Dear Council Members & TTCS Staff,
The State Public Education Department has released our school grade for the 2013 - 2014 school year. I am extremely pleased to announce that TTCS has received an "A" - up from the previous years grade of "D". This represents an incredible effort, and hard work at every level of TTCS. Governance Council members, administration, and staff have all done an amazing job of focusing on improving the schools grade - while NEVER forgetting our #1 priority - preparing students academically and socially for lifelong success.
I want to thank the TTCS staff for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to the students of TTCS.
I want to thank Dr. Griffin, whose leadership in his first year at TTCS played a crucial role in our success.
I want to thank the Governance Council members for having the vision of a successful TTCS, while providing the responsible stewardship which has been critical to the schools success.
I want to congratulate all of you on this impressive achievement. While we still have work to do, this is the time for us to celebrate.
Floyd J. Trujillo
TTCS Governance Counci
Turquoise Trail Charter School – Charter Renewal
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
1) What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school which is independent of a school district. Charter schools have their own Governing Board (or Governance Council) which is responsible for setting school policies, creating and maintaining the school’s budget, and hiring and evaluating the Head Administrator of the school.
2) How long has Turquoise Trail been a charter school?
Turquoise Trail was granted its first charter in 1994. It is currently the oldest charter school in New Mexico.
3) What does the “Change in Authorizer” mean?
By law, charter schools must renew their charters every 5 years. TTCS has always been chartered through the SFPS district. However, at the July meeting the TTCS Governance Council voted to renew its charter through the New Mexico Public Education Commission (PEC). While this will change the process for TTCS in terms of reporting (progress reports, financial reports etc. will be sent to NM PED instead of SFPS), we anticipate little (if any) change to the day to day operations of TTCS.
Commission-authorized schools are often called “state chartered schools.”
4) When will this change go into effect?
TTCS will submit its' application to the NM PED in October of 2014. PED will make its decision on renewing the charter in January of 2015. This new charter will go into effect on July 1, 2015.
5) Will there be any changes for the current school year (2014 – 1015)?
No. The current charter is in place until June 30, 2015.
6) Is there an effect on admission to the school?
No. We have always been required to admit our students through a lottery that is held each spring. None of the policies or procedures now in place for the lottery will change.
7) Is there an effect on employment at the school?
No. Our staff and faculty are already employed independently by Turquoise Trail and no one’s status will change because of the change in authorizer.
8) How do Commission-authorized charter schools differ from district-authorized charter schools?
· Funding is received directly through from the state and does not pass through the school district.
· Applications for special programs such as Pre-K and Title I (assistance to economically disadvantaged schools) are made directly to the Public Education Department and are not written by the school district.
· Funding is expected to be greater for certain special programs.
· The Public Education Commission has a staff charged with monitoring the progress of state chartered schools. This staff also provides technical assistance and support for state chartered schools.
· Generally, state chartered schools outperform other schools around the state in academic measures.
· Because state chartered schools are independent of school districts, they must meet higher standards for competent governance and administration.
9) What other benefits does the school anticipate from this change?
As schools of choice, identity is important to charter schools. We want our school community to recognize our independence and our freedom to define our own mission, set our own goals and promote our own high standards. It can be difficult for the public to appreciate our independence when we are perceived as a district school. Re-chartering through the PEC is just another in a series of steps we have taken since 1994 to solidify our position as an independent school.