School performance and accountability 

Compliance procedures

ONS: School performance and accountability

As a basic accountability, a charter or contract school must comply with its School Agreement with the Chicago Board of Education and applicable federal, state, and local laws, including Illinois Charter School Law (105 ILCS 5/27A-9) Opens in a new window icon.. These requirements relate to topics such as student and staff information, safety, financial history, school schedules, and student performance data. In order to be in compliance, a school has the responsibility to understand, fulfill, and track progress toward meeting compliance requirements.


Each summer, the Office of New Schools releases the annual compliance chart. Schools are required to submit the requested information by the due dates on the chart. If a school asks for an extension by providing early notice, a proposed new due date, and reasonable justification for why the deadline cannot be met and why the requested amount of additional time is needed, the school will not be penalized for missing a due date. As described in the New Schools Accountability System Manual, late items affect the Federal/State/CPS Compliance component of the compliance category score. The Federal/State/CPS compliance score is determined by the number of late documents submitted. For schools on the new accountability plan, your compliance rating will be a score of 1-4 based on the rubric below. For schools that may still be on an older version of the accountability plan, the rubric score will be translated into your Compliance indicator rating of High, Middle, or Low. The annual compliance scores are published in the performance report and will be evaluated at the time of renewal.


Key Documents

PDF icon. Annual Compliance Chart

PDF icon. Charter School Accountability Plan

PDF icon. Contract School Accountability Plan

PDF icon. Financial Management and Compliance Indicator System Manual



Lottery Guidelines
If there are more eligible applicants for enrollment in a school than there are spaces available, successful applicants shall be selected by public lottery. See the documents below on lottery guidelines for various types of schools:

PDF icon. Charter schools | PDF icon Contract schools



Key Links
Illinois Charter Schools Law Opens in a new window icon.: The principles established in each state’s charter legislation guide the operation of charter schools. In 1996, the Illinois Legislature passed a law legalizing the creation of charter schools. You can see the current Illinois Charter School law on the Illinois General Assembly Website.

ISBE teacher certification, Educator Certification System: Gives teachers and administrators access to information from State Board certification files, such as the status of an application and what certificates and endorsements a teacher holds.



Contact Information
Charter and contract schools should submit all compliance requirements to Opens in a new window icon.. Please feel free to contact this email address with any questions about compliance procedures or deadlines.


Performance report

The annual charter and contract school performance report is the Chicago Board of Education’s primary mechanism for publicly reporting on the academic and operational performance of each of its charter and contract schools. Additionally, the report provides stakeholders such as parents, students, and the community at large with a comprehensive perspective on charter and contract school performance.


Each charter and contract school has an accountability plan that outlines how academic and operational performance is measured. Per their accountability plan, charter schools, contract schools (linked to attached PDF, “Contract Accountability Plan”), and individual campuses are given accountability ratings depending on their performance on student and operational performance indicators. Please see the Appendix of each report for an explanation of the various accountability plans and how schools are rated on each indicator.


Performance Reports by Year:

PDF icon. 2002-2003 | PDF icon. 2003-2004 | PDF icon. 2004-2005 | PDF icon. 2005-2006 | PDF icon. 2006-2007 | PDF icon. 2007-2008 | PDF icon. 2008-2009 | PDF icon. 2009-2010



While given autonomy in the educational structure and financial management of its school, a charter or contract school operator is held accountable to various criteria set forth in its School Agreement with the Chicago Board of Education, applicable Chicago Public Schools policy, and the Illinois Charter School Law [105 ILCS 5/27A-1 et seq.], in the case of charter schools. When a Chicago charter or contract school reaches its fifth year of operation, it undergoes a comprehensive renewal process, during which time ONS evaluates its performance against its School Agreement and Accountability Plan.


The renewal process serves two purposes. First, it informs the Chicago Board of Education’s decision on whether to renew a school’s contract by providing evidence on whether the school has met pupil performance, financial, and operational compliance requirements. Second, this reflective process provides schools with the opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness in fulfilling past goals and make a case for their continued operation.


For more information about renewal, please see the Introduction section of the MSWord icon. 2010-2011 Renewal Application. This document will address the following questions:


  • Who participates in the renewal process?
  • What are the criteria for renewal?
  • How are contract schools renewed?
  • How do you renew multi-campus charters?
  • What is the time span of the renewal process?
  • Who ultimately makes the renewal decision?


If you have any questions on the renewal process, please email in a new window icon.


Material modifications

Material Modification Applications (MMAs) were developed to allow charter schools to propose modifications to their school agreement during the current term of the agreement. All MMAs undergo a review process by the Office of New Schools and must be approved by ONS, the Chicago Board of Education, and the Illinois State Board of Education. Material modifications to school agreements cannot go into effect until they are certified by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Material Modification Application Timeline:


  • Application submission window: July 1 – October 1
  • Final decisions for ONS recommendations to CEO communicated to charter schools: mid-fall
  • Board of Education approval process: December – March Board Meetings
  • Execution of amended agreements: March – May
  • Amended agreements go into effect: July 1


For questions on the MMA process or for more information, please contact Elisa M. Botello, Authorization Coordinator in the Office of New Schools at 773-553-1531 or via email at Opens in a new window icon..



Material Modification Applications:


Grade and Enrollment Changes

MSWord icon. Material Modification Application for Grade and Enrollment Changes

Excel icon. 5 Year Projected Budget Form


Name Changes and Other

MSWord icon. Material Modification Application for Name Changes and Other

Excel icon. 5 Year Projected Budget Form


Application for New Facility

MSWord icon. Material Modification Application for New Facility

Excel icon. 5 Year Projected Budget Form

MSWord icon. Inspecting Architect’s Report

Excel icon. Sources and Uses Report

PDF icon. ADA Guidelines and Services

MSWord icon. ADA Compliance Report

PDF icon. Insurance Requirement



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Page Last Modified on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contact information

Office of New Schools
125 South Clark Street
10th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (773) 553-1530
Fax: (773) 553-1559