Students drawing

Outside operators receive charters or contracts to run charter or contract schools, generally for three, five or eight-year terms. As part of the routine management of these schools, an evaluation (called operator renewal) conducted in the final year of the contract or charter leads to a decision on whether to renew the contract or charter for a subsequent term, or to non-renew the contract or charter.

Criteria and Measures

City Schools’ operator renewal criteria are based on state law (§ 9-101, et seq., MD. CODE ANN., EDUC.) and Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners’ policy IHBJ and associated administrative regulations (IHBJ-RA and JFA-RA). The Board’s policy requires that schools up for renewal be evaluated on multiple measures including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Student achievement, constituting at least 50 percent of the renewal score and including measures such as schoolwide performance on state assessments, College and Career Readiness (for schools with high school grades), academic programming for special student populations, and a school’s fidelity to its charter

  • School climate (chronic absence, suspensions, enrollment trends, school choice data, and school survey results from parents, teachers, and students)

  • Financial management and governance (annual audits, school budget submissions, grants management, board documentation; compliance/adherence with federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations)

  • An overall finding of not being effective in any of the key areas (Student Achievement, School Climate, or Financial Management/Governance) may be the basis of a non-renewal decision.

The renewal process is a component of City Schools’ annual review of its schools, designed to ensure that students and families across the district have access to school options that meet their interests and needs.

The process uses the following components:

The Charter and Operator-led Schools Advisory Board reviews these materials to inform the renewal recommendations it makes to City Schools’ CEO.

The CEO, through administrative review, considers the recommendations of the Charter and Operator-led Schools Advisory Board, and the quantitative and qualitative review, and then makes her own recommendation to the Board. In some instances, the nature or severity of an issue raised during the renewal process is serious enough to give it extra weight in formulating the renewal recommendation and, ultimately, the renewal decision, especially in instances where the issue affects the well-being of students, staff, or the district as a whole. The components of the review and the CEO’s recommendation are summarized in a renewal report for each school.

The ultimate decision on all operator renewals rests with the Board, which considers the recommendations and rationale of the CEO, the operator renewal report, testimony given at public Board meetings and work sessions, the contents of the official record and the factors listed in policy IHBJ and administrative regulation IHBJ-RA for charter schools, and, for non-charter schools, policy FCA and administrative regulation FCA-RA. This includes the Board’s ability to consider prior partial renewal terms afforded to operators who have had serious challenges in the prior renewal that remain issues that continue to affect the wellbeing of students, staff, or the district as a whole based on evidence in this renewal process. In particular, as Policy IHBJ states, “[t]he Board may decide that a public charter school is not eligible for two consecutive partial renewals.

2023-24 Renewal Timeline



Renewal application due from operators

September 7, 2023

Charter and Operator-led Schools Advisory Board reviews renewal applications and provides advice to the CEO on renewal recommendations.

September to October 2023

District presents CEO’s renewal recommendations to Board at public meeting

November 12, 2023

Work Session providing operators the opportunity to provide oral testimony to Board in a meeting open to the public.

December 7, 2023

Board votes on renewal recommendations at public meeting

January 23, 2024.

2023-24 Recommendations


Renewal Recommendation

Community Letter

Renewal Reports

School Effectiveness Review

Board vote

Baltimore International Academy West

3-year renewal



School Effectiveness Review

Green Street

5-year renewal



School Effectiveness Review

KIPP Harmony

3-year renewal



School Effectiveness Review