Preparing, Preventing, and Responding to Stave Off Distress in Charter Schools

Resource Selection
Start Date
27 Oct, 2021
End Date
27 Oct, 2021

NCSRC hosted an interactive webinar to support charter school leaders and board members in applying the findings from the report Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools, Part 2: The Roles and Perspectives of Charter School Leaders and Board Members. The event sought to answer the question, “How can we identify whether a school is falling off track and help them get back on track?”

During the session, NCSRC provided schools and governing board members with knowledge and tools to help them stave off distress in their schools by understanding the importance of identifying distress early and creating systems, processes, and procedures to prevent or mitigate potential stressors. Together, attendees explored why they should be aware of indicators of distress, the report’s findings about common indicators of distress, and how to use this information to get their school back on track.

After participating in or viewing a recording of the webinar, school leaders and board members are encouraged to engage in their own discussions about whether their school is experiencing distress through a series of facilitated videos (linked below). These videos guide school teams and foster dialogue about a school’s health related to the early warning signs of decline. 


  • Aimee Evan, Ph.D., National Charter School Resource Center
  • Hannah Sullivan, National Charter School Resource Center


Additional Training Videos

Now that you’ve explored the early warning signs of school distress, it is time to put that knowledge in to action. NCSRC has prepared three videos, each full of facilitated activities, to help your team and governing board explore how to prepare for, prevent, and respond to distress in your school. 


  1. Invite your leadership team and members of your governing board to three meetings—either in-person or virtually—to explore whether you are showing early signs of distress. Schedule your first meeting for 90 minutes and your second and third meetings for 75 minutes each.
  2. When you invite your team to these meetings, share Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools, Part 2: The Roles and Perspectives of Charter School Leaders and Board Members and/or the accompanying webinar recording above, and ask that they read the report or view the webinar in advance of the first meeting. 
  3. Also, share the supplemental workbook (also available in the list of resources on the top-right of this page) with your attendees and ask that they may reflect upon the questions in the workbook prior to the first meeting.
  4. At the start of the meeting, hit “play” on the corresponding video. Pause the video when prompted to further discuss questions and concepts with your team.
  5. Hold yourself accountable to the action items your team prioritizes and schedule check-ins to ensure you are making progress on addressing areas of distress.

Video #1: How to Create Effective Systems that Prepare for Distress

Video #2: How to Scan Your Context to Prevent Distress

Video #3: How to Pivot in Response to Challenges to Prevent Distress