

Grizzly is now entering its fifteenth year operating as a charter school (its tenth as a “countywide” charter), and has a lot to celebrate with its program partners – the California National Guard and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. Since opening its doors to its first class in 1998, Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School has served 5,645 adolescents from almost every county in California. The school has grown from a modest population of 73 in its first graduating class to 201 completing “Class 29” in 2012.

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ACADEMIC CHANGE Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School transforms its students’ academic prospects. Most enroll in the program with histories of academic failure, as high school dropouts and/or woefully deficient in credits. In the 22 short weeks that make up a Grizzly semester, students are on average jumping 1.5 grade levels as measured by the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education). TABE is given to all students at week 2 of the program and again at week 12. The pre and post test results are a snapshot of the students’ reading, language and math abilities on that test date and identify the grade level at which students are performing. The following table shows this trend across eleven Grizzly cohort groups from 2005 to 2011. Overall TABE Increases

Grade Improvement

3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

All

1.1

1.3

1.5

1.1

0.9

1.4

1.2

1.3

1.6

1.3

1.2

EL

1

1.5

1.4

0.9

1.4

1.7

1.1

1.4

1.8

1.6

1.3

SED

0.9

1.3

1.6

1

1

1.5

1.3

1.3

1.8

1.2

1.3

SpEd

1.8

1.5

1.6

1.1

1.4

1.6

1.4

1.8

1.4

1.7

1.7

EL= English Language Learners; SED=Socioeconomically Disadvantaged; SpEd= Special Education Students

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Consider the following additional measures of the impressive and recurring academic turnaround demonstrated by class after class of GCCS students: passage rates on the California High School Exit Exam, high school graduation rates, credit recovery rates, and GED passage rates. The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is given to GCCS students who have previously failed the exam in their school of residence. As the data show, in almost all years and cohorts, over 50% of GCCS students who take the exam pass both in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. This is a cause for celebration and testament to the academic growth and confidence experienced by our students. CAHSEE ELA Passing Percentage 80% 70% 60% 50%

12th

40%

EL All

30% 20% 10% 0%

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

12th

71%

57%

57%

71%

75%

49%

EL

60%

53%

50%

65%

40%

53%

All

62%

54%

54%

64%

60%

58%

CAHSEE Math Passing Percentage 80% 70% 60% 50%

12th

40%

EL All

30% 20% 10% 0%

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

12th

63%

46%

70%

58%

48%

34%

EL

37%

36%

67%

50%

38%

26%

All

47%

50%

64%

54%

48%

38%

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Grizzly Challenge Charter School is part of the Alternative School Accountability Measures (ASAM) program administered by the California Department of Education. Measures of course and credit accrual, high school graduation rates, and GED section passage are assessed to demonstrate both student and program improvement. GCCS has consistently scored high marks across all three indicators. This is no small accomplishment for the school’s students, who enter the program far behind the curve on credits, grades, and prospects for high school graduation and leave us with strong academic and life plans, many with high school diplomas.

2006-2007 Class 17/18 2007-2008 Class 19/20 2008-2009 Class 21/22 2009-2010 Class 23/24 2010-2011 Class 25/26

Credit Completion

High School Graduation GED Section Rate (for Completion eligible students**)

99.7%

96.9%

78.9%

99.9%

98.8%

74.2%

99.8%

93.8%

75.0%

100.0%

89.5%

61.5%*

98.9%

96%

79.2%

*Note drop in percentage linked to drop in total number of students taking the GED at GCCS (15 students in 2009 compared to 60+ in previous years **”eligible students” is defined as those students who enter GCCS with enough previously earned credits to graduate from high school during the Grizzly semester.

Detail on High school Diploma from GCCS # eligible 2006-2007 Class 17 2007-2008 Class 19 2008-2009 Class 21 2009-2010 Class 23 2010-2011 Class 25

% received

34 (24%)

94%

41 (24%)

95%

42 (26%)

95%

55 (34%)

95%

52 (27%)

96%

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

2006-2007 Class 18 2007-2008 Class 20 2008-2009 Class 22 2009-2010 Class 24 2010-2011 Class 26

# eligible

% received

28

89%

38

79%

38

89%

35

94%

54

96%

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Personal Change Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School gives young people a chance to reinvent themselves on a personal level. The opportunity to step away from previous patterns, environments, relationships and behaviors opens up a new view for each student on her potential, on his confidence, on her abilities, on his future. A student survey conducted at the end of each program cycle provides perspective on the inner transformation that our students experience during their time with us. Below is a sample of responses by members of two recent classes – Class 27 in 2011, and Class 28 in 2012. As the data show, nearly all students leave the program feeling successful at that school. Well over 90% return home with a sense that they have a good plan for their futures. They feel respected and cared for by their teachers, they have a sense of belonging, and they are confident in their improved academic preparedness. A monumental accomplishment for 5,645 high-risk youth who have arrived at our doorstep over the years having lost their way, lost their self-esteem, lost their connections to positive role models, and lost their sense of purpose. For them and the many more we hope to serve in future years, Grizzly offers a new start. Grizzly Youth Academy Student Exit Survey

% Agree or Strongly Agree Class 27

I feel safe at this school I feel like I belong at this school I feel academically challenged at this school My teachers treat me with respect I feel the classroom rules are fair I feel the classroom rules are enforced My teachers help me gain confidence in my ability to learn My teachers care about me My teachers make learning fun My teachers challenge me to do better My teachers give me individual attention when I need it My classes are too easy My classes are too difficult I am prepared for the real world in my ability to write I am prepared for the real world in my ability to read I am prepared for the real world in my ability with mathematics I am prepared for the real world in my ability to present information I am prepared for the real world in reference to my technology skills I feel like I am leaving Grizzly with a good plan for my future I feel successful in this school

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

Class 28 96% 81% 59% 86% 86% 86% 88% 86% 73% 91% 87% 28% 11% 89% 95% 82%

99% 88% 72% 93% 93% 84% 98% 98% 79% 94% 89% 12% 12% 94% 95% 90%

91%

97%

89% 96% 95%

89% 100% 99%

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LIFE CHANGE Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School is excited about its students’ accomplishments while they are enrolled in the residential program. However, it is what they achieve after they leave Camp San Luis and return to their communities that is the most impressive and telling mark of their – and our - success. GCCS and National Guard staff maintain regular contact with all Grizzly graduates for a full post-residential year and keep records on their progress toward academic, career and other life plans. Data in the tables below are collected by National Guard staff and show that 92% of program graduates remain consistently and solidly engaged in school, jobs or the military one year after completing Grizzly (note that students can be actively involved in more than one area (e.g. working while enrolled in school or concurrently enrolled in high school and community college). Post Residential 12 Months 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

Military

9%

5%

8%

9%

6%

4%

5%

5%

8%

3%

3%

Work

44%

43%

44%

40%

41%

32%

29%

30%

28%

39%

27%

Education

44%

47%

45%

49%

51%

57%

63%

56%

63%

58%

62%

Total

97%

95%

97%

98%

98%

93%

97%

91%

99%

100%

92%

Post Residential 12 Months 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

High School

25%

43%

35%

38%

40%

40%

49%

47%

53%

46%

68%

College

17%

15%

22%

21%

20%

18%

12%

16%

14%

18%

10%

Vo Tech/ Job corps

10%

6%

3%

4%

4%

7%

13%

5%

4%

2%

2%

Total

52%

64%

60%

63%

64%

65%

74%

68%

71%

66%

80%

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

A Grizzly Lifeline “Liliana” was born in Colombia. She moved to California as a girl and struggled to find her way in school and life surrounded by a new culture and language. By the time she entered her teens, Liliana had lost her sense of self and eventually tried to take her life. When the noose broke and she survived, she decided this was a sign to try a new path. Liliana found and applied to the Grizzly ChalleNGe Program. She was accepted, enrolled and began a five and a half month journey to personal recovery and transformation that led her ultimately to earn a scholarship and graduate from college.

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Positive Change for Years to Come…. The following charter school renewal petition documents describe Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School’s plan for its future as one of California’s most promising models for helping highpotential youth find and pursue their path in life. We look forward to honoring the traditions we have established, upholding the reputation we have earned among our students and in the broader community, and building our capacity even further to reach the next generations of young people who will be forever changed by their Grizzly Experience. I wanted to share my success story for all the GYA Staff and others, but I feel obligated to thank Grizzly Youth Academy for their PHENOMENAL job changing lives! I graduated in 2007 under Class 18 Top Dogs Platoon as Valedictorian. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of something so memorable and big. I never would've said that in late 2006. My grandparents happened to be traveling that year and came across a GYA group and inquired about it. They shared the opportunity with me and I was like "No, I think I'll pass..." Not wanting to accept that challenge or thought of living 6 months on a military base with no cell phone, friends, freedom, or computer! I finally made a huge decision to say "Well... Let's just give it a shot; it's only 6 months and I haven't been really successful so far."

“I had heard about the [Grizzly] program and work that was being done with the young people, but to see them in operation and meet the staff was terrific. My takeaway is how impressed I am with the staff and their commitment to the program and the kids enrolled. The staff really take an interest in the cadets and go all out to see that the cadets succeed. They are so involved with them and know what makes them tick and what guidance is needed. Plus, they are such encouragers.” --- San Luis Obispo County Grand Juror (from Commendation Report 2011)

I went through the process, showed up and was pretty freaked out … (What did I get myself into?) However, I knew my entire family was depending on me and I don't usually back down in those situations. Six months of nonstop hustling and taking orders, being structured, never quitting, being the best, making my family proud, APPRECIATING everything I had at home, and realizing it was time to make a change and be a new MAN. Thank You, Grizzly Youth Academy. My accomplishments since leaving have been so far: Running the LA Marathon in 2008 (going to do another one this year in 2012), becoming a Supervisor at Johnny Rockets restaurant, becoming Assistant Manager at Verizon, and now I'm moving up the ladder and getting a sales job for a dealership that sells Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram! I always strive to be the best! I couldn't be happier with my experience at Grizzly Youth Academy. Graduate Jake Cote Class 18 - 3rd Platoon - Top Dogs

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Required Explanation of Renewal Criteria (per Ed. Code 47607(b)(5)) The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School is eligible for renewal because it has qualified for an “alternative accountability system model” (ASAM) pursuant to Education Code 52052(g): The Superintendent, with the approval of the state board, shall develop an alternative accountability system for schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools, community day schools, nonpublic, nonsectarian schools pursuant to Section 56366, and alternative schools serving high-risk pupils, including continuation high schools and opportunity schools. Schools in the alternative accountability system may receive an API score, but shall not be included in the API rankings.

Note: Senate Bill No. 1290, enacted into law January 1, 2013, amends Section 47607(a)(1)(3)(A) to require a chartering authority to “consider increases in pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils served by the charter school as the most important factor in determining whether to revoke a charter.” However, this requirement does not supersede the above criterion for renewal of ASAM qualified charter schools, pursuant to Ed. Code 47607(b)(5): … (b) a charter school shall meet at least one of the following cretiera before receiving a charter renewal..” …(5) Qualified for an alternative accountability system pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 52052.

As detailed in this petition, Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School measures increases in student achievement using a variety of alternative assessments. The primary tool is the the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) which documents grade level equivalency. GCCS students on average improve academic performance by 1.5 grade levels over the course of the 22-week program. Required Justification for Petition for Countywide Charter (per Ed. Code 47605.6(a)(1)) The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School serves the academic needs of a student population that originates from districts throughout San Luis Obispo County and the state of California. Its programmatic mission is similar to those of countywide court and community schools, and thus is best situated at an analogous administrative level (as designated in Education Code 1981). In addition, the SLOCOE is uniquely qualified to collaborate with the California National Guard on the GCCS, due to extensive experience and background in this professional relationship on other joint educational initiatives. Non-Sectarian Affirmation (Education Code 47606.6 (e)(1) The GCCS is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, does not charge tuition, and does not discriminate against any person on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender or disability as set forth in Section 47605.6(e)(1) of the Education Code.

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

CHARTER SCHOOL RENEWAL PROPOSAL REQUIRED ELEMENTS (per Ed. Code 47605.6(b)(5)(A-Q) -- See Exhibit B) A. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM A description of the educational program of the school, designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is attempting to educate, what it means to be an "educated person" in the 21century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified in that program shall include the objective of enabling pupils to become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners. If the proposed charter school will enroll high school pupils, a description of the manner in which the charter school will inform parents regarding the transferability of courses to other public high schools. Courses offered by the charter school that are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges may be considered to be transferable to other public high schools. If the proposed charter school will enroll high school pupils, information as to the manner in which the charter school will inform parents as to whether each individual course offered by the charter school meets college entrance requirements. Courses approved by the University of California or the California State University as satisfying their prerequisites for admission may be considered as meeting college entrance requirements for purposes of this clause. The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS) was founded in 1998 under a charter sponsored by the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District in San Luis Obispo County. After five years of successful operation the school applied for and was granted a new charter sponsored by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE). The charter was renewed in 2008 following five more strong years of achievement and growth. GCCS now nears the culmination of the current charter period and respectfully submits this renewal petition for continued operation as a countywide charter school. GCCS provides a high school academic program for 16 to 19 year-old youth from throughout the California who are temporary residents in San Luis Obispo County while enrolled in a residential program – “Grizzly Youth Academy” -- operated at Camp San Luis as part of the National Guard ChalleNGe Program (34 campuses nationwide in 29 states and Puerto Rico). GCCS's educational program, as described below, has been developed and tested over time on more than 3,400 student participants, with dramatic positive effects on a range of knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviors. For example, pre-post tests using the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) indicate that, on average, Grizzly students jump between 1 and 1.5 grade levels during the 22-week program cycle. Twelvemonth follow-up assessments on 2011 program graduates' progress toward signed "Life Plans" have indicated that 92% are adhering to their goals, including being employed and/or in school full-time, enlisting in the military, and having a clean post-program criminal record. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

p. 11

Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Vision and Mission The GCCS, in partnership with the California National Guard, is founded on a vision to provide an opportunity for adolescent students with unique needs to redirect their lives toward productive work, healthy lifestyles, responsible citizenship, and life-long learning. Charter school and National Guard staff will continue to work in close collaboration to carry out the Grizzly mission: To provide a safe, consistent, structured educational environment focusing on the success of the whole student. The school curriculum is goal oriented, integrated, cooperative, flexible, and designed to meet the California State Standards as well as the diverse needs of the at-risk student population that it serves. Through partnerships with the California National Guard, the business community, and post-graduate educational programs, Grizzly prepares students for the transition from high school to employment, higher education, and adult responsibilities. Embedded in Grizzly's vision and mission is a belief that in order to become educated people in the 2151 century, young people need to develop a base of academic and technical knowledge, a sense of self-motivation, a zest for learning, a solid work ethic, and an ability to collaborate and communicate with others. Students Served California youth are automatically eligible to enroll in the GCCS if they are participating in the California National Guard ChalleNGe Program, a residential youth development semester based at Camp San Luis in San Luis Obispo County. The requirements for the National Guard program are that participants are between the ages of 16 and 19, test clean for the use of illegal substances, are not on probation for a felony, and have expressed an interest in changing their lives. National Guard ChalleNGe Program participants come from 28 counties across California. The program and affiliated charter school have the capacity to serve up to 300 students. The nation-wide National Guard ChalleNGe Program with which the charter school is affiliated typically serves students with a host of academic and/or social challenges, including histories of failure in school, severe truancy, or recurring misdemeanor violations. Participants represent a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. In the most recent class of Spring 2012, approximately 60% of participants were Hispanic, 30% White, 7% African-American. Seventy-five percent were male; 25% female. Virtually all students have histories of chronic absenteeism. Between 60-80% of Grizzly students qualify for free and reduced lunch. The school also enrolls a significant percentage of English language learners (21%) and students with special needs (18%). Program Structure and Calendar The GCCS serves the academic needs of all National Guard ChalleNGe Program participants throughout the duration of their 22-week residential experience at Camp San Luis and during a follow-up, post-residential period. Two 22-week “cycles” are offered each year. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

p. 12

Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

The first cycle extends from July to December. The second cycle begins in January and ends in May. All participants who enroll in the National Guard ChalleNGe program engage in a 2-week acclimation period during which time participants get accustomed to the structure and decide to further commit to the program for the entire 22 week program. Approximately 90% of orientation participants continue on for the remaining 20 weeks. With this minor attrition factor, the charter school has a capacity of 275 students per cycle. The first two weeks of the ChalleNGE program involve a variety of orientation activities administered collaboratively by National Guard and charter school teaching staff. During this phase, students are introduced to the regimen and schedule of the program. They participate in rigorous daily activities designed to increase their potential for success in a highly disciplined and structured environment, including assignment to one of four platoons, mandatory uniforms, and other features of a quasi-military environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A strong emphasis is placed on life skills training, including team building, proper health and hygiene, coping strategies, and physical training. During this time, charter school staff also evaluate transcripts and administer placement tests to determine appropriate course assignments, to inform the instructional program, and to make appropriate arrangements for special needs students and English language learners. The remaining 20 weeks of the residential program involve an intense combination of academic study, physical exercise, and life-skills development. Students remain in platoons as supervised by the National Guard cadre, and attend the Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School on a block schedule each weekday. Coursework is divided into two “semesters”, with core curriculum classes provided during Semester One (10 weeks), and electives added to the ongoing core during Semester Two (10 weeks). Non-school time is structured and administered primarily by National Guard staff. Following the 22-week residential program, school and Guard staff sustain a twelve-month follow-up post-residential initiative that includes assignment to a mentor and monthly assessments of students' progress towards participants’ goals articulated through the “MAP” exercise (My Action Plan – see detail below). GCCS also offers a post-residential independent study option for a small number of qualified students who finish the 22-week residential program, remain engaged in the 12month post-residential follow-up program described above, and reside in San Luis Obispo County or a contiguous county. Independent study enrollees complete their GCCS coursework primarily in their communities of residence. A GCCS instructor maintains weekly contact with each student to provide individualized instruction and guidance. Upon successful completion of their required coursework, Independent Study participants may be eligible to receive their high school diploma from GCCS.

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Core Philosophy The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School has taken on a deep holistic approach to education, which includes a strong focus on the total person. It is the shared philosophy of both the charter school and the National Guard ChalleNGe program to produce well-rounded, competent and trained graduates who successfully transition immediately into the workforce, higher education, vocational schools, or enlist in the military. Therefore, we infuse our instruction with numerous goal setting and life planning activities to increase the likelihood of each student’s success. The Core Components have been developed by the federal National Guard ChalleNGe program but are incorporated into the curriculum of the charter school so that students receive a consistent message throughout the program. Significant collaboration between the Guard and the school staff is needed in order to provide stability and consistency for our students. The Challenge Core Components are as follows:  Leadership/Followership  Responsible Citizenship  Academic Excellence  Job Skills  Life Coping Skills  Health and Hygiene  Community Service Projects  Physical Fitness Curricular Approach The GCCS has developed a highly structured, challenging curriculum that is designed to meet the diverse needs of its student population and that honors the core philosophy outlined above. All courses, accompanying assessments, and textbooks are carefully aligned with California state standards (see Exhibit F for a list of current course offerings). The school's academic program was recently reaccredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) through June 2018. GCCS’ curriculum is influenced by two variables common to the students served through this type of alternative school program - varying attendance patterns and prior academic failure. GCCS students can enter the program between the ages of 16 and 18. Typically the students who enroll in Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School have not achieved success in traditional public schools; therefore the classes must address the combined social, emotional and academic needs of these students in ways that are different from those of traditional school districts. Both of these factors directly impact the course of study. As a result, the curriculum of the Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School emphasizes developing effective skills in students to aid them in becoming successful participants in all areas of society. GCCS faculty provide a coherent program that leads to the accomplishment of individual academic, social, and emotional growth for all students while maintaining a strict curricular alignment to academic standards and Expected School-wide Learning Results -ESLRs (see Sections B and C below). Because the majority of the school's enrolled students are determined "at-risk" for dropping out of school in their home environment, Grizzly's GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

pedagogical approach has been designed as intentionally focused, directed, intense and asset-based. Students come to Grizzly Challenge Charter School with varied ability levels and all are credit deficient. Students are placed in their courses based on an overall evaluation that may require placement in reading/math intervention classes, grade level courses and/or advanced credit recovery options. There is a high degree of individualization to develop the most appropriate course placement for each student. Student teacher ratios at GCCS are intentionally small, at approximately 25:1 and the presence of a National Guard Cadre attendant at many class sessions). Course Offerings Student coursework at GCCS is divided among 1) core academic subjects, and 2) electives (for a detailed list of 2012 course offerings see Exhibit F). Student course loads emphasize core academic subjects throughout both 10-week semesters, and electives are made available during the second semester. Core academic subjects include Math, Science, Health, History, English Composition, and Literature. Electives include variety of offerings such as Physical Education, Consumer Economics, Fine Arts, Job Shadowing, Drivers Education, Yearbook, Service Learning, and various special interest courses in core subject areas (e.g. Earth Science, Spanish, Government, Economics, Geography). GCCS has also developed a Blended Learning program in order to expand the school’s capacity to offer courses in subjects that are not directly taught on site or do not fit within the student’s schedule, and that are based on student academic needs, interests and aptitudes. Current examples include World History, Life Science, Spanish, Geography and test preparation for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). Qualified students are able to earn community college credit at neighboring Cuesta College. The most common example is the College’s Introduction to Workplace Readiness, a course made available to GCCS students as part of the school’s job readiness program. Through concurrent enrollment, students are awarded college credit for courses they take at the college level. Progress reports are completed weekly for every student, indicating the grade to date and missing assignments. This information is shared with the student and National Guard Cadre, as well as the instructional assistant and counselor for appropriate follow-up as needed. Mid-semester progress reports are sent home to the parents, given to the students and shared with the Cadre. Final report cards are mailed home at the end of the semester. An official transcript is included in each student's exiting portfolio for easy entrance into the next educational institution. Complementary Curriculum My Action Plan (MAP). GCCS has worked in collaboration with the National Guard to develop a strong focus on helping students set goals and plan for their futures. An individualized career and technical education curriculum is built around the My Action Plan (MAP) document that students develop in consultation with instructional, counseling and residential staff from both the charter school and the National Guard. Within the first GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

two weeks of the program, students learn how to identify and draft personal SMART goals (“Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound”) as an initial step towards developing a road map for successful completion of the program. These goals focus students in their individual plans for achievement at Grizzly as well as future plans for life after they leave – continuing education, employment, and/or military service as well as commitments to maintain healthy, productive lifestyles. The students’ SMART goals are formally revisited at mid-cycle and again towards the end of the program. The resulting MAP document is signed by the parent, mentor, teaching staff and cadre to promote support after Grizzly. To reinforce and help guide students’ development of personally relevant and realistic goals, GCCS provides multiple opportunities to explore potential options for their short- and long-term paths in life. Interest surveys and aptitude tests, guided on-line research projects and college visits to local campuses (Cuesta, Hancock, Cal Poly), Career Days and job shadowing electives – these and other program activities are designed to surround Grizzly students in a variety of window-opening experiences that help clarify their thinking and planning for their futures. Enrichment Activities. GCCS offers students a variety of enrichment opportunities that reinforce their personal transformation and access to a variety of new experiences. Some are campus-based activities such as art contests, motivational speakers, intramural sports, and student leadership. Others are off-campus field trips such as community service at community events, or cultural outings to the Steinbeck Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Hearst Castle, Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Additional enrichment takes the form of on-campus school-wide events such as Family Day, and Make a Change Day – a panel of presentations by guest speakers who share stories of positive changes they have made in their lives. Support Groups. Many of the students who enroll at GCCS come to the program with a range of personal challenges and histories that they have an opportunity to address in the structured, supportive residential context that the program offers. Each cycle Grizzly makes available a variety of classes and support groups to help students face issues that they need to deal with. Examples include workshops in non-violent communication, anger management, smoking cessation groups, AA and NA, parenting classes, HIV/STD awareness, and recovery groups for students who have experienced abuse or trauma. Technology Technology is an integral component of all coursework at GCCS. The school has installed a wireless internet network both campus wide and in student barracks and study halls. Every student at GCCS is issued a personal technology device for their use while at Grizzly. All classrooms are also equipped with document cameras and overhead projectors to enable visually rich instruction using a variety of tools such as Starboard software, interactive LCD projectors, multiple learning apps, modeled note taking, video and graphic representations, etc. These same materials are available for students to use in their own class presentations. For our most recent student survey, 97% of students reported that they feel prepared in their use of technology. They regularly access technology tools to complete course assignments, including photo stories, presentations, templates, research, word processing, publishing, photo editing, and graphing. A Teacher-Tech Mentor provides GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

coaching and training for teachers to facilitate integration of technology across the curriculum and to design technology related classroom projects. The Mentor also provides direct training and support for students, both in classroom and individual contexts. Academic Counseling GCCS staff work with each individual student to develop an academic program that fits their unique circumstances in the context of multi-grade multi-level classroom settings. Before students arrive on campus to begin their semester, the program requires sending districts to forward a copy of current transcripts, IEPs, CELDT scores and CAHSEE results. The transcripts are assessed and recorded on an individual credit summary database for easy reference. From this credit evaluation the students are placed in appropriate courses, ensuring progress toward a high school diploma. All staff has access to the database where this information is stored. Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) are developed with each student in coordination with the academic counselor and are available for review by all staff and cadre. Students are assigned to the required core classes based on the results of the Test of Basic Adult Education (TABE - administered on the first day of school), GCCS school counselor and principal input, and students’ individual needs. After assessing each student’s current mathematic, reading and language performance levels using the TABE and the MDTP, the academic counselor generates credit assessments on every student and ensures that they are placed in the appropriate standards-based curriculum courses. Each student is assigned a course of study designed to 1) maximize his/her potential for addressing gaps in learning, 2) take and pass courses previously failed, and 3) make progress toward high school graduation or GED. Courses are individualized based on each student’s academic need, ranging from intervention and remediation to grade level instruction to advanced enrichment. The counselor continues to meet routinely with all Grizzly students in monitoring and modifying their ILP over the course of the program. The goals and progress documented in the ILP directly link with students’ longer-term planning exercise – My Action Plan (see above). Post-Residential Program: Mentor Support and Follow-up Students’ Grizzly “experience” includes a post-residential phase for a full year after they formally graduate from the program and return home to their communities. GCCS and Guard share responsibility for ensuring a smooth and lasting transition. GCCS maintains an active follow-up case management program for all Grizzly graduates who live in San Luis Obispo County or northern Santa Barbara County. Counseling staff stay in contact with students to provide support and guidance on “next steps” (e.g. school, career, family life). The National Guard coordinates a volunteer mentor component whereby each student identifies a trusted adult from their home communities to help guide them during their transition after Grizzly. Mentors attend campus-based training events to prepare for their role, which will involve at least one year of regular contact with their “mentee” and communication with Grizzly staff regarding progress toward personal goals. Special Education Special education students identified with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) typically comprise approximately 18% of the student body at Grizzly ChalleNGe GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Charter School. Special education services are implemented using the inclusion model with special education students being fully integrated within the regular classroom environment. This approach ensures that students with special education needs enjoy the full “Grizzly experience” in companionship with peers, and receive the rich instruction and curriculum provided by the expert teacher in each content area. Special education staff and instructional assistants are trained to work within the general education classroom to provide academic support, when needed. Students may be pulled out for testing and individualized instruction, as determined by each student’s IEP. The school’s special education services core team includes a Program Coordinator, a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) instructor and a School Psychologist, contracted through SLOCOE Student Services/Special Education Division. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) contracted one day per week through the San Luis Obispo County Mental Health Department rounds out the team. Other related service providers may be accessed through SLOCOE if needed. These professionals work closely with each student with special needs and the teaching staff to develop curricular and/or instructional modifications and accommodations. The Special Education team also makes referrals for assessment of students who are suspected of having a disability and may require special education in order to benefit from their education. Students with mental health needs are provided with individual counseling, when necessary, by the LMFT. Counseling, as a related service, is also provided by the school psychologist for students whose emotional issues interfere with their ability to learn in a classroom environment without psychological support. Special education students are typically identified during the Grizzly ChalleNGe enrollment process, which requires submission of the student’s current IEP and Psychological report. IEP meetings are held with school staff, parents and students prior to the beginning of the program cycle. Upon parent request or, as in rare instances at the recommendation of GCCS staff, an initial IEP meeting may be held for a student who exhibits a need for special education services during their stay in the residential program. In these cases, the special education staff works closely with the parents and the home district to complete the assessment process. The special education staff are particularly attuned to the importance of assisting students with special needs in preparing for transition back to their communities and to their next stage in life, whether college, entering the workforce, and/or continued work towards a high school diploma/GED. Transition Plans must be written as part of the IEP for special education students, at least by age 16, which is the youngest age to qualify for GCCS. All special education students returning to their home district leave Grizzly with a current, updated IEP including a detailed Transition Plan. For any special education student who exits GCCS with a high school diploma, a GED or having passed the CHSPE, GCCS Special Education staff prepare a Summary of Performance (SOP) IEP document that 1) provides a synopsis of the student’s progress and strengths, 2) offers guidance on transitional opportunities for continuing GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

education and/or employment, and 3) notifies the student regarding the conclusion of her/his educational rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Refer to Exhibit D. (Memorandum of Understanding Between SLOCOE and GCCS) Section VII (Special Education) for additional details regarding special education service delivery, funding, and compliance. English Language Learners Typically 20% or more of students enrolled at GCCS are English Language Learners (ELL) . A variety of diagnostic assessments are conducted at the beginning of each cycle in order to determine ELL students' background and educational needs. Peer tutoring, individualized teaching, and other sheltered instructional techniques are used as needed by teaching staff. All teachers are CLAD-certified. Upon matriculation, all identified ELL students are required to take the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Results from this test help the GCCS to determine the average baseline language ability of its ELL students as a way to inform future curriculum development to serve this population. A part time English Language specialist has recently been added to GCCS’ staff team to provide individualized instruction and to coach teachers on implementing EL strategies in the classroom. Instructional staff are also trained in Specialized Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), a teaching methodology designed for academic content and skill building with English Language Learners. The approach, which includes a strong emphasis on academic vocabulary development, language practice in small groups, and building background knowledge as a prerequisite to teaching new content, has proven to be highly effective with all GCCS students, and is utilized across the curriculum to build academic literacy among the school’s diverse student population -- EL students and native English speakers alike. A significant number of students each cycle are from homes where the primary language is Spanish. GCCS has taken a number of steps to bridge communication and participation between the school and our Spanish speaking families. Program materials are routinely printed and distributed in English and Spanish. Interpreters are available for parents during enrollment and Open House. Spanish phrases are distributed to staff prior to meeting the parents at the Open House. Teachers have taken a volunteer Spanish class after school in order to have more meaningful interaction with Spanish speaking families. Credits and Graduation Options Grizzly students who complete the residential program are able to transfer credits earned at the charter school to any high school to which they return and reenroll. GCCS also has a 200 credit high school diploma option for students who qualify. At the completion of the 22-week program, students who meet the GCCS requirements for graduation (see “Student Exit Outcomes” below) earn a Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School diploma issued through the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. Students who are eligible to graduate from GCCS with a high diploma are required to take and pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). A test prep course is made available for these qualifying students. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Transferability GCCS provides clear written information on transferability to parents/caregivers of entering students during the initial application process and at enrollment. As a WASCaccredited school, GCCS courses are considered transferable to all other public high schools. Academic counseling staff work closely with individual students, families and home school districts to ensure a smooth transition back to school districts of origin at the conclusion of the program's residential phase. Relationship to College Entrance Requirements Courses offered at GCCS do not currently meet a-g requirements for college admissions purposes. This information is clearly articulated to students and families during the Grizzly application process. B. MEASURABLE PUPIL OUTCOMES The measurable pupil outcomes identified for use by the charter school. "Pupil outcomes, " for the purposes of this part, means the extent to which all pupils of the school demonstrate that they have gained the skills, knowledge, and attitudes specified as goals in the school's educational program. Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School affords students who might otherwise "fall through the cracks" the opportunity to gain crucial skills, knowledge and attitudes toward becoming successful and productive members of society. Desired outcomes for program graduates include a holistic combination of academic knowledge and skills, as well as vocational and life "readiness" and leadership skills. These are based in the school's established set of Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs), whereby students will:  Demonstrate healthy lifestyles by: o practicing life coping skills, good health and hygiene, and physical fitness. o identifying the need for personal growth and developing a realistic plan. o making life choices that benefit themselves and others.  Be successful workers who: o appropriately advocate for themselves and others. o read, write, listen and speak effectively. o collaborate successfully in a team. o are prepared to apply technological and academic knowledge to the work environment. o are self-motivated and have a strong work ethic.  Be responsible community members who: o understand teamwork, leadership and followership. o respect diversity. o contribute to their community through participation. o recognize their continued role as an active citizen in a democratic society.  Be life long learners who: o discover and value the power of continued learning to achieve personal goals. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

o o o o

think critically and analytically. apply acquired knowledge. pursue positive interests and choices for the future. have identified their personal strengths, challenges and learning styles.

The ESLRs closely mirror and reinforce eight “Core Components” that define the National Guard ChalleNGE program nationwide: Leadership/Followership, Responsible Citizenship, Academic Excellence, Job Skills, Life Coping Skills, Health and Hygiene, Community Service, and Physical Fitness. Student Exit Outcomes Grizzly Challenge Charter School includes two sets of “exit requirements” for its students: 1) expectations of all students as a condition of successful program completion at the conclusion of the 22 week residential cycle; and 2) graduation requirements for those students who are pursuing their high school diploma from Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School. Grizzly Program Completion Requirements. GCCS maintains two academic criteria as conditions for students’ successful completion of the residential cycle: 1) Progress toward ESLRs, and 2) completion of My Action Plan (MAP). GCCS’ academic program is built around the school’s Expected School Learning Outcomes (ESLR’s) outlined above. Each subject area includes content standards and sample assignments as aligned with each Learning Result (see Exhibit G). Students are expected to complete assignments and make progress in all Learning Result categories as a condition for program completion. Portfolios of student work and weekly instructional progress reports document each student’s individual improvement and mastery across categories. Each Grizzly student must also complete a MAP prior to leaving the program. This exercise represents a real-life roadmap that program graduates will follow step by step to re-enter high school, enter post secondary programs, and/or enter the world of work or the military. The plan contains detailed resource information including names, contact numbers, deadine dates, etc. to help ensure completion. The MAP includes plans regarding where students will live, where they will go to school and what they plan do for a job after leaving Grizzly. A copy of the MAP is maintained in the administration office for follow-up by case managers (staffed through the National Guard) who complete monthly check-ins with the students for one year after leaving the residential component as part of the postresidential program. High School Graduation Requirements. In addition to fulfilling all of the above conditions for successful completion of the Grizzly residential academic program described above, students who are within a semester of earning a high school diploma can graduate from high school at Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School if they complete the following two requirements:

GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

1. Complete all Required Academic Courses (total 200 total credits including credits earned prior to enrollment at GCCS) • Language Arts (30 credits) • Mathematics (20) (Must include Algebra I or Algebra IA and Algebra IB) • Science (20) (Must include Life Science and Physical Science or equivalent) • Social Science (30) (Must include World History, U.S. History, U.S. Government or Civics, Economics) • Physical Education (20) (unless exempted) • Health (5) • Foreign Language/Fine Arts (10) • Elective (55) 2. Pass State Required Testing: As of 2006, students must pass both the English Language Arts and Math sections of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) as a prerequisite to earning a GCCS diploma. The school utilizes the process, as defined by the California Department of Education, to grant waivers to eligible special education students. Alignment with State Academic Standards Grizzly Challenge Charter School teachers have aligned curriculum, instruction, and materials to content and performance standards in the core areas of English/language arts, mathematics, history/social science, and science. This task continues to be refined and adjusted to meet the needs of our students. Pacing guides and instructional calendars have been developed for each of the core areas. Grizzly Challenge Charter School teachers have been developing and refining the curriculum since 2001. Our goal is to continually develop standards-based curriculum in the core academic areas that includes grade level standards, teaching strategies, student tasks, assessment and resources, including technology. Teachers revise and/or review all course outlines and create them as new courses are added. As the curriculum maps or resources are revised, they are posted on our website so teachers have access to the most current information. GCCS course content and expectations for individual students strike a balance to maintain alignment with California state standards as well as addressing the various culminating examinations pursued by our students both during and/or after they complete the residential program (e.g. California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), General Education Diploma (GED), California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or California Standards Test (CST)). Charter school faculty are also working closely with Educational Support Services staff from the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education to prepare for implementation of the California Common Core State Standards (CaCCSS) in English/Language Arts and Mathematics that were adopted by the State Board of Education on August 2, 2010. While it will take several years to implement curriculum, instructional materials, and assessments based on the new standards, GCCS is taking a proactive approach with SLOCOE to build staff capacity related to new CaCCSS methodology and assessment protocols (beginning in the 2014-15 school year) and to plan accordingly. In July, 2012 the entire Grizzly staff began this process with a wide-angle overview of the CaCCSS and has since participated in monthly professional development workshops with content specialists in instructors’ respective subject areas. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

School-Wide Performance Goals GCCS’ mission to serve an exclusively high-risk student population qualifies it to operate as an alternative school under the State of California’s Alternative School Accountability Model (ASAM). Within the context of ASAM, GCCS has identified three school-wide performance goals as markers for accountability: 1) the percent of credit-eligible seniors who obtain a high school diploma during their enrollment (this year over 98%), 2) the ratio of credits completed to the number of credits attempted (this year 98.9%) and 3) GED passage rate per cycle (79.2 this year). In addition to these ASAM goals, the school uses three other measures of school-wide performance:  Grade Level Improvement: a pre-post administration of the Test of Basic Adult Education (TABE) to track overall grade level improvement (consistently 1 to 1.5 grade levels on average per cycle),  Program Retention: Goal of 90% or more per cycle.  Long-Term Progress Toward Personal Goals: 92% achieving “My Action Plan” goals one year following residential program completion. In all, these assessments provide important information about how our students are performing. This information is reported on our School Accountability Report Card and is announced at our end-of-cycle graduations, which include students, parents, and members of the community. C. ASSESSMENT METHODS The method by which pupil progress in meeting those pupil outcomes is to be measured. Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School uses a variety of assessment methods to inform course placements and to measure student progress academically and personally during their semester at Camp San Luis. These methods fall into four categories: 1) standardized assessments developed at the state or federal level; 2) teacher-designed assessments to measure students’ academic progress toward Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRS); 3) student surveys administered at the beginning and end of each program cycle to measure individual student perceptions of academic and personal growth over time; and 4) post-residential follow-up. It should be noted that due to the highly mobile nature of the charter school population, longitudinal studies of student achievement and annual assessments such as STAR testing, Academic Performance Index (API) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) prove of limited value. As an ASAM school, GCCS is not required to collect or report on these assessments. Standarized Assessments GCCS administers the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to all students upon entry into the program to assess their reading, language and mathematics performance levels. Students take a TABE post-test after completing the first 10-week “semester” of mathematics and English Language Arts as an interim measure of their progress. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

English language learners take the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) during the first two weeks of school. In combination, these assessments act as initial diagnostic tools to help with student placement in appropriate educational courses. The Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project is also given to all students upon enrollment. This assessment provides further information about student’s math knowledge base and subject readiness. GCCS administers the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) for all charter school students at the 10th, 11th or 12th grade levels who have not yet taken or passed the exam at their home school. Students pursuing a high school diploma from GCCS must pass the CAHSSEE in order to graduate. The California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) is offered to some students 16 years of age or older as a means to earn a certificate confirming basic academic skills proficiency. This test is given three to four times per year by the state, but only one time per cycle at GCCS. California Standards Tests (CSTs) are administered at GCCS, but only during the JanuaryJune cycle. The short student turnover rate every six months makes the CST a challenging assessment to use as an effective measure of student performance. Students attending Grizzly during the July to December cycle are not in the program during the CST time period and thus do not have the opportunity to take the test while enrolled at the charter schoool. The students in the January to June cycle do take the CSTs at GCCS. However, because they have not previously been enrolled at the school and cannot be re-enrolled, longitudinal data is not available to track performance. CST results are more reflective of the schools where students have come from than a gauge of their performance while at Grizzly. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is given to all students in order to educate them on career aptitude and to assist them in developing accurate plans for their futures. General Educational Development (GED) subject tests are offered to Grizzly students who are 17 years and ten months old or older. Students who show a likelihood of passing through their results on the TABE and Pre-GED practice tests are afforded the opportunity to take the GED test. GCCS conducts targeted standardized assessments in both reading and math for students who enter the school and test below grade level. Close to 60% of students read below the 9th grade level when they enroll. Those who are assessed at a reading level below 6th grade are placed in an intervention program called Read 180. Upon entry to the Read 180 program, the student’s Lexile is recorded. This score becomes the basis of the student’s “individualized reading account.” Lexiles are reassessed at 10 and 18 weeks into the program as a way of recording progress in reading. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Sixty-five percent of our students enter below ninth grade level in math. Upon entry into our algebra and geometry courses, students are assessed in basic math skill areas such as math facts and fraction knowledge, and are put in the appropriate knowledge base to begin individualized on-line skill-building programs called FractionNation and MathFacts. Students progress after mastery at a certain level. Standards-Based Teacher Assessments GCCS faculty design, administer and regularly modify standards-based curriculum and assessments that measure student progress in each of the school’s Expected School Learning Results (ESLR) categories. Standardized grading is based on a percentage as indicated on each course syllabus. Rubrics are utilized and distributed to students so that they understand what is expected of them on assignments and assessments. Semester report cards are sent home to parents, and updated and accurate transcripts that reflect this information are sent home at the end of the residential phase of the program. The diverse academic backgrounds and aptitudes of GCCS students necessitate a variety of assessments and multiple indicators to measure progress. Teachers use an assortment of assessments to evaluate student learning. Examples include the following (in addition to standardized assessment results described above):  Standards based assessments requiring multiple choice and short answers  My Action Plan drafts and portfolio materials  Research papers  Personal interviews with students  Group projects  Individual projects  Oral presentations  Written responses  Role playing  Discussions  Surveys Staff at both the charter school and the National Guard are highly responsive when a student is not making progress or showing achievement. Weekly progress reports are processed and distributed to both teaching and military staff, and include documentation of missing assignments and flagging students who are struggling. When this happens, a variety of measures and interventions are taken to support those students. Intervention is first attempted by the classroom teacher and instructional assistants, in collaboration with the National Guard cadre. If students continue to struggle, a referral may be made for an Student Study Team (SST) which meets to determine how and why the student is struggling and determines interventions or modifications that may be made to her/his individual learning plan. Formal behavior referrals offer another internal assessment tool for student growth. When students are engaged in the curriculum/instruction they are on task and misbehaviors are minimized. When students are receiving behavior referrals they are GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

disrupting their own learning and the staff seeks first to understand the reasons for the behavior and then counsel to help the student identify another path to meeting their needs. Student Self-Perception Surveys At the end of every cycle, GCCS administers a detailed survey (see Exhibit H) that asks students to provide feedback data on their experience while at Grizzly Youth Academy. The survey asks for information about student perceptions of school climate, classroom curriculum, instruction and individual learning and achievement. This information is collected anonymously. Post-Residential Follow-up Assessment GCCS partners with the National Guard to conduct long-term assessments of progress by tracking students’ progress toward personal, academic and career goals. Each month, case managers (National Guard staff) make phone contact with the student and/or mentor to identify whether the student is attending school, employed, in the military or none of the above. This post residential data is very important and a strong assessment of continued student growth toward the ESLRs. It is through the case management that the school is able to determine if the student has transferred the knowledge and skills learned at Grizzly to his/her life back home. This data, while not kept by school staff, is shared with the school staff and provides critical assessment information regarding program effectiveness. For students living in SLO County or Santa Maria, the GCCS has hired a regional mentor to assist those students in the post residential phase of their program. This regional mentor connects students to their high schools and community colleges, assisting them to get enrolled, overcome barriers and stay on a positive track. D. LOCATION The location of each charter school facility that the petitioner proposes to operate. The GCCS is located on the campus of Camp San Luis (CSLO), a National Guard Facility in on California’s Central Coast, off Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Per a separate Standard Agreement (Exhibit E), the National Guard provides the GCCS with “educational facilities at CSLO constituting 1) one regular classroom for each 30 students, 2) space for clerical staff, administrator, counselor; 3) recreational space for physical education activities; and 4) serviceable furnishings for said facilities.” The GCCS campus is laid out in a “wheel” pattern of modular suites surrounding a courtyard with a wide sidewalk at the front entrance and a small gate at the rear. The formation consists of 11 modules; one administration office, eight classrooms, a male and female restroom for the students and one lounge. The lounge consists of the staff male and female restrooms, a Special Education/Program Coordinator office and a computer room. All classrooms have air conditioning, heat and both wireless and hardwired Internet access. The wagon wheel configuration creates an intimate educational setting that invites frequent interactions, collaboration, support and supervision among students, staff, and GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

National Guard cadre. There is a sidewalk around the circle in front of the classrooms with asphalt filling the center of the structure. An 8’ wide cover over the sidewalk provides shade and rain protection. The school’s outdoor environment includes a variety of surfaces: grass, concrete, sand, and asphalt. Basketball and volleyball courts, and grassy surfaces for other activities are available. GCCS facilities provide a modern and safe educational environment. A rod iron fence surrounds the entire structure and is capable of being locked when not in use. The campus is well lit, well supervised and has a built in loud system/intercom. The National Guard base is a closed campus, accessible only through the permission of the National Guard following a clearance check. The classrooms are regularly monitored for safety and appearance by school staff. County Health and Fire Department inspections are conducted frequently. Lockdown and fire drills are required for each 22-week cycle. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE), in its role as GCCS Authorizer, examines the school facilities to ensure compliance with California School Safety Code as detailed in the GCCS Comprehensive School Safety Plan (see Exhibit J). A recent increase in GCCS school enrollment capacity (from 200 to 300 students per program cycle) is being accompanied by a planned expansion of the school’s physical plant, scheduled to be completed by fall 2013. New facilities that will be provided and maintained exclusively by the National Guard include five new classrooms, a new administrative building, and a dedicated library (planned as a remodel in current administrative space slated for transfer to the new facilities). E. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE The governance structure of the school, including, but not limited to, the process to be followed by the school to ensure parental involvement. The governance structure of Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School reflects its cyclical residential program and the joint commitment of its lead founding partners – the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and the California National Guard. Parent Role in Governance The parental role in governance at GCCS is a unique one at this residential campus where students live for 22 weeks under the care and supervision of National Guard cadre, often far from home and family. To the extent possible given geographic distance and timelimited affiliation with the school, parents and primary caregivers of Grizzly students are encouraged to participate in shaping the school’s direction -- both informally by completing family feedback forms and participating in family focus groups during Open House, and formally by joining or attending meetings of the Grizzly Youth Academy Local Advisory Group. A Grizzly Booster Club was established in 2012 and involves both current and alumni parents in a variety of fundraising activities on behalf of the program. For its part, the National Guard plays a critical “in loco parentis” role as the temporarily guardian responsible for students’ residential experience during their stay. National Guard GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

representatives bring this perspective to the table both through representation on the school Board of Directors and the Local Advisory Group as well as on the GCCS Site Council. GCCS Board of Directors The GCCS is governed by a Board of Directors, whose major roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, establishing and approving all major educational and operational policies, approving all major contracts, approving the school’s annual budget, overseeing the school’s fiscal affairs, and selecting and evaluating administrative staff. The Board of Directors is governed in its operations and its actions by bylaws (see Exhibit C), which are consistent with the terms of this Charter, the Charter Schools Act, and all other applicable laws. The day-to-day management of the GCCS is delegated to the charter school principal, an appointee of the Board of Directors. The GCCS is governed by a five-member board. Membership on the governing board is as follows:    

Two members named by the San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools; One San Luis Obispo County district superintendent (to be named by the SLOCOE Superintendents’ Council); One member appointed by the California National Guard; and One member named by the GCCS’ current Local Advisory Group (LAG)

The GCCS Board of Directors complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws. It holds general liability, property, worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance policies, in the amount determined by the SLOCOE, through the SLOCOE and/or any Joint Powers Agreement to which the SLOCOE is a party. The GCCS Board of Directors may initiate and carry on any program, activity, or may otherwise act in any manner which is not in conflict with or inconsistent with, or preempted by, any law and which is not in conflict with the purposes for which charter schools are established. The GCCS Board of Directors may execute any powers delegated by law to it and shall discharge any duty imposed by law upon it and may delegate to an officer or employee of the GCCS or a third party any of those duties. The Board of Directors, however, retains ultimate responsibility over the performance of those powers or duties so delegated. The GCCS Board follows the Brown Act (Government Code 54950), the Public Records Act (Government Code 6250) and the Conflict of Interest Statutes (Government Code 1090). Advisory Bodies The Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School Site Council, is responsible for drafting the Single Site Plan of Student Achievement that designates how federal funds will be used to support student academic achievement. The Site Council is comprised of three charter school teachers, one classified staff member, three current students, and three National Guard staff (as “in loco parentis” and as organizational partners). The Local Advisory Group (LAG) is a community stakeholder group that provides input and advice related to the Grizzly Youth Academy, including the Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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School and the residential program. The LAG is comprised of community members, parents, school personnel, and National Guard staff. The LAG contributes stakeholder input on the overall residential program including GCCS. The LAG makes recommendations directly to the GCCS Board of Directors. Final authority for all matters dealing with the administration or operation of the charter school resides with the GCCS Board of Directors. Organizational Partnerships The Grizzly ChalleNGE Charter School relies on two strong long-term organizational partnerships with 1) the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (Authorizing Entity), and 2) the California National Guard (programmatic partner, provider of school land/facilities). Exhibits D (SLOCOE Memorandum of Understanding) and E (Standard Agreement between GCCS and the California National Guard) provide detail on legal and operational relationships between the school and its organizational partners, including the provision of business/administrative services (personnel, accounting, payroll, etc.), facilities use, and shared programmatic roles/responsibilities. F. STAFF QUALIFICATIONS The qualifications to be met by individuals to be employed by the school. Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School has created a unique transformative educational environment designed to help challenged youth turn their lives around. The impact of this experience depends on a seasoned, dedicated, talented staff of teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff. Over its nearly fifteen year history, GCCS has built a top-rate professional team that far exceeds the minimum standards and experience required by law. The school’s strong reputation as an effective alternative education program helps it attract and keep staff with significant experience in the field, who are team-oriented, structurally focused, and who possess an understanding of factors affecting youth at-risk. More than 60% of current staffers have been with the program for over five years, 25% more than 10 years (including the GCCS principal). MANAGEMENT QUALIFICATIONS The GCCS is overseen by a Principal, currently Paul Piette. Mr. Piette has served in this capacity since 2002. He holds nearly twenty years of experience working in alternative education settings, as a teacher, a counselor, and an administrator. He has a Master of Arts in Education, and is credentialed in teaching and administrative services. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, GCCS authorizing entity, designates an administrative liaison to oversee, monitor and advise the charter school. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services (including for Alternative Education), Dave Cementina, will continue to serve in this role as he has since 2011. Mr. Cementina has worked for the County Office of Education for over 37 years as a teacher, principal, Executive Director, and Assistant Superintendent. He has 12 years of experience as an administrator, including supervising programs for special needs and at-risk youth. He GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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holds an administrative services credential and masters degree in curriculum and instruction. CLASSROOM TEACHERS The GCCS currently employs ten (10) certificated teachers all of whom hold appropriate California teaching certificates issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The school fully complies with Section 47605.6 (l), which states: “Teachers in charter schools shall be required to hold a commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold. These documents shall be maintained on file at the charter school and shall be subject to periodic inspection by the chartering authority. All GCCS teachers assigned to core course instruction are required to hold an appropriate teaching credential issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing that authorizes instruction in the core subject area taught (History, English, Science and/or Mathematics). GCCS teachers assigned to non-core course instruction (i.e. elective subjects) must hold an appropriate teaching credential issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing that authorizes instruction in the non-core subject area. All GCCS teachers are also certified in Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD), or hold an English Language Learner authorization: Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE) and English Language Development (ELD). All teachers are deemed Highly Qualified (HQ) in all core subjects they teach in compliance the No Child Left Behind Act 2001 (NCLB). The school employs a full-time Resource Specialist Program (RSP) teacher to provide integrated instruction and support for special education students with IEPs. ADMINISTRATIVE, COUNSELING and SUPPORT GCCS’ administrative team includes the school principal, an administrative assistant, a clerical assistant and two program coordinators – one who oversees academic counseling and special education services, and one who administers services for English Language Learners (ELL) and who also drafts/monitors the school’s Single Site Plan. The school retains a full-time school counselor, and contracts with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education for a part-time School Psychologist. A licensed family therapist (LMFT) provides additional counseling services on a part time basis under a separate contract through the San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Department. A team of instructional support staff includes a Technology Mentor-Trainer and three Instructional Aides.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

See Exhibit J for the GCCS 2012-13 Organizational Chart. G. HEALTH AND SAFETY The procedures that the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff. These procedures shall include the requirement that each employee of the school furnish the school with a criminal record summary as described in Section 44237. The GCCS has adopted and implements a comprehensive set of health, safety, and risk management policies (see Exhibit I, GCCS Comprehensive School Safety Plan). These policies are developed in consultation with the National Guard and the school’s insurance carriers and, at a minimum, address the following topics:    



A requirement that all enrolling students and staff provide records documenting immunizations to the extent required for enrollment/employment in non-charter public schools. A policy establishing that the GCCS functions as a drug, alcohol, and tobacco free workplace. Assurance that all school facilities will comply with local zoning and fire-safety requirements. Facilities utilized are assessable in compliance with minimal standards established under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. A requirement that each employee of the GCCS submit to a criminal background check and furnish a criminal record summary as required by Education Code Section 44237 as well as a requirement to seek the criminal background check of vendors as required by Education Code Section 45125.1. Detailed procedures for addressing the following health and safety scenarios involving students, staff, and/or visitors (See Exhibit I – GCCS Comprehensive School Safety Plan): o Child abuse referrals o Notification of Dangerous Pupils o Discrimination/Harassment o School-wide Dress Code o Safe Ingress and Egress Procedures o Suspension and Expulsion Policies (also discussed under Element J. below) o Medical emergencies o Mental health emergencies o Suicide attempts o Fire Prevention and Emergencies o Earthquake Preparedness and Emergencies o Loss of Power o Evacuation Plan o Unauthorized Student Absences o Hostages, Fights, Other Disturbances

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o Civil Disturbances o Bomb Threats o Hazardous Materials Health and safety policies and procedures are incorporated as appropriate into student and staff handbooks, are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and are included in the school’s annual staff training calendar. All school staff are required to maintain updated CPR/First Aid certification (renewable every two years). GCCS occasionally sponsors an on-site recertification course. Fire, earthquake and evacuation drills are conducted annually at a minimum. See Section D. Location above for further description of safety protocols related to GCCS facilities. H. RACIAL AND ETHNIC BALANCE The means by which the school will achieve a racial and ethnic balance among its pupils that is reflective of the general population residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the school district to which the charter petition is submitted. The Grizzly ChalleNGe program is designed to serve students from throughout the state of California, as well as from San Luis Obispo County. As such, charter school staff and partners from the National Guard implement a student recruitment strategy that includes elements or strategies to ensure a racial and ethnic balance that is reflective of the broad diversity of the state. Elements of this strategy include:      

An enrollment process that is scheduled and adopted to include a timeline that allows for a broad-based recruiting and application process. The development of promotional and informational material that appeals to all of the various racial and ethnic groups represented in the state who have been traditionally served by National Guard ChalleNGe programs. The appropriate development of promotional and informational materials in languages other than English to appeal to limited English proficient populations. The appropriate development of promotional and informational materials to a broad variety of community groups and agencies that serve the various racial, ethnic, and interest groups represented in San Luis Obispo County and the state. Outreach meetings in several areas of San Luis Obispo County and around the state to reach prospective students and parents. A staff demographic among school and National Guard partners that is representative of the students served.

These approaches help to consistently attract a diverse student population from communities across the state. By way of example, the most recent GCCS class was 60% Hispanic, 10% other ethnic minority groups, and 30% Caucasian. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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I. FISCAL AUDIT The manner in which annual, independent, financial audits shall be conducted, in accordance with regulations established by the State Board of Education, and the manner in which audit exceptions and deficiencies shall be resolved. SLOCOE in its role as Authorizing Entity assigns Business Office staff to oversee completion of an annual, independent audit of the school’s financial affairs, conducted by an independent audit firm experienced working with public and charter schools. The auditor verifies the accuracy of the school’s financial statements, revenue-related data collection, reporting practices, and examines the school’s internal controls. A copy of the auditor’s preliminary findings is forwarded to the GCCS Board of Directors who work with SLOCOE Business Office staff to review and resolve any audit exceptions or deficiencies. Audit exceptions and deficiencies shall be resolved to the satisfaction of the SLOCOE. The independent audit firm submits its final report to SLOCOE, the State Department of Public Instruction, and the State Controller’s Office by December 15th of each year. GCCS follows SLOCOE standard business and operating procedures as outlined in the SLOCOE Business Procedures Manual (see Exhibit K – Table of Contents. Full Manual available on request). All GCCS financial records for Grizzly are stored at the SLOCOE warehouse. Procedures & guidelines for records retention are similar to COE procedures and guidelines followed per the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Record Retention Manual. J. STUDENT SUSPENSION & EXPULSION The procedures by which pupils can be suspended or expelled. GCCS offers an alternative high school experience designed specifically for students who have had difficulty thriving in their schools-of-residence. Most are at risk of dropping out, have dropped out, been suspended or expelled. Students who have been expelled are able to work on rehabilitation plans while at Grizzly and return to their communities with a “clean slate.” The GCCS maintains a comprehensive set of student discipline policies in partnership with National Guard ChalleNGe program staff and included in the GCCS Comprehensive School Safety Plan (Exhibit I). The two partnering organizations maintain a highly structured and coordinated disciplinary plan of action for student misbehavior during or after school hours (GCCS during school, National Guard after school). Historically, suspensions have been highly unusual and only involve exclusion from class activities but not residential after-school events supervised by National Guard cadre. Expulsions have been nonexistent over the program’s 15-year history. GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Disciplinary policies are distributed as part of the school’s student handbook and clearly describe the school’s expectations regarding attendance, mutual respect, substance abuse, violence, safety, and work habits. Each student and his or her parent or guardian are required to verify that they have reviewed and understood the policies prior to enrollment. The school notifies SLOCOE of any expulsions and includes suspension and expulsion data in its annual performance report. Suspension. Students who violate the school’s discipline policies, who are a serious disruption to the education process, and/or who present a health or safety threat may be suspended from participation in the larger community of learners for up to five days, as determined by the school administration. The school will immediately notify California National Guard cadre and the student’s parents or guardians regarding the decision, including an explanation for action taken. Suspended students will remain under the supervision of California National Guard cadre. Expulsion. If the violation of the discipline policies is a serious offense that merits expulsion, and/or if the student presents an ongoing threat to health and safety, the school may take action to expel the student. The GCCS will fully comply with the Gun Free Schools Act. In all expulsion cases, the school will send a written notice of the facts, allegations, and student/parent rights to the parent or guardian and a committee designated by the governing board will hold a hearing regarding the offense. Students will be afforded due process in conformity with applicable federal laws and regulations, including those heightened due process rights afforded to students with exceptional needs. If the committee determines that the case merits expulsion, the student may be expelled. Students expelled from the GCCS will be referred to an appropriate educational setting in their home district. Charter school staff will serve as liaisons among students, parents/guardians and schools in order to ensure a smooth transition. K. RETIREMENT SYSTEMS The manner by which staff members of the charter school will be covered by the State Teachers’ Retirement System, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, or federal Social Security. All employees of the GCCS who qualify for membership in STRS or PERS shall be covered under that system. Employees contribute at the rate established by STRS or PERS. The GCCS makes all employer contributions as required by STRS and PERS. No contributions by GCCS or its employees are made to federal Social Security. The GCCS also makes contributions for workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and any other payroll obligations of an employer. The SLOCOE collects employee and employer contributions from the GCCS and submits such to the appropriate agencies in the appropriate manner. L. DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS, OVERSIGHT, REPORTING AND RENEWAL GCCS Charter Renewal Proposal February 2013

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

The procedures to be followed by the charter school and the County Board of Education to resolve disputes relating to provisions of the charter. Dispute Resolution Process The GCCS Board of Directors follows the SLOCOE Uniform Complaint Procedure Policy for airing and resolving internal and external disputes. The SLOCOE refers all complaints regarding operations of the GCCS to the GCCS Principal for resolution in accordance with the charter school’s adopted policies. In the event that the policies and processes adopted by the GCCS fail to resolve the dispute, the SLOCOE will not intervene in the dispute without the consent of the GCCS Board unless the matter directly relates to one of the reasons specified in law for which a charter may be revoked (below). In the event that any dispute arises relating to this charter, the parties agree to attempt to settle such dispute by meeting and conferring with each other in a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute. In the event that the parties are unable to resolve any dispute by meeting and conferring, the parties shall then submit any such dispute to binding arbitration before a mutually approved neutral arbitrator, with the costs of conducting the arbitration to be shared equally between the SLOCOE and the GCCS. Term, Renewal and Revocation The term of this charter shall begin on July 1, 2013 and shall expire five (5) years thereafter. The GCCS shall initiate renewal of the charter at least six (6) months prior to expiration of the charter term. Renewal of this charter shall be governed by the applicable standards and criteria set forth by Education Code at the time renewal is requested. The SLOCOE may revoke this charter only upon a majority vote of the Governing Board of the SLOCOE. Revocation of the charter shall be based upon a written finding that the GCCS did any of the following:    

Committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in this charter; Failed to meet or pursue the pupil outcomes identified in the charter; Failed to meet generally accepted accounting principles or engaged in fiscal mismanagement; or Violated any provision of law.

Prior to revocation, the SLOCOE Governing Board shall notify the GCCS of any violation and give the GCCS a reasonable period of time, but in no event to exceed six (6) months, within which to correct the violation, unless the Board determines, in writing, that the violation constitutes a severe and imminent threat to the health or safety of students. In the event a violation is not corrected to the SLOCOE’s satisfaction within the reasonable period of time specified, the SLOCOE Board may take action to revoke the charter.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Oversight and Reporting The GCCS receives funding indirectly from the state through SLOCOE. Any funds due to the school that flow through the SLOCOE shall be forwarded to the GCCS in a timely fashion. The SLOCOE and GCCS negotiate in good faith and have developed a memorandum of understanding that establishes the specific financial and service relationship between the two parties. The SLOCOE provides and/or performs the supervisory oversight tasks and duties specified and/or necessitated for the implementation of this charter for a fee that will not exceed one percent (1%) of all state and federal revenues in exchange for oversight duties pursuant to the terms of the Charter Schools Act. The SLOCOE is not responsible for providing any facilities to the GCCS nor is the GCCS be entitled to a pro rata share of any SLOCOE bonds or assessments. The SLOCOE may inspect or observe any part of the GCCS at any time, but shall provide reasonable notice to the GCCS administrator prior to any observation or inspection. Inspection, observation, monitoring, and oversight activities may not be assigned or subcontracted to a third party by the SLOCOE without the consent of the GCCS Board of Directors. M.

EXCLUSIVE EMPLOYER DECLARATION A declaration whether or not the charter school shall be deemed the exclusive public school employer of the employees of the charter school for the purposes of the Educational Employment Relations Act (Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

The GCCS is deemed the exclusive public school employer for the purposes of the Educational Employment Relations Act (Gov. Code Chapter 10.7, Div. 4, Title 1 §§ 3540, et seq.). Persons employed by the GCCS are not considered employees of the SLOCOE for any purpose whatsoever. The GCCS will maintain full responsibility and liability for hiring and retention practices for all its employees. The GCCS has a classified employee handbook detailing the rights and responsibilities of all employees including, but not limited to, sick leave, health benefits, contracts, and seniority. Certificated teaching staff belong to the California Teachers Association (CTA) and negotiate contracts through their GCCS bargaining unit.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

N.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Admission requirements, of the charter school, if applicable.

GCCS serves as the academic component of the California National Guard’s ChalleNGe Program, which is a part of a nation-wide youth development initiative established by the United States Congress. By virtue of the residential nature of the program, students who are admitted into the California National Guard ChalleNGe program become residents of San Luis Obispo County. As a public charter school, the GCCS automatically enrolls and serves the academic needs of all California National Guard ChalleNGe participants. O.

ATTENDANCE ALTERNATIVES The public school attendance alternatives for pupils residing within the county who choose not to attend the charter school.

Students who enroll in the Grizzly Youth Academy through the California National Guard Program are required to attend the Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School for the academic component of their residential experience. If students opt not to continue with the program, they may re-enroll into their district of residence in accordance with existing enrollment and transfer policies of that jurisdiction. P.

EMPLOYEE RIGHTS A description of the rights of an employee of the county office of education, upon leaving the employment of the county office of education, to be employed by the charter school, and a description of any rights of return to the county office of education that an employee may have upon leaving the employ of the charter school.

Employees of the SLOCOE who resign from employment to work at the GCCS and who later wish to return to the SLOCOE shall be treated the same as any other former SLOCOE employee seeking reemployment. Charter school staff that have left permanent status employment in a public school district to work at the Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School formally transfer school districts. They will not have a preferential option to return to a comparable position in that district.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Q.

CLOSURE PROCEDURE A description of the procedures to be used if the charter school closes. The procedures shall ensure a final audit of the school to determine the disposition of all assets and liabilities of the charter school, including plans for disposing of any net assets and for the maintenance and transfer of public records.

In the event that the GCCS decides to shut down operations, the following procedures will immediately ensue:    

 

The GCCS Board of Directors will adopt resolutions electing to wind up and dissolve the school; The GCCS Board of Directors will set aside a cash reserve for the payment of estimated expenses, taxes, unascertained or contingent liabilities, and expenses and costs of winding up, distribution of assets, and dissolution; A final audit will occur and financial statements for the Charter School’s three most recent accounting periods will be made available; All assets will be accounted for and assets will be distributed as determined by the GCCS Board of Directors. Distribution of assets shall be limited to the SLOCOE and/or to a nonprofit public benefit corporation which is organized and operated primarily for educational purposes and which has established tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; All student records will be transferred to the SLOCOE; The GCCS Board of Directors will designate a Charter School employee to remain on the payroll of the Charter School beyond the Charter School closing for the purpose of overseeing the transfer of student records, distribution of assets, as well as matters directly related to the close-down procedures.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

GCCS Fiscal Operations Budgeting and Accountability The GCCS budgeting process involves active collaboration between charter school and SLOCOE staff and the GCCS Board. In the spring of each year the school principal meets with a Fiscal Analyst designated by SLOCOE to plan the upcoming year budget. The Fiscal Analyst inputs initial budget development data into the financial system. The Fiscal Analyst and GCCS Principal present a Preliminary Budget to the Charter School Board as an informational item. Any final adjustments are made by Fiscal Analyst prior to data import into CDE financial software. A final budget in CDE format is submitted for approval to the GCCS board at its June meeting. Once approved a copy of the report and the data file is submitted to the COE prior to July 1. Every GCCS board meeting includes a fiscal report as a standing agenda presented by the SLOCOE Fiscal Analyst. Updates are provided on the budget, expenditures, and any other budget-related information that may affect the charter school for the current fiscal year. As the year progresses, estimated ending balances are also discussed to keep the board members informed on the fiscal stability of the charter school. Interim financial reports are prepared and submitted to the GCCS and COE in compliance with California Department of Education regulations. COE Submittal dates for data file and hard copy are as follows:  December 15 for budget and expenditures through October 31  March 15 for expenditures through January 31  September 15 for final expenditure reports from the prior year GCCS Financial Plan 2013-18 The following financial plan for GCCS is based on the best data available to the charter school developers at the time the renewal plan was submitted for approval. The financial plan is based on several key assumptions, including the following:    

The estimated enrollment capacity for the charter school will be 275 students in grades 9-12; The estimated average daily attendance (ADA) for GCCS will be 200 ADA; The students will be absent from school an average of 3%; The school will receive revenue from the following sources: a. Pass-through special education funding from SLOCOE (per the allocation agreement established through the Special Education Local Plan Area – SELPA ) b. Charter School Block Grant funding at the most current rates as estimated by the School Services of California (SSC)

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

 

c. State lottery revenue based upon the most current rates as estimated by the SSC d. Title I funding through the Consolidated Application process e. Funds through Medical Assistance Administration (MAA) Billing Facilities for GCCS will be provided by the California National Guard as detailed in the Standard Agreement currently in effect (Exhibit E); A reserve for economic uncertainties has been established of approximately 5% of expenditures

Other key assumptions, projected financial reports, and prior fiscal data under the previous charter period (2008-2013) are shown in the following tables.

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Petition for Countywide Charter Renewal: San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School (GCCS)

Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School Charter Renewal Petition 2013-18

List of Exhibits (available upon request) A. SLOCOE Board Policy Checklist re: Charter School Petitions B. California Education Code Sections 47605, 47606.5, 47607 (amended 09/2012) C. By-Laws of Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School D. Memorandum of Understanding between GCCS and SLOCOE E. Standard Agreement Between GCCS and the California National Guard (draft pending signatures) F. GCCS Course Offerings G. GCCS Expected Schoolwide Learning Results Matrix H. GCCS Student Survey I. GCCS Comprehensive School Safety Plan J. GCCS Staff Organizational Chart (2012-13) K. SLOCOE Business Procedures Manual (Table of Contents)

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