A Tale of Two Grantees: How AppleTree Institute and Hiawatha Academies Are Using CSP Funds to Make a Difference in Their Communities

Resource Selection
Start Date
29 Jul, 2020
End Date
29 Jul, 2020

How have CMOs expanded and replicated high-quality schools? The National Charter School Resource Center connected with leaders from AppleTree Institute and Hiawatha Academies to find out how these charter management organizations (CMOs) have expanded their enrollment, are planning and operating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to hear about their successes and lessons learned while implementing a Charter School Programs (CSP) grant.

We’ve learned a lot about scaling - balancing really intentional structures and not losing nimbleness and responsiveness and the relationships that actually made the founding campuses so strong. It’s not about how many seats we can add. The goal continues to be, “What is the quality of our academic program?”
Colette Owens, Executive Director, Hiawatha Academies

Co-CMO operating has great potential [to ensure that] all the teaching and learning is not only well integrated but plays into people’s strong points. ... We were able to maintain our own culture and branding. Our partner’s culture and branding are compatible, and we subordinate our branding to be good partners.
Jack McCarthy, President & CEO, AppleTree Institute

View the CMO Grantees Profiles for more information on these grantees and other CSP CMO grantees.


  • Jack McCarthy, President & CEO AppleTree Institute
  • Thomas Keene, General Counsel & Strategic Initiatives, AppleTree Institute
  • Colette Owens, Executive Director, Hiawatha Academies