(A) The board of education of a city, exempted village, or local school district may adopt a resolution to establish and maintain an alternative school in accordance with this section. The resolution shall specify, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The purpose of the school, which purpose shall be to serve students who are on suspension, who are having truancy problems, who are experiencing academic failure, who have a history of class disruption, who are exhibiting other academic or behavioral problems specified in the resolution, or who have been discharged or released from the custody of the department of youth services under section 5139.51 of the Revised Code;
(2) The grades served by the school, which may include any of grades kindergarten through twelve;
(3) A requirement that the school be operated in accordance with this section. The board of education adopting the resolution under division (A) of this section shall be the governing board of the alternative school. The board shall develop and implement a plan for the school in accordance with the resolution establishing the school and in accordance with this section. Each plan shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:
(a) Specification of the reasons for which students will be accepted for assignment to the school and any criteria for admission that are to be used by the board to approve or disapprove the assignment of students to the school;
(b) Specification of the criteria and procedures that will be used for returning students who have been assigned to the school back to the regular education program of the district;
(c) An evaluation plan for assessing the effectiveness of the school and its educational program and reporting the results of the evaluation to the public.
(B) Notwithstanding any provision of Title XXXIII of the Revised Code to the contrary, the alternative school plan may include any of the following:
(1) A requirement that on each school day students must attend school or participate in other programs specified in the plan or by the chief administrative officer of the school for a period equal to the minimum school day set by the state board of education under section 3313.48 of the Revised Code plus any additional time required in the plan or by the chief administrative officer;
(2) Restrictions on student participation in extracurricular or interscholastic activities;
(3) A requirement that students wear uniforms prescribed by the district board of education.
(C) In accordance with the alternative school plan, the district board of education may employ teachers and nonteaching employees necessary to carry out its duties and fulfill its responsibilities or may contract with a nonprofit or for profit entity to operate the alternative school, including the provision of personnel, supplies, equipment, or facilities.
(D) An alternative school may be established in all or part of a school building.
(E) If a district board of education elects under this section, or is required by section 3313.534 of the Revised Code, to establish an alternative school, the district board may join with the board of education of one or more other districts to form a joint alternative school by forming a cooperative education school district under section 3311.52 or 3311.521 of the Revised Code, or a joint educational program under section 3313.842 of the Revised Code. The authority to employ personnel or to contract with a nonprofit or for profit entity under division (C) of this section applies to any alternative school program established under this division.
(F) Any individual employed as a teacher at an alternative school operated by a nonprofit or for profit entity under this section shall be licensed and shall be subject to background checks, as described in section 3319.39 of the Revised Code, in the same manner as an individual employed by a school district.
(G) Division (G) of this section applies only to any alternative school that is operated by a nonprofit or for profit entity under contract with the school district.
(1) In addition to the specifications authorized under division (B) of this section, any plan adopted under that division for an alternative school to which division (G) of this section also applies shall include the following:
(a) A description of the educational program provided at the alternative school, which shall include:
(i) Provisions for the school to be configured in clusters or small learning communities;
(ii) Provisions for the incorporation of education technology into the curriculum;
(iii) Provisions for accelerated learning programs in reading and mathematics.
(b) A method to determine the reading and mathematics level of each student assigned to the alternative school and a method to continuously monitor each student's progress in those areas. The methods employed under this division shall be aligned with the curriculum adopted by the school district board of education under section 3313.60 of the Revised Code.
(c) A plan for social services to be provided at the alternative school, such as, but not limited to, counseling services, psychological support services, and enrichment programs;
(d) A plan for a student's transition from the alternative school back to a school operated by the school district;
(e) A requirement that the alternative school maintain financial records in a manner that is compatible with the form prescribed for school districts by the auditor of state to enable the district to comply with any rules adopted by the auditor of state.
(2) Notwithstanding division (A)(2) of this section, any alternative school to which division (G) of this section applies shall include only grades six through twelve.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in division (A)(3)(a) of this section to the contrary, the characteristics of students who may be assigned to an alternative school to which division (G) of this section applies shall include only disruptive and low-performing students.
(H) When any district board of education determines to contract with a nonprofit or for profit entity to operate an alternative school under this section, the board shall use the procedure set forth in this division.
(1) The board shall publish notice of a request for proposals in a newspaper of general circulation in the district once each week for a period of two consecutive weeks, or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code, prior to the date specified by the board for receiving proposals. Notices of requests for proposals shall contain a general description of the subject of the proposed contract and the location where the request for proposals may be obtained. The request for proposals shall include all of the following information:
(a) Instructions and information to respondents concerning the submission of proposals, including the name and address of the office where proposals are to be submitted;
(b) Instructions regarding communications, including at least the names, titles, and telephone numbers of persons to whom questions concerning a proposal may be directed;
(c) A description of the performance criteria that will be used to evaluate whether a respondent to which a contract is awarded is meeting the district's educational standards or the method by which such performance criteria will be determined;
(d) Factors and criteria to be considered in evaluating proposals, the relative importance of each factor or criterion, and a description of the evaluation procedures to be followed;
(e) Any terms or conditions of the proposed contract, including any requirement for a bond and the amount of such bond;
(f) Documents that may be incorporated by reference into the request for proposals, provided that the request for proposals specifies where such documents may be obtained and that such documents are readily available to all interested parties.
(2) After the date specified for receiving proposals, the board shall evaluate the submitted proposals and may hold discussions with any respondent to ensure a complete understanding of the proposal and the qualifications of such respondent to execute the proposed contract. Such qualifications shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Demonstrated competence in performance of the required services as indicated by effective implementation of educational programs in reading and mathematics and at least three years of experience successfully serving a student population similar to the student population assigned to the alternative school;
(b) Demonstrated performance in the areas of cost containment, the provision of educational services of a high quality, and any other areas determined by the board;
(c) Whether the respondent has the resources to undertake the operation of the alternative school and to provide qualified personnel to staff the school;
(d) Financial responsibility.
(3) The board shall select for further review at least three proposals from respondents the board considers qualified to operate the alternative school in the best interests of the students and the district. If fewer than three proposals are submitted, the board shall select each proposal submitted. The board may cancel a request for proposals or reject all proposals at any time prior to the execution of a contract.
The board may hold discussions with any of the three selected respondents to clarify or revise the provisions of a proposal or the proposed contract to ensure complete understanding between the board and the respondent of the terms under which a contract will be entered. Respondents shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussion regarding clarifications or revisions. The board may terminate or discontinue any further discussion with a respondent upon written notice.
(4) Upon further review of the three proposals selected by the board, the board shall award a contract to the respondent the board considers to have the most merit, taking into consideration the scope, complexity, and nature of the services to be performed by the respondent under the contract.
(5) Except as provided in division (H)(6) of this section, the request for proposals, submitted proposals, and related documents shall become public records under section 149.43 of the Revised Code after the award of the contract.
(6) Any respondent may request in writing that the board not disclose confidential or proprietary information or trade secrets contained in the proposal submitted by the respondent to the board. Any such request shall be accompanied by an offer of indemnification from the respondent to the board. The board shall determine whether to agree to the request and shall inform the respondent in writing of its decision. If the board agrees to nondisclosure of specified information in a proposal, such information shall not become a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. If the respondent withdraws its proposal at any time prior to the execution of a contract, the proposal shall not be a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
(I) Upon a recommendation from the department and in accordance with section 3301.16 of the Revised Code, the state board of education may revoke the charter of any alternative school operated by a school district that violates this section.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28,HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.
Effective Date: 11-20-2001; 09-16-2004