P. O. BOX 2120
November 13, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia's Charter Schools Conference Understanding Charter Schools December 16, 1998, 8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

  Since the charter school law took effect last July, a
  number of division superintendents and staff members have
  contacted the Department of Education for information
  regarding the requirements of the charter school law.  We
  have provided technical assistance to local school
  boards, professional organizations, and individuals. 
  Over the last few months a number of questions have been
  raised that need clarification.  These questions relate
  to personnel, fiscal management, federal programs, and
  other issues that should be discussed before a school
  board enters into an agreement with a charter school

  To that end, the Department of Education is sponsoring a
  one-day drive-in conference to discuss charter school
  issues.  The conference will be held in Richmond at the
  Hyatt Hotel on December 16.  This meeting will feature an
  expert in educational law who will discuss the questions
  raised by superintendents concerning Virginia's charter
  school law.  The program will also feature sessions that
  address charter schools as they relate to Board of
  Education regulation waivers; accountability and the
  Standards of Accreditation; Title I, Eisenhower and other
  federal programs; special education; and personnel and
  hiring practices. You are invited to attend this meeting
  and bring one other person from your division.  You may
  wish to send the staff person coordinating your charter
  school initiative, your school attorney, a school board
  member, or a potential applicant for a charter school. 
  Unfortunately, we must limit the conference to two persons
  per division. 

  Please complete the attached form and return it by fax or
  mail to Yvonne Thayer at the Department of Education. 
  Note the cutoff date for registration is Monday, December
  7.  A block of rooms is being held at the Richmond Hyatt
  under the name of the DOE.  Information about
  accommodations is attached.  Please note the cutoff date
  for room reservations. If you have any questions
  regarding the conference, please call Dr. Thayer at 
  804-786-5392 or email her at


  Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
              will be sent to the superintendent's offfice.