General Information

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Georgia Charter School of the year Awards.

Both prestigious awards were established to honor excellence and innovation within education throughout the charter sector.

To qualify for one of the awards and accompanying grant, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

Academic Excellence Award
1. Be an active and participating GCSA member;
2. Demonstrate academic excellence as measured by all metrics on your performance framework (State) or comparative CCRPI scores of the past 3 years (Local); Minimum score of 80 on latest CCRPI score to qualify.
3. Serve students in Georgia;
4. Operational for five or more years;
5. Demonstrate operational sustainability and sound fiscal practices as evidenced by unqualified annual audits;
6. Demonstrate autonomous governance through the use of waivers as well as authority over academic, financial, and personnel decisions;
7. Be accredited or in the process of being accredited by either SACS-CASI or GACS;
8. If selected the winner, agree to present at the 2021 conference on how you used the grant and best practices and submit a final grant report within 60 days of completing the project.

Innovation Award
1. Be an active and participating GCSA member;
2. Demonstrate evidence of measurable growth in 3 consecutive years of CCRPI ratings or another nationally-normed measure, using innovative school improvement methods.
3. Serve students in Georgia;
4. Operational for five or more years;
5. Demonstrate operational sustainability and sound fiscal practices as evidenced by unqualified annual audits;
6. Demonstrate autonomous governance through the use of waivers as well as authority over academic, financial, and personnel decisions;
7. Be accredited or in the process of being accredited by either SACS-CASI or GACS;
8. If selected the winner, agree to present at the 2021 conference on how you used the grant and best practices and submit a final grant report within 60 days of completing the project.

Applications are due by midnight on Friday December 6, 2019.

Our application process is demanding and time consuming, so schools should be certain they meet our criteria before completing this proposal and submitting the required documents. Please contact the Director of Resource Development, Dana McNally, at dmcnally@gacharters.org regarding eligibility or questions related to the award.

**Previous winners must wait seven years to reapply

Grant applications should include:
1. This survey

The following documents submitted to Dana McNally at dmcnally@gacharters.org:

2. Historic data highlighting student achievement from the last three years (Performance Framework or CCRPI data). Or three consecutive years of measurable growth on another nationally normed measure.

3. The most current annual budget.

4. Most recent 3 years of audits.

5. List of school's waivers.

The review committee will not consider the following grant applications:

1. From individuals or private, for-profit companies;
2. Applications not submitted by the application due date; or
3. Incomplete applications.

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* 1. Please complete the following contact information:

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* 2. Which Award are you applying for?

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* 3. Grade levels you serve (select all that apply):

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* 4. Which programs at GCSA do you actively engage in? Check all that apply.

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* 5. Number of years in operation (including current year):

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* 6. Please complete the information below related to enrollment

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* 7. Please provide information related to your student population (percentages, 0-100)

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* 8. If you receive the Academic Achievement Award or the Innovation Award  and receive a financial grant (minimum $25,000), how do you anticipate utilizing these grant funds to further increase academic achievement and organizational outcomes? How is this a sustainable project? No more than 300 words please.

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* 9. What is your school's mission? How is your school fulfilling this mission? No more than 150 words please.

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* 10. Briefly explain the history of your school, including when it began, facility changes, student count growth, other significant changes and any major milestones. Please limit your response to 300 words or less. 

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* 11. Explain how your school culture is unique. How do you ensure that your culture promotes diversity, equity and inclusion? No more than 400 words please.

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* 12. Describe how teachers are supported in the school to achieve excellence with their students. Consider staff culture, professional development, assessment, compensation, and any other factor you feel impacts quality instruction. What is the staff retention rate for the past three years? No more than 350 words please.

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* 13. Describe your school's discipline model. How do you ensure due process for all students in a positive climate using restorative rather than punitive practices? No more than 300 words please.

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* 14. Please select 3 charter goals/objectives related to academic achievement, innovative features, or academic growth. Articulate the goals and describe your progress against these goals throughout your charter term(s). No more than 400 words please.

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* 15. How do you determine the school's annual budget and how funds are allocated? What percentage (%) do you spend on facilities, salaries, and instruction? No more than 400 words please.

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* 16. How has the school had a lasting impact on the community and the charter movement across the state, and how do you plan to share best practices with other public schools in your area? No more than 600 words please.

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