Community Schools Sponsor Update

Community Schools Sponsor Update

18-19 Sponsor Evaluation FAQ and other OCS Updates


Greetings Sponsors,
By Dec. 31 each year, the Office of Community Schools must provide to the governor and General Assembly a report on the performance of community schools and their sponsors. I am happy to relay to you the report is in the Department’s Office of Communications receiving an updated layout (very excited for the way it will look), but more importantly, I am happy to share a few highlights from the report. Last year (the 2017-2018 school year), there were 340 community schools, of which 310 are still in operation, with 95 percent sponsored by Effective sponsors. Also, 42 percent of those schools received a C or better on the 2017-2018 report cards. These accomplishments are a result of the hard work you as sponsors have shown in supporting your schools and the incredible efforts by school leaders and teachers on behalf of our students. There are areas for continued improvement, however, I look forward to reporting continued growth of the community school sector in next year’s annual report.
Here are a few important reminders for you before you break for the holidays:

  1. The 2018-2019 Sponsor Evaluation FAQs are now available on the 2018-2019 Sponsor Evaluation page.  Please review and share any follow up questions with
  2. The challenged school district list has been posted on the Department’s website. This list represents where start-up community schools can open beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. If you have additional questions regarding the challenged school district list, please email
  3. School Improvement Plans are due Dec. 21 in Epicenter. The Improvement Plan checklist document is not required in Epicenter, however, it is strongly suggested sponsors use this as a guide prior to submission to the Department.    
    1. We have removed the three different monitoring tools and only have one monitoring tool. We apologize for multiple tools, the one posted is the one that we would expect sponsors and state support team members to use for Priority and Needs Intervention schools.
  4. To assist community schools applying for School Improvement 1003 funds, now known as School Quality Improvement Grants, the Office of Community Schools has prepared a guide. The guide can be found on the Community School Improvement Plan and Resources page.
  5. A submission type for House Bill 21 has been created to collect the school policies for residency verification each governing authority was required to adopt. The collection date for the polices is set for Feb. 15, 2019, and will be scheduled for all open schools in Epicenter.  
I know this is a lot of information for you before the holiday break, but I wanted to keep you up-to-date. As we approach the year’s end, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the work you and your schools accomplished. It is something I am proud to be a part of, and I look forward to our continued partnership in 2019. 

Happy holidays!


Karl Koenig