June 2018 Newsletter

NCSRC Toolkit Assists Charter Support Organizations and Charter School Founders in Navigating Charter School Start-Ups

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) released a toolkit containing a large set of materials that state-based charter support organizations (CSOs) use to help new schools launch successfully. This toolkit provides a one-stop shop for CSOs setting up their own new school development program and charter founding groups looking for resources they can use immediately.

There is a clear interest in expanding and improving new school development services within CSOs, but not every CSO has the budget or capacity to offer new school development services. CSOs can use these resources to strengthen schools’ “front-end” capacity, which is a primary strategy to improve the overall quality of charter schools. Charter founding groups can also review materials directly.

You can view the full toolkit here.

NCSRC Resources

  • Case Study: Deep Community Engagement at the Native American Community Academy (NACA): Native American Community Academy (NACA) leaders consider it their duty to have an ongoing dialogue with families and the community about their needs. They founded their school in response to community demand for a school that addresses the identity, wellness, and college preparation of Native American and Indigenous students. Students who attend NACA demonstrate academic achievement, proficiency, retention, graduation, and college attendance rates that far outpace their Native American peers at the district, state, and national levels.
     
  • New State Entity Grantee Toolkit: This toolkit addresses issues that State Entities and State Education Agencies face after receiving Charter Schools Program (CSP) grants from the U.S. Department of Education. New Project Directors are tasked with launching complex subgrant programs. This informal guidance is a starting point to answer questions and to link Project Directors to key resources for successful CSP grant administration.
     
  • English Learner Resources: As public schools, charter schools have an obligation to serve English Learners (EL); as self-governing, mission-oriented, and nimble schools, charter schools have a corresponding opportunity to provide innovative, student-centered opportunities to meet those obligations. This compilation provides information in support efforts to effectively serve EL students. It draws from key stakeholders and leaders in the sector, including federal, state and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; and research agencies that have developed resources specifically to aid charter schools in the important efforts they take to serve EL students.
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  • SE Webinar: Peer-to-Peer Consultancy: Designing Peer Reviews and Subgrant Competitions: This interactive "consultancy" webinar is part of the NCSRC’s technical assistance for administrators of State Entity CSP grants. Facilitators and attendees shared their challenges in designing and conducting a peer-review process as part of a strong subgrant competition. Participants responded to the challenge, probed and asked clarifying questions, and offered their own insights and reflections based on experiences from their states.

NCSRC Partner Resources

  • Governance FAQs: Charter Board Partners has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about charter school boards. The publication provides clarifying information about the role of charter school boards, their structure, and common practices and laws that boards practice.
     
  • Leadership, Commitment, Judgment: Elements of Successful Charter School Authorizing: In this report, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) shows how authorizers implement foundational best practices that NACSA has promoted for years. Key findings include that great authorizers are:
    • Dedicated to a mission of giving more children access to better schools through the proactive creation and replication of high-quality charter schools;
    • Make decisions based on what will drive student outcomes; and
    • Reflect their institution’s commitment to quality authorizing.

Education News

  • Georgia Senate Approves More Money for State Charter Schools: A senior class from STEM Charter Academy in North Idaho is the first graduating class for the school, with a 100 percent college acceptance rate. The seniors have been accepted to 22 different colleges and accumulated almost $312,000 in scholarship funds.​​​
     
  • Colorado Built One of America’s Strongest Charter School Sectors: Colorado made a strong jump in the annual review of state charter school laws according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Colorado saw one of the largest jumps of any state in the country in February, moving from No. 5 to No. 2, second only to Indiana. A Colorado legislator outlines the conditions that made the change possible, including transparency, accountability, and bipartisanship.
     
  • Charter School's First Graduating Class at 100% College Acceptance Rate: A senior class from STEM Charter Academy in North Idaho is the first graduating class for the school, with a 100 percent college acceptance rate. The seniors have been accepted to 22 different colleges and accumulated almost $312,000 in scholarship funds.​

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