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Charter Schools

Mayacamas Charter Middle School Petitition - Staff Findings and Recommendation

NVUSD has reviewed the below petition and has provided the following findings and recommendation. This item will be presented and discussed at the Board of Education meeting on December 9.

Mayacamas Charter Middle School Petition - Staff Findings and Recommendation

A charter school is a public school that provides instruction in any combination of grades K-12. Parents, teachers, or community members may initiate a charter petition. The petition is typically presented to and approved by a local school district governing board, which then becomes the charter authorizer under state law and is given oversight responsibilities over the charter school.
Specific goals and operating procedures for a charter school are detailed in a charter petition.
A charter school is exempted from many of the statutes and regulations that apply to school districts: therefore, if a charter petition is approved, the terms of the charter, together with any agreements between the charter operators and the authorizing entity, governs the operation of the charter school.
Charter schools are under the jurisdiction of the public school system and are publicly funded. However, charter schools are usually operated as or by non-profit corporations. The Mayacamas Charter Middle School petition is submitted by Napa Foundation for Options in Education (NFOE), which is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.
Students enroll in charter schools on a voluntary basis, and no student may be required to attend a charter school. A charter school must admit all students who wish to attend, subject to space availability. If demand exceeds the number of spaces available, admission is through a lottery process, subject to limited preferences allowed by law and as approved by the authorizer. A charter school may not grant admission preferences based on parental volunteer hours, and admission preferences must not be discriminatory or based on prior student performance.

Current Charter Petition

On September 15, 2021, Napa Valley Unified School District received a petition from Napa Foundation for Options in Education, proposing to open an independent charter school in the District, to be named Mayacamas Charter Middle School. The petition calls for opening a new charter middle school in Napa in the fall of 2022 with an enrollment of 180 students, and adding enrollment until it reaches full 6-8 grade enrollment of approximately 336 students.

NVUSD’s Timeline for Review and Action on the Charter Petition

Education Code section 47605(b) requires that a school district’s governing board hold a public hearing on the provisions of the charter within 60 days of receiving the petition. During this hearing, the board must consider the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the school district, other employees of the school district, and parents.

Following review of the petition and the public hearing, the governing board must either grant or deny the charter within 90 days of receipt of the petition. The governing board must publish all staff recommendations, including the recommended findings, regarding the petition at least 15 days before the public hearing at which the board of education will either grant or deny the charter. At the hearing where the Board is scheduled to take action, the petitioners have an opportunity to respond to the District staff’s findings and recommendations on the petition prior to the governing board’s vote.

Napa Valley Unified School District will review and take action on the petition according to the following timeline:

Thursday, November 4, 2021 Public hearing at Board meeting to consider the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the District, other employees of the District, and parents
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 District staff findings and recommendations will be published on the District’s web page
Thursday, December 9, 2021 Board will take action to grant or deny the petition

Public comment on the proposed charter is welcome, and all Board meetings are open to the public. Information on attending Board meetings is available here.

NVUSD Charter Schools

Stone Bridge School (K-8)
Independent Charter

Mayacamas Charter Middle School Petition- Petitioners' Response to Staff Findings

The following response to staff findings was received from the MCMS petitioners by the superintendent and school board at approximately 2:45 pm the day of the 12/9/21 board meeting where the board took action to deny the petition.