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Last month the 2015 National Charter School Conference was held in New Orleans. Here are some of the presentations from the conference (click on the presentation title to view):


Title: Rural Charter Schools - Unique Challenges, Unique Opportunities
: Rural charter schools occupy a unique place in their community and also face unique challenges, limited teacher talent supply, smaller school populations, low expectations for college matriculation, challenging relationships with school districts, and facility financing constraints. This panel of rural school operators in Louisiana will share their experiences in meeting these and other challenges as part of a peer-to-peer networking session.
Presenters: Joe Keeney - 4th Sector Solutions
Roy McCoy - Beekman Charter School
Linda Saucier - Slaughter Community Charter School


Title: Dropout Recovery: Matching Accountability Policy With Instructional Practice
Description: Must differentiated expectations be lowered expectations? Explore the nuances of applying rigorous accountability measures that are relevant to schools serving re-engaged dropouts. Panelists include leaders of nationally recognized dropout recovery schools who will discuss best practices in pedagogy and school structure including project based learning, competency, flexible schedules, and comprehensive support services. Discover why enlightened charter school authorizers have taken on the challenge of developing alternative accountability measures. Learn about Louisiana�s decision to develop and adopt an alternative accountability framework.
Presenters: Ernie Silva SIATech
Linda Dawson SIATech Charter High Schools
Adam Hawf Grand Isle Group
Phil Matero YouthBuild Charter School of California
Nelson Smith National Association of Charter School Authorizers


Title: Be a Start-Up Star: Tips, Templates, and More
Description: Starting a school is tough work! Let us help you tackle the details of start-up now, so you can focus on students later. This presentation focused on: Building a board that doesn't hold you back; Raising start-up money to get you what you need; Navigating authorizers and politics strategically; and Hiring right the first time!
Presenters: Nicole Assisi Thrive Public Schools
Donna Elder Thrive Public Schools


Title: Board Engagement 2.0: Money, Power, Respect
Description: The difference between making the playoffs and winning the championship is board caliber. Status quo says school leaders prefer a hands-off approach. This session disrupts that notion by revealing the secret sauce of creating focus-driven boards that work in tandem with school leadership. Using an asset-based framework and the relational leadership model, strategies to cultivate and maintain a winning board culture that creates a chance for every child will be discussed.
Presenters: Makiyah Moody Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Niloy Gangopadhyay Success Preparatory Academy


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Book of the Month

Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach

Those of us who care about the young and their education must find ways to remember what teaching and learning are really about. We must find ways to keep our hearts alive as we serve our students. Poetry has the power to keep us vital and focused on what really matters in life and in schooling. Teaching with Fire is a wonderful collection of eighty-eight poems from such well-loved poets as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda.


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