Thank you for your interest in the Colorado Charter School Institute! CSI’s mission is to foster high-quality charter school options in Colorado. In line with its mission, CSI has developed standard application processes aligned with best practice that seek to create new charter schools that have a high likelihood of success as well as to expand and replicate existing charters schools that have a record of success.

CSI can authorize charter schools in:

  1. districts that do not retain exclusive chartering authority (ECA), and
  2. districts that retain ECA but have or are willing to release an applicant to apply to CSI waive ECA through a board resolution.

A list of districts with their chartering authority status can be found on the CDE website:

For more information about eligibility to apply, timelines, and processes, please click on the application cycle of interest below. 

Community Engagement

CSI encourages, and state law requires, parent and community engagement throughout the application process.

Learn more about ways community members can engage in the application process.

Authorization Timelines

The CSI Board of Directors annually  sets the application timelines for each of CSI’s authorization cycles.

Click here for the 2021-2022 authorization timelines to access the timeline by authorization cycle. 

Market Analyses

CSI’s market analyses help to validate evidence of need in charter applications.


New Applicants

The new school application is for founding teams seeking to open a new charter school.

Renewal Applicants

The renewal application is for existing CSI schools that are nearing the end of their contract term.

Expansion Applicants

The expansion application is for existing CSI schools that are seeking to expand the scope of their existing program.

Transfer Applicants

The transfer application is for charter schools seeking to transfer  from their current authorizer to CSI.

Conversion Applicants

The conversion application is for existing Colorado public schools seeking to convert to a CSI charter school.
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