Central to the Institute’s system of academic oversight are periodic visits to each SUNY charter school. The SUNY Renewal Benchmarks, in particular whether the school is making adequate progress toward being a viable organization and an academic success, assist school visit teams in their assessment.
School visits may result in letters or reports that provide information to school leadership, parents and the public about the progress of each school. These visits are conducted by the Institute more frequently in the initial charter term and at least once in subsequent charter terms.
The visit teams may interview school leaders, board members, staff and students, observe classroom instruction, and review school documents and student work to determine the effectiveness of the school in certain areas.
The quality of curriculum and instruction, the system of assessment and feedback, fidelity to the school charter and mission, and the culture of the school are all areas evaluated by the team.
First Year School Visits
All SUNY charter schools receive a visit by the Institute in their first year of operation that results in a letter to the board of trustees for the school.
First year school visits are less extensive than visits conducted later in the charter term. The Institute recognizes that a school is still establishing its systems and culture. The team seeks evidence that the school is making adequate progress toward meeting its goals.
During a visit the team may interview school leaders, board members staff and students, observe classroom instruction, and review school documents and student work. The quality of curriculum and instruction, the system of assessment and feedback, fidelity to the school charter and mission, and school culture are all evaluated by the team.
School Renewal Visits
In order to continue operating, a charter school must apply to renew its contract or charter at the end of each charter term. To be renewed every SUNY authorized charter school must demonstrate with evidence to the State University of New York Board of Trustees that it met the benchmarks and accountability goals.
A renewal visit is conducted in the last year of the charter term. These visits are typically in the fall and are more intensive than other school visits. The cumulative evidence collected during school visits throughout the charter term, along with the renewal year visit, becomes part of the record that informs the Institute’s renewal recommendations to the SUNY Trustees. Additional information is available on the Renewal page.