Charter School Tools July Newsletter

This month we feature presentations from the 2014 National Charter Schools Conference. Hosted by The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, this year's conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 29th-July 2nd. It is always the largest gathering of charter schools and professionals working in the charter school community. Shout outs to all of this year’s presenters and see you next year in New Orleans!

For more information about the National Charter School Conference, please visit the National Charter Schools Conference website.
2014 National Charter School Conference Presentations
This year the conference breakout sessions were divided into five different strands:
  • Governance
  • Instruction
  • Leadership
  • Operations
  • Policy
Charter School Tools is proud to feature the following presentations from this year's conference. Thank you to the presenters who kindly contributed to Charter School Tools!
Governance Strand
Avoiding the Death Spiral
Presenters: Jennifer Dauzvardis (Peak to Peak Charter School) and Nora Flood (Colorado League of Charter Schools)
When charter schools struggle, patterns of financial mismanagement, low performance, and poor planning can manifest in a loss of enrollment, and ultimately, a loss of funding. These patterns produce an identifiable "Death Spiral" that sets the school on an inescapable and unrecoverable path to demise. Come to this workshop to identify the warning signs and learn how to make timely corrections.
Click here to download this tool.

Charter School Board Service 101: What to Do and How to Do it Well
Presenters: Simmons Lettre (Charter Board Partners) and Carrie Irvin (Charter Board Partners)
Charter school governance experts from Charter Board Partners will share their Standards for Highly Effective Charter School Boards that answer the question "Now that I’m on the board, what do I DO?" This interactive, case-based session will dive into the standards, share strategies for creating and sustaining effective boards, and help board members learn how to play their role well.
Click here to download this tool.

Cultivating Leadership: Strategic Board Composition
Presenters: Makiyah Moody (Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools) and Adrian Morgan (Algiers Charter School Association)
Getting the right people on your school board is essential, and planning board composition strategically is critical to success. Learn how to design and use effective on-boarding and “off-boarding” processes that will establish a culture of high expectations and ensure that your board is composed entirely of highly competent individuals who are committed to serving as champions for your work.
Click here to download this tool.

The Biggest Decisions You Will Ever Make
Presenters: Joe Keeney (4th Sector Solutions), D'Juan Hernandez (Algiers Charter School Association), and Adrian Morgan (Algiers Charter School Association)
Charter boards often make big decisions that affect their organizations for years – e.g., hiring/firing a new school leader or CEO, adding a high school, replicating to a new location or market, adding facility debt. Our panel of experienced charter leaders will discuss lessons learned from making these decisions and offer guidance to help you make the best big decision possible.
Click here to download this tool.

Instruction Strand
Measuring Success in the Transition to Common Core
Presenters:Elizabeth Robitaille (California Charter Schools Association), Frances Teso (Voices College-Bound Language Academy), and Priscilla Wohlstetter (Teachers College, Columbia University)
This session provided specific, actionable tools and examples of how high performing charter schools are holistically measuring success. To support a successful transition to Common Core, participants will break into small groups to experience first-hand the kinds of high quality information schools are using to guide instruction and to share with parents, authorizers, and the public.
Click here to download this tool
Operations Strand
From Red to Black: Rebuilding After a Financial Crisis
Presenters:Greg Brendel (ICEF Public Schools)
Talking about finances isn’t sexy, but it’s a necessary conversation for all schools. In the early 2000s, ICEF Public Schools in South Los Angeles launched an aggressive growth campaign & fell into financial difficulties that nearly led to the network’s closure. Learn what led to the near disaster and how strong leadership, school-based budgeting and strategic planning have stabilized ICEF.
Click here to download this tool.

Healthy Food, Healthy Economics
Presenters: Joe Keeney (4th Sector Solutions),
Jacqueline Duvivier (Partnerships to Uplift Communities),
Emily Hufft (4th Sector Solutions), and Alli Zimmermann (4th Sector Solutions)
Charter schools can face obstacles to providing healthy, cost-effective nutrition to their students. This session will describe creative foodservice models that have been successfully employed by charter schools, and discuss how to implement a foodservice program that provides healthy food to students and a healthy bottom line to the school.
Click here to download this tool.

Responding to School Violence: School Threat Analysis and Response
Presenter: Jason Lody (Innovative Educational Programs)
Participants discussed the types of school violence and most common security breaches that impact the overall safety of the school community, as well as ways to reduce security risks.
Click here to download this tool.

2014 National Charter Schools Conference Presentations
Governance Strand
Instruction Strand
Operations Strand
Book of the Month
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

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