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Executive Summary Believe Public Charter School


Vision/Mission
The vision of Believe Public Charter School is that Children are our future. We Believe
in their success. The Mission of our Administration, Faculty, Staff, Parents and
Community of Believe Public Charter School is to provide a caring environment in which
every child is respected and is given the opportunity to develop character, attitudes and
values; to acquire skills necessary for contemporary society; to adapt to change and
remain open to progressive techniques. The curriculum is designed to serve the
educational, physical, social and emotional needs of every child, to create a positive
atmosphere and to provide superior academic education so that each child will become
a productive member to society.

Educational Focus
The school will serve students in Kindergarten though 8
th
grade from Wards seven,
eight and beyond. The school will be based in the knowledge that children are
inherently good and have a desire to learn, that every child can be successful and that
childrens energy, talents and individualality are not obstacles but assets. We believe
that providing a strong preparation in all the core content areas with strong emphasis in
Reading and Language Arts is the best way to ensure that our students will be
successful during their high school years and beyond. We will build in our students a
strong foundation of knowledge and skills in the Liberal Arts so that each child can
explore the possibilities afforded by each area.
We also recognize that the No Child Left Behind legislation has caused many
educators to focus only on the tested areas of reading and mathematics, but at Believe,
we believe that reading and mathematics are the keys that open doors to other
content areas. We will include rich programs in science, social studies, and the arts at
every grade level, integrating content across subject areas as much as possible.
We also understand that many of our students will come to our school below grade
level, lacking self-confidence, and with tremendous gaps in their knowledge base and
skill sets. However, a school working together with families and community partners,
can work together to create a culture of achievement and commitment to learning
necessary for academic success. We see parental and community involvement as
essential ingredients for student success. We feel that our school design promotes
positive student outcomes, and is the key to teaching students with varied learning
styles and abilities to be prepared for success in the future.
We recognize the importance of precision in oral and written language throughout the
early years of learning. We will use a phonics-based approach to teaching reading and
will include explicit instruction in grammar, sentence structure (including diagramming of
sentences), writing, and mechanics. We will employ a rigorous approach to math
instruction that combines the best of direct instruction in basic operations and

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algorithms, as well as mathematical reasoning, problem solving with real world
applications of operations. By mastering essential literacy and numeric skills, our
students will move seamlessly from learning to read to reading to learn and they will
apply these skills in all content areas throughout the grades.
Believe will implement four design principals; 1) every student can achieve and meet
high academic standards regardless of their learning styles, abilities or socio-economic
status; 2) parental and community involvement as essential ingredients for student
success; 3) small school design promotes positive student outcomes; and 4) teaching
students with varied learning styles and abilities to be prepared for high school and
beyond.
Our curriculum is aligned to the DC Public Schools Learning Standards and will outline
grade and subject performance goals to ensure student readiness for promotion.

Goals
Students will master content in Reading & Literature, Communication and Language
Arts along with Math, Science and Social Studies. Students will learn how to apply their
knowledge to relevant and current situations, problems and experiences; they will
become divergent thinkers and will learn the skills necessary to become productive
members of society. Students will learn there are positive and negative consequences
for their behavior. We will teach students to think beyond their actions and make the
best choices for all situations in life. The Believe Code of Conduct will describe
expectations of behavior as an enrolled student and the students will understand the
consequences for not following the rules and rewards they can earn for positive
behavior.

Logistics
The instructional day will run from 8:15am to 3:30pm, with 30 minutes for lunch and 30
minutes for recess daily. We will offer before care beginning at 7:00am and an
extended day until 5:00pm. Teacher hours will be from 7:30am until 4:30 pm to ensure
proper time for planning and collaboration.

Founding Group
Our Founding Group is comprised of educators, parents, nonprofit leaders, legal
compliance, business leaders and community members. This eclectic group came
together with one goal in mind; to provide students in the Southeast region of the
District an excellent learning alternative.





Believe Public Charter School
Being the very best I can be rests within me




Vision - Children are our future. We Believe in their success!


Mission Statement The mission of the administration, faculty, staff,
parents and community of Believe Public Charter School is to provide a
caring environment in which every child is respected and is given the
opportunity to develop character, attitudes and values; to acquire skills
necessary for contemporary society; to adapt to change and remain
open to progressive techniques. The curriculum is designed to serve the
educational, physical, social and emotional needs of every child, to
create a positive atmosphere and to provide superior academic
education so that each child will become a productive member of
society.



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A. Education Plan

1. Mission and Purpose of the Proposed Public Charter School

1. Educational Needs of the Target Student Population

Believe Public Charter School will serve students in grades Kindergarten through
eighth grade who reside in Ward 7 and 8 in the District of Columbia and beyond.
These wards are predominately African American (90% and above), and over a third
of the children and households in these wards live at or below the poverty level.
Research shows that students living in households at or below the poverty line are at
greater risk of academic failure than their peers who live in households above the
poverty line.
1
These statistics show a clear picture of some reasons for the obstacles
these children/students must overcome as they enter the school door. (see table 1,
Profile of Selected Demographic and Socio Economic Indicators or Characteristics
for Ward 7 and Ward 8).

The District of Columbias poverty rate is the highest in nearly a decade. The
schools are underperforming and not meeting the needs of its students. The incidence
of teen mortality through violence is epidemic, and the unemployment rate for
African Americans and Black adults (the largest population group in Washington, DC)
is at an all time low. A chart of selected demographics illustrates these assertions and
furthermore finds that the residents (and most particularly the children and families)
of Wards 7 and 8 are impacted negatively and disproportionately on all of the
indicators required for success in school. In DC, 26% of children live in households
under poverty level, 43% live in families in which neither parent has a full-time year-
round employment, and 22% live in families where the head of household is a high
school drop-out.
2
Approximately 15% of DCs students are from homes where
language other than English is spoken. Though this can make the work of educators
more difficult, poverty, in and of itself, is not a cause of educational failure. Low
income children can achieve at the same levels as their more affluent peers. The wide
achievement gaps are primarily the result of the choices that educators make at the
system, school, and classroom levels. The poor academic performance of many of
these children can also be attributed to factors related to poverty (e.g. eligibility for
TANF, Medicaid, Food Stamps and free or reduced lunch). The picture that emerges
from the data is one of many school age students who are and will continue to
underachieve or not reach the (NCLB) No child Left Behind definition of academic
proficiency by 2014.

Our goal for these students, our target population, is not only that they leave our
school prepared for high school and beyond, but also that they become good citizens,
willing and able to thrive as active members of their communities, both now and as

1
J ean Le Tendre, Title 1 School wide Program: Improving Schools for all Children. J ournal for Students
Placed at Risk, Vol. 1, 1996, pg. 109-111
2
DC Kids Count Collaborative for Children & families. 2009. Every Kid Counts in the District of
Columbia: 16
th
Fact Book 2009. Washington, DC: DC Childrens Trust Fund
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they reach adulthood. Our school therefore offers a rigorous academic preparation
while also nurturing in our students the essential attributes of self-discipline, courtesy,
honesty, consideration for-and acceptance of the rights of others.

Studies confirm that the quality of a students early childhood education relates
directly to his/her academic achievement in later grades.
3
Early reading experts
suggest that before entering first grade, children should have more than 1,000 hours
of experience with books (i.e., exposed to print and writing in their daily lives, taught
how to handle books, and read to by and adult).
4
One large-scale study of entering
kindergarteners noted that differences in cognitive skills between high-income and
low-income children is, on average, 60 percent a gap that widens without
intervention as students progress through school.
5
These disparities cause significant
differences in childrens receptive and expressive language skills (e.g., the ability to
identify beginning sounds and letters, colors, and numbers). Children in poverty also
tend to have limited access to the informal informational resources that increase
content knowledge, an important aspect of successful comprehension and higher
order thinking in later grades.
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As in other urban districts, many of our students will come to us without that pre-
literacy exposure to books; we will close that gap through our literacy intervention
and enrichment programs. As Mem Fox wrote If you want our children to learn how
to read anything let alone to read more diverse or more difficult material it helps
immeasurably if we give them as much experience of the world as possible.

All children come to school willing and able to learn; because of this, every student
possesses the ability to think critically, learn and understand information, and solve
complex problems. Students should spend their time in school engaged in these kinds
of activities in order to be the leaders, thinkers and doers of future generations.
Teachers must possess the ability to adjust their instructional methods so that each
child can develop according to his/her potential. Differentiated instruction becomes
the norm rather than the exception. As Maria Montessori wrote Focus on the
individuality of each child in respect of his or her needs or talents. If a student shows
little progress, teachers must hold themselves accountable to find a way to teach that
child that works for him/her.








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[add cites: Lyon, Moats, Nrp]
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Research-Based Practices in Early Reading Series: A Focus on Vocabulary (Lehr, Fran; Osborn, J ean,
Hiebert, Elfireda H.) [Other Cites]
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(Lee & Burkam, 2002)
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[Cite: Willinham, Core Knowledge Studies]
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b. Vision, Mission Statement and Philosophy

Vision
Children are our future. We Believe in their success!

Mission Statement
The mission of the administration, faculty, staff, parents and community of Believe
Public Charter School is to provide a caring environment in which every child is
respected and is given the opportunity to develop character, attitudes and values;
to acquire skills necessary for contemporary society; to adapt to change and remain
open to progressive techniques. The curriculum is designed to serve the educational,
physical, social and emotional needs of every child, to create a positive atmosphere
and to provide superior academic education so that each child will become a
productive member to society.

Philosophy
Our philosophy is to affirm each childs sense of self-worth, to educate him/her by
using exacting educational methodologies, and to teach by example that excellence is
achievable when best efforts are applied. We Believe that each student can become
a better thinker and a more independent learner. We Believe learning is maximized
when it takes place in an environment enriched with support and encouragement,
encouragement to meet academic challenges with openness, enthusiasm, and a
willingness to solve problems. We will employ an intensive curriculum that values,
scholarship, perseverance and responsibility through which we will enable our
students to contribute to their community in meaningful and positive ways.

Core Values
We Believe the three core values of scholarship, perseverance, and responsibility,
when applied to all aspects of their lives, will enable our students to succeed in any
task they may undertake. These values are an intricate part of the education the
students will receive at Believe Public Charter School.

Scholarship suggests the high quality of academic work that will be encouraged at
Believe PCS. Our students will be provided with an environment that will nurture
their learning and allow for them to excel. The high quality of work is an expectation
for all students in all grade levels.

Perseverance is a very important character trait to be successful in life. It means
determination to work hard, regardless of any odds or obstacles that may exist. We
will teach students that in life, things may not always go our way and that sometimes
we will falter or fail, but also that we must stick to the task to eventually overcome
obstacles and be successful.



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Responsibility speaks not only to the importance of a students efforts and
involvement in their academic pursuits, but also to their role in a school and home
community. Student responsibility is the key to all development and learning.
Positive academic outcomes are tied to the effort that students put into their work and
the degree to which they are involved. Believe will promote an environment in which
students learn to take a shared responsibility for their learning.

c. Educational Focus
Believe Public Charter School believes that providing a strong preparation in
Reading and Language Arts is the best way to ensure our graduates will be successful
in high school and beyond in our increasingly global society. We believe that
having this strong foundation of knowledge and skills will enable our students to
explore the possibilities afforded to them. We will use a phonics-based approach to
teaching reading and we will emphasize the importance of precision in oral and
written language throughout the grades by including explicit instruction in grammar,
sentence structure (including diagramming of sentences), writing and mechanics.

Our educational focus on the language arts will be standards based. We have
reviewed many national content standards and found DC to be extremely rigorous not
only in the Language Arts, but in all core content standards. We will employee a
rigorous approach to math instruction that combines the best of direct instruction in
basic operations and algorithms, as well as mathematical reasoning and problem
solving with real world applications of operations. By mastering essential literacy
and numeracy skills, our students move seamlessly from learning to read to
reading to learn and they apply these skills in all content areas throughout the
grades.

Learning at Believe Public Charter School will not be limited to the classroom.
Through partnerships with local arts and other cultural institutions, we will build on
core classroom instruction by expanding students opportunities for applied learning.
Taking learning beyond the classroom into the nations capital the best classroom in
America can help students develop critical reasoning and communication skills by
seeing how all language, history, mathematics and science come alive in one of the
worlds most exciting cities. We have also contacted four (to start) large companies
located in the district who have a strong employee emphasis on education. These
companies have agreed to allow their employees two hours per week for volunteering
at Believe Public Charter School (if granted a charter) for the purpose of Literacy
improvement. The volunteers will be assigned one student that they will work with
throughout the students educational experience at Believe on Literacy. Assigning
the one student to each volunteer allows for the student to form a lasting relationship
that extends beyond a single school year.




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Believe PCS will also focus on the need for Autonomy in school-age children.
Schools of today often place a lot of energy on the appearance of order and control-
rather than on the skills of self-regulation. In classrooms today a childs movement is
restricted, talk is prohibited, and childrens work is prescribed down to the last detail.
We believe that learning environments should be emotionally and physically safe
places, with rituals and routines in place, but we also believe that too much emphasis
on control hampers a childs cognitive, social, linguistic and physical development.


d. Performance Goals

The goals of Believe PCS stem from the schools mission to provide a caring
environment in which every child is respected and is given the opportunity to develop
character, attitudes and values; to acquire skills necessary for contemporary society;
to adapt to change and remain open to progressive techniques. Believe has set clearly
articulated student goals, non-academic goals, professional goals and organizational
goals and expectations for all members of the school community. We will measure
the schools success in meeting the needs of the students and families we are
projecting to serve through these goals.


Student Goals
The goals for our students will be centered around three principals that incorporate
both academic and non-academic goals:


Scholarship
Reading and Literature: Students will comprehend and analyze age-
appropriate literature and nonfiction text.
Communication: Students will communicate powerfully through writing,
speaking, and the arts.
Math: Students will solve math problems using both procedural fluency and
conceptual understanding.
Science and Social Studies: Students will demonstrate understanding of the
complexity of the social and scientific worlds.
Students will apply content knowledge to relevant and current situations,
problems, and experiences.
Students will be intellectually and physically active, self-directed learners.
Students will demonstrate the skills of a researcher: reasoning, generating
questions, collecting and analyzing information and proposing solutions.






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Perseverance
Students will demonstrate the dispositions of a researcher: ongoing
intellectual curiosity and collaboration; an internal motivation to learn;
wonder; keen observations; and attention to detail, data, and possibilities for
further investigations.
Students will exhibit the skills of divergent thinkers: the courage to create; the
ability to generate ideas and devise solutions; the ability to overcome
obstacles and be successful.
Students will exhibit resourcefulness, ingenuity and optimism when faced
with an unfamiliar challenge or opportunity


Responsibility
Students will demonstrate the skills and dispositions necessary to function as
members of a democratic society; honesty; the ability to stand up for ones
beliefs; the confidence to make decisions according to ones value system;
the ability to listen to, learn from, respect, and problem solve and learn from
others; and empathy, compassion, and strong ethics.



Professional Goals for Teachers
Believe will not only serve as a learning site for students, but also for teachers. We
will hold our teachers to a high standard of excellence and professionalism. Goals
for our teachers are:

Teachers demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subjects they teach
Teachers rely on Believes approach to instruction, assessment and the
knowledge of how children learn.
Teachers will constantly reflect and improve on their instruction in order to
achieve the schools mission.
Teachers form strong and positive relationships not only with the students,
but with the families and the community.











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Organizational Goals
Believe recognizes that schools must manage and operated professionally. Three
Organizational performance goals will be used to measure the fiscal affairs and
and governance activities of the schools Board of Trustees. These goals are as
follows:

The Board of Trustees will ensure that Believe is financially viable and
demonstrates fiduciary responsibility for all monies
The Board of Trustees will ensure that Believe has access to appropriate and
quality human and capital resources to support the education program.
The Board of Trustees will ensure that Believe maintains and enforces its
fiscal and organizational policies.

















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2. Charter School Curriculum
a. Student Learning Standards
At Believe Public Charter School (Believe PCS) we believe it is our job to
serve the educational, physical, social and emotional needs of every child, to
create a positive atmosphere for learning, and to provide a superior academic
education so that all our students will become productive members of our
diverse and complex society. The Believe PCS curriculum will combine the
rigor of high academic standards with a progressive curriculum that builds
conceptual understanding while also fostering the skills and values our
students need for success in the 21
st
century. To accomplish this, we will
employ research-based instructional methods that integrate direct instruction
with inquiry-based learning and community engagement. Central to our
philosophy is the notion that all of us adults and children must be 21
st

century learners. Believe PCS will be a place of rigorous, engaging, and
continuous learning for every member of our community.

The foundation of our curriculum will be the District of Columbia Learning
Standards. We have examined the standards of other states, and have chosen
those of our own district for their clarity and rigor. Our choice is validated by
a recent Thomas Fordham Foundation analysis,
1
which awarded the District
of Columbia (and only two other states) an A for ELA content standards. The
district (and only four other states) also received an A for Mathematics
content standards. Further bolstering our choice, our curriculum will
naturally align with the DC Comprehensive Assessment System, which is
based on the DC standards.

Its important to note, though, that we view the DC learning standards, solid
as they are, as just the starting point of our educational plan. Learning
standards typically describe the content knowledge students are expected to
learn in the course of their schooling. Our curriculum framework must do
more than outline what students must know; it must also describe the values,
skills, and dispositions that our students need to thrive amid the challenges
and complexity of modern life. In addition, our curriculum will be delivered
under the framework of 21st century skills allowing students to learn in an
engaging and real world environment.

Furthermore, we hope to instill in our students an appreciation and respect for
others within our diverse and democratic society, a tolerance for ambiguity,
and an ability to strive and learn through adversity. We want our students to
stand up for their beliefs and face unfamiliar challenges with optimism,
resourcefulness, and ingenuity. We will guide them to listen to, learn from,
and problem solve with others with passion and compassion. We will foster
these values through a strong engagement with the members of our larger

1
Thomas Fordham Foundation, July 21, 2010. The State of State Standards--and the Common Core--in
2010. http://www.edexcellence.net/publications-issues/publications/the-state-of-state.html
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community, as we believe that deep local roots nourish tomorrows global
leaders.



To support our students in this type of multi-dimensional growth, we are
constructing a thinking curriculum (Erickson, 2007) that will set
expectations for not only what students are expected to know, but also what
they will understand and be able to do with that knowledge. Too often,
educational debates become polarized as to whether teaching should
emphasize either facts or concepts. We believe both are essential, and both
will be intertwined in our curriculum. Our curriculum will integrate factual
knowledge and conceptual understandings, and measure knowledge and
understanding through skill-based performances in which students actively
demonstrate what they have learned. As Erickson (2007) observes, The key
to intellectual development is the synergistic interplay between the factual and
conceptual levels of thinking.[F]actual knowledge is what students must
know in order to describe, discuss, explain, or analyze the deeper concepts.
One cannot understand the conceptual level without the supporting factual
knowledge.

At the heart of our learning program will be the core content areas of English,
Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Spanish, Physical Education, and the
Arts. Our scope and sequence will follow that outlined by the D.C. Learning
Standards. Our math teachers will take a rigorous approach to math
instruction that combines the best of direct instruction in basic operations and
algorithms, while also building conceptual understanding through
mathematical reasoning and problem-solving with real world applications. As
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we believe that reading establishes the foundation for all other learning, our
curriculum will emphasize literacy development. As it is likely that some of
our students will come to our school behind in literacy skills, all our educators
are expected to be skilled at supporting struggling readers and writers across
all grades K-8, and in all core subjects.

To support the development of reading skills in early grades, teachers in
grades K-4 will use a phonics-based approach to reading and will include
explicit instruction in grammar, sentence structure (including diagramming of
sentences), writing, and mechanics. Through the mastery of essential literacy
skills, our students will move seamlessly from learning to read to reading
to learn and be able to apply their skills across all content areas in all grades.

We also believe students must develop facility in the new literacies that is,
they must be fluent communicators in todays visual and digital technologies.
As 21
st
century writers and readers, Believe PCS students will be able to:
Use communication tools and technologies with fluency
Design and share information with diverse audiences to meet a variety
of purposes
Manage, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information from a wide
variety of sources
Use media expressively and creatively to convey meaning
Be aware of and respectful of the rights and feelings of others in
communicating and using digital information
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To further support our students in developing skills and habits that are
essential for active participation in college, career, and civic life, our thinking
curriculum will also incorporate elements of an internationally recognized
framework from the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills, (P21). P21, the
nations leading advocacy group for 21
st
century student readiness, has
recently become part of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Its framework describes student outcomes that contribute to 21
st
century
success, as well as the educational support systems necessary for achieving
those outcomes.

The pace of societal and technological change and the heightened competition
of a global economy make the incorporation of 21
st
century skills a necessity
in school systems today. Yet, until recently, such skills were rarely
intentionally incorporated into school curricula. We believe that all students
today must master complex thinking and expert communication to be able to
advance to higher education and to desirable careers. In college and in the
workplace, students and workers alike must be able to work independently,
think critically, problem-solve creatively, communicate effectively, and work
productively with other people of diverse backgrounds. As Ken Kay (2010),

2
adapted from NCTE, AASL, and the Center for Media Literacy guidelines
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the founder of the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills notes, 21
st
century skills
are crucial for our nations competitiveness, as well as our strong democracy,
international leadership, and lasting prosperity.
3
We also believe these skills
are essential to the future health, wellbeing and economic prospects of our
students, and so we are integrating the P21 Framework into our curriculum.

Endorsed by thousands of educators and employers, and adopted by 15 states,
the P21 Framework has been embraced by hundreds of high-achieving schools
across the country and the globe. As we develop our curriculum this spring,
we will be looking closely the work of successful schools and school districts
(such as Newport News, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; Syracuse-East Minoa, NY,
Rye Neck, NY, and Catalina Foothills, AZ) that have constructed their
curricula around 21
st
century skills. While the P21 Framework encompasses a
wide range of student outcomes and school support systems, the Believe PCS
curriculum will focus primarily on the core components known as the 4Cs,
which are as follows:
Critical thinking
o effective reasoning and decision-making based on thoughtful
analysis and evaluation of evidence, arguments, and claims
o gathering, synthesizing, interpreting, and drawing conclusions
from information
o reflecting critically on learning experiences and processes
o solving problems in both conventional and innovative ways
o asking significant questions that lead to better solutions
Creativity
o analyzing, evaluating, and communicating ideas in order to
improve their effectiveness
o being open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives
o viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn
o understanding that the creative process requires iteration,
persistence, and effort
o being able to generate and act on creative ideas that make a
tangible and useful contribution to their field
Communication
o conveying information effectively using oral, written, and
nonverbal communication skills
o listening effectively to decipher meaning
o tailoring communication strategies for a range of purposes and
in varied contexts (including speaking languages other than
English)
o knowing how to use media tools and technologies effectively
and appropriately
Collaboration

3
Kay, K. 21
st
Century Skills: Why They Matter, What They Are, and How We Get There in Bellanca, J .
& Brandt, R., eds. (2010). 21
st
Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution
Tree Press.
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o working effectively and respectfully with diverse individuals
o being flexible in making necessary compromises to accomplish
a common goal
o taking shared responsibility for collaborative work, and valuing
the contributions of each team member

We also believe that values education is a critical part of our mission. These
values will be cultivated in partnership with our students parents and other
family members, as well as with members of the larger Believe PCS
community of civic and business partners. We want our students to be
positive forces for change in their community and to behave in ways that
show an awareness of the consequences of their actions. Working together
with our families and community partners, Believe PSC will create a culture
of achievement and commitment to academic success. To reinforce these
values, we will meet with all admitted students and their families to introduce
them to Believe PCSs vision, mission, student motto, curriculum and to
ensure that parents/guardians fully commit to supporting their childs
education.

Furthermore, we are developing the Believe Code of Conduct for educators,
students, and families that will describe the expectations we hold as
individuals to ourselves and as members of a learning community to each
other. Our Student Affairs team, chaired by our Principal, will also play a
important role in Believe PCS values education. The Student Affairs team,
comprised of behavior specialists, school social worker and Guidance
Counselor, is charged with making recommendations regarding discipline,
behavior, classroom management, school culture and climate and thus, will
be active in shaping the values we uphold and impart to our students.

We will develop our curriculum fully in the months following approval of our
proposal. Thus, an important early hire for Believe PCS will be our Director
of Curriculum, Instruction, and Development. This person will work closely
with our Executive Director and our Principal, and our external consultants,
The EdVenture Group of Morgantown, WV, in building a curriculum that will
bring our educational mission to life. We will use Understanding by Design
methodology to guide us in the development of our K-8 curriculum.
Originally developed in 1998, Understanding by Design (UBD) is a highly
regarded approach to curriculum development that has been tested and
validated in thousands of classrooms across the country. Starting with the end
in mind, in a process known as backward design, the UBD process focuses on
enduring outcomes, essential questions, and key facets of understanding to
enrich student learning and ensure higher levels of student achievement.



b. Resources and Instructional Materials
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A variety of curricular materials will be used to support our rigorous
integrated curriculum. We have been reviewing instructional materials and
resources to ensure the inclusion of:
High academic expectations
Engaging activities for all students
Teacher flexibility to accommodate individual learning needs
Balanced approaches to acquiring factual and conceptual knowledge
21st century skill development
Opportunities for continuous learning
Behaviors and habits needed for 21st century success

This set of requirements will provide the framework for the selection of
specific resources that best serve Believe PCS students. Our curricular focus
on the 4Cs will provide students the opportunity to practice real-world skills
and learn in real-world environments. Students will collaborate,
communicate, and think critically and creatively across all areas of the
curriculum, and in doing so, will model the learning that takes place in higher
education, the workplace, and civic life today.

We have conducted a preliminary review of textbooks, and will be making
final resource decisions in conjunction with the full build of our curriculum
this spring. Our early review has revealed two promising resources that we
will want to investigate further (as noted below). As we continue to develop
our curriculum, we will continuously seek resources that are research-based,
classroom-proven, and mission-aligned.

Pearson
http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZiYr

Textbooks and curriculum-based assessments from Pearsons 21st century
learner curriculum solutions are being considered for K-8 Math, Science,
Reading and Social Studies, as they are aligned with 21
st
century skills
development, an integral part of Believe PCSs instructional goals. These
textbooks include: Investigations in Number, Data, and Space 2nd Edition
2008, Reading Street 2011, Connected Mathematics 2 (CMP2) Grades 6
8, and My World Geography. The curriculum within these texts is research-
based and has been determined to be effective through independent
evaluations.

The Pearson texts align with the Understanding by Design methodology that
Believe PCS will employ in its own curriculum development. For its My
World Geography and Reading Street series, Pearson has entered into an
exclusive partnership with Grant Wiggins, the co-author (with J ay McTighe)
of Understanding by Design. The textbooks alignment with our curricular
approach would ensure that there is consistency across all the elements of our
16
curriculum from our framework, pedagogy, and lesson plans, to our learning
activities and student assignments.

Scholastic
http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/digital_curriculum/expertspace/index.ht
m
Scholastics Explore Space provides accessible, leveled content-area
information and interactive, personalized learning tools for grades 4-12. We
are excited about the potential of this series to enrich our inquiry-based
assignments and activities. It shows strong potential to help our students plan
and complete projects, while developing 21
st
century research and media
literacy skills. We feel that resources such as these would enable our students,
some of whom may lack access to the latest technology at home, to explore a
wealth of digital resources in a safe and inviting online environment.

While we are excited about the potential of these and other textbooks, we
believe that educational resources should serve as guidelines, not templates,
for instruction. While commercially available instructional materials will be
used at Believe PCS, our teachers, in conjunction with our curriculum
specialists and our Instructional Team, will be responsible for tailoring these
materials to the classroom. Our teachers will design grade-appropriate direct
instruction as well as problem-based approaches that enable students to
engage with authentic problems and real-world issues on a daily basis. By
employing these integrated instructional methods, our teachers will be able to
provide strategies, activities, and interventions to match the unique learning
needs, readiness levels, and talents of every student in our learning
community.

We also believe technology must be an essential part of teaching and learning
today, reflecting the same key role it plays in the lives of students and adults
outside of school. Each Believe PCS classroom will be equipped with a
smartboard for daily instruction. In addition, updated labs for computer and
science use will be available for students at all grade levels. Our students will
have access to multi-media educational resources to further engage them in
each of the subject areas. These resources include but are not limited to:
videos, online computer software, and Internet-based activities. Our students
will also benefit from extended day programs that build their media and
information literacy skills and promote their use of digital media for creative
expression. A comprehensive technology plan will be part of our full-scale
curriculum build-out once our application has been approved.

In addition to focused direct instruction in each subject area, our students will
also benefit from interdisciplinary projects and activities in which 21st century
skills are used to address a real world challenge or question. To further this,
we will design the Believe PCS curriculum to take full advantage of the
wealth of cultural, scientific, and business resources in the D.C. metro area.
17
Our extended day will permit us to use after-school hours to enrich our
curriculum through beyond the classroom opportunities that connect our
students to working professionals, cultural site, workplaces, and other
educational setting, in person and online. We will add rigor to those
experiences through robust interdisciplinary instruction and activities that
extend and deepen factual and conceptual knowledge, while also building life
and career skills. Curriculum samples that demonstrate this integrated
approach can be found in the Appendix A. Examples such as these will serve
as models for the development of the Believe PCS curriculum.


c. Methods of Instruction
A 21
st
century curriculum depends on teachers who think and act as 21
st

century learners. As noted curriculum expert Lynne Erickson states,
4
If a
major goal is the development of student intellect, then the importance of the
teachers ability to think critically, reflectively, creatively, and conceptually
goes without question. Believe PCS will be a place where teachers, as well
as students, learn and grow in the spirit of continuous improvement.

We believe a strong instructional program should draw on the best methods
for any given instructional task. To achieve the high standards we are setting
for our students, Believe PCS will encompass the strengths of both traditional
and progressive methods of instruction. We value traditional teacher-centered
instruction, especially in developing the critical basic skills of literacy and
numeracy on which other learning rests, and in conveying the essential factual
knowledge that serves as the foundation for deeper conceptual understanding.
We also value inquiry-based learning that provides opportunities for students
develop and demonstrate the 4Cs of critical thinking, creativity,
communication, and collaboration and that spurs them to investigate real
world issues and design well-reasoned and well-researched solutions.

At Believe PCS, direct instruction and inquiry-based instruction will not be in
contention with one another. Rather, like noted teacher-educators Doug
Fisher and Nancy Frey
5
, we see them as part of the scaffolding of learning in
which the learner progresses from:
1. focused, teacher-directed lessons to
2. guided instruction featuring cues and prompts to
3. collaborative tasks with peers under teachers direction to
4. independent learning that extends new knowledge through self-
guided exploration.


4
Erickson, L. (2007). Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
5
Fisher, D. & Frey, N. Preparing Students for Mastery of 21
st
Century Skills in Bellanca, J . & Brandt, R.,
eds. (2010). 21
st
Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

18
At Believe PCS, our curriculum will focus on outcomes on not just what
students are expected to know, but what they are expected to understand and
be able to do with that knowledge. Thus, student performances or
demonstrations of understanding will be a key part of our instructional and
assessment strategy. Believe PCS integrated instructional design will
integrate direct instruction to establish foundational literacy and mathematical
skills as well as core factual knowledge, and build toward inquiry-based
independent learning in order to motivate students deeper understanding of
content and build their critical thinking, creativity, communication, and
collaboration skills. The chart below provides a very simple example of how
the factual, conceptual, and 21
st
century skills components of our curriculum
will reinforce one another and contribute to higher-level and more enduring
student achievement.


Subject Factual
Knowledge
Conceptual
Knowledge

21
st
Century
Skills
How Assessed?

Science
Direct instruction
guided by the
teacher using video,
text, computer and
other instructional
resources to help
students master
facts such as:

Metamorphosis is
the process by
which an animal
changes its shape
over its lifespan.

Frog experience
metamorphosis as
they develop from
eggs to tadpoles to
frogs.

Frogs are
amphibians.
(and so on)
Teachers will
frame the unit
with Essential
Questions such
as:

Why do some
animals change
form
dramatically
over the course
of their lifespan?

What causes
individual
variance in
development?


21
st
Century
skills will be
developed as
follows:

Critical thinking
in design of
experiment and
in assessing
results of the
experiment

Creative
thought in
considering
why variance
occurs.

Communicating
results in lab
notebook.

Collaboration
with lab
partners.

Research,
observation and
Students, working
in teams, conduct
preliminary
research on frog
development, and
make predictions
about the stages a
tadpole will go
through in
becoming a frog.
Each team then
observes several
tadpoles making
careful note of
changes over time
and taking
measurements of
the changes they
observe. Each
team charts their
data and graphs
the results. The
class compares
the aggregate data
and then
investigates why
variance might
have occurred.
19
data keeping
skills.
Teams will
present their
findings and
conclusions to the
class. This
activity might be
enriched by a visit
to a local science
museum, or with
a conversation
with a local
biology professor.

Other examples of 21
st
century curriculum units, similar to those we will design at
Believe PCS, can be found in Appendix A.


To spur the development of powerful educational experiences for Believe PCS
students, we believe that teachers must be given the authority and invested
with the trust to make decisions that are the best for their students. Because
teachers know their students and because research shows that teachers have
the greatest impact on student achievement, Believe PCS teachers will have
strong voice in instructional decision-making. In addition to being on our
Board of Directors, lead teachers (all of whom will be highly qualified as
defined by the No Child Left Behind act) will serve on our Instructional
Leadership Team. Led by Principal and Executive Director, the ILT will be
responsible for all decisions that affect teaching and learning in the school,
including curriculum, assessments, use of data, school schedules, parent
outreach, discipline policies and procedures and individual plans for students.

Part of the ILTs work, and indeed the work of all teachers in our school, will
be the active creation of curriculum and learning experiences that are
customized to their students, such as the standards-based lessons found in
Appendix A. Our teachers will also work closely with student data from
formative and summative assessments to understand where student
achievement may be falling short. They will work with the ILT and with each
other to develop appropriate and timely interventions to address any learning
gaps. By giving our teachers flexibility to co-create curriculum and
collaboratively monitor student progress, we allow those who are closest to
our students to develop strategies and instructional interventions that will
encourage our students to strive and enable them to thrive.

To provide structured time for this work, teachers will have significant and
regular blocks of time to collaborate. Teachers will work together in grade-
level teams and across grade levels to make instructional decisions, evaluate
student work and assessment data, and share best teaching practices. The
20
Principal will serve a key role in ensuring that the schedule allows ample time
for teacher learning and collaboration. Using the best practice of professional
learning communities, our teachers will collaborate in the analysis of student
work and assessment data, devise effective interventions, and consult with
their peers and school specialists, as well as with external experts. In doing so,
they will deepen their professional knowledge and increase their value to our
school and to our students.

We believe sustained, authentic, and mission-aligned teacher professional
development (PD) is vital to the success of Believe PCS. To provide the best
education to our students, our teachers must themselves be 21
st
century
learners who continue to grow throughout their professional career. Based on
our own experience and that of our consultants, we know that a commitment
to continuous professional learning is key to teachers growth. Over the
coming months, we will build a professional development plan that will serve
our teachers in multiple delivery modes, using in-school and out-of-school
formats. We will utilize the latest technologies and the best personal
assistance available. Our teachers will also receive professional development
in the use of technology to ensure they are comfortable in employing it as a
tool inside and outside the classroom. Believe PCS will be a place of constant
learning for educators, as well as students.

Professional development consultants from The EdVenture Group will work
with school leadership to design a robust on-going program to serve the
teachers of Believe School. In addition to this customized face-to-face
professional development and classroom coaching, we will also draw on
external resources that help teachers promote high levels of learning through
21
st
century skills development. EdVenture consultants recently conducted a
comprehensive evaluation of nationally available PD programs that support
teachers in teaching the 4Cs. Believe PCSs Leadership Team and ILT will
give careful consideration to these programs, some of which are listed in
Appendix B, as we put together our professional development plan in the
coming months.

As our special subject teachers (i.e. art, music and physical education) will be
expected to coordinate their instruction with curriculum in classrooms, they
will be included as much as possible in collaborative professional
development opportunities. Our daily schedule will also take advantage of
student time with specialists and in special subjects to provide grade-level
teachers with time during the school day for team meetings and collaborative
planning.

We believe that every adult in the building is an educator for our students.
Non-instructional support staff will be included, as much as the schedule
allows, in staff meetings and conversations about progress toward the goals
and mission of the school. To enable the school as a whole to engage with the
21
Believe PCS mission, and to identify and support our collective commitment
to continuous improvement, we will conduct a retreat for the entire staff twice
a year.

d. Students with Exceptional Needs
Nationally, about 12% of students are classified as having exceptional needs.
We anticipate the percentage of Believe students with IEPs will be higher.
We will employ best practices in our screening of students, using well-
regarded and commonly used instruments such as the Wechsler Individual
Achievement Test (WIAT-III) to determines academic achievement, grade
and age equivalent, and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV)
to determine if there is a discrepancy between the student's aptitude and
ability, which may indicate a learning or other disability. We also anticipate
the need to screen for language and speech delays. Many different tools are
used for such screenings, such as Goldman Fristoe-2, Expressive
Receptive One Word Picture Vocabulary, PLS-4 and PLS-5 (in English and
Spanish), Pre-School CELF and CELF-4 (in English and Spanish), Peabody
Picture Vocabulary, and Dunlap. Students will be assessed in their native
language, as guided by D.C. policy.

We will operate on an inclusion model with push-in services as warranted by
the needs of our students. Our curriculum, with its emphasis on whole child
learning, naturally lends itself to cultivating the unique talents and abilities of
every student, including those with exceptional needs. Our instructional
design, which combines guided instruction with project-based learning in the
context of supportive, safe, and caring environment will enable our
exceptional students to make exceptional learning gains. In addition to
instruction during regular school hours, we will also employ the After School
Excellent (ASE) curriculum (see section 3.f., Strategies for Providing
Academic Support, below) to provide additional support and enrichment to
our students with exceptional needs.

Our Special Ed-ELL Coordinator will oversee the development of an
appropriate educational plan for each child, in conjunction with the childs
classroom teacher and our special education teachers. We will share the plan
with the childs family so that they may be full partners in supporting their
childs academic success.

To oversee these efforts and more, we will hire a Special Education
Coordinator with the following qualifications:
Experience in and commitment to the inclusion model of Special
Education
Experience with English Language Learners (ELL)
Experience as a program coordinator and in supervising staff
Experience as a senior-level special education teacher with expertise in
monitoring and supporting special needs students in general education
22
classes, designing services, developing IEPs and administering annual
IEP testing
Special Education Certificate

In addition, we will hire up to three special education teachers in our first
year, contingent on student enrollment figures.


e. English Language Learners
Currently the number of English Language Learners (ELL) in our target
community (Wards 7 and 8) is not significant (<1%), however, as Believe
PCS will be open to students across the district, and as the number of non-
English speaking families grows, the school will be ready to serve the needs
of our ELL students.

Our Special Education-ELL Coordinator will also oversee our ELL effort, and
will be responsible for assessing our students need for special ELL services.
We will operate on an inclusion model, with push-in services as needed to
meet the needs of our students. We will administer the Home Language
survey currently used by the D.C. Public Schools to determine which of our
students may be in need of ELL services. Student progress toward English
language proficiency will be monitored annually, to determine if continuing
services are warranted.

The Special Ed-ELL Coordinator, in conjunction with the childs classroom
teacher and our ELL teachers, will oversee the development of an appropriate
educational plan for each child. We will share the plan with the childs family
so that they may be full partners in the process of helping their child acquire
the language skills necessary for success. In addition to our Special Education
Coordinator, we anticipate hiring two ESL teachers in the first year of Believe
PCS operation, contingent on student enrollment figures.


f. Strategies for Providing Academic Support
As noted earlier, we believe that our curriculum, with its emphasis on whole
child learning, will naturally provide the support necessary to enable the
unique talents and abilities of every student to blossom. Students who are
behind grade level will be engaged and motivated by our curriculum, which
combines thoughtful guided instruction with project-based learning and real-
world exploration in a safe and nurturing environment. Our instructional
approach adapts well to the practice of differentiated instruction, and enables
teachers to accommodate students varying levels while enabling all students
to strive for and gain high levels of achievement.

Furthermore, our collaborative planning time and Instructional Leadership
Team (ILT) are both designed to help educators in the school identify
23
potential learning or social/emotional issues early on. As a team, Believe PCS
educators will then devise timely and effective solutions that enable students
to quickly recover and continue to make academic progress.

Working closely with Lead Teachers, specialists and the school counselor will
determine the best support plan for students in need. These services may
include in-classroom and pull-out services that best support each childs
unique learning, social, and emotional needs. The support team will
coordinate with our classroom teachers to provide those services directly, or
may determine other methods that are best suited for the student.

In addition, Believe Public Charter School will utilize a program of proven
effectiveness in boosting student achievement to provide additional academic
support to students in need. The After School Excellence (ASE) program has
been used in numerous schools and after-school settings. The model has
shown significant improvement in pre- /post-assessments for students in K-3
reading and grades 1-8 math.

The ASE curriculum utilizes many different visual, auditory and tactile
resources to accommodate all types of learners. These include hands-on
activities, manipulatives, 21
st
century tools, educational software, and online
activities, all of which also benefit students with learning disabilities. ASE
assessments include large fonts and graphics, and provide sufficient space for
work and answers accommodating students who read with difficulty. The
delivery of the ASE curriculum allows for special attention from instructors as
well as peer support for students with special needs or students who are in
need to additional academic support. Specific strategies for assisting students
with special needs or who are behind grade are also addressed during
instructor trainings on the ASE curriculum. For more information on ASE,
please see Appendix C.



3. Student Performance
a. Student Progress and Achievement
We believe in measuring what we set out to do. With a strong accountability
system, we can be assured that our students are making progress and that we
as a school are achieving our mission and goals. As required, the Believe
Public Charter School will use DC-Comprehensive Assessment System to
assess our students achievement as defined in the DC Learning Standards.

In addition, we will use other assessment tools to measure student and overall
school performance that are aligned with our unique mission and educational
plan, including the DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment 2), the
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, and assessments from the publishers of
our adopted textbooks. We will also actively use classroom-based teacher
24
developed assessments to monitor student learning. As noted earlier, our
teachers on a regular basis will collaboratively review data from these
assessments to improve instruction and offer suitable interventions. The data
will also be shared with administration, the student, and the students
parents/guardians so that, together, we can form the most accurate picture of
the students performance, and collaborate on the most appropriate strategies
to further his or her growth.

The DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment 2) is a research based
reading assessment tool that allows teachers to accurately assess a students
reading abilities. This information allows teachers to address areas of concern
with student reading at an early stage and to make the best decisions about
their future instruction. Textbook assessments and other classroom-based
measures will also be used to determine overall student achievement in
reading, writing, and English language arts.

We will give special care, too, to measuring our progress in 21
st
century skills.
Some educators feel that assessment of the 4Cs is too difficult. We do not
agree. We will use both externally and internally created tools to help us learn
how well our students are learning these skills. Because fostering creativity is
a key aspect of our curriculum, we plan to use the Torrance Tests of Creative
Thinking, the worlds most widely used creativity tests. The Figural TTCT
test is appropriate for learners from Kindergarten through adult, while the
Verbal TTCT for learners in Grade 1 to adult, so both are suitable for use
across Believe PCS grade levels. The Torrance tests identify creativity
strengths such as expressiveness, originality, humor, ability to synthesize, and
visualization.

We also believe that to develop productive 21st century citizens, we must
assess our students learning in new ways. According to Douglas Reeves,
founder of The Leadership and Learning Center
6
, 21st century assessments
require a different set of tools than what those used to measure factual
acquisition of knowledge. Reeves work supports the idea that assessments
must be variable rather than standardized, may occur in teams rather than just
individual test taking, and will rely on the creation and presentation of
authentic work products rather than just recall of content knowledge.

We believe that high standards and rigor must be at the heart of our 21
st

century assessments. When measuring 21
st
century student work such as
projects, team assignments, presentations, performances, and other work
products that draw heavily on the 4Cs, we will use thoughtfully and
thoroughly developed rubrics that measure factual knowledge, conceptual
understanding, and 21
st
century skill mastery. Rubrics will be developed by

6
Reeves, D. (2010). A Framework for Assessing 21
st
Century Skills in Bellanca, J . & Brandt, R., eds.
(2010). 21
st
Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

25
our teachers with support from the ILT and Lead Teachers. Furthermore,
professional development in creating strong rubrics will be offered to all our
teachers. An example of a rubric on the 21
st
century skill of collaboration
may be found in Appendix D.

Teachers will collaboratively review student performance as measured by
both formative and summative assessments throughout the school year and
from one school year to the next. Student work and student assessment data
will be used both formally and informally to shape overall instruction, to
target specific interventions, and to establish individualized academic and 21st
century skills goals for each student.


b. Gateway Measures
Students will be expected to successfully complete coursework in the following
areas for each grade.

Grades K-4 Grades 5-8
Reading ELA (non-fiction and fiction)
Math Math
General Science (K-5) Earth Science (grade 6)
Social Studies Physical Science (grade 7)
World Language (Spanish) Life Science (grade 8)
Phonics Social Studies
Spelling World Language (Spanish)
Health


Promotion will be dependent upon a variety of measures beginning with teacher
recommendations. The Principal will be involved with every teacher and student
serving as a true instructional leader of the school. The Principal will work with
each teacher as decisions and recommendations are made. The Principal must
approve each promotion based on review of the student's portfolio and on
multiple assessments.

As students are likely to come to us below grade level, their promotions will be
based on significant growth toward grade-level proficiency. Students who show
significant growth but do not meet grade level proficiency may still be eligible for
promotion. These students will be carefully monitored to ensure they are on track
for meeting their individual achievement goals. The Believe PCS administration,
teachers and parents will consider each child's individual social and academic
abilities to determine promotion from one grade level to the next.

An alternate Certificate of Completion will be offered to students for attending a
summer school course in the deficient subject and completing it with at least C
average. Students will only be eligible for this alternate certificate of completion
26
if they failed only one core subject. If a student fails more than one core subject
course, they will not be promoted to the next grade.


c. Leading Indicators
Once a student is selected for admission to Believe PCS, an admission meeting
will take place between the parent/guardian, student and Director. At that time,
parents will sign an agreement indicating their commitment to stay engaged in
their childs education. We believe that the support a child receives at home can
be as important to their education as what happens during the school day. We
also recognize and believe that parents/guardians are often unsure as to how to
support their child because of experiences that may not have been positive in their
education. We feel that this initial meeting and involvement sets the stage for the
positive relationships that we want to have with our students and their external
support systems.

Believe Public Charter School will employ PowerSchool, a student information
system (SIS), to input and store all student data, such as attendance, report
card grades, health records, and the like. We have chosen PowerSchool as it
allows the entire student support team to keep a close watch on every childs
progress. PowerSchool will be compatible with the DC Charter Boards school
performance management systems. Prior to enrollment and when applicable, the
school will obtain student records and assessments results from a students
previous school. Enrollment forms will include the opportunity for parents to
authorize the release of the students records from a previous school.

All data collection will be used for internal purposes, as well as to record and
disseminate student information as required by the DC School Reform Act, Parts
B and D, and other applicable laws, including DC Code sec. 31-401 et seq.
(Compulsory School Attendance); DC Code sec. 31-501 et seq. (Immunization of
School Students); DC Code sec. 31-601 et seq. (Tuition of Nonresidents); and DC
Code sec. 29-501 et seq. (Non-profit Corporations). The school will work closely,
as necessary, with the DCPS and others sending LEAs to secure all relevant
background student information.

While we understand that not all families have access to the latest technology
(i.e., email and internet access), the school will make available important
information via the Believe PCS website and e-newsletters. Teachers will have
school email accounts. Their email addresses will be made available to families
and families will be asked to provide theirs in turn, where available, to facilitate
open communication between home and school.
Our absentee policy will be to call home after the 3rd consecutive day of absence
to check on the student. If a student is absent, he or she must bring a note from
home in order for the absence to be excused. If a student has more than 8
unexcused absences in a trimester, he or she will receive an "F" on their report
card. If a student misses 40 or more days of school in a school year without a
27
valid medical excuse, he or she will be held back. We will also track student
tardiness, and will count six late days as equal to one unexcused absence.
Students may withdraw from the school at any time. When a notice of
withdrawal is received, the school will hold an exit interview with parents or
guardians of the withdrawing student to collect as much information as possible
about the reasons surrounding the withdrawal. The information gathered during
the exit interview will be used to guide changes and improvements to Believe
PCS.
Believe Public Charter School will make every effort by working with families
and student to re-enroll, where appropriate. The primary focus will be on retaining
students and helping them succeed at the school. We believe that our small
student-to-teacher ratio will allow for a more individualized approach to student
learning, will increase students chances for success, and minimize the need for
withdrawals.






28
4. Support for Learning
The approach of Believe PCS is rooted in the belief that the whole child must be
considered when providing education. Learning does not occur in isolation. All of the
schools systems and supports set the stage for student success. In this section, we
describe our proposed approach to key supports for student learning: parental
involvement; community participation; school organization and culture; extracurricular
activities; safety, order, and discipline; professional development; and the structure of the
school schedule.

a. Parent Involvement
The most effective teachers and schools rely on communication and extensive
cooperation with parents and guardians. The school will work diligently to provide
communication, support, and parent education to families, to build our parent
involvement. As outlined below, parents will play a strong role and have significant
presence in the school, including providing feedback to staff, attending student
exhibitions and performances, reviewing student portfolios and providing volunteer
services. Specific strategies to involve parents will include:

Parent Orientation
Once students are enrolled in the school, parents and families will be required to attend
an extensive orientation program. The program will include the standard topics of school
orientation (i.e. attendance policies, homework policies, discipline, calendar, ect.) as well
as an exploration of the schools mission and philosophy, its approach to instruction and
involving the community in the school. While it is expected that families will have a
strong understanding of the school from the recruitment and enrollment process, the
success of the school and the creation of the school community will rely on a deep
understanding and investment from parents and families.

Parent Advisory Council
The school will establish a parent advisory Council, with membership open to all parents.
The council will serve in an advisory capacity to the schools leadership on matters
related to such things as curriculum, student services, parent and family events, school-
home communication and school schedules and calendar.

Parent Workshops
The school will offer workshops for our parents. These workshops will help them
understand more clearly our instructional approach. This will help them with their childs
educational experience and will help to build their connection with the school.

Access to Teachers
An important component of effective parent involvement is access to teachers. Believes
school schedule has built in time for regular parent-teacher communication. Every day of
a teachers schedule will include a period of 30 minutes that will be dedicated to informal
communication with parents, if needed.


29
Volunteer Opportunities
Parent will be welcome volunteers at all school functions, as well as in the classroom.
Teachers will be expected to develop a list of specific volunteer opportunities within their
classroom for parents, to be included in the parents orientation material. The school
leadership will develop and publicize volunteer opportunities for school-wide needs and
events.

Regular Communication from the School to Parents
We will also communicate with parents through parent/teacher meetings, phone calls and
written communication. At a minimum, we will send home a monthly school newsletter
to the parents. We will hold three formal parent-teacher conferences through-out the
school year, which will fall six weeks into each trimester. The conference will include
discussion of any deficiencies (given to any student working at a C- or below in any
subject) the student may be receiving and any parent or teacher concerns.

Any information that needs to go home to families about classroom and school events
(i.e. student work, field trips, class projects, assemblies, parent meetings, ect.), we plan to
send home a Bi-Weekly Folder which all student work and school information will be
placed. Through the software Power Schools all school information and student
progress will be also be available online.

b. Community Participation
Washington, DC is home to numerous organizations that provide wonderful opportunities
for children. We have contacted many such organizations in hopes for partnerships to
provide support to students during the school day and with after-school and/or
extracurricular activities. We will also build a relationship with our neighborhood ANC
and ask for suggestions as to community organizations, businesses and services that
would be valuable partners for educating our students about their community.

Below is a chart outlining the organizations we have contacted and have agreed to
provide support for our schools vision and mission.

Organization/Contact Activity Support for Mission
City Blossoms Gardening projects with students Reinforce curriculum
objectives and school goals
Opportunity to involve local
community in school

Capital Hill Arts Workshop Arts programs for students Reinforce curriculum
objectives
PlayWorks Opportunities for safe and inclusive play
throughout the day and recess
Connect with curriculumgoals
and provide support for recess
and after school activities
Live it Learn it Rigorous, academically-focused trips
DCs world class resources to supplement
classroominstruction
Reinforce and supplement
curriculumgoals through field
trips
EdgeWorks Dance and educational programming in-
school, after-school and summer
Connect with curriculumand
provide in-school, after-school
and summer school
programming



30
c. School Organization and Culture
The vision, mission and philosophy of Believe is built on the belief that every child
should be respected and given the opportunity to develop character, attitudes and values;
to acquire the skills necessary for contemporary society and to be open to progressive
techniques. The organization and culture at Believe will reflect the following beliefs:
A school must be a safe, welcoming place where everyone is a learner, everyone
is respected and his/her contributions are appreciated.
Every child can reach high levels of academic achievement and make a significant
contribution to the school and community.
Literacy is recognized as a critical skill for the success of children beyond
elementary and secondary education.
Families are an integral part of a childs and schools success.
Diversity must be implicit in every aspect of the school
Academic and behavioral expectations should be clearly stated, regularly
reinforced, fairly and appropriately implemented and success acknowledged and
celebrated.

Non-Instructional Learning Environment
At Believe PCS we Believe in order to carry out our vision, we must maintain small
classroom settings, therefore capping our enrollment at 225 students. Our students will
work on ideas both in the classroom and outside the classroom. We Believe that
innovative approaches to school culture and organization can greatly increase student
efforts and teacher effectiveness.

We Believe that positive school and organizational culture will help build partnerships
with community leaders and organizations. We Believe that organizational culture
connects to attitudes, experiences and beliefs. The members of our community will help
think, innovate, collaborate and make personal commitments to share in our future.

In an effort to incorporate a successful tie between organization and culture, we
Believe that modeling a successful learning community is vital to our future success.
This learning community will produce several benefits to students, faculty and staff by
increasing academic achievement, improved retention rates and increased self-
motivation.

Each day will begin with Morning Reflection through a morning assembly or morning
announcements (depending on the facility) where the Executive Director will welcome
the students and prepare for the school day. We envision it as a time that engages
students for an academically enriching day where they will have an opportunity to
reflect on their daily goals, their belief in themselves, upcoming events within the school
and community. This will be an opportunity for the Director to share Student Moments
(sharing outstanding student work, essays, art, music, theatre) with the rest of the student
body. The Executive Director Believes this will emerge as another method for
improving the quality of the students overall experience. This hands-on approach will
provide an introduction to school culture and extend the pride of being a Believe Public
Charter School student.
31
Instructional Learning Environment
A Believe learning community will provide students with opportunities for deeper
understanding and integration of the subject matter. We will incorporate student to
student and student to teacher interactions though-out the learning day.

The three students goals (Scholarship, Perseverance and Responsibility) and Believes
Pillars of Excellence (monthly character goals) will serve as the guiding principals for the
teachers, students and families. In all contexts, the school community will consider how
its choices help meet these goals for the students. Decisions concerning curriculum, field
trips and teacher professional development topics will all be made with the goals in mind.

We will use instructional methods to prepare and help students reach grade level goals
each year. Students will receive instruction to help prepare them for standardized tests
and high school placement tests. Our learners will be empowered with the appropriate
knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Our teachers will have an active approach to teaching that is learner-centered, inquiry and
project based, standards and assessment driven, applied, interdisciplinary and authentic.

Mentoring
We will develop a corporate literacy program that will work directly with identified
corporations who allow their employees to volunteer hours. These corporations stress
education to their employees, specifically Reading and Language Arts. We are
partnering with these corporations for our mentoring program, where the volunteers are
matched with a student and spend 2 hours per week with that student at our school. The
volunteer is matched with their student throughout the students time with Believe.

Routines
Families/students will be clear about class start times, transitions, requesting help and
materials, working noise, raising hands, seating and leaving the room. Teachers will
take advantage of all available time to reinforce learning experiences.

Attention-Redirection-Discipline
Teachers will complete clear expectation-settings for the students and continue to
reinforce them though-out the school year. Teachers will use a range of attention-getting
strategies effectively to gain, maintain and regain students attention. Disruptive
behavior is quickly and effectively addressed (see Parent/Student Handbook
Discipline Code). Teachers will use logical consequences to help build students good
academic and social habits. Teachers will discuss and support Believes Pillars of
Excellence (monthly character goals). Teachers will be positive, caring and firm with
their affect, language and tone.

Space
Relevant student work is neatly and brightly displayed. Classrooms are warm and well-
organized. Seating arrangements are flexible and conducive to learning objectives and
goals. Class schedules are posted for all students and parents to view. Homework
32
assignments shall be displayed everyday along with project due dates, test dates and
special events. The school calendar, school and classroom rules, Believes Pillars of
Excellence and fire drill procedures will be posted in the classroom.

Discipline Code
Believes Discipline Code will delineate school-wide expectations for student, faculty and
staff. It will state how members of the school community will behave in school and
wherever they are representatives of Believe. It will provide the structure for disciplinary
decisions, from Kindergartens fighting over a toy to an 8
th
graders use of profanity. It
will be based on respect for others, taking responsibility for ones own actions and
scholarship (commitment to learning and excellence). The Discipline Code will contain
clear behavioral expectations and will appear in the Parent/Student Handbook. The
Discipline Code will also be displayed in all classrooms and will be discussed on a
regular basis by teachers and during school assemblies.

d. Extracurricular Activities
Believes extracurricular activities will reflect the vision and mission of the school,
reinforce its academic and community goals and provide new and exciting opportunities
for students. We plan to contract with an after school provider who is accredited by the
National After School Association/Council on Accreditation After School. The program
we will to look to adopt will need to offer:
Opportunities, services and support that focus on the whole person helping
students seek ways to meet their basic physical, emotional and social needs and
build the competencies necessary to succeed in adolescence and adulthood.
Focus on scholarship, perseverance and responsibility our three student goals
Provide our students with opportunities to learn healthy behaviors, promote
development that gives them the full range of skills and motivation they need to
adopt healthy lifestyles and succeed
Emphasize building students competencies and strengths, challenging them in
ways that build their academic, social, civic, cultural, creative, physical and
mental health skills.
Empower students to assume leadership roles in programs and provide them with
skills and opportunities to make and implement decisions and assume ownership
for outcomes.
Reflect the participation and leadership of students themselves, as well as their
families, peers, other caring adults and community.
Promote social growth in students by providing opportunities for sharing with
others.

The after school program will be offered each afternoon that the school is in session
following the end of the school day (3:30pm) and run until 6:00pm.

We plan to organize a Student Association which will organize Student Clubs, through
which students can explore areas of interest and gain leadership skills outside the
classroom. Although the Clubs may change from year to year, specific clubs such as
Student Council, Yearbook and Newspaper will be consistent established clubs.
33
As our initial facility may not be feasibly conducive to an athletic program, we plan to
partner with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to give students an opportunity
to participate in organized sports. It is our goal that by year five we have a facility that
will accommodate a fully functioning and self-supporting athletics program.

e. Safety, Order and Student Discipline
Believe will provide support for all of our students and expect an environment conducive
for safe, orderly working instruction and learning for all. Students will be expected to
follow the Believe Pillars of Excellence and are not allowed to physically or emotionally
abuse other students or bring harm to the community of Believe. We value our students
and as such expect they will uphold the Discipline Code.

The primary objective of the Discipline Code at Believe is to instill a sense of
responsibility and self-discipline in all students. Students are expected to enter the school
each day ready to learn and demonstrate respect and cooperation toward other members
of Believe. It is everyones responsibility to build and support the school community
through positive behavior.

When a student breaks a rule allow the student to receive consequences for their behavior
while at the same time teaching the student they are in fact responsible for their actions.
Students learn there are consequences, positive and negative for their actions allowing the
student to reflect beyond the action in order to make the best choice for all situations in
life. This method of discipline puts more responsibility on the student to take ownership
of their behavior and to be active participants in solving the problem as well as repairing
the harm they have caused. Students learn how not to make the same mistake in the
future, they learn coping skills, making better choices and expressing their feelings in a
socially appropriate manner. Students learn responsibility which empowers them to
create change in themselves and in their school community.

At Believe, we believe there are key factors of importance regarding discipline.
Classroom teachers will be expected to be primarily responsible for discipline. First,
through engaging instruction that meets students needs, it is expected that discipline
problems can be kept to a minimum. Second, all faculty and staff will be trained and
familiar with conflict resolution techniques so that conflicts that do arise can be resolved
fully and to the satisfaction of all parties to prevent conflict from returning. Finally,
should conflict escalate to the point where the emotional or physical safety of other
children in the classroom is in jeopardy, school administrators will become involved.
Students will have full understanding of the schools expectations and the positive and
negative consequences they can earn based on their behavior.

Parents will be informed whenever their child chooses to disrupt the educational
environment or threatens the safety of any school member in the community and the
consequence administered. Repeated or major infractions will result in a parent
conference, referral to the Executive Director, detention, suspension and depending on
the severity of the incident may warrant immediate expulsion. Parents will be informed of
suspensions or expulsions. In cases of expulsions, parents may request a meeting with
34
the Director to discuss the case, if still not satisfied may appeal to the Schools Board of
Directors. The appeal must be in writing and a hearing may be requested. The decision
of the Board of Directors will be final.

Disciplinary decisions for Special Education Students
The Principal and student support services will decide disciplinary actions for special
education students on a case-by-case basis according to IDEA Guidelines.


f. Professional Development for Teachers, Administrators and Other School Staff
Our goal is to create a collaborative professional community that acknowledges the need
for teachers and staff to be learners: and learned. Believe expects all personnel to
commit to continuing their education to show students that learning never stops. We will
hold trainings directly related to our mission and goals.

We expect peers to play a significant role in one anothers professional development.
Each teacher will have a lead teacher with common planning time together to discuss
techniques, critiques of lesson plans, shared reflection on student work or research and
discussion of new content or approaches. Each teacher will be required to develop a
Personal Learning Plan and establish personal and professional goals for improving their
knowledge and skills in content and pedagogy. The Lead Teachers and the Principal will
consult with teachers regularly regarding their PLP progress as it relates to professional
development, and will be used as part of the teachers annual evaluation. We Believe
providing individual support to our teachers will be crucial to Believes success

At the beginning of each school year, there will be a two week orientation and training
for all staff and faculty. This time will be spent for learning instructional techniques,
classroom management, differentiated instruction and data driven decision-making.
Finally, it will include time for curriculum mapping and development, for teachers to
create and consider the best practice they would like to integrate into their classroom.

Believe will employ an early release on Fridays to ensure that every Friday from
1:00-4:00PM the staff will have a block of several hours of uninterrupted time for grade-
level planning, curricular planning and professional development, have guest speakers
and workshops to enhance instruction, professional dialogue, morale and personal
wellness. We will also have three full day staff development days built into the calendar.
Planning time for teachers will also be made available by scheduling specials
throughout the week. Examples of specials include art, music, P.E., computers and
Spanish.

g. Structure of the School Day and Year

School Day
Believes doors will open at 7:30am for Morning Reflection and Student Moments.
Classes will start at 8:30am and end at 3:30pm. Teachers will arrive at 7:30 am and will
work until 4:30pm. After Care will begin at 3:30pm until 6:00pm. On Fridays, all
35
students will be dismissed at 12:30pm, and after-care will begin immediately. Fridays
from 1:00pm -4:00pm will be set aside for structured, planned teacher professional
development and data review and analysis. Specials will ensure planning time at least
three times a week. A sample schedule for third grade is provided below.

3
rd
Grade Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7:30-8:30 Morning
Reflection
Morning
Reflection
Morning
Reflection
Morning
Reflection
Morning
Reflection
8:30-9:30 Readers
Workshop
Readers
Workshop
Readers
Workshop
Readers
Workshop
Readers
Workshop
9:30-10:30 Language
Arts
Language
Arts
Language
Arts
Language
Arts
Language
Arts
10:30-11:00 Music Phonics Phonics Art Phonics
11:00-11:30 Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish
11:30-12:00 Recess Recess Recess Recess Recess
12:00-12:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:30-1:30 Science
Explorations
Science
Explorations
Computers Science
Explorations
Dismissal -
12:30pm
Move to
aftercare
1:30-2:30 Math Math Math Math ------------
2:30-3:30 History P.E History History ------------
3:30-3:45 Move to
aftercare
Move to
Aftercare
Move to
Aftercare
Move to
Aftercare

-------------

Fridays 1:00 4:00PM Teacher Professional Development Block


School Year
Believe will follow a trimester system with report cards distributed in December, March
and J une. This allows for more instruction time between reporting periods. Total
academic school year will be 182 days of classroom instruction. A sample school
calendar is attached.












93
D. Mission Accomplishment Plan

1. Goals against Which the Schools Success Will Be Judged

The goals of the Believe Public Charter School are based on the foundational values set
forth in the vision and mission of the school. The goals below support the learning and
growth of every student in a caring environment that promotes high achievement,
productive skills, positive attitudes, and enduring values.

At Believe PCS, we understand the value in goal setting and know that our individual and
collective success depends on knowing where we are going and what is expected of us.
In line with our mission and vision we at Believe PCS will use the goals set below to
enable our students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to be
successful.

Student Goals

The goals for our students focus on developing the whole child. We believe that by
setting clear and ambitious goals our students can and will achieve success.

1. Believe PCS students will be divergent thinkers who are able to apply factual
knowledge and demonstrate conceptual understanding in order to analyze,
communicate, and solve problems in core subject areas of reading, writing,
mathematics, science, social science, foreign language, and the arts.

2. Believe PCS students will be active 21
st
century learners who are able to utilize
high-level critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration skills to
demonstrate their learning, contribute to their community, and demonstrate
enthusiasm and hope for the future.


Teacher Goals

The goals for our teachers focus on supporting student achievement by promoting teacher
professionalism. As Believe PCS leaders, we are committed to providing the resources,
structures, and leadership to enable our teachers to benefit from professional learning
experiences, and to be active decision-makers in the life of our school.

1. Believe PCS teachers will be 21
st
century learners, working in the spirit of
continuous improvement, constantly striving to higher levels of excellence in their
knowledge of content and pedagogy.

2. Believe PCS teachers will exhibit the highest level of excellence and
professionalism, exercising their voice in decision-making and actively
collaborating with their peers, school leaders, non-instructional staff, families,
94
business and civic partners, and all other members of our school community to
help our students achieve at the highest level,


2. Assessment Measures

Our assessment measures will focus on each of our mission-specific goals. For our
student goals, the measures will be both formative and summative, include portfolio
systems that utilize developmental checklists, focus on reliable observation protocols,
include student work samples and creative projects, demonstrations, and instructional
groups.

Both of the student goals selected for Believe PCS are intertwined and focus on
developing the whole child in a unique and engaging way. The assessments for both of
these goals will provide a true understanding of the achievement and learning of each
individual student. Measures described in the Educational Plan, the DC-Comprehensive
Assessment System, the DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment 2) and the Torrance
Tests will be used throughout the school. In addition, assessments that align with the
selected textbook and other resources will be used.

These standard assessment tools will be supplemented by 21
st
century skills mastery
assessments. These assessments will focus on the 4Cs and the 21
st
century skill
dimensions of learning, understanding, exploration, creativity and sharing. The
assessments will be grounded in 21
st
century skills as well as the Understanding by
Design methodology of backward design. Rubrics, such as those described in the
Educational Plan, will be customized to address our students work on collaborative
assignments, research projects, real-world problems, and other authentic work products.

To help us measure our students engagement and our success at instilling in them a spirit
of optimism and resilience, we will use the Gallup Student Poll, from Americas Promise
Alliance. Gallup discovered three true indicators of student success; hope, engagement,
and wellbeing. These three key factors drive students' grades, achievement scores,
retention, and future employment. These three indicators align to the mission of Believe
PCS and will be used to assist in the assessment of students in the school.

Our teacher goals will provide the framework for the instructional staff and school
leadership to evaluate the quality of the instruction and education environment. The
school will closely monitor overall student progress as part of the assessment of the work
inside the classrooms. The work of the Center for Teacher Quality will be used to provide
measurement tools for the progress of the teacher goals. We will make use of the
Centers Teacher Working Conditions Survey as well as Believe PCSs internally
developed surveys to track our teachers sense of engagement and empowerment, and
their level of commitment to our mission and spirit of continuous improvement.



95
3. Performance Indicators

Benchmarks will be set based on the DC-CAS guidelines. The ILT and teachers will be
analyzing benchmark and performance targets for the DRA2 test, Torrance Tests, Gallup
Student Engagement, Center for Teacher Quality surveys, and other formal assessments
that are chosen. In addition, this same team will be designing the rubrics for the 21
st

century skills metrics. The school will work as a team to find the best formula for
measuring student performance with the assessment tools that are selected. We anticipate
that we will use growth formulas on an individual student basis to track each students
progress based on their time at the school. We are committed to setting performance
goals that are realistic yet ambitious.


4. Collecting, Storing, and Reporting Performance and Progress Data

Believe Public Charter School will utilize the Pearson PowerSchool system for the
recording of attendance, tracking student achievement and keeping parents informed
about student performance. Teacher input will occur daily giving appropriate members
of our community access to information as needed. The administrative staff will be
responsible for the use of this system. PowerSchool enables teachers to make timely
decisions and allows for collaboration between parents, teachers, and 21st century
students. Students and their families will benefit from the ability to follow students
progress and check grades from school or home.

Given the variety of stakeholders with whom the progress data and information will be
shared, its important that information will be disseminated in an easy to understand
format and on a regular basis. The Believe PCS will utilize their schools website, e-
newsletters, the PowerSchool system and local media to share information about the
schools success with the community as a whole.

5. Timeline

Date Objective
October 2011 Curriculum framework with standards and
indicators for each grade and subject
December 2011 Pacing guides aligned with objectives,
instructional strategies, instructional
materials and assessments
April 2012 Daily lesson plans for the first 6 weeks of
school; sample lesson plans for each unit;
rubrics for major exhibitions
May 2012 Compile all documents for teaching staff
review
J une - August 2012 Teachers finalize all curriculum materials
September 2012-2013 Self reflections on implementation of
curriculum and revisions, as necessary
96


47
BUSINESS PLAN
1. Planning and Establishment
a. Profile of the Founding Group
The Founders of Believe Public Charter School consist of individuals who Believe that children
are our future and all children have the right to be taught by the best teachers, in the safest
environment, supported by the best curriculum and learning tools all directed towards children
believing in their abilities to become lifelong learners and contributors to their communities and
indeed the world where they live. We collectively Believe the early years of development
represent a foundation for a life time of educational achievement and commitment. The
Founders areas of expertise include legal representation, school administration, business
management, school development, curriculum development, parent and community liaison. This
eclectic group came together for one purpose, to make Believe Public Charter School the best
Charter School serving the children in the District. We jointly feel that education is about
opportunities and we want the children living east of the river to have the best opportunities to
learn and prosper in their community, the greater United States and the World. The school will
be open to all students across the District, however our program will address the needs of
students primarily from the southeast region of Washington, DC, in Wards 7 and 8.

Sherrie Lynn Ruggles Founder/Executive Director
603 North Mansfield Street
Alexandria, VA 22304

Ms. Ruggles has over 10 years experience in education as an administrator and teacher. She has
proven experience in supervising staff, data analysis, coordinating assessments, ensuring all
budgetary requirements, developing and implementing new curriculum and school programs,
advising and working with a PTO, identifying and developing fundraisers and working hand in
hand with Board Members.

Ms. Ruggles also has served as a Director for an Urban Summer Program sponsored by the
Salvation Army in the Tri-Cities of Washington State. There she met all budget requirements for
the program, hired and trained all staff and created a new program from the ground up for
students ranging in age from 6 years to 12 years of age.

Ms. Ruggles earned her Bachelors Degree from Tennessee State University in Child
Development and Learning.







48
Maureen J. Ross Founder/Operations Director
916 Buttonwood Terrace NE
Leesburg, Virginia 20176

Maureen Ross is a retired Federal Senior Grants Specialist who as early as 1968 believed that
there must be a better way to deliver an educational program to children that stimulates their
curiosity and opens their world to lifelong learning and development. In 1968 Ms. Ross joined
the national Head Start staff and helped steer the rewrite of the Head Start Program that resulted
in the transfer of the program from the US Office of Economic Opportunity to the US
Department of Health and Human Services. Ms Ross spent the next eight years in the San
Francisco Regional Office funding and monitoring Head Start programs in Northern California,
Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and the Trust Territories. In 1975 Ms. Ross left the federal government
to become Head Start Director for four years in Sacramento, California. She was responsible for
four delegate agencies in the four major school districts and four delegate agencies in four non-
profit agencies. After four years as Head Start Director Ms. Ross left the agency and joined the
US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC as a Senior Grants Specialist. Ms.
Ross was responsible for national grants training and Tribal environmental programs. She is a
recipient of the Agencys coveted Gold Medal for her work with Congress on Tribal
environmental legislation.

After retirement Ms. Ross formed a small business consulting firm that provided training, grants
management skills and program development to nonprofit organizations. In 2007 Ms. Ross
joined the Founders of National Collegiate Prep, Public Charter School and assisted in the
development of the only Petition that was funded by the Charter School Board that year. During
the planning year Ms. Ross provided training and program development services to the school.

Ms. Ross has an Undergraduate Degree and Masters Degree from UC Berkeley.


Cheryl P. Jenifer - Founder/Board of Trustees - Education
2224 13th Street SE
Washington, DC 20030

Ms. J enifer is a native of Baltimore Maryland where she received her Bachelors Degree in
Elementary Education from Coppin State College in Baltimore. She was selected to participate
in the J ohn Hopkins University Fellows Program in Organization and Community Systems
where she received her Masters in Applied Behavioral Science. She is currently pursuing a
second Masters in Education Administration with a 2011 candidacy for graduation from
Pensacola Christian College.
She has served as a Director and Principal in Baltimore and Washington DC. As Director of a
Private School in Ward 8 she developed policies, procedures, standards, served on the school
board, provided weekly and monthly reports to the board, was responsible for staff development
and training and was responsible for the overall fiscal budget. Her students test scores (SATs)
were so high that the J ohn Hopkins Gifted and Talented Program recruited her students to

49
participate in its program. Her school had a 98% success record of students who had improved
academically, socially and emotionally.
As a product of the inner city she has committed herself to empowering students and the
community she serves. For nearly 30 years she has worked as an educator in the roles of
Director, Principal, teacher and mentor in various urban educational settings.
Ms. Beverly Burt Trustee/Curriculum and Instruction
1116 46
th
Place SE
Washington, DC 20019

Ms. Burt is a native Washingtonian. She received a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education
from Howard University, a Masters Degree in Supervision and Human Development from
George Washington University and is currently a Doctoral candidate for a Doctorate in
Educational Administration from Pensacola Christian College. During her tenure as a DC public
school employee she has served over 34 years. Her career started as a classroom teacher, then a
Reading resource teacher, next a Title I Reading teacher, an Assistant Principal and finally a
Principal. She is a recipient of the Cafritz Foundation Award for exceptional instructional
programs. Throughout her career she has received many services and achievement awards for
dedicated service. In 2005 she retired from the school system.

Since retirement she has been actively pursuing her Doctorate Degree completing all course
work and is presently writing her dissertation on the Implications of Traditional Educational
Theory on Students Enrolling in Christian Schools from Public Schools. She is also actively
involved in community collaborative initiatives for Ward 5.


Achille Ekeu Trustee/Finance
3407 28
th
Parkway
Temple Hills, Md. 20748

Mr. Ekeu holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Douala
Cameroon, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from AIU (American
Intercontinental University) in Chicago, Illinois. He is a PhD Candidate from Capella University
in Leadership.
Mr. Ekeu worked as a high school teacher for seven years before coming to America where he
has worked as a banker for the past 12 years both at Chevy Chase Bank and PNC Bank. He is
currently an Assistant Vice-President and Branch Manager at PNC Bank on Martin Luther King
J r. Ave SE, in Washington, DC.
Mr. Ekeu has worked tirelessly (Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences etc.) with many non-
profit organizations, small businesses, minority owned businesses, public and private agencies to
provide financial literacy and help improve money management skills of the members of the
Anacostia community for the past several years. Some of the organizations he has worked with

50
are Operation Hope, Arch Training Center, I. Toni Thomas and Associates, Opportunity
Industrialization Center, The Arc, Boys and Girls Club, the DC Office of Ex-Offenders, Social
Security Administration and more.
Mr. Ekeu believes that education is the best road to success for any community. He passionately
encourages community members and leaders to laser focus on education as a means to alleviate
poverty in our cities. It is the best and effective way to improve peoples lives.
Chris Preston - Trustee/Fundraising
12709 Fair Crest Ct.
Fairfax, VA 22033

Chris Preston, Global Account Manager for United Way Worldwide serves as the global liaison
for United Way Worldwide and their affiliates for 26 Global Corporate Leadership Program
members. Chris has been with United Way for 7 years. Prior to joining the Global Corporate
Leadership Team, Chris was the National Sales Manager for the United Way Store, a wholly
owned subsidiary of United Way Worldwide. Chris attended George Mason University where
he received his Bachelors Degree in Business Management and has continued his support to his
Alma Mater as Vice President of Membership for the George Mason University Alumni
Association.

Samson Afolabi Trustee/Finance
37 L Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Mr. Afolabi is a partner with Samson T. A. and Associates and has over eighteen (18) years of
experience in financial management consulting, business process reengineering, financial system
implementation, auditing financial statements and/or evaluating internal controls of large
governmental, non-profit, and/or for-profit entities. Mr. Afolabi has served as the Project
Director for the audit of grant program at Institute for Behavioral Change and Research, Inc. He
is currently serving as the Project Principal for Financial Consulting Project at UDC Foundation,
Inc and financial statements HUD program audit for All American Mortgage Corporation. He
has managed and directed audits of Contracts, Grants, for-profit and nonprofit organizations,
Governments, States and Agency programs and D.C. Public Charter Schools. He has managed
various operational audits, program and budget evaluation projects at non-profit and commercial
entities for the past twelve years. He has supervised staff ranging from 2 to 30 professional
accountants on various projects within the Financial Operations Division over the past twelve
years. Mr. Afolabi has extensive experience providing financial audits and management in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, governmental regulations and statutes.
He is knowledgeable of the operations financial operations and regulations, Federal Financial
Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Federal Accounting Financial Advisory Board (FASAB),
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), General Accounting Office (GAO), the Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Treasury Department.


51

Glynis L. Bell Trustee/Legal
213 N. Galveston St.
Arlington, VA 22203

Glynis Bell serves as Cisco Systems, Inc. Senior Corporate Counsel where she provides legal
support for Ciscos Federal Sales Theater, reviewing and negotiating contracts, answering
federal procurement compliance questions, formulating policy and developing partner
relationships. Ms. Bell has agreed to serve as a legal liaison for Believe PCS pro-bono. Ms. Bell
received her BA in French, Minor in Business Administration from the University of Illinois and
her law degree from Duke University School of Law in North Carolina.


Johnnie Ferguson Trustee/Community Activist
1919 Ridge Place, S. E.
Washington, DC 20020
A 67 year District of Columbia resident graduating from Eastern High School in 1960 and then
from the University of the District of Columbia in 1973 with a Computer Science Degree. Mr.
Ferguson served our country with the United States Army and received a Commendation Medal.
He has a diverse professional background starting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a
Fingerprint Technician for 3 years and then with Riggs Bank for 36 years as a Computer
Programmer, Data Processing Supervisor, Assistant Manager and Vice President. He also served
as the Office Administrator/Financial Secretary for St. Matthews Baptist Church for the past 7
years.
Mr. Ferguson is an active member in the community starting with being the President of Orr
Elementary School PTSA in 1976 for 9 years. He was also involved with the following
organizations: Treasurer DC Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1982-1984; Treasurer, Advisory
Neighborhood Commission 6C, 1982-1986; Member, DC Federation of Farmers & Consumer
Markets, 1983-2000; Treasurer, Kiwanis Club of Eastern Branch, 1990-1994; Secretary, D C
Commission on Human Rights, 1990-1991; Chairman, Local Board #1 Selective Service System,
1988-1990; Advisory Board, Ketchum Elementary School; Member, Anacostia Coordinating
Council; Board Member; Anacostia/Congress Heights Partnership for the Prevention of
Homelessness; Finance Committee, Far Southeast Family Strengthen Collaborative (Current);
Board Member at-Large, Far Southeast Family Strengthen Collaborative 2010-Present; Primary
Member, Washington Navy Yard, Restoration Advisory Board (RAB); Deacon, St. Matthews
Baptist Church, Washington, DC; Financial Secretary, St. Matthews Baptist Church.
Mr. Ferguson has achieved a number of honors/achievements: Certificate of Appreciation,
American Cancer Society, 1980; Certificate of Appreciation, DC Advisory Council on
Vocational Education, 1980; Certificate of Award (Community Volunteer), Benjamin G Orr
Elementary School 1980-1984; Honorary Life Member, National Congress of Parents and
Teachers, 1987; Life Member, DC Congress of Parents and Teachers, 1986.

52

(2) Names and Addresses of Entities Submitting Petition
Believe Public Charter School 2224 13
th
Street SE, Washington, DC 20020
Contact:
Ms. Sherrie Lynn Ruggles 2224 13
th
Street, S.E., Washington D.C. 20020 703-226-9657
(3) The names and most recent annual reports of the organizations or corporations of
which the individuals are directors or officers
N/A
(4) The names of any organization or agencies that are partners in planning and
establishing school, along with a description of the role played and the resources
contributed by each. How have the partners added to the quality of the plans for the
charter and how will its continued participation contribute the long-term success of the
school?
N/A
Describe any plans for further recruitment of founders or organizers of the school.
The Board of Trustees will have a standing Recruiting Committee that will continue on-going
recruitment of board members and organizers for the school.
b. Planning Process
Believes Founding group members have a vision for Believe PCS to be a bastion for high
achievement in Reading and Language Arts, a place where life-long learning is the key for all
involved, and where community involvement will be paramount. We plan to offer a local public
school option for children in grades K thru 8 that give families a choice in selecting a school.
Our planning process began a year ago and remains an ongoing process. We have involved
community representatives, parents of children in our schools age group, educators, financial
experts, business representatives, fundraisers and others that have an interest in the education of
children.
Education Design Team: Believe Founders have adopted a strong curriculum that supports our
educational design plan. After reviewing several curriculum designs Believe PCS has chosen to
adopt the Dc Standards of Learning and Framework. We feel this design closely matches
Believes educational design and concept. During the planning year we will develop an
Educational Design team to work very closely with our Curriculum Consultant, The EdVenture
Group. Their job will be to review our proposed curriculum and how it aligns with our vision
and mission. Our choice of curriculum supports our priority of a strong educational alternative to
the neighborhoods low-performing public schools.
Business Team: The Business team will be charged with the marketing and branding plan for
the school. Members of the business team will schedule meetings with various political members
of the community, various organizations and businesses to discuss the mission and philosophy of
the school and solicit their support and involvement in our plan.

53
Community Outreach Team: The Trustees will appoint a Community Outreach Committee.
This committee will schedule meetings with ANC members and DC Council members to discuss
the mission and philosophy of the school. The team will continue to solicit input from
community stakeholders during the planning year.
c. Corporate Structure and Nonprofit Status of the School
Believe PCS has filed is a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia. We are in the
process of filling for 501(c) (3) tax exempt status with the IRS A draft of our Articles of
Incorporation and Bylaws are in section J .
2. Governance and Management
a. Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees members were initially recruited by the Founders and have been involved
in supporting the development of the petition and related activities since September 2010. The
Trustees hold the key responsibility of ensuring that the school fulfills its mission. As the
governing body of the school, the board will provide strategic direction; engage in oversight of
the schools performance, financial management and legal compliance; cultivate and monitor
effective school leadership; and engage in ongoing fundraising and outreach efforts to ensure
adequate resources. Believe PCSs Founding Group members have agreed to serve as members
of the Board of Trustees, upon receipt of the charter, board officers will be elected from these
members.
Believe PCSs selection process for the establishment of a fully functioning governing Board of
Trustees will ensure that the school is a mission-driven, viable, and a sustainable educational
entity. The ability of the Board of Trustees to carry out the mission of the school will depend
heavily on the effectiveness of its members. The Board of Trustees will initially consist of 7
members, expanding to 13 members by the time the school opens in the fall of 2012. At no time
will the number of Board members exceed 15. The Founding Board will continue to seek
individuals who are committed to the mission and learning goals of the school and can contribute
diverse skill sets to the school, complementing and augmenting the skills of existing Founding
Board Members. Trustees will include at least two parent representatives. Parents will nominate
the parent representative or guardian of a child enrolled in the school and then the full Board will
elect the parent member. The Trustees will include at least one teacher on the board who will be
nominated and voted on by the other teachers then approved by the Board. The Board members
have previous governance and board leadership experience and we are continually looking for
additional members to complement the existing Board Members.
All trustees will be required to sit on at least one committee during their term of office. The
Board of Trustees will have the responsibility of evaluating the Executive Director and delegate
full responsibility for implementing the mission and policies of the school. The Executive
Director will hire and evaluate the Principal and will be an ex officio or non-voting member of
the Board of Trustees.




54
Terms of Office
The Board will have four officers: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The
members of the Board may serve one, two or three year terms as designated by the Board of
Directors at the time of the election of each Director. Thereafter, each Director shall be elected to
a three year term. As nearly as may be possible, the terms of each Director shall be staggered so
that an equal number of terms shall begin and end at each annual meeting. Each Director shall
serve for the term to which he or she is elected and until his or her successor is duly elected and
qualified or until his or her earlier resignation, removal from office or death. Founding Board
members may serve extended terms of 1-3 years to ensure stability of the governing group as it
transitions from the Founding Group to the Board of Trustees. These members may elect to serve
an additional 3 year term once their second term has concluded. No member will serve more than
three consecutive terms.

Committee Structure
Believe PCS Bylaws, allow for the creation of standing committees of the Board of Trustees.
We have made an initial determination that the Board will have two Standing Committees:
Governance, to oversee Board recruitment and nominations; Board effectiveness and
Board evaluation; and evaluation of the Executive Director
Finance and Oversight Committee , to oversee financial management, the audit and legal
compliance
Additional committees may be established, as needed, by the President of the Board. We
anticipate Committees in the following areas:
Educational Oversight : academic goals; student performance; curriculum
Development and Outreach : relationships with the community; media; fundraising
Executive : as needed

The Board may elect to form additional standing committees or task forces of the Board as is
necessary to insure that the School is supported in carrying out its mission.

Board Recruitment Process
Convened a meeting with founding members to develop a list of prospective members
based on their area of expertise and our need to fill missing professional areas
Identify and recruit potential members to assist in the development of the boards mission
and policies.
Explain the charter petition review process and develop timetable for formally inviting
membership post-approval of petition. An established governance timetable is in Section
4.a.


55
Board Selection Process and Terms of Office
Our Governance Committees will be responsible for working with other Board members, the
schools Executive Director and the Parent Advisory Council to identify potential new Board
members. Potential Board candidates can be identified by a current Board member, the schools
Executive Director, the Parent Advisory Council or any stakeholder in the school; self-
nominations will also be considered.
The Governance Committee will review the qualifications of all nominations, and if the
candidate appears to meet the initial qualifications and needs of the Board, the Committee will
officially interview potential candidates and make a recommendation to the full Board for
membership. The full Board will vote on all prospective members.
Once they have joined the Board, new members will participate in a formal orientation process.
This process will be led by the Board Chair and one of the Lead Founders. This orientation will
involve a visit to the school and a review of the schools Board manual, charter school
application, the bylaws, annual reports from the Public Charter School Board and other local and
federal regulations governing charter schools.
The Board and Lead Founders will participate in an annual retreat to review and evaluate the
governance structures. Annually the Board of Trustees will be audited by a third party. Once the
school opens, new Board members will be required to volunteer one day per semester in the
school to gain an increased understanding of the academic programs and school culture.

Parent Membership
Parents will provide an important voice on the Board of Directors. At least two parents of current
students will serve on the Board of Directors. The first official parent members will be selected
within six months after the enrollment of students to ensure that a broad and diverse body of
parents has the opportunity to serve on the Board.
The parent body of the school will have input into the selection of the parent Board members.
The Board will ensure that one of the parent members is always serving on the Governance
Committee which deals with Board recruitment and nominations. In addition, the Parent
Advisory Council will have the specific task of identifying and nominating the parent members
to the Board. The Council will work closely with the Board President and the schools
Executive Director to facilitate this process. Finally, school leadership will make clear to all
parents that they are welcome to nominate any parent, including self-nominations, as any key
stakeholder in the school is welcome to identify Board candidates.

Board Meetings
As outlined in the Bylaws, the Board will hold a minimum of six meetings each year. The
Annual meeting of the Board will be in J une of each year. At the Annual meeting, the Board will
elect its officers and the calendar of meetings for the next year will be established.



56
Board Roles and Responsibilities
The Board has the role and responsibility to provide strategic direction; engage in oversight of
the schools performance, financial management and legal compliance; cultivate and monitor
effective school leadership; and engage in ongoing fundraising and outreach efforts to ensure
adequate resources. These responsibilities include school performance monitoring, succession
planning for the Board and school leadership, holding school leadership accountable, and
ensuring demand for the school.
Specific responsibilities of the Board include:
Provide Strategic Direction and Planning: The Board is responsible for creating and
overseeing the implementation of the schools short-term and long-term strategic
planning, including the schools enrollment targets, growth plan, and performance goals.
In addition to setting annual goals, the Board will develop and monitor a 2-5 year
strategic plan that includes goals for academic performance, finance, operations/facilities
and governance.
Monitor School Performance: The board will regularly review the schools progress
toward goals and benchmarks, as outlined in the Mission Accomplishment Plan, and
ensure positive progress towards these goals.
Oversee Financial Management: To ensure that the school has and is using its
resources effectively, the Board will review and approve an annual budget, review
monthly financial reports, and provide for an annual audit by a certified public accountant
in accordance with the rules and regulations of the DC Public Charter School Board. The
Board will also create and monitor implementation of the schools Fiscal Policy Manual.
Select and Evaluate the Executive Director: The Board is responsible for hiring the
Executive Director and completing his/her annual performance review. The Board will
ensure clarity between the functions of the Board and the Executive Director, with a clear
job description provided for the Executive Director; a clear rubric for the Executive
Directors annual performance will be approved and followed by the Board. The Board
is responsible for providing the support the Executive Director needs in carrying out the
mission of the school, as outlined in the Boards job description.
Enhance Adequate Resources: The Board will set annual targets and goals necessary
for the school to meet its mission and maintain financial stability. The Board is
responsible for working closely with the Executive Director to achieve fundraising goals,
including those related to the schools growth and facility needs.
Enhance the schools public standing and reputation: The Board is responsible for
representing the schools publicity. As such, they must engage the public in all arenas to
promote the school and its mission to serve students and train teachers. Outreach should
focus on the business community, local and national government, local and national
education networks and in the community with parents and families. This work will help
ensure strong student enrollment, financial support and broad community engagement.
Ensure a safe, respectful and productive workplace: The Board is tasked with
providing the policies and procedures that will ensure a positive and productive

57
workplace. They are responsible to provide a strong professional learning community and
to ensure legal compliance with health, safety, civil rights and employment regulations.
Build and maintain an effective Board of Directors: The Board is responsible for
regularly evaluating its own performance to ensure that all Directors are adhering to their
commitment to the Believe PCS. This includes ensuring succession planning for the
Board and building and maintaining a Board membership that fulfills all needed
expertise.

Board Function in Executive Decisions Related to the Schools Operation
The governance and management structure we propose is designed to ensure that the school
benefits from careful oversight and stable governance by the Board, yet also allows school
leadership to maintain appropriate autonomy and flexibility in matters of day-to-day operations.
We anticipate a close working relationship between the Board of Directors and the Executive
Director.
The Board of Directors is responsible for decisions related to setting school policy and the
Executive Director and/or Principal are responsible for the implementation and day-to-day
management of the school. For example, the Board may set a non-discrimination policy and the
Executive Director and Principal must ensure it is followed in their hiring decisions; the Board
will set annual performance goals for the school and the Executive Director and Principal will
determine how best to reach those goals. While the Board must have a strong understanding of
the schools operations, the autonomy and flexibility of the Executive Director and Principal is
critical to the success of a busy learning environment.
Several structures and systems are in place to maximize stability and continuity of vision and
leadership. Expectations for Board Members-including monthly review of financial information,
active participation in committees and regular meetings-provide the time and space for questions
to be raised and potential problems to be spotted sooner rather than later. A thoughtful process
for identifying potential Board members will cultivate a dedicated, engaged Board. Placing
Believe employees on the Board of Directors is an important tool for ensuring that the school
operates according to consistent, coherent and clearly-articulated educational philosophy.
Appointing Board Members to three-year terms enhances the likelihood of stable leadership.
Similarly, a clear structure is in place to ensure management is in the hands of the schools
Executive Director and Principal. For example, personnel decisions regarding teachers and other
school staff takes place at the school level, under the leadership of the Executive Director and
Principal. The Principal is evaluated by the Executive Director, minimizing the Boards
involvement in issues of instructional leadership at the level of individual classrooms or teachers.

Relationship of the Board with the Schools Administrative, Staff, Parents and Students
As discussed above, the Board of Directors will hire, supervise and evaluate the Executive
Director. The Executive Director, in turn, is responsible for the management of the school,
including hiring and evaluating the Principal, who will hire and evaluate the instructional staff.
The Executive Director will be responsible for providing the Board with the information they
need to adequately supervise and govern the school; this may sometimes include having teachers

58
or staff present at Board meetings. At least one teacher will serve on the Board of Directors,
allowing the Board to hear the voice of teachers as they determine strategy and policy.
As parental input is crucial to the schools success, the Board must regularly have the
opportunity to hear from parents. In addition to the two members on the Board of directors, A
Parent Advisory Council will be established in the early months of the opening of the school.
The Board will receive input from the Parent Advisory Council on matters related to school
governance.
Student voice is inherent to the schools mission and it is crucial that Board members interact
regularly with students. It is expected that students will regularly present at Board meetings on
topics relevant and important to Board decision-making. Board members will also be required to
spend one day per semester at the school every year in classrooms, with students and attending
family events.
Additionally, Board meetings will be open to all, and time will be designated in the agenda for
public and staff input and comments. Prior to these public meetings, executive sessions will be
held.
b. Rules and Policies
Many policies related to the governance of the school by the Board of Directors have been set
forth in the Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policy and the Board of Directors J ob Description (See
Section J ). In the first six months after receiving a charter, the Board of Directors will formally
create a Board Manual that includes the policies of the bylaws, as well as those related to the
rules governing meeting procedures, legal issues, strategic planning, financial policy and
oversight, public relations and outreach and human resources.
Further, the Board, in close collaboration with the schools Executive Director and Principal, will
develop and approve a Fiscal Policy Handbook, a Personnel Manual, and a Parent/Student
Handbook to ensure clear policies are established for the operation of the school, including
financial management, personnel, academic program, student discipline, and other areas as
required by District of Columbia.
c. Administrative Structure
The Believe Public Charter Schools organizational structure is outlined below. The Board of
Directors is the key governing body of the school with the primary responsibilities of providing
strategic direction, financial and management oversight and adequate financial resources for the
school. We believe that this structure will honor diversity of experience and thought and build on
the strength of our teacher-parent-student community model by creating an administrative
infrastructure that values and utilizes inputs from all school stakeholders.
* Please see the next page for the structure chart



59




Advisory Board
Parent Advisory
Council
Teacher Leadership
Council
Student Association
Board of Directors
Executive
Director
Principal
Faculty
(Master Teachers, Spec Ed
Coordinator, Literacy Specialist,
Special Subject Teachers,
Counselor, Social Worker)
Administrati ve
Assistant/Office
Manager
Supervisory role
Advisory role
Operation
Director

60
As noted above, the Executive Director will lead the school administrative team and report
directly to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the
school and serves as the liaison with the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will hire the
Principal, who will be responsible for all areas related to instruction, including curriculum,
student achievement, teacher training and professional growth, as well as hiring and managing
school faculty. Believe PCS will hire Mrs. Sherrie Ruggles as the Executive Director, the role of
Principal has not yet been identified, and Ms. Maureen Ross as the Operations Director.

The following outlines the anticipated roles of key administrative staff:

Executive Director:
Nurture, support and strengthen the schools mission
Communicate with the Board of Directors; provide input and relevant information to the
Board about the operations of the school
ensure an overall management culture of openness, collaboration and high expectations in
accordance with the schools mission and goals
support the Board in ensuring adequate resources through aggressive fundraising,
including community and corporate partnerships and in-kind donations
effectively communicate with parents/Parent Advisory Council and community
stakeholders
engage in outreach to the local and national community to support and build the
reputation of the school
handle all public relations and marketing needs of the school
support the Principal in hiring and managing of faculty, as needed
work closely with the Board of Directors and Principal to ensure adequate student
enrollment
Manage human resources and personnel policies
Ensure compliance with all governing agencies
Manage and maintain school facility

The instructional leadership position will be held by the Principal. This will then allow the
Executive Director to focus on external relations, development and fundraising, The
Executive Director will be the principal contact for the District of Columbia Public Charter
School Board.




61
Principal:
Build, lead and sustain a professional learning community in accordance with the
schools mission
Serve as the instructional leader, providing guidance, support and input to ensure high
quality instruction, high student achievement and full implementation of the academic
program in alignment with the schools mission and goals
Support teachers and allow them to contribute to the success of the professional learning
community; collaborate with the Instructional Leadership Team
Efficiently manage and run the day-to-day functions of the school and instructional
program
Oversee the collection and management of student data
Collaborate effectively with and actively reach out to families and the community
Collaborate and communicate effectively with the student body and Student Association
Participate in outreach efforts to educate key constituencies about the schools
philosophy, mission and successes
Work closely with the Board of Directors and Executive Director to ensure adequate
student enrollment
Handle student affair issues including discipline
Handle the selection of the instructional and non- instructional staff

Operations Director:
Primary focus will be the day to day operations, school business and non-instructional
work of the school.
Develop systems for the administration of budget, strategic scheduling plan, grants
administration, and all other systems as directed by the Executive Director.
Manage the schools budget and financial accounting systems, including annual
budgeting process, cash flow and financial reporting

Administrative Assistant & Office Manager
Serves as the schools registrar, administrative assistant and office manager. This position
is the first point of contact with the school for parents and all other external stakeholders.
Responsible for student recruitment, admissions, and maintaining student records.
Responsible for preparing the Board of Trustees briefing book under the direction of the
Executive Director.


62
Administrative Leadership Team (ALT) comprised of the senior administrators of the school.
In year 1, the team will include the Executive Director, Principal and Operations Director. The
team will meet on a weekly basis to review and problem-solve issues directly related to school
operations, academic achievement and curriculum development, resource development, facilities,
teacher professional development, policy formulation and implementation, and other academic
and non-academic program issues. The ALT will be chaired by the Executive Director.
Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) comprised of teachers in each content area. Teachers
will be awarded a stipend for participation on this leadership team. The ILT will be chaired by
the Principal.
Student Affairs Team- (SAT) The Student Affairs Team will be comprised of behavior
specialists, school social worker and Guidance Counselor. The team will meet on a weekly basis
to review and discuss issues relating to discipline, counseling, classroom management, event
planning, school culture and climate. The SAT will be chaired by the Principal.
Teacher, Parent and Student Involvement
Believe PCS administrative structure provides for on-going input points for teachers, staff,
parents and students into the decision-making processes at the school.
The schools success will be built on treating teachers as professionals and in the belief that
teachers must be given the authority and trust to make decisions that are the best for students.
Because teachers know their students and because teachers have the power to make the greatest
impact on student achievement, teachers must have a strong voice in the school decision-making.
In addition to teachers being on the Board of Directors, the school will establish an Instructional
Leadership Team. This Team will work in close collaboration with the Principal on all decisions
that affect teaching and learning in the school. This includes curriculum, assessments, use of
data, school schedules, parent outreach, discipline policies and procedures and individual plans
for students.
The Executive Director and Principal will work in partnership with all of the key administrators
to administer and implement mission-aligned goals for curriculum and teaching, student
achievement, fiscal planning, and operations. The chart below illustrates the projected decision-
making hierarchy.

Believe Public Charter School Decision-Making Matrix
Organizational
Decision Area
Who sets goals
and makes
final decisions?
Who is involved
in decision-
making?
Decisions are
informed by
Forums for
decision- making
Curriculum &
Teaching
Executive
Director


Principal,
Director of
Curriculum,
Instruction &
Assessment,
Teachers &
Learning
Specialists
Student
assessment data
&
Professional
Development
needs
Full-faculty
meetings,
Administrative-
level meetings &
Department
meetings


63
Student
Achievement
Executive
Director

Principal,
SPED
Coordinator,
Director of
Curriculum,
Instruction &
Assessment,
Teachers,
Learning
Specialists &
Instructional
Leadership Team
(ILT)
Student
assessment data
&
Student Services
Full-Faculty
meetings,
Administrative-
level meetings,
Department
meetings &
Instructional
Leadership Team
(ILT)
Fiscal Planning Executive
Director &
Operations
Director

Principal

Program needs,
Student Services
needs &
Fundraising
Administrative-
Team meetings
Operations Executive
Director

Operations
Director
Program needs,
Student Services
Needs & Facility
Needs
Administrative-
level meetings
Student Affairs Principal Executive
Director,
Principal,
Behavioral
Specialists &
Counselor

Teacher Reports
&
Counselor
Reports
OSA meetings,
Grade level
meetings &
Student Council
Parent &
Community
Involvement
Principal

Teachers and
Parents,
Executive
Director,
Behavioral
Specialists,
Counselor &
Social Worker
Parent Reports &
Teacher Contact
Logs
OSA Meetings,
Parent & Family
Council Meetings
&
Student Council

The school will conduct annual focus groups with parents, teachers, students, and community
organizations to gauge their satisfaction with the school and its policies. See section D for
Believe PCS Accountability Plan.



64
d. School Management Contracts
Believe PCS has no plans to enter into a contract with a school management firm.
3. Finance
a. Anticipated Sources of Funds
Revenue: Public Per Pupil, Facilities and Federal Entitlements
Believe PCS anticipates receiving 3.6 million dollars in revenue generated via the combined
public per pupil ($2,343,391) operating and non-residential per pupil facility ($630,000)
allocation for operating year 1 (based on a planned annual enrollment of 225 K -8
th
grade
students).
Revenue: Federal Entitlements
Revenue projections were generated by Ron Holmes LTA Associates using an annual inflator of
103% and is based on student enrollment growth projections (125 to 225 over 5 years) Sixty-
five percent (65% )of the student body is projected as being eligible for Title I funds; and 15%
of the student body is eligible for special education services. At this time we are not anticipating
Title III funding, however, this could be an additional revenue source if we enroll LEP or ELL
students.

Other Grants
We will apply for $190,000 in Title V in our program design year and $190,000 in Year 1 and
$190,000 in Year 2. Our public per pupil revenues will be used fully for operational and
instructional expenses and costs.

Revenues: Per Pupil & Facilities Allotments, Federal Entitlements, and Other income
Planning
Year
Operating
Year 1
Operating
Year 2
Operating
Year 3
Operating
Year 4
Operating
Year 5
REVENUE SY11-12 SY12-13 SY13-14 SY14-15 SY15-16 SY16-17
Per Pupil
Allowance
0 2,973,391 3,043,693 3,116,104 3,190,687 3,267,607
Facility
Allowance
0 630,000 630,000 630,000 630,000 630,000
Federal
Entitlements
190,000 567,728 576,960 326,468 336,263 346,350
Other
Funding/Federal
Grants
0 58,460 120,427 179,610 236,103 243,186
Other Income 0 70,272 72,380 74,552 76,788 79,092
TOTAL 190,000 3,611,391 3,693,033 3,517,124 3,603,738 3,692,950
Total # of
Students
- 225 225 225 225 225


65
Our fundraising and development committee and the schools administrative team, will seek
funds from public (federal and district) and private sources. A full-time Director of Development
will join the administrative team in year 3 to manage the schools grant development and
fundraising efforts. In years 1 and 2 the Operations Director will be responsible for grant
development and fundraising.

Contingency Planning
We have constructed a conservative budget that assumes no substantial growth in key revenue
sources such as the per pupil allotment rate, but does assume a growth in expenses, such as
increasing salaries at 3 percent per year. Contingencies are necessary when funding is dependent
on outside sources so should our income projections change dramatically due to lower than
expected per pupil allocation, or should the per pupil payment be delayed we will consider the
following contingency plans:
Staffing model: We will examine the staffing model to determine if filling certain
positions can be delayed (if funds are delayed) or if positions can be eliminated (if
funding is lower). First priority will be to keep core instructional staff intact, so we
would look to non-teaching staff first: office manager, counselor, specials/resource
teachers.
Classroom composition: We will examine our enrollment levels to determine if class
size can be adjusted or if classroom groupings can be arranged to maximize every
classroom. This would allow us to use fewer teaching staff.
Financing: We anticipate having a strong relationship with a local bank and will work
with them to establish a line of credit. This option is possible if there is a delay in
receiving the funds and would not likely be considered if the funds were simply
lower.
Line of Credit: Immediately upon receiving a charter, we will secure a $100,000 line
of credit from our bank to cover any cash flow imbalance.

Additionally, we will contract with a yet to be identified accountant firm to generate another 1
st
,
and 2
nd
year operating budget projections in the event that enrollment in the first year is 10- 20%
below projections. We believe that these plans are not draconian and will not compromise the
integrity of the core curriculum and our goals of remaining a high performing K 8 schools.

Five Year Budget Goals
Believe PCS five year projected budget includes hiring additional staff each year to meet
student enrollment, anticipated student needs (special education staff, social worker), expanded
educational programming ( additional special subject teachers), and additional demands on
financial and operational management. Our budget is driven by our goal to provide a modern and
technologically state-of-the art program for students. We have conservatively formulated staff
and occupancy related expenses at a relatively lower than average percentage, to allow sufficient
end cash balances.

66
A secondary goal is to use our expanded development (grant) program to enhance our
technological abilities and building improvements. Our desire is to ensure that every student has
access to appropriate adaptive technologies to support and enhance their learning. We will begin
discussions with programs such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cisco Systems Virtual
Schoolhouse Program, Milken Family Foundation for Educational Technology, SMARTer Kids
Foundation and Sun Microsystems Foundation to discuss the range of hardware and software
grants, training and technical assistance available for our school. Most of these foundations
specifically target schools serving economically disadvantaged students and their communities.
b. Planned Fundraising Efforts
Believe PCS Board of Directors Development and Outreach Committee will lead our
fundraising efforts. We will concentrate on grants, individual donors and foundations. The
committee is planning our projected targets for the first five years. Our plans for fundraising
include Title Vb, Walton family funds and other private sources as well. We will have yearly
goals to supplement our operating budget with personnel and materials beyond those which we
have carefully planned to cover with our per pupil allowance. Our main fundraising goals
include building up the schools financial reserve, additional specialty teachers, after school
programming and a capital campaign to cover building improvements.

Pre-Opening Period
If the Charter is granted, our Founding group will immediately apply for the Title V(b) funding
of $190,000 as well as the Walton Family Foundation Charter School Grant of $250,000. This
funding will provide the necessary resources during our planning year, including hiring the
Executive Director and the Principal.
As we have members on our Board with significant records of fundraising success we will rely
on them to continue fundraising and strategically identify the best prospects for significant
funding during the pre-planning year. They will work in concert with the Executive Director and
the Board of Directors.

Year One and beyond
The schools Board of Directors, working closely with the schools Executive Director will have
the primary responsibility of ensuring adequate resources for the school as it opens and continues
operations. The board will develop a fundraising strategy, including setting goals and
developing a list of targeted donors (government, foundation, corporate and individual); the
Board and Executive Director will implement the plan jointly.
c. Financial Management and Accounting
Believe PCS has hired a full time Operations Director to develop and manage our business and
financial needs. The Operations Director will work with a yet to be contracted accounting firm
who will assist in the management of Believes financial affairs. The Operations Director will
work with the Executive Director in reviewing all monthly periodic and annual reports prepared
by the Accounting Firm for presentation to the Board. The Operations Director will work with
the accounting firm to prepare all financial statements for audit. Corrective actions noted by the

67
auditor will be reviewed by the Boards finance committee who will make recommendations and
develop next steps for the Executive Director.

Financial Management and Internal Accounting Procedures
The schools financial management and internal accounting procedures will be designed to
ensure fiscal control and accountability and will be maintained in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principals (GAAP) as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants. We have already benefited from Ron Holmes LTA Associates in developing initial
financial management and accounting procedures.
An early task of the Board of Directors will be to create the schools Fiscal Policy Manual to
ensure accountability of all financial transactions and to ensure the schools financial health.
Using the Public Charter School Boards Fiscal Policy Handbook as a guide, the Fiscal Policy
Manual will lay out the framework and policies for financial management within the school,
including the processes for regular review of financial documents, monthly bank reconciliations,
the appropriate recording of funds (restricted or unrestricted), creation of the annual budget,
billing and collections, and internal controls over the flow of income and expenses. All policies
and procedures will be designed to ensure segregation of duties, clear authorization and approval
procedures, regular reconciliation and review of the schools finances and high ethical standards.
Financial reports, including profit & loss statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flow,
will be prepared on a monthly basis.
Examples of policies the Manuel will likely include are:
Procedures and timeline for the development of the schools annual budget. The
Executive Director, with input from the Principal, will have the ultimate responsibility of
preparing the proposed budget. The Board of Directors will have the responsibility of
approving it.
Procedures for check authorization, preparation, signatures and disbursement. The
Executive Director and Operations Director will be the primary designees to sign checks;
checks greater than $10,000 will require the Board Chairs signature also.
Procedures for handling incoming funds and recording revenue. The Administrative
Assistant/Office Manager will open and record all income into accounting software. The
Executive Director will be responsible for preparing deposits.
Procedures for written contracts and procurement, including purchases under $25,000 and
$25,000 and over, following PCSB guidelines.
Procedures for authorizing expenses and reimbursements, including appropriate forms for
authorizing signatures and expenses code categories.
Establishment of guidelines for maintaining financial files, receipts and records
Policies for monthly bank reconciliation
Ongoing review of cash flow


68
We understand that adequate cash flow can be difficult due to the quarterly distribution of the per
pupil allowance. To mitigate possible cash flow issues, we expect to develop a cash reserve
prior to opening and to develop a revolving line of credit from our banker. We will also seek to
negotiate our schedule of payments with vendors so that they are in line with our cash flow
projections. Because we will have a monthly review of cash flow, we believe we will be able to
anticipate and correct any cash flow imbalances.

The Board of Trustees will have ultimate responsibility for the fiscal well-being of the school. A
full time Operations Director has been hired to manage the schools pre-operating and Year 1
accounting of revenues and expenditure, cash management, record keeping, preparation of the
annual budget and other related financial management needs. The Board will exercise its
authority via the Finance Committee. Additionally, the Operations Director will set up an
internal control system that will address our organizations needs in the following areas: cash
disbursement, cash receipts, petty cash, payroll, recording of grants/gifts/bequests, check
issuance, deposits, fixed asset recording and labeling, and annual budget. The Board of Directors
with the Executive Director and the Operations Director will concurrently develop personnel
policies that include salary levels, grievance procedures, severance, compensatory and overtime
and other personnel related matters that have budgetary implications.

Cash Flow Management Plans to Ensure Availability of Funds
The Executive Director and the Operations Director will oversee the schools cash flow
management by maintaining separate operating accounts at PNC Bank. The Executive Director
and Board of Trustee Treasurer with the assistance of the accounting firm will review all aged
accounts and grants receivable on a monthly basis. Additional fiscal controls and financial
management policies will be developed to ensure the school maintains the needed cash flow and
to ensure accurate and timely financial reporting. A timetable for this can be found in Section
4.a.The school agrees to maintain its financial records in accordance with generally accepted
accounting principles (as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants).
d. Civil Liability and Insurance
Believe PCS will maintain the following types of levels of insurance:
Type Estimated Amount
General Liability $1,000,000 per occurrence; $2,000,000 aggregate
Directors and Officers Liability $1,000,000
Educators Legal Liability $1,000,000
Umbrella Coverage $3,000,000
Property/Lease Insurance 100% of Replacement Cost
Boiler and Machinery Insurance $1,000,000 (if appropriate or actual loss)
Workers Compensation As required by law

69
e. Provision for Audit
On an annual basis, and in accordance with the schools bylaws, the Board of Directors will
engage an external auditing firm to conduct a full audit of the Believe PCS finances. The audit
will be completed by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with government
auditing standards and in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards
and DC Public Charter School Boards audit requirements and policies. The firm will be chosen
from the Charter School Boards list of approved auditors. The school will provide all financial
information and data to the auditor in order to complete the audit in a timely fashion. Upon the
completion of the audit, a copy will be submitted to the DC Public Charter School Board in
accordance with published deadlines. The audit findings and financial statements will be
submitted to the Public Charter School Board and other regulatory agencies. We have set aside
$18,000 in our operating budget to cover the costs for performing the audit on annual basis and
other payroll and accounting needs for Years 1 through 5. (See 5
th
Year Budget, v1.3).
4. Facilities
a. Identification of a Site
Believe PCS has not identified a site for our school if this petition is awarded. We are looking to
house our school in the Southeast side of DC in Ward 8. We anticipate/hope to lease a facility
with the option to purchase as our permanent site. We will contact Building Hope to see if there
are any sites available that meet our needs and meet with commercial real estate brokers to help
us identify commercial space (if needed). In identifying a site we will look for accessibility to
public transportation, sufficient common space and meeting space for students and staff, minimal
renovation needs and appropriate access to outdoor space and play areas. We will continue our
efforts throughout the application review period. The following timeline will guide this process:
Site search: Ongoing
Site Selection: September 2011
Lease Negotiations and finalization: October 2011
Architectural design & renovation: November March 2012
Completion of renovation: March 2012
Occupancy: April 2012

b. Site Renovation
We hope to identify a space that requires little to no renovations. We have, however, budgeted
funds for renovations over the next five years. Before signing any lease, we will, of course,
ensure that the building is in compliance with all building and safety codes. Once the charter is
approved and the site has been identified the Board will contract with an architect for designs
and plans.

70
c. Financing Plans for Facilities
Believe PCSs goal is to lease a site with a life time guarantee lease and/or the option to purchase
this facility in the future. Our projected budget for the next five years includes rental space
using the public funds available to the school. We will take the following steps in order to
secure the funding needed to take on the lease prior to the release of the first per pupil and
facilities allotments:
Secure a line of credit from our bank to be repaid immediately upon receipt of the per
pupil and facilities allotments
Raise additional funds in the funding year from private sources
d. Building Maintenance
We have budgeted $25,000 for building services and $6000 for janitorial supplies in Year 1.
Services such as utilities and garbage contracts and services, maintenance supplies and repairs
and janitorial supplies will equal 16.00% of the budget. The site selected will comply with all
applicable building codes and requirements for occupancy.
5. Recruiting and Marketing
a. Outreach to the Community
Believe PCSs outreach effort will target all District students, with particular emphasis on
enrolling students of Wards 7 and 8. Believe PCS will publicize the school throughout the
communities in Wards 7 and 8 using a variety of strategies. We expect to be a model of best
practices in educating children; therefore, we will be engaged in a constant process of active and
ongoing outreach to the community to visit our school. It is also important that parents have
trusted members of their community on the board to make important decisions on their childrens
education. We will have two parents on the Board as Trustees who will be elected within six
months of enrolling students for opening in 2012-2013.
Information sessions and scheduled meetings- We intend to schedule a series of Open House
Information sessions for parents and community members to learn about the school. We will
make a short presentation about the schools mission and goals, and have staff available to
answer questions.
Meetings with community leaders and community organizations We have begun to meet
with key individuals and organizations who can help with our outreach efforts to share our plans
for the school and gain their input and feedback into how best to integrate our school into their
community. This includes meetings with Council Members, non-profit organizations providing
services to families and children, neighborhood ANCs, church leaders, and other community
groups with ties to various neighborhoods.
Print and Radio Media- we will create a short flyer and brochure to share with the community.
We will post these at libraries, churches, grocery stores, markets and community centers. These
flyers will have basic information about the school, as well as contact information so that we can
be contacted with questions. Believe PCS will publicize through its website (once created) and
will be made available on all print and media materials. In addition the school will advertise

71
through a variety of opportunities including print media, The Washington Post, The Washington
Informer, and East of the River Hill Rag, The Washington Parent Magazine and American
Student Lists. The school will advertise recruiting dates on local area radio stations that include
AM and FM stations. Members of the committee have contacts for all radio stations to schedule
interviews with radio and print media to discuss Believe PCS and give informed interviews for
their listeners and readers alike.
b. Recruitment of Students
The recruitment of students requires a comprehensive and well-thought out plan in order to
ensure adequate enrollment. The first step is developing a succinct, clear marketing message that
clearly defines the mission and goals of our school, defining how and why the Believe PCS is a
good choice for parents. Our initial recruiting plan includes the following activities:
Recruitment and information sessions: we feel the best way to recruit parents and
students is to have the opportunity to speak with them directly. We will schedule and
advertise meet-and-greets throughout the community and specifically within Wards 7
and 8, to take place in locations easily accessible and already familiar to families such as
libraries, churches, and community centers. These sessions will provide information
about our vision, mission and educational approach, as well as the enrollment and lottery
processes. We will have information in both English and Spanish, and staff will be
available to answer questions.
Presentations at community meetings through partnerships with community
organizations: Another important access point to parents and families is through the
networks they already know and trust. As such, we will develop relationships with
community organizations and service providers s that we can present to their
constituencies during their regularly scheduled meetings and events. Targeted groups
include: Advisory Neighborhood Commissions; churches and synagogues; Boys and
Girls Clubs; after-school programs and providers; and social service providers (health
care, housing, ECT.). These groups will be important as we are working to recruit
kindergarten through 8
th
graders who will already be enrolled elsewhere, and whose
parents may be less likely to attend an information session on a new school.
Door-to-door canvassing: We will go door-to-door in targeted neighborhoods to share
information about the school. Hopefully we will have identified community members to
help us with this effort.
Website and list serves: The school will have its own website and the application will be
available on-line. Using our email networks and community list serves, we will share our
recruitment materials with a wide audience. Specific efforts will target the neighborhood
list serve where our school will be be located, as well as larger parent list serves.
Charter School recruitment fairs: We intend to have an information booth at the DC
Charter School recruitment fairs
Day care centers: Because we will be recruiting kindergarten students, we will work
with area day care centers to share information with their families about our school.
Flyers will be made available to hand out to families at the day care centers. We will also
work to have information sessions at specific day care centers.

72
Believe PCS is anticipated to be located in Ward 8. Currently, Ward 8 has at least 23 elementary,
3 middle schools and 5 charter schools. While recruitment efforts are well planned and stringent,
we are not in an area heavily populated with educational options. We do not see enrollment as
being an easy task, but we do feel that with thorough planning we will be effective in our
recruiting.
The members of our founding group and trustees have joined the group with the explicit
understanding that student recruitment is a significant part of their responsibility as founding
members and trustees. Therefore, they will be the key implementers of our recruitment strategy.
All founding group members and trustees, will use their relationships and networks in the
community to set up information sessions across the city; make the presentations at meetings;
work to build new allies and networks on behalf of the school; and prepare and disseminate
recruitment materials.

Recruitment Strategies
Open Enrollment
Recruitment at Believe PCS will be an ongoing process where activities and opportunities will be
planned. We will have open enrollment dates that will be announced. Open enrollment for
Believe PCS will begin in September 2011. These sessions will continue through J une 2012. If
we reach enrollment capacity before J une 2012, our lottery date will be April 11, 2012.
Enrollment efforts will continue through the summer of 2012 and our recruiting committee will
attend all citywide recruiting fairs for perspective students.
Over Enrollment
If we have more students interested in enrolling than we have spaces, we will generate a waitlist
for students and contact them of openings. The waitlist will be kept current by the Believe PCS
leadership and the recruitment committee so these students and their parents will be contacted
immediately.
Students that are wards of the state, or homeless will be registered in the same random process of
first come first serve as all students. Once enrolled however, the records for these students will
be kept with the attendance designee, so accurate communication will occur with the department
of social services or the students legal guardian.
Under Enrollment
Believe PCS will have a contingency budget plan if we are under enrolled. This budget plan
consists of staffing changes that will occur and support services that will be done on a
contractual basis instead of in-house employees. Volunteering will also increase with this
contingency budget.
Parents
Believe PCS believes that parents are a key resource and our most important partner in the
education of children. This belief will be transparent in many ways throughout the schools
outreach programs. Parents who have expressed interest in Believe will be asked to participate
in the recruitment effort. Parents can phone bank parents and guardians that have given interest
in enrolling and give their perspective of Believe PCS.

73
Parents will also be asked to attend community fairs and meetings to give information about the
school. We will ask parents to distribute flyers in their neighborhood, churches and places they
frequent to inform others of the school. This program will enable parents to reach out to other
parents and guardians in the community.
c. Future Expansion and Improvements
During the first five years of operation we are projecting we will reach our full capacity of
enrollment in year 2. We anticipate an increase in ELL and IEP students. Though nationally
the special needs population is approximately 12%, we expect a slightly larger percentage of
students (>15%) with IEPs and 504 plans in Ward 8. We have factored planning staffing and
fiscal capital needed to expertly serve this group of students.
The ELL population is currently <l%, however, demographic shifts may dramatically alter that
figure upward. We are developing plans and instructional strategies (e.g. sheltered immersion
training for teachers, recruiting bilingual student support staff) to serve these students should
they enroll at Believe PCS.

1
Believe Public Charter School
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics




1. Policy Statement

The school is committed to being a good corporate citizen. The schools policy is
to conduct its business affairs honestly and in an ethical manner. That goal cannot be
achieved unless you individually accept your responsibility to promote integrity and
demonstrate the highest level of ethical conduct in all of your activities. Activities that
may call into question the Schools reputation or integrity should be avoided. The School
understands that not every situation is black and white. The key to compliance with the
Code is exercising good judgment. This means following the spirit of this Code and the
law, doing the right thing and acting ethically even when the law is not specific. When
you are faced with a business situation where you must determine the right thing to do,
you should ask the following questions:

Am I following the spirit, as well as the letter, of any law or School policy?
Would I want my actions reported on 60 Minutes?
What would my family, friends or neighbors think of my actions?
Will there be any direct or indirect negative consequences for the School?

Managers set an example for other employees and are often responsible for directing the
actions of others. Every manager and supervisor is expected to take necessary actions to
ensure compliance with this Code, to provide guidance and assist employees in resolving
questions concerning the Code and to permit employees to express any concerns
regarding compliance with this Code. No one has the authority to order another
employee to act contrary to this Code.

2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

The School seeks to comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and
regulations in all countries in which it operates.

The School is committed to full compliance with the laws and regulations of the
cities, states and countries in which it operates. You must comply with all applicable
laws, rules and regulations in performing your duties for the School. Numerous federal,
state and local laws and regulations define and establish obligations with which the
School, its employees and agents must comply. Under certain circumstances, local
country law may establish requirements that differ from this Code. You are expected to
comply with all local country laws in conducting the Schools business. If you violate
these laws or regulations in performing your duties for the School, you not only risk
individual indictment, prosecution and penalties, and civil actions and penalties, you also
subject the School to the same risks and penalties. If you violate these laws in performing
2
your duties for the School, you may be subject to immediate disciplinary action,
including possible termination of your employment or affiliation with the School.

3. Full, Fair, Accurate, Timely and Understandable Disclosure

It is of extreme importance to the School that all disclosure in reports an in other
public communication made by the School is full, fair, accurate, timely and
understandable. You must take all steps available to assist the School in these
responsibilities consistent with your role within the School. In particular, you are
required to provide prompt and accurate answers to all inquiries made to you in
connection with the Schools preparation of its reports and disclosure.

4. Special Ethics Obligations For Employees With Financial Reporting
Responsibilities

Senior Officers each bear a special responsibility for promoting integrity
throughout the school. Furthermore, the Senior Officers have a responsibility to foster a
culture throughout the School as a whole that ensures the fair and timely reporting of the
Schools results of operation and financial condition and other financial information.

Because of this special role, the Senior Officers are bound by the following
Senior Officer Code of Ethics, and by accepting the Code of Business Conduct and
Ethics each agrees that he or she will:

Perform his or her duties in an honest and ethical manner.
Handle all actual or apparent conflicts of interest between his or her personal
and professional relationships in an ethical manner.
Take all necessary actions to ensure full, fair, accurate, timely and
understandable disclosure in reports and documents that the School files with,
or submits to, government agencies and in other public communications.
Comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of federal, state and
local government.
Proactively promote and be an example of ethical behavior in the work
environment.

5. Confidentiality

All confidential information concerning the School obtained by you is the
property of the school and must be protected.

Confidential information includes all non-public information that might be of use
to competitors, or harmful to the School or its customers, if disclosed. You must
maintain the confidentiality of such information entrusted to you by the school, its
customers and its suppliers, except when disclosure is authorized by the School or
required by law.

3
Examples of confidential information include, but are not limited to: the Schools
trends and projections; information about financial performance; new product or
marketing plans; research and development ideas or information; significant personnel
changes; existing or potential major contracts, orders, suppliers, customers or finance
sources or the loss thereof; and [________].

Your obligation with respect to confidential information extends beyond the
workplace. In that respect, it applies to communications with your family members and
continues to apply even after your employment or director relationship with the School
terminates.

6. Fair Dealing

Our goal is to conduct our business with integrity.

You should endeavor to deal honestly with the Schools customers, suppliers,
competitors, and employees. Under feral and state laws, the School is prohibited from
engaging in unfair methods of competition, and unfair or deceptive acts and practices.
You should not take unfair advantage of anyone through manipulation, concealment,
abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any other unfair
dealing.

Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:

Bribery or payoffs to induce business or breaches of contracts by others;
Acquiring a competitors trade secrets through bribery or theft;
Making false, deceptive or disparaging claims or comparisons about
competitors or their products or services; or
Mislabeling products or services

7. Protection and Proper Use of School Assets

You should endeavor to protect the Schools assets and ensure their proper use.

School assets, both tangible and intangible, are to be used only for legitimate
business purposes of the School and only by authorized employees or consultants.
Intangible assets include intellectual property such as trade secrets, patents, trademarks
and copyrights, business marketing and service plans, designs, databases, School records,
salary information, and any unpublished financial data and reports. Unauthorized
alteration, destruction, use, disclosure or distribution of School assets violates school
policy and this Code. Theft or waste of, or careliness in using, these assets have a direct
adverse impact on the Schools operations and profitability and will not be tolerated.

The School provides computers, voice mail, and electronic mail (e-mail), and
Internet access to certain employees for the purpose of achieving the Schools business
objectives. As a result the School has the right to access, reprint, publish, or retain any
4
information created, sent or contained in any of the schools computers or e-mail systems
of any School machine. You may not use e-mail, he Internet or voice mail for any illegal
purpose or in any manner that is contrary to the schools policies or the standards
embodied in this Code.

You should not make copies of, or resell or transfer copyrighted publications,
including software, manuals, articles, books, and databases being used in the School, that
were created by another entity and licensed to the School, unless you are authorized to do
so under the applicable license agreement. In no event should you load or use, on any
school computer, any software, third party content or database without receiving the prior
permission of the [________] to do so. You must refrain from transferring any data or
information to any School computer other than for School use. You may use a handheld
computing device or mobile phone in connection with your work for the School, but must
not use such device or phone to access, load or transfer content, software or data in
violation of any applicable law or regulation or without the permission of the owner of
such content, software or data.

8. Reporting Violations of School Policies

You should report any violation or suspected violation of this Code to the
appropriate School personnel.

The Schools efforts to ensure observance of, and adherence to, the goals and
policies outlined in this Code mandate that you promptly bring to the attention of
the Executive Director, any material transaction, relationship, act, failure to act,
occurrence or practice that you believe, in good faith, is inconsistent with, in
violation, or reasonably could be expected to give rise to a violation, of this Code.

Use common sense and good judgment; Act in good faith. You are expected
to become familiar with and to understand the requirements of the Code. If
you become aware of a suspected violation, dont try to investigate it or
resolve it on your own. Prompt disclosure to the appropriate parties is vital to
ensuring a thorough and timely investigation and resolution. The
circumstances should be reviewed by appropriate personnel as promptly as
possible, and delay may affect the results of any investigation. A violation of
the Code or of applicable laws and/or governmental regulations is a serious
matter and could have legal implications. Allegations of such behavior are
not taken lightly and should not be made to embarrass someone or put him or
her in a false light. Reports of suspected violations should always be made in
good faith.

Internal investigations. When an alleged violation of the Code, applicable
laws and/or governmental regulations is reported, the School will take
appropriate action. You are expected to cooperate in internal investigations
of alleged misconduct or violations of the Code or of applicable laws or
regulations.
5

No fear of retaliation. It is School policy that there be no intentional
retaliation against any person who provides truthful information to a School
or law enforcement official concerning a possible violation of any law,
regulation or School policy, including this Code. Persons who retaliate may
be subject to civil, criminal and administrative penalties, as well as
disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. In cases
in which you report a suspected violation in good faith and are not engaged in
the questionable conduct, the School will attempt to keep its discussions with
you confidential to the extent reasonably possible. In the course of its
investigation, the School may find it necessary to share information with
others on a need to know basis. No retaliation shall be taken against you
for reporting alleged violations while acting in good faith.

9. Compliance Procedures

The School has established this Code as part of its overall policies and
procedures. To the extent that other School policies and procedures conflict with this
code, you should follow this Code. The Code applies to all School directors and School
employees, including all officers.

The Code is based on the Schools core values, good business practices and
applicable law. The existence of a Code, however, does not ensure that directors, officers
and employees will comply with it or act in a legal and ethical manner. To achieve
optimal legal and ethical behavior, the individuals subject to the Code must know and
understand the Code as it applies to them and as it applies to others. You must champion
the Code and assist others in knowing and understanding it.

Compliance. You are expected to become familiar with and
understand the requirements of the Code. Most importantly, you must
comply with it.

Access to the Code. The school shall ensure that each current employee
and each director will be provided with a copy of the Code. New
employees and newly voted in directors will receive a copy of the Code
as part of their new hire information. From time to time, the School
will sponsor employee training programs in which the Code and other
School policies and procedures will be discussed.









74
C. Plan of Operation
1. Student Policies and Procedures
a. Timetable for Registering and Admitting
The following is Believe PCS timetable for registering and admitting. Lottery and
admission deadlines are also provided below:
Activity Date
Student Application Development

August 2011
Student Recruitment Campaign/Open
Houses
September 2011- March 2012
Registration Period; Application
Deadline
April 2, 2012
Believe PCS Lottery (if Needed) April 11, 2012
Believe PCS Notification to prospective
students and those on waiting list, if any
April 18, 2012
Intent to enroll forms due May 1, 2012
Remaining open slots filled according to
waiting list
J une 1, 2012
Families complete registration
information; parent/guardian/Director
conferences; collect information on
special needs students

May-J une 2012
Verify DC Residency

April-J uly 2, 2012
Orientation/Two open houses held for
families
J uly 26, 2012 - last names A-L
J uly 27, 2012 - last names M-Z
School Year Begins August 20, 2012

b. Policies and Procedures for Selection, Admission, Enrollment, Withdrawal,
Suspension, and Expulsion of Students
Admission Eligibility
Any student of appropriate age/grade level who is a resident of the District of Columbia
will be eligible for admission to Believe Public Charter School. Prospective students will
be considered without regard to any measures of aptitude or achievement, ethnicity,
national origin, gender, disability, language proficiency, sexual orientation or any other
basis prohibited by law. If there are more applicants than spaces after the initial
enrollment period has closed, the school will hold a lottery. If any spaces remain open
after the lottery, they will be made available first to District residents registering late and

75
secondly Non-District residents, who may then enroll and will pay tuition as established
by the District. If a student has an Individual Education Plan, (IEP) they will be required
to submit a copy of the IEP.
Admissions Meetings
Once a student is selected for admission, the parent/guardian and the student must:
Attend an individual meeting with the Director; sign an agreement committing
parents/guardians to be engaged with their childs education; provide appropriate
documentation to confirm District residency and submit proof of student immunizations.
The individual meeting will introduce Believes vision, mission, student motto,
curriculum and to ensure that parents/guardians understand and agree.
Student Withdrawal
Students may seek to withdraw at any time. As soon as the school receives notice of the
withdrawal, the school will hold an exit interview with the parents/guardians of the
withdrawing student to collect as much information as possible regarding the reasons for
withdrawal. The school will use the information gathered to guide changes and
improvements to the school, its programs or its management.
Suspension and Expulsion of Students
Believe will set a high standard of behavior for everyone in the school community.
Believe expects students to behave with respect and compassion and to be good students
and citizens. We will strive to protect valuable instructional time from disruption due to
disciplinary problems, and teach students to find peaceful solutions to conflict. We are
committed to creating an environment for students where appropriate behavior is valued
alongside academic achievement. This is the reason for requiring all families to meet
with staff as part of their admission to the school to establish mutual commitments to
the schools vision and mission.
In order to provide a safe and appropriate environment for all students, Believe will
develop a Code of Conduct and disciplinary policy that identifies expected and prohibited
behavior. The rules regarding appropriate behavior will be clearly stated in the student
and parent handbooks and will be discussed during orientation, in every classroom and at
school assemblies. The school will also identify and explain behaviors that are
unacceptable in our school community and the consequences and interventions for
violations of school rules.
Faculty, staff and any other adult in the classroom and throughout the school will work
with students to model and teach appropriate behavior and create a safe learning
environment. It is expected that teachers will have processes in place to handle discipline
challenges in their classrooms. Teachers may use the following kinds of strategies:
Redirecting the student with verbal and non-verbal cues
One-on-one conversations
Believe in Peace where conflict resolution strategies are facilitated
Conversations and problem solving with parents/guardians


76
When such interventions and all other means of guidance have been exhausted, a student
who continues to exhibit inappropriate, disruptive or dangerous behavior may be
suspended or expelled from school. In these cases, students and their parents/guardians
will be given notice and will have an opportunity to present their views of the facts and
circumstances of the behavior or action being addressed. All students will be treated
fairly and in a way that conforms to applicable laws and principles of due process. The
terms of reinstatement will be discussed with the parents/guardians and explained to the
student.
Expulsion Challenge
Parents/guardians may challenge an expulsion. They will first discuss it with the
Executive Director of the school. If not satisfied with the discussion of the childs case
with the Director, the parents/guardians may appeal to the Schools Board of Directors.
The appeal must be made in writing and a hearing may be requested. The decision of the
Board of Directors will be final.
Believe will follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Acts discipline guidelines
when managing potential suspension and/or expulsion of a student with an IEP or a
student identified as in need of a review for an IEP.

Development of Student Policies and Procedures
The Executive Director and Principal will prepare student policies and procedures with
later input from the staff, parents and students. These policies and procedures will be
published in the Student/Parent handbook.
2. Human Resource Information
a. Key Leadership Roles
The following provides the names and qualifications of the individuals who will either
hold key instructional, administrative, business and legal leadership positions at Believe
PCS during the pre-opening planning year or will serve in the interim until those
positions are filled.
Executive Director
The position of Executive Director will be filled by Ms. Sherrie Ruggles. The Director
will have the primary responsibility of preparing all aspects for the schools opening in
2012 and thereafter all reporting, documentation and implementation of policies,
procedures and curriculum. Ms. Ruggles holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from
Tennessee State University and has held the position of Principal for the past ten years
for students in grades K-8
th
at a Private School in SE Washington DC. Ms. Ruggles has
also taught various grade levels over the last thirteen years and has passed her Praxis I, II
and Professional Knowledge tests along with the Virginia VCLA and VRA tests.


77
Principal
The position of Principal at Believe PCS has not, as of yet, been identified. The Principal
will build, lead and sustain a professional learning community in accordance with the
schools mission, serve as the instructional leader, providing guidance, support and input
to ensure high quality instruction, high student achievement and full implementation of
the academic program in alignment with the schools mission and goals. The Principal
will support the teachers, manage and run the day-to-day functions of the school, oversee
the collection and management of student data and collaborate with families and the
community.
Curriculum Consultant
Lydotta McClure Taylor is the President and CEO of the EdVenture, an educational-
based organization that provides consulting, curriculum development and professional
development services for individuals, leaders, educators and businesses. Ms. Taylor
specializes in change management and leadership programs for education and business.
Taylors co-authored book, which focuses on change management for education, will be
released in Spring 2011. She serves as a national facilitator for The Partnership for 21
st

Century Skills, an organization that promotes 21
st
century readiness for education, and
will serve as a chairperson for the International Society for Technology in Education
Conference in 2011.
Ms. Taylor began her career as a math and computer science teacher at the secondary
level and as the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Monongalia County school
system. Prior to founding the EdVenture Group, Ms. Taylor served as Vice President for
Workforce and Education at the West Virginia High Technology Consortium foundation.
Ms. Taylor is currently an adjunct professor for the West Virginia University Leadership
Studies program, a position she has held for the last three years. Ms. Taylor is
completing her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum & Instruction at West Virginia
University with an anticipated defense date of March 2011.
Curriculum Consultant
Susan Saltrick now with the EdVenture Group, launched her own company, Proteus
Consulting, which focuses at the intersection of educational research and organizational
change, after an 18 year career in educational technology management. She has worked
with such clients as the Partnership for 21
st
Century Skills, the Center for Children and
Technology, Harvard Graduate School of Education, West Virginia Department of
Education, and the Markle Foundation, as well as public and independent schools, school
districts and leading educational publishers. She is a frequent writer and speaker on
educational issues, and is the author of a number of teaching cases for Harvard Business
School, as well as the book: Beyond the Classroom Door: Essentials for the 21
st
Century
Teacher. She received her Bachelors Degree from Princeton University, her Masters
from the Harvard graduate School of Education and her Ph.D. in Leadership, Policy, and

78
Politics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her dissertation centered on how
school leaders navigate the complexity of accountability.
Operations Director
Ms. Maureen Ross will work with the Executive Director and Board to develop finance
related policies; develop the budget; manage financial reporting and monitor expenditures
and cash flow. The Operations Director along with the Executive Director will oversee
accounting and budget execution and manage the lease acquisition, renovations and
maintenance of property. Ms. Ross has over 40 years of experience in developing
budgets, and managing/monitoring finances.
Legal Support
Mrs. Glynis Bell will serve as our pro-bono legal support. Ms Bell has been the Senior
Corporate Counsel for Cisco Systems, Inc. since 2007 where she reviews and negotiates
contracts; answers Federal procurement compliance questions, formulates policy and
develops partner relationships. From 1993 to 2007 Mrs. Bell worked for the U.S. General
Services Administration where her responsibilities included reviewing government
contracts, providing ethics counseling, she was the Congressional Affairs Liaison and
drafted legislation and implemented regulations. As legal council, she will provide
guidance on facility leasing and other contracts, corporate legal requirements and
governances issues and other matters related to legal and regulatory compliance and
accountability.
b. Qualifications of School Staff
Hiring Standards for Teachers, Administrators and other School Staff
Believe PCS will hire a faculty led by experienced, highly motivated and diverse staff
and will create opportunities for teachers to grow and develop. Our staff will be
committed to the mission of our school and will bring creativity and innovation to their
work, and who are eager to work with urban school students within a rigorous learning
context. We will also be seeking teachers and staff who have experience in working
within an inclusion model who can teach students with various abilities and learning
styles. Our legal support will oversee appropriate background checks on all staff and
volunteers before they begin their employment or service.
Specific qualifications for key positions are outlined below:






79
Executive Director
Commitment to high levels of academic achievement for all students
Passionate belief in Education
Understanding that great teachers are essential to a good school, and ability to
lead effectively while also encouraging the staff to take on responsibility and
innovate
Excellent communication skills, both speaking and listening
Appreciation of the need for and benefits of accountability and reporting on the
schools performance, to parents, the DPCSB and the community.
Relevant experience; experience as a teacher and/or principal
Minimum of a Bachelors Degree

Principal
Minimum of a Bachelors Degree
3-5 years experience as a classroom teacher
3-5 years experience as a principal or equivalent relevant work experience
Commitment to high levels of academic achievement for all students
Understanding that great teachers are essential to a good school, and ability to
lead effectively while also encouraging the staff to take on responsibility and
innovate.

Curriculum Specialist
Experience as a program coordinator and in supervising staff
Experience teaching and/or developing elementary/middle school curriculum
Minimum Bachelors Degree, Masters preferred

Special Education Coordinator
Experience in and commitment to inclusion model of Special Education
Experience with English Language Learners (ELL)
Experience as a program coordinator and in supervising staff
Senior-level special education teacher with experience monitoring and supporting
special needs students in general education classes, designing services,
developing IEPs and administering annual testing (for IEPs)
Special Education Certificate

80

Lead Teachers
Highly qualified, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act
Experience in Elementary Education and/or Middle School Education depending
on grades they will lead and a passion for working with children
Minimum of a Bachelors Degree and have passed the appropriate Praxis

Teachers (Level A, Level B and Level C)
Demonstrate content mastery in the core curriculum content areas
Highly qualified, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act
Minimum of a Bachelors Degree
Capable of creating a caring and safe classroom environment where students are
consistently engaged in meaningful learning activities
Provides differentiate learning experiences that provide for a full range of learners
including special education and advanced learners
Level A Bachelors Degree
Level B Bachelors Degree +3-5 years experience in content area
Level C Masters Degree or higher with 5+years of experience in content area teaching

Other School Staff
The other educational professionals, including Special Education Teachers and Literacy
and Math Specialists will have appropriate qualifications for their roles in the school.
All staff must have a deep commitment to creating a school that not only provides an
excellent education for the student, but that creates an open, trusting learning
environment for the teachers.
We will also look to hire teachers who have strengths in teaching reading and writing. It
is likely that students will come to our school behind in literacy skills, it will be important
for all educators in the school to have experience advancing and supporting struggling
readers and writers.
Everyone on staff must have a strong ability to move forward in the face of ongoing
challenges. Teaching, but especially in an urban setting, is a demanding profession, often
requiring one to go above and beyond, to solve problems quickly and to find the positive
in difficult situations.




81
Assessment of teacher hiring standards and Compliance with NCLB standards
The primary assessment of our teacher hiring standards (and compliance with NCLB
standards) will be the teachers ability to demonstrate content mastery. All candidates
will submit to an interview with the Director and Principal, and provide a sample lesson
plan or tape of a lesson. Following a successful review of the materials, successful
candidates will be asked to submit a portfolio profiling their best curriculum plans or
materials. They will interview with a second panel consisting of a Believe Board
Member, the Director and Principal. Finally the candidate will undergo a rigorous
reference check with at least three professional references, with questions designed to
find out new and additional information about the candidate.

Background Checks
Employment at Believe PCS will be contingent upon a clean background check. Believe
PCS will use American Background to conduct extensive, national background checks on
all staff prior to the beginning of their employment. This check includes extensive
searches of criminal and court records, as well as sex offender registries. Records of the
background check will be kept in personnel files.
All volunteers at the school will be required to complete a DC Metropolitan criminal
background check prior to their work in the school. Proof of the check will be kept on
file at the school. If volunteers are likely to be left alone with children, they may be
required to complete the same background check as employees.

Staff Recruitment Strategy
The school will advertise all positions that may become available in a variety of ways,
using networks such as internet-based job sites (Idealist, Agent K-12), National
Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), DC Charter School Association,
newspapers, postings at local universities and graduate schools of education, HBCU
placement offices, minority recruitment associations, and teacher and educator job fairs.
Our recruitment strategy is intended to attract passionate, accomplished-oriented
individuals who are committed to teaching and to the children of the District of
Columbia. Believe will make every effort to ensure that the applicant pool is diverse in
terms of age, race, gender and professional background.
c. Staffing Plan
Pre-Opening
We intend to ensure significant time for both the Executive Director and the Principal to
lead academic and business preparations for the schools opening, including hiring staff,
hiring administration positions, community outreach, financial management systems, and
student recruitment. We believe this plan also shows our understanding of what it takes to
provide strong but lean professional administrative, instructional and support functions
for a 21
st
century, independent, urban public charter school.


82
Opening Year
In J uly 2012, the remaining hiring of the first year staff will begin. This includes the
Special Education Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, ESL Teacher, Counselor,
Behavioral Specialist, Specialty Teachers and Nurse.
Years 2-5
The table below illustrates the numbers of projected administrative, instructional faculty
and other educational staff for the first five years of operations. The teacher to student
ratio will be at or below 1:18 each year. The faculty will be composed of the following
teachers in the first year: Kindergarten (2.0), First Grade (2.0), Second Grade (2.0), Third
Grade (2.0), Fourth Grade (2.0), Fifth Grade (1.0), Sixth Grade (1.0), Seventh Grade
(1.0), Eighth Grade (1.0), Spanish Teacher (1.0), Guidance Counselor (1.0), Behavioral
Specialist (1.0), Special Education (3.0), ESL Teachers (2.0), Physical Education (0.5),
Art (.05), Music (.05), IT (.05), Nurse (.05) for a total of 21 full time and 2.5 part time
teachers. In the following three years, we will hire additional teachers as deemed
necessary.

Pre-
Opening
SY11-12
Year 1
SY12-13
Year 2
SY13-14
Year 3
SY14-15
Year 4
SY15-16
Year 5
SY16-17
GRADES K 8
th
K 8
th
K 8
th
K 8
th
K 8
th

ADMINISTRATIVE
Director 1 1 1 1 1 1
Principal 1 1 1 1 1 1
Administrative
Assistant
.25 1 1 1 1 1
School Sec./Registrar .25 1 1 1 1 1

Total Administrative
Staff
2.50 4 4 4 4 4
INSTRUCTIONAL
STAFF

Lead Teachers (will
also teach)
3 3 3 3 3
Kindergarten teachers 2 2 2 2 2
1
st
grade teachers 2 2 2 2 2
2
nd
grade teachers 2 2 2 2 2
3
rd
grade teachers 2 2 2 2 2
4
th
grade teachers 2 2 2 2 2
5
th
grade teachers 1 1 1 1 1
6
th
grade teacher 1 1 1 1 1
7
th
grade Teacher 1 1 1 1 1
8
th
grade teacher 1 1 1 1 1
Total Instructional
Staff
14 14 14 14 14
SPED coordinator 1 1 1 1 1

83
SPED teachers 3 3 3 3 3
ESL teachers 2 2 2 2 2
Specialty teachers 5 5 5 5 5
Guidance counselor 1 1 1 1 1
Behavioral specialist 1 1 1 1 1
Nurse 1 1 1 1 1
Total Support staff 14 14 14 14 14
Total Staff 2.50 32 32 32 32 32
Total Students 225 225 225 225 225

Pupil Teacher Ratios Year 1 through Year 5
The following chart represents project pupil-teacher ratios for Believe PCS year 1
through year 5, based on an anticipated enrollment of 225 K 8
th
graders per year.
Pre-
Opening
Year 1
SY12-13
Year 2
SY13-14
Year 3
SY 14-15
Year 4
SY 15-16
Year 5
SY16-17
Pupil/Teacher
Ratios
n/a 1:18 1:18 1:18 1:18 1:18

Staff deployment to maximize the achievement of the school mission and academic
goals
The projected deployment of staff has been carefully aligned with the mission, vision,
and objectives of the school to support the achievement of our academic goals. Faculty
will be responsible for a maximum 18 students in each class and/or advisory, which will
allow us to provide individualized attention for each student.
All educators in the school will have significant and regular blocks of time to work
collaboratively toward the goals of the school. Teachers will work together in grade level
teams, as well as across grade levels, to maximize knowledge of the students and best
teaching practices. The Principal will serve a key role in ensuring that the schedule
allows ample time for teacher learning and collaboration.
Specialists, the counselor and special subject teachers will be used for both in-classroom
and pull-out services and support for students. Working closely with Lead Teachers,
specialists and/or the counselor will determine the best support plan for students in need,
and coordinate with the classroom teachers to provide those services directly, or to
support the teachers in methods best suited for the student. Special subject teachers (i.e.
art, music and PE) will be expected to coordinate their instruction with curriculum in
classrooms. They will be included as much as possible in collaborative professional
development opportunities, though the scheduling of specialists and special subject
teachers will also be utilized to provide time during the school day for team meetings and
lesson plan study.
The schools belief is that every adult in the building is an educator for the students. Non-
instructional support staff will be included, as much as the schedule allows, in staff

84
meetings and conversations about progress toward the goals and mission of the school.
Three Staff Development Days are built into the school calendar as well as Early Release
on Fridays for the entire staff to focus on the schools mission and to identify and
support the work everyone must engage in to achieve the mission.
d. Employment Policies
An official Employee and Staff Handbook will be created in partnership with legal
council and approved by the schools Board of Directors prior to hiring any employee of
the school. School staff evaluation timelines, criteria, and rubrics will be developed prior
to the opening of the school, with significant input from the Director, Principal and
teaching staff.
The policies outlined in the Employee and Staff Handbook will be based on the following
principals:
1. Employees will be selected on the basis of skill, training ability, attitude and
character without discrimination with regard to race, color, religion, national
origin or ancestry, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual
orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities,
matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source income
or veteran status.
2. Employees wages, benefits and working conditions will be reviewed
continuously with the objective of providing optimum benefits in these areas,
consistent with sound business practices and to be competitive in the charter
school market.
3. All eligible employees will be provided with paid vacations and holidays.
4. Employees will have access to a range of fringe benefits which may include:
participation in a retirement plan, access to medical, dental, and vision insurance;
participation in a flexible spending account and access to Metro Smart Benefits, a
pre-tax transportation expense plan.
5. The school will work to develop and support competent employees who
understand and meet our objectives and who accept with open minds the ideas,
suggestions and constructive criticisms of fellow employees.
6. The school will respect individual rights and treat all employees with courtesy and
consideration.
7. The school will provide a work environment that is attractive, comfortable,
orderly, safe and drug-free.

Hiring, Salaries and Benefits
Believe will recruit and hire outstanding teachers by being competitive within the local
market and by providing a clearly articulated career ladder for all instructional and non-
instructional staff.

85
Once candidates have gone through the selection and hiring process, they will sign one-
year contracts. The school will offer salaries and benefits that are competitive with
traditional DC public schools and DC charter schools for educators with the experience
level we seek. As finances allow, we provide additional compensation for summer
training and professional development.

Teacher and Staff Evaluations
Teachers will set professional goals at the start of the academic year with the Director
and Principal (in Year 1). Teacher performance will be partially measured by student
improvement at grade levels for which the teacher is responsible. Measurable student
performance will be a primary factor in benchmarking teaching mastery in their practice.
Teacher classroom performance will also be evaluated three times a year by the
Executive Director Year 1, and three times a year by the Principal each year thereafter,
other criteria such as participation in extracurricular activities, support for school culture,
and collaboration with other faculty will also be criteria for assessment.
Our criterion for evaluating or assessing teachers is divided into 12 categories. An
accompanying rubric will be provided to the PCSB prior to the opening of school.
Content Mastery
1. Planning & Preparation
2. Curriculum Design
3. Learning Environment
4. Instruction Methods and Teaching Style
5. Classroom Management
6. Mentoring and Coaching
7. Support of Student Learning & Tutoring
8. Benchmark & Assessment
9. Leadership and Collegiality with Peers and Administrators
10. Professional Development
11. Management of Resources
12. Student Performance & Analysis


Faculty evaluations will be based on a blended score drawn from the following four
sources:
1 = direct observation and review (principal learning walks and data talks)
2 = student performance analysis (how are students doing in this class)
3 = parent survey (are parents provided with regular information on their childs
progress; are parents communicated to in a respectful manner)
4 = teacher self evaluation and reflection (teacher PLP)



86
Executive Director Evaluation
The Board of Directors holds the responsibility of evaluating the Executive Director. The
review process allows for input into the Directors evaluation from the Principal and from
administration and business support staff. The Director Evaluation rubric will be
developed once the charter is approved. It will include evaluating performance on the
following responsibilities:
Nurture, support and strengthen the schools mission
Ensure an overall management culture of openness, collaboration, and high
expectations in accordance with the schools mission and goals
Communicate effectively with Board of Directors; provide input and relevant
information to Board about the operations of the school
Work closely with the Board of Directors and Principal to ensure adequate student
enrollment
Support the Board in ensuring adequate resources through aggressive fundraising,
including community and corporate partnerships and in-kind donations
Effectively communicate with parents/Parent Advisory Council and community
stakeholders
Engage in outreach to the local and national community to support and build the
reputation of the school
Effectively manage the schools budget and financial accounting systems
Effectively ensure the schools compliance with the Charter School Board and all
governing agencies
Maintain the school facility effectively for instructional and non-instructional uses
and comply with all facility regulations
Handle all public relations and marketing needs of the school
Support the Principal in hiring and managing of faculty, as needed


Principal Evaluation
The Executive Director holds the responsibility of evaluating the Principal. The review
process allows for input into the Principals evaluation from instructional staff. The
Principal evaluation will include the following responsibilities:
Articulate and implement the schools vision and mission
Build, lead and sustain a professional learning community in accordance with the
schools mission

87
Serve as the instructional leader, providing guidance, support and input to ensure
high quality instruction, high student achievement and full implementation of the
academic program in alignment with the schools mission and goals.
Support teachers and allow them to contribute to the success of the professional
learning community
Efficiently manage and run the day-to-day functions of the school and
instructional program
Oversee the collection and management of student data
Collaborate effectively with and actively reach out to families and the community
Participate in outreach efforts to educate key constituencies about the schools
philosophy, mission and success
Work closely with the Board of Directors and the Executive Director to ensure
adequate student enrollment

Employee Dismissal Policies
All employees will serve under yearly contracts. Should it become clear that a persons
employment be terminated, the school will work with the employee as much as possible
to make it an amicable separation. Depending upon the circumstances of the termination,
the employee may be eligible for unemployment compensations.
All full-time employee contracts will be for a period of one-year. There may be other
categories of employees (i.e., contract employees, part-time employees, etc), and their
tenure with the school will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The terms, conditions
and timeframe(s) under and for which any employees contract may or may not be
renewed will be fully articulated in the Faculty & Employee handbook.

Substitutes
In addition to its full-time staff, the school will assemble a pool of qualified substitute
teachers prior to the school opening. Believe will identify former and retired teachers
which we hope will comprise the majority of the possible substitutes. All substitutes will
be required to complete a background check.

Rights and Benefits of DCPS employees
As part of our goal of recruiting, and attracting high quality staff, we will also seek out
highly qualified staff from the DCPS. We understand that we will be required (at the
employees request and discretion) to continue and contribute to the employees
retirement plan with DCPS. The employee will be made aware of their rights and can
choose to continue their DCPS plan or to participate in our benefits plan. The appropriate
language will be adopted from DCPS and school reform act language.

88
e. Use of Volunteers
Volunteers play an important role and can be an incredible resource in supporting the
mission and building community investment in the school. They model and demonstrate
to students the importance of participating within communities by granting their time and
support to organizations. Believe PCS will work with various organizations/companies
and individuals in order to have a strong and supportive volunteer program that will work
with students directly. Believe will also work with these organizations/companies to
further our program development and implementation. Volunteers may work in the
following capacities:

Individual volunteers (parents and community members)
Serving as classroom helpers (i.e. read with students, work with small groups,
prepare supplies, ect.)
Mentoring and/or tutoring for students (once formal mentoring or tutoring
program is in place with appropriate focus and training for volunteers)
Provide additional support to staff members
Support office and faculty with particular needs, such as translation for bilingual
families
Help staff special events or projects (i.e. student exhibitions and performances)
Provide professional services or expertise, such as graphic design, photography or
technology support

Corporate and organizational volunteers
To recruit and identify volunteers, the school will develop a corporate literacy program
that will work directly with identified corporations who allow their employees to
volunteer hours. The volunteers will donate two hours per week tutoring students at the
school. In order to maximize the skills of volunteers, Believe has found that it is
important to set clear expectations and guidelines for volunteers. Identifying the areas in
which the school specifically needs support will minimize time staff spends finding work
for the volunteers.
In addition, all volunteers will attend a volunteer orientation and training. The
orientation and training will be designed to ensure that all volunteers have a full
understanding of the schools mission and goals, curriculum and policies and procedures.
Depending on the volunteers role, it may also include specific training in expectations
for interactions and instruction of students.
All volunteers will be required to complete a background check and copies will be kept
on file.

89
3. Arrangements for Meeting District and Federal Requirements
The leadership of Believe Public Charter School will meet each of the following federal
and district requirements. All staff will receive information and training about these
requirements at the August 2012 teacher orientation sessions.
a. Health and Safety
Believe will comply and meet all of the health and safety laws and regulations. All
students will be required to submit proof of their immunizations. All staff and faculty will
be required to meet all health regulations and screenings and will be trained in CPR, First
Aid and emergency procedures.
b. Safety and Fire Codes for Buildings
Believewill comply and meet all building and facility safety requirements of the
Americans With Disabilities Act, and all requirements of the DC Code sec. 5-501 et seq
(to include Section: 404 Fire and Evacuation, Section 405: Emergency Evacuation Drills,
Section 406: Employee Training and Response Procedures, Section 407: Hazard
Communication, Section 408: Use and Occupancy Related Requirements) for fire safety.
c. Transportation
Believe will comply and meet the transportation needs of our students and families. This
will include but is not limited to: providing families with information regarding Metrorail
and Metrobus reduced fair program for students. Arrangements for transportation for
students with significant disabilities will be handled in consultation with the DC Public
Schools Special Education Transportation Liaison.
d. Enrollment Data
Believe will comply with and meet the enrollment data requirements of 38-
1802.04(c)(12) of the DC School Reform Act. This includes verification of the District of
Columbia residency status of each student, and maintenance of daily enrollment
information, and student identification data. Enrollment data will be provided to the
appropriate District and federal authorities as required.
e. Maintenance and Dissemination of Student Records
Believe will maintain a computerized student information system for maintenance of
student data and records. The (SIS) will be compatible with the DC Charter Boards
school performance management systems. Prior to enrollment and when applicable, the
school will obtain student records and assessments results from a students previous
school. Enrollment forms will include the opportunity for parents to authorize the release
of the students records from a previous school. All data collection will be used for
internal purposes, as well as to record and disseminate student information as required by
the DC School Reform Act, Parts B and D, and other applicable laws, including DC Code
sec. 31-401 et seq. (Compulsory School Attendance); DC Code sec. 31-501 et seq.
(Immunization of School Students); DC Code sec. 31-601 et seq. (Tuition of
Nonresidents); and DC Code sec. 29-501 et seq. (Non-profit Corporations). The school

90
will work closely, as necessary, with the DCPS and others sending LEAs to secure all
relevant background student information.
f. Compulsory Attendance Laws
Believe will comply and meet the requirements of the District of Columbias Compulsory
Attendance Laws (DC Code 31-401) by maintaining complete attendance records of all
students. Daily attendance records of each student will be kept and monitored using the
On-Line Attendance Management Software. The school will electronically track student
attendance and support attendance recordkeeping.
g. Subchapter B. of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Believe will comply with all federal regulations concerning special education students.
We will ensure that the school is in compliance with and meets all requirements of IDEA
and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Special education services will be developed by
professionals who are thoroughly familiar with the requirements of federal law pertaining
to students with special needs.
h. Title I of the Improving Americas Schools Act
Believe will ensure that the school is in compliance with and meets all requirements of
Title I of the Improving Americas Schools Act. This will include but is not limited to:
ensuring that all faculty meet the NCLB highly qualified status (HQT), timely notice to
parents of all teacher HQT status and the schools AYP status, and achieving AYP in
math, reading and attendance for all categories of students (to include English Language
Learners, special needs students, and economically disadvantaged students).
i. Compliance with Civil Rights Statutes and Regulations of the Federal
Government and the District of Columbia
Believe will comply with and meet the requirements of all federal (Civil Rights Act of
1964) and District of Columbia civil rights law and statutes (see 38-1802.02 (1) and 38-
1802.04 (c) (5) of the DC School Reform Act). The school will adhere to all federal and
District civil rights regulations to ensure that discrimination on the basis of race, creed,
national origin, religion or gender against any student, employee or volunteer, will be
strictly prohibited.
j. Other
Believe will comply with and meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 and all acts providing for the welfare of and protections to
students and their families regardless of their race, creed, national origin, religion or
gender.



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4. Implementation of the Charter

b. Maintenance & Reporting of Academic and Non-Academic Performance Data
The Believe PCS will develop a technology infrastructure that allows for the effective use
of a Student Information System (i.e. PowerSchool) that can be used to keep accurate
data on students and provide important information to school staff, parents, and the
Public Charter School Board. The SIS will keep comprehensive records on students,
including data such as attendance, demographics, contact information, discipline and
assessments. The accurate maintenance and security of such a system will facilitate clear
communication among the staff and with families, helping to ensure all those involved in
supporting student growth have accurate information.
While we understand that not all families have access to the latest technology (i.e. email
and internet access), the school will make available important information via the
schools website and e-newsletters. Teachers will have school email accounts which will
be made available to families and families will be asked to provide email addresses, if
available.
We anticipate the availability of computers and internet access in classrooms to be used
in developmentally appropriate ways for students. Computers may be used as to
complement classroom learning activities.
The Principal will have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the data is collected,
maintained, reported and secured.
c. Major Contracts Planned
Believe PCS will propose a contract with Nutrition Inc., a food service company in the
District that provides hot and cold meals. At this time we do not have any other
contracts in access of $25,000.
No contracts for service or materials over $25,000 will be entered into until or unless it
has been approved by the Board of Directors and the proper documentation (or contract
package) has been submitted to the DCPCSB.
d. Orientation of Parents, Teachers and Other Community Members

Orientation of Parents
Believe will schedule an orientation for all parents before the beginning of each
school year. Parents will be given a student / family handbook. The handbook will
include a school calendar, the Code of Conduct, uniform guidelines, and academic
policies. Teachers will distribute a course syllabus with program descriptions.




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Orientation of Teachers
Believe will hold orientation and professional development meetings before the
beginning of each school year for all teachers and staff. Teachers will receive
training in classroom management and implementing a standard- based curriculum. In
addition to these orientation meetings, staff will receive human resource information
to include schedule of pay, vacation and sick leave, benefits and insurance
information.
e. Services Sought from the District of Columbia Public Schools
Believe will act as its own LEA, and may seek services from the District of Columbia
Public Schools. The school will seek to work with DCPS to obtain student files,
assessment data and identification information.

Believe Public Charter School
Being the very best I can be, Rests within me



2012-2013 School Calendar

August 20 Students First Day of School
September 3 School Closed Labor Day
September 7 12:30 Early Release
September 14 12:30 Early Release
September 21 12:30 Early Release
September 28 School Closed for Students Staff Development
October 5 12:30 Early Release
October 12 12:30 Early Release
October 19 12:30 Early Release
October 26 School Closed for Students Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 2 12:30 Early Release
November 9 12:30 Early Release
November 12 School Closed Veterans Day
November 16 12:30 Early Release
November 19-23 Thanksgiving Break
November 30 12:30 Early Release
December 7 12:30 Early Release
1
st
Trimester Report Cards Issued
December 14 12:30 Early Release
December 20 - J anuary 2 Winter Break School Closed
J anuary 3 Classes Resume
J anuary 4 School Open Regular Hours No Early Release
J anuary 11 12:30 Early Release
J anuary 18 School Closed for Students Staff Development
J anuary 21 School Closed Martin Luther King J r. Day
J anuary 25 12:30 Early Release
February 1 12:30 Early Release
February 8 School Closed for Students Parent/Teacher Conferences
February 15 12:30 Early Release
February 18 School Closed Presidents Day
February 22 School Open Regular Hours No Early Release
March 1 12:30 Early Release
March 8 12:30 Early Release
March 15 - 12:30 Early Release
2
nd
Trimester Report Cards Issued







March 22 - 12:30 Early Release
March 29 - School Closed Good Friday
April 1 April 5 School Closed Spring Break
April 12 - 12:30 Early Release
April 16 School Closed Emancipation Day
April 19 - 12:30 Early Release
April 26 - School Closed for Students Staff Development
May 3 - 12:30 Early Release
May 10 - School Closed for Teachers Parent/Teacher Conferences
May 17 - 12:30 Early Release
May 24 - 12:30 Early Release
May 27 - School Closed Memorial Day
May 31 - School Open Regular Hours No Early Release
J une 7 - 12:30 Early Release
J une 14 - 12:30 Early Release - Last Day of School
Final Report Cards Issued

182 Student Days
192 Teacher days



Board of Directors Job Description


The Board of Directors key responsibility is to ensure that the school is fulfilling its
mission. As the governing body of the Believe Public Charter School, the Board will
provide strategic direction; engage in oversight of the schools performance, financial
management, and legal compliance; cultivate and monitor effective school leadership;
and engage in ongoing fundraising and outreach efforts to ensure adequate resources.

Specific Responsibilities:

Provide Strategic Direction and Planning: The Board is responsible for creating
and overseeing the implementation of the schools short-term and long-term strategic
planning. In addition to setting annual goals for academic performance, finance,
operations/facilities, and governance

Monitor School Performance: The board will regularly review the schools progress
toward goals and benchmarks, as outlined in the Performance Management
Framework, and ensure positive progress towards these goals.

Oversee financial management: To ensure that the school has and is using its
resources effectively, the Board will review and approve an annual budget, review
monthly financial reports, and provide for an annual audit by a certified public
accountant in accordance with the rules and regulations of the DC Public Charter
School Board. The Board will also create and monitor implementation of the
schools Fiscal Policy manual.

Select and evaluate the Executive Director: The Board is responsible for hiring the
Executive Director and completing his/her annual performance review. The Board
will ensure clarity between the functions of the Board and the Executive Director,
with a clear job description provided for the Executive Director; a clear rubric for the
Executives annual performance will be approved and followed by the Board. The
Board is responsible for providing the support the Executive Director needs in
carrying out the mission of the school, as outlined in the Boards job description.

Ensure adequate resources: The Board will set annual targets and goals necessary
for the school to meet its mission and maintain financial stability. The Board is
responsible for representing the school publicly. As such, they must engage the
public in all arenas to promote the school and its mission to serve students, train
teachers, and serve as a demonstration school. Outreach should focus on the business
community, local and national government, local and national education networks,
and in the community with parent and families. This work will help ensure strong
student enrollment, financial support, and broad community engagement.




Ensure a safe, respectful, and productive workplace: The Board is tasked with
providing the policies and procedures that will ensure a positive and productive work
place with a strong professional learning community, and which will ensure legal
compliance with health, safety, civil rights, and employment regulations.

Build and maintain an effective Board of Directors: The Board is responsible for
regularly evaluating its own performance to ensure that all Directors are adhering to
their commitment to the Believe Public Charter School. This includes ensuring
succession planning for the Board, and building and maintaining a Board membership
that fulfills all needed expertise.
2
St udent Popul at i on, v1.4 1/6/11
Believe Public Charter School
Description SY11-12 SY12-13 SY13-14 SY14-15 SY15-16 SY16-17 Calc Comment
Classrooms
Students/Classroom
K 18 18 18 18 18 18.00
1st 18 18 18 18 18 18.00
2nd 18 18 18 18 18 18.00
3rd 18 18 18 18 18 18.00
4th 18 18 18 18 18 18.00
5th 15 15 15 15 15 15.00
6th 10 10 10 10 10 10.00
7th 10 10 10 10 10 10.00
8th 10 10 10 10 10 10.00
Classrooms
K - 2 2 2 2 2
1st - 2 2 2 2 2
2nd - 2 2 2 2 2
3rd - 2 2 2 2 2
4th - 2 2 2 2 2
5th - 1 1 1 1 1
6th - 1 1 1 1 1
7th - 1 1 1 1 1
8th - 1 1 1 1 1
Classrooms Totals -
Total Classrooms - 14 14 14 14 14
New Classrooms - 14 - - - -
Growth 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Students
Students - By Grade
K - 36 36 36 36 36
1st - 36 36 36 36 36
2nd - 36 36 36 36 36
3rd - 36 36 36 36 36
4th - 36 36 36 36 36
5th - 15 15 15 15 15
6th - 10 10 10 10 10
7th - 10 10 10 10 10
8th - 10 10 10 10 10
Students, By PPF category
K - 36 36 36 36 36
1st-3rd - 108 108 108 108 108
4th-5th - 51 51 51 51 51
6th-8th - 30 30 30 30 30
9th-12th - - - - - -
Students - Totals and Growth
Students - 225 225 225 225 225
Student Incr 80 225 - - - -
Student Growth 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
2
St udent Popul at i on, v1.4 1/6/11
Believe Public Charter School
Student Growth & Inflation 1.03 1.03 1.03 1.03 1.03 1.03
Special Ed Students
Eligible Students (2nd+) - 225 225 225 225 225 15%
Level 1 - 16.00 16.00 16.00 16.00 16.00 50% 7.5%
Level 2 - 11.00 11.00 11.00 11.00 11.00 35% 5.3%
Level 3 - 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 15% 2.3%
Level 4 - - - - - - 0% 0.0%
SpEd Hours 184.00 184.00 184.00 184.00 184.00
SpEd Staff 4.60 4.60 4.60 4.60 4.60
Total - SpEd Students - 32.00 32.00 32.00 32.00 32.00 100%
New SpEd Students - 32.00 - - - -
LEP/NEP Students
Percent - LEP/NEP 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Total - LEP/NEP Students - - - - - -
Federal Funding Eligible Students
Title I Percent 65.0% 65.0% 65.0% 65.0% 65.0% 65.0% 0.0%
Title I Students - 146 146 146 146 146