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Charter starts fresh on corrective-action filing

– The Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy board will be working with its management company on a submission of documents to its authorizer as part of a corrective-action plan.

The Indiana Charter School Board sponsors the school’s charter and, after an annual evaluation and site visit, found certain matters on which the board and school could improve, said Emily Richardson, interim executive director for the charter-sponsoring entity. For the school, Richardson cited some financial documents that had been turned in late and the lack of a recruitment plan.

Marshall Academy board Chairman Alan Grinsfelder said Tuesday that on many issues, the board was taking action but didn’t have documentation in place, such as student recruitment, which the school has been working on for several weeks.

Richardson said the corrective-action plan is a part of the charter contract with the school and the other schools the charter board sponsors.

The board first learned about the plan in early June and was to submit documents by earlier this month. The school’s education management company, American Quality Schools, submitted some documents, while others were sent separately by the local board.

The state charter school board has asked the local board to resubmit the documents altogether.

“We want the board to be the drivers of this plan,” Richardson said. The deadline for submission is Sept. 1.

During a meeting earlier this month, the board established a student recruitment strategy that was distributed during Tuesday’s board meeting. Board member Jonathan Ray said the school has enrolled 94 students for next school year. The school’s goal is about 175, but its budget was developed with an enrollment of 125, he said.

Also Tuesday, the board discussed options to offer transportation to a number of applicants who requested it as a condition for enrollment at the school. The board is hoping to find a cost-effective solution before school starts next month.