Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a charter school leader visiting this site, chances are your state's charter support organization (CSO) has asked you to complete a Charter School Facilities Initiative survey. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the survey, its importance, and how to complete it.

For more information on this important endeavor, or to request a link to the survey, contact your state charter support organization (for a list of participating states, click here).

A: There are three parts to the survey: General Facility Information, Facility Expenditure and Revenue, and Measurement of the Facility & Instructional Spaces. The General Facility Information, ideally completed by an administrator, asks a series of factual and perception questions about the school facility; such as number of students served, whether the school shares space, the quality of the school's air, electrical, and plumbing, and whether there are any unused or underutilized district facilities nearby. Facility Expenditure and Revenue, to be completed by a business manager or network administrator, asks about the schools capital expenditure and method of funding. In some states schools will also be asked about access to local or state funding programs or the school's access to facility grants. Measurement of the Facility & Instructional Spaces will be conducted by a representative from the state's charter support organization (CSO) and will include the measurement (using a laser measuring device or blue prints) of all instructional spaces. No administrative spaces will be measured. The CSO representative will also need to gather information on site and facility size as well.

A: There are three portions of the survey, only two of which school administration is directly responsible for. The general facilities information is meant to be completed by a school administrator (or assistant administrator) and take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. The facility expenditure and revenue information would ideally be completed by a business manager (or a network administrator in the case of a school that is part of a multiple campus network). This portion, too, should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. The most time consuming portion of the survey, collection of measurement data, does not require the participation of any school administrators, rather a representative working with the state's charter support organization will come to the school and conduct all measurement. Depending on the size of the school, the measurement process can take up to 1.5 hours. This person can be given a list of classrooms and educational spaces and measure the facility without school personnel, or a secretary, custodial worker, or even a student could walk them around.

A: Minimally, if at all. To date this survey has been completed in 14 states. While some school leaders preferred to have the measurement completed during lunch hour or just before or after school, most found that the measurement process was not at all disruptive. All people that will be conducting measurements are trained on how to use the laser device and know that they are to be as quick and efficient as possible. If you happen to have an adverse experience with the measurement process you are encouraged to contact the charter support organization (information provided in the introductory email) and let them know.

A: No, participation is not mandatory and there will be no consequences for opting out of the project. However, the more schools that participate in the survey the more data the state will have to address inequities in facility funding and access. Even schools with brand new facilities that exceed local or national standards for educational buildings are vital to the project, as very few of those are provided at no cost to the school. This project addresses both space and funding so it is important that all schools, regardless of the situation, please participate.

A: No, all results from the survey will be published in the aggregate. No school will be named and results based on a small number of schools (under five) will not be presented in any reports so as to maintain autonomy.

A: State specific school data in the aggregate will be used to inform the state report for each state. This data will also be provided to the state charter support organization to inform policy efforts on a state level. Data will also be used in cross state analysis on different issues. Individual school level information will not be released to third parties by CSFI without the school’s prior permission.

A: Each state's charter support organization has a Charter School Facilities Initiative project leader. Their name and contact information was supplied in the introductory email that your received. If you are having difficulty accessing the online survey, cannot remember your password, or have technical difficulties of another sort contact the person listed in that email. Otherwise, contact Joni Malli at the Colorado League of Charter Schools for assistance.

A: Each state's charter support organization has a Charter School Facilities Initiative project leader. Their name and contact information was supplied in the introductory email that your received. If you do not fully understand a question, or multiple questions, on the survey please contact the person listed in that email. Otherwise, contact Joni Malli at the Colorado League of Charter Schools for assistance.

A: Each school will have the ability to set one password to access the school's survey. This password can be shared, and respondents can complete part of the survey, save their progress, and then return at a later time to complete it. If you do not have the information immediately available you can return to the survey once you have obtained the information or ask another staff member to log on (using your password-assuming you set it up) and fill in the information. If the information is not available to anyone, skip the question and complete the remainder of the survey.

A: As many people can access the survey as needed; however, each school is only able to set up one username and password. To allow multiple individuals to complete portions of the survey, the username and password must be shared. The one exception to this applies to schools that belong to a network of schools. For school networks it is advisable to have a network administrator complete the facility expenditure and revenue information. To facilitate this we can assign a network administrator a separate username and password.

A: The network administrator will need to provide the charter support organization with his contact information and a list of the schools in the network. A user profile will then be completed providing that administrator with access to each school in the network.

A: Yes, survey participation is important and your responses are needed, regardless of whether you are a current member of your state charter support organization.

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