10001.1: Programs of Choice Development Process


The District supports the philosophy of programs of choice as reflected in this rule. 

The District believes that programs of choice development can be achieved through the process of shared decision-making. The process provides that certain decisions can be made at the program level, through the stakeholders most directly involved with the program, and within the context of the District’s policies and plans. The Board of Education recognizes that shared decision-making provides the opportunity for staff, parents, community members, and students, to collaborate in the District’s Strategic Plan and promote increased student enrollment and achievement through alternative educational processes. Proposals for programs of choice may be the result of community interest, a building site plan, District strategic plan, and/or District initiation.

While fully supporting these collaborative efforts, the Board recognizes its ultimate authority and responsibility for decisions that impact the direction of education in the Millard Public Schools. In the case of low enrollment, the Superintendent shall inform low enrollment buildings of the opportunity for building site teams to plan for their future with this rule to guide their planning. In the event that low enrollment buildings do not generate a plan for their future, the Superintendent may direct the development of a plan for the future of low enrollment buildings in accordance with this rule. If necessary, the Superintendent may replace and reassign the current principal and staff, and assemble a building team to implement the District-generated plan. The authority and responsibilities delegated to the Development Task Force shall be in accordance with district policies and shall be subject to the authority and responsibility of the Board of Education, the Superintendent and the administrator of the mini-magnet or district unit or division that the task force represents. 


Program of Choice is the broad term used to identify a district-sponsored program that utilizes a specific curriculum, classroom management and structure, and instructional practices that are significantly different from the regular Pre K-12 Education Program, yet still embraces the District standards, indicators, and assessments while attracting students from across the District and open to students from outside the District. Examples of such programs of choice include, but are not limited to, Core Knowledge Academy, Montessori, and International Baccalaureate (Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, and Diploma Program) programs. 

In addition, programs of choice may be designed to attract enrollment through the use of a district-funded and district-directed program with a specific, specialized concentration encompassing K-5, 6-8 and/or 9-12 in all areas and which is intended to attract interested students. Such programs may include, but are not limited to: math/science and engineering, computer science and technology, visual, performing and communication arts, international studies and world language, and year-round school.

Program of Choice Concept, Proposal, and Development Committee is made up of parents, community members, interested building staff, students when appropriate, and a designee of the Superintendent who share a common vision and desire to promote a specific program for District adoption and advancement. The committee must include a building and district administrator and will be made up of 10-12 people. Representatives other than district employees will be non-paid volunteers. This Committee is responsible for completing the initial concept, proposal and development plan as defined in Phase I of this Rule, This committee understands that the proposed program has not been approved and no commitment has been made to approve the concept.

Parameters for Committee Meetings:

• All meetings will be facilitated by a building or district administrator. 

• All meetings will be scheduled by the administrator of record for that program.

• No meeting will be conducted without a quorum of six members.

• A consensus decision-making process will be used.

• This will conclude prior to program implementation.

Program of Choice Leadership Support will be provided by the District. The Superintendent, human resources division, and the principal of the designated facility will identify the level of need for leadership support, the qualifications of the staff person, and his/her job description. The leadership support staff person will be brought into the planning process during Phase 2: Planning for Start-up.

Program of Choice Parent Education Group may meet up to four times each year as needed. The purpose of the parent group will be to provide parents of children in the program an opportunity to learn more about the program, to ask questions about the program to program staff, and to raise funds to support specific program needs. There may be parent officers if desired by the parents. Any activities or fundraising by the parent group cannot conflict with the building PTO/PTA or Booster Club of which they are members. Fundraising will be by parents only, no children will be asked to participate.

Consensus Method will be used by the Program of Choice Concept, Proposal, and Development Committee in an affirming environment marked by mutual support and respect. Consensus exists when participants whose support is needed to implement a decision, agree with the decision and express a commitment to support it.

The process is based on trust and a belief in the strength of shared responsibility in decision-making. Participants must be well informed and communicate effectively in order to make good decisions. Therefore, school decision makers will use processes that include provisions for informed dialogue, decision, action and evaluation. Participants in the process must engage in continuous communications with their constituents so that decisions will reflect agreement within the mini-magnet community. Successful processes will allow for communications among constituents so that decisions will reflect agreement within the mini-magnet community, not just within a particular committee. Successful implementation shall also require regular oral and written communication among individuals, district administration, and the school board.

If consensus cannot be achieved the administrator for that program may make the necessary interim decisions as they continue to work for consensus. In the event the committee is unable to function effectively, the administrator, or three (3) task force members shall report the same to the District Superintendent together with a detailed report of the issues and parts of disagreement where upon the District Superintendent or his/her designee shall meet with the committee to resolve the issues. If the issues cannot be resolved, the dispute shall be submitted to the Board of Education through the Superintendent for resolution of the issue or issues.

Development Phases:

Phase 1: Identification of a Program of Choice Concept and Initial Program Proposal

Concept Proposal

The following information must be submitted to the Superintendent no later than August 31 (Yr.1) to be reviewed and presented to Executive Cabinet for consideration by September 15 (Yr.1).

I. Abstract

II. Impetus for Concept Proposal (community based, building site plan, District, etc.)

III. Need, Scope, Purpose

IV. Program Description and Philosophy

    A. Instructional philosophy

    B. Grade levels

    C. Calendar

    D. Specific licensure or training requirements for program or staff

V. Program Goals

    A. Identify how the program is consistent with the District strategic plan.

    B. Identify how the goals or methods of the program are different from those in existing programs.

    C. Identify the needs that this program will meet that are not addressed in the District program.

    D. State why the program will not jeopardize the majority of the students or district programs.

VI. Target Student Population 

      May identify the interest of potential students through parent surveys.

VII. List of Parents Committed to Enrolling Their Child(ren) in the Program (if applicable)

       Secure signatures of program identification group if parent/community initiated.

VIII. Program Start-Up Costs and Yearly Re-occurring Costs

    A. Staff needed and certification required

    B. Training costs

    C. Curriculum materials

    D. Equipment needs

    E. Supplies

    F. Facility modifications

    G. Other program needs

IX. Facility Needs for the Program

X. Publicity Plan

XI. Parent Involvement Expectations

A. Volunteer hours, PTO/Booster Club, Fundraising, Homework

XII. Collaboration with Other District Programs

The Superintendent and Executive Cabinet will apply the following criteria to the program of choice concept and render a decision to move to Phase 2 by September 30 (Yr.1):

I. The proposed concept meets the definition of a program of choice

II. A philosophic predisposition exists in the community and is affirmed by the Board of Education that values the concept of parent choice in education.

III. The proposed program of choice is consistent with the philosophy of the District and the legal requirements placed upon the District. 

IV. The proposed program of choice does not duplicate existing goals or methods already in place in the District and addresses specific educational needs. These needs are well defined and capable of being assessed.

V. The proposed program of choice does not stimulate a major political or values backlash such that the functioning of the District for the majority of students would be jeopardized.

VI. The proposed program of choice meets District Strategic Planning parameters that include:

No new program will be added unless it meets a clearly demonstrated, mission-related need; it survives a cost-benefit analysis; its impact on other programs/courses/services is addressed; adequate staffing, staff development, funding and facilities are provided; and it contains an evaluation procedure. Nothing will take precedence over the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education program.

VII. The program of choice concept has the potential to increase enrollment in the District and at a specific building as demonstrated by an analysis of community interest and enrollment trends in similar programs.

Preliminary Proposal

If the concept is accepted and allowed to move ahead, the Program of Choice Concept, Proposal, and Development Committee will develop and submit the Preliminary Proposal by December 1 (Yr.1). The Superintendent will inform the Board of Education about the concept. Movement from Concept Development to Preliminary Proposal Development does not constitute program approval nor a commitment to implement the mini-magnet concept.

Preliminary Proposal Development Committee will submit a report by December 1 (Yr. 1) with the following information:

I. Refine the need, scope, purpose and description of the program based upon additional research and in response to the Superintendent and Cabinet’s feedback. 

II. Program Description and Philosophy

(expanded and refined from Concept Proposal

    A. Specific licensure or training requirements for program staff

    B. Grade levels

    C. Calendar

    D. Instructional philosophy

III. Program Goals

(expanded and refined fromConcept Proposal)

    A. Identify how the program is consistent with the District strategic plan.

    B. Identify how the goals or methods of the program are different from those in existing programs.

    C. Identify the specific educational needs that this program will address 

    D. State why the program will not jeopardize the majority of the students or district programs. 

IV. Objectives and Action Steps

V. Curriculum and Instructional Program

    A. Curriculum alignment to District Standards & Indicators

    B. Curriculum materials

    C. Support Programs

VI. Detailed Proposed Budget

Identify the costs needed to start up the program and yearly reoccurring costs. Complete a cost-benefit analysis of the program.

VII. Detailed Facility Needs

Identify the facility and classroom space needs for the program. Project over a three- to five-year program.

VIII. Student Assessments (beyond district and state assessments)

IX. Support Services Needs

X. Communication Plan

Identify a plan for how the program will be publicized.

XI. Parent Involvement Plan

    A. Develop a list of parents who are committed to enrolling their child in the program through the use of district-wide student/parent interest surveys.

    B. Identify expectations of how parents will be involved in the program on an ongoing basis (volunteer hours, parent booster club, etc.).

XII. Program Evaluation Plan

A. Identify how the program will work in collaboration with other programs sharing the same facility (participation on joint building implementation team, joint PTO, etc.).

B. Submit preliminary proposal to Associate Superintendent of Educational Services for presentation to Cabinet by December 1 (Yr. 1).

The Superintendent and Executive Cabinet will review the preliminary proposal based on the following feasibility indicators and render a decision by December 15 (Yr1):

I. Sufficient qualified staff exist or can be acquired to implement the program as it is intended (administrative, teaching, aide, support).

II. Sufficient money exists to secure qualified staff and materials to implement the program as it is intended without undo pressure on the regular program.

III. Sufficient space requirements are available to assure that a safe and healthy learning environment without undo disruption to other regular programs.

IV. The overall expenditures of resources (money, staff and space) are comparable to expenditures for regular programs. (Additional start-up costs may be required in the initial phases of implementation.)

V. The proposed mini-magnet does not place unwarranted or unwanted stress on the neighborhood concept of education.

If the preliminary proposal is accepted by Executive Cabinet, it will be submitted to the Millard Board of Education for approval at February Board of Education meeting (Yr. 1). If approved by the Board of Education, a program administrator will be assigned by the Superintendent along with any other parameters deemed appropriate. The Superintendent, human resources division, and the principal of the designated facility will identify the level of need for leadership support, the qualifications of the staff person, and their job description. The leadership support designee will be brought into the planning process sometime during Phase 2 - Planning for Start-Up.

Phase2: Planning for Start-up

The Program of Choice Concept, Proposal, and Development Committee will be notified by February 1 (Yr. 1) to begin Phase 3 and must have the following components set forth below developed and presented to Executive Cabinet by December 1 (Yr. 2). This date is critical for budget development, communication with interested staff, parents, and students, enrollment considerations under within District transfers and open/option enrollment, and ordering and organizing for fall implementation. The final months of January to May (Yr. 2) will be utilized for final planning and organization, ordering materials, hiring staff, communicating with parents and district staff, and registering students.

I. The current Development Committee may be expanded if. The job of this committee will be completed prior to program implementation; therefore, the committee will be dissolved prior to program implementation.

II. An external facilitator will be assigned by the Superintendent to work with the committee to identify the mission, objectives for the program, and action steps for the objectives.

III. The committee will meet on a regular basis (weekly, monthly) to develop:

    A. The curriculum and instructional program, 

    B. A proposed budget, 

    C. Identify facility needs, 

    D. Student assessment program, 

    E. Program evaluation, 

    F. Technology plan, 

    G. Support services plan,

    H. Implementation timeline

    I. Grant development/submission    

    J. Facility needs

    K. Purchase/obtain materials & equipment

    L. Interview/select staff

    M. Training/staff development    

    N. Curriculum alignment

    O. Support programs

    P. Instructional minutes

    Q. Calendar, school schedule

    R. Student registration/enrollment

    S. Student activities/organizations

    T. Representation of Parents on Site Planning Team

    U. Communication

        1. Teachers, parents, community, district at-large

        2. PTO/Booster Clubs

        3. Parent Education Group

        4. Parent involvement plan

        5. Newsletter

        6. Web page

        7. Program description 

        8. and other program components.

IV. The administrator on the development task force will submit required reports as needed for District budget planning process, facility location, obtaining materials, identification of staff, training of staff, publicize program, registration of students, and other start-up needs of the program.

V. A budget for curriculum development, staff training and other initial start-up costs will be implemented.

VI. A budget for classroom set-ups and other needs will be expended in the summer prior to fall implementation.

VII. An enrollment process will be created and in place by February 1 (Yr.2) to facilitate enrollment into the mini-magnet program or school. Enrollment procedures will follow these priorities:

    A. currently enrolled students and/or siblings of currently enrolled students, if applicable,

    B. within-district transfer students,

    C. open or option enrollment students, 

    D. lottery/randomization will be utilized at any of the steps when necessary

VIII. An evaluation process to include evidence and criteria for making judgments about the program will be set up with assistance from the Department of Assessment, Research and Evaluation for the first five years of the program. Possible questions might include:

    A. What levels are the students achieving in district outcomes?

    B. To what extent does the school implement its program?

    C. What is the breadth and depth of curriculum?

    D. What instructional practices are used? 

    E. What is the per-student cost for the program?

    F. What role does support services play in the program?

    G. What are the demographics of the program?

    H. What are the opinions/attitudes of parents, teachers, administrators, and students toward the program?

    I. Has the enrollment of the school increased and/or is the mini-magnet enrollment sufficient to sustain the program?

Phase 3: Year One of Operation

I. It will be the responsibility of the assigned administrator to continue to refine program needs and work to complete the mission and goals of the program. The leadership support person will be assigned specific tasks by the administrator of the building and will be accountable to that person.

II. Communication between teachers, parents, community, and the District at-large is conducted.

III. The building administrator will be responsible to see that a proportional representation of both programs is part of the building planning and implementation teams.

IV. The building administrator will be responsible for providing conditions for a combined PTO of all program groups. Programs sponsored by PTO will support building projects that include the needs of both.

V. The building administrator will be responsible for organizing a parent education group for the mini-magnet program to assist parents with learning about the program, communicating with others about the program, to raise funds to support the program, to publish a program newsletter, etc. The Parent Education Group shall meet periodically.

VI. Curriculum development and staff training will continue as needed and be the responsibility of the administrator in the building.

VII. The program will be monitored yearly through district assessments, program assessments, and an evaluation plan.

Phase 4: Five-Year Program Evaluation

A five-year evaluation will be completed by the Department of Assessment, Research and Evaluation at the end of the fifth year of program operation. If the program has met program mission and goals, a cost-benefit analysis, and student achievement levels within the range of the District, the program will be considered viable and continue. If the program has not satisfactorily met the above indicators, the Superintendent and Board of Education will have the option to continue the program with additional criteria or move to dissolve the program.


The following district parameters for the operation of mini-magnets must be met.

I. District student outcomes will be met.

II. District-level assessments will be utilized.

III. Class size will be comparable to other district programs.

IV. Financial support will be comparable to the support for other district programs.

V. Any Millard student may register for the program, unless specific requirements are identified.

VI. Staff evaluation shall be conducted using the District model.

VII. Program evaluation will be on a regular and ongoing basis.

VIII. A Parent Education Group will be organized for purposes of parent communication.

IX. Transportation shall be provided by parents/guardians.


Responsibilities Chart


Phase I (Year 1) 

    • September 15- Submit Concept Proposal to Superintendent

    • September 30- Notified of decision

    • December 1- Submit Preliminary Proposal, if concept approved

    • December 15- Notified of Decision

    • February Board of Education Meeting- Submitted for approval

Phase II (Year 2)

    • December 1- Submit Implementation Plan to Superintendent 

Date of Adoption
February 16, 1998
Date of Revision
May 19, 2008
March 21, 2011
May 6, 2019