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This site was created for charter school operators by charter school operators. It includes two main sections: a toolbox of useful sample documents that may help you plan and operate your charter school more effectively and efficiently, and a vendor guide to help you identify vendors across a broad range of products and services that are used by charter schools.
Charter School Tools Toolbox
We created the toolbox because many charter schools have only one or two people who wear many hats - finance, business management, human resources, recruiting, technology, student information, school operations, etc. And those people are stretched in so many different directions, work many (many!) more hours per week than they ever have before, and often find themselves re-creating a wheel that someone at another school has already created. But please understand the toolbox contains sample documents that should be used for illustrative purposes only; most of the tools were originally designed for a specific school in a specific state, and the unique requirements of that school and state may not be applicable to your situation. If you would like assistance in developing or implementing a specific tool for your school, or you have a tool you would like to make available to other schools through our site, please email us at email@example.com.
Charter School Tools Vendor Guide
We created the vendor guide because the small size of most charter schools makes it inefficient for many non-profit organizations and for-profit companies to offer their products or services to charter schools. And we have over a decade dealing - successfully and unsuccessfully - with a multitude of vendors in all aspects of charter school operations. So our vendor guide attempts to list providers that work with charter schools from many different fields, and in some cases we have supplemented the list with vendors who we know have had positive experiences with some charter schools. Of course, our recommendations are not infallible and your own experience with any vendor listed in the vendor guide may not be successful for a variety of reasons. We always recommend you conduct a request for proposal ("RFP") from multiple providers before you make a material purchase or sign a material contract. And if you are a vendor that would like to be listed or advertise in the vendor guide, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charter School Consulting
We provide a broad range of services to charter schools through our affiliated company, 4th Sector Solutions. 4th Sector’s services include financial management and reporting, school operations, human resources management, foodservice program administration, strategic planning, CMO/EMO solicitation and disengagement, and real estate financing and development. Our support is customized to the meet the needs of each client we serve.
Charter School Tools Founder
Joe Keeney is the founder of Charter School Tools. He has been a leader in the charter school community for over 15 years. Joe is also the founder and CEO of 4th Sector Solutions, which provides financial management and operations consulting services and "back office" support to charter school organizations, independent school networks, educational non-profit organizations and foundations. From 1997-2005 Joe was with Edison Learning, where he served as President of Edison Charter Schools. While at Edison, Joe led the development of one of the nation's largest networks of public charter schools, serving approximately 30,000 students in 14 states. Joe has a BA in economics from Columbia College and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was elected a Baker Scholar and received the Macy Scholarship and the Uhlmann Award. Joe also earned an EdM in education leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and served as a mentor in the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurship program at Arizona State University. He is the author of several book chapters for American Enterprise Institute publications. In 2010, Joe was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to serve as a peer reviewer in the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant competition.