Ferris State University is granted oversight authority for Public School Academies (PSA's) by Part 6A of the Revised School Code, Act 451, of 1976. Authorization of a PSA is accomplished through a contract between the authorizer and the school academy. In 1997, the FSU Board of Trustees conditionally authorized its first PSA. The University currently has 16 contracts issued to academies around the State of Michigan.
As an authorizing body, Ferris State University provides oversight through its Charter Schools Office (CSO). The CSO is responsible for monitoring compliance in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contract, all applicable State and federal law, and to assist the academy in all aspects of its operations, planning, and development. To accomplish this, the CSO uses a comprehensive oversight system that includes the following:
The Charter Schools Office staff makes periodic visits to the academies and/or meetings of each academy's Board of Directors. In addition, the CSO utilizes four Field Representatives who serve as the "eyes and ears" for the office. Each representative is assigned to an academy and they serve as a liaison between the academy and the CSO. Field Representatives are required to visit each academy under their jurisdiction a minimum of six times per year, and must also attend six meetings of each academy's Board of Directors. During periodic visits to the Academy, the Field Representatives and CSO staff conduct a brief review of the academy's records to insure that the documents are complete and properly recorded. Missing documentation is noted and a re-check of the contents is made during the next periodic visit. Field Representatives periodically visit the home office of the Educational Service Provider (ESP) to review academy personnel records and teacher certification records for compliance with the Revised School Code.
Other visitations are made as needed by CSO staff and/or Field Representatives.