September 2011

Share Critical School Data - Plus Regional Meeting Wrap Up

Your participation in two important surveys will help CCSA with critical work.

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Awareness and Support of Charters Has Grown to New Levels According to New CCSA Statewide Polling

The strongest predictor of opinion about charter schools remains the experiences, direct or indirect, that people have with them. Charter students, parents, teachers, leaders and supporters are therefore critical in our drive to secure strong public support.

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Getting to Know You

Autumn leaves mean it’s time for our Fall Member Survey! We are looking for information that is absolutely critical for us to effectively advocate for your school, our region, and the Movement at large.

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Follow Up from Recent Regional Meeting: Legislative Visits, PowerPoint, and more

Thank you to those of you that attended this most recent regional meeting. One of the most critical things that we can do at the regional level to bolster our position in Sacramento is to foster relationships with your legislative representatives at their district.

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Nov. 7: Mark your Calendars - Bay Area Special Education JPA Meeting

Calling interested charters from the Bay Area and surrounding Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa counties! Learn how a Special Education JPA can help your school.

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OUSD Board Watch

The OUSD board meeting on last Tuesday was a sight to be seen. Over 400 onlookers were present as the Board began reviewing the formal recommendations for restructuring the District. Emotions ran high as the board discussed the recommendation.

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Important meetings and trainings in the San Diego region

Get the details on the remaining regional meetings, plus an upcoming special education workshop presented by Fagen, Friedman & Fulfros, and a governance training presented by CCSA, MY&M and Procopio.

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New Prop 39 Video Offers A Glimpse at Importance of Facilities

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CCSA’s Prop. 39 campaign is in full swing, and we continue to add resources to help member schools. Our latest resource is a short video you can share with your school community and the general public about Prop. 39 and the basic principle of equity that lies at the heart of the law.

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Non-Union Educator Group Supports California Charters

See how your teachers can benefit from the quality professional benefits offered by AAE.

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CCSA Answers: Lottery Funds and First Year Schools

Question: Do new charter schools receive lottery funds during their first year of operation?

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Featured Grant: The Explore Fund

Supports organizations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focus on sustainability initiatives, or help to create a connection to nature that will empower the future leaders of tomorrow

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Capitol Update 9/29/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Federal Advocacy Efforts
* Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS)
* CDE Seeking Charter School Division Director

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Register now for the LA Regional Meeting, Oct. 11

The Los Angeles Regional Charter Leaders meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in San Fernando. Look forward to networking and key updates on local issues - we want to hear from you!

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This Friday, October 7 is the Conference Call for Presentation Deadline!

Have you submitted a proposal yet to present a breakout session at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference? If not, time is running out!

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Seeking Your Fundraising Success Story

Are you having success fundraising? Your stories could be very helpful for others in the charter school movement.

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Nominate Your Star Teacher or Volunteer Today!

Do you have a teacher on staff that models best practices in the classroom every day? Take a moment to nominate them for recognition at the Annual Conference.

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Oct. 11 & 13: Special Ed 101 and 201

Are you new to special education? Or are you perhaps familiar with the basics and now want to know more about becoming a Local Education Agency (LEA) for special education? Don’t miss our Special Education 101 and 201 webinars, where you can learn about a variety of topics to help your school improve access to and outcomes from services for students with special needs.

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Together CCSA and Our Members Made Great Progress Towards Key Advocacy Goals in 2010-11

CCSA is proud to share highlights of the key advocacy wins for the charter school movement from this past year.

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School Development Webinars Coming Up Soon

CCSA is offering several workshops for school developers in October including: “State Budget Update,” “The 16 (plus) Elements of a Charter” and “Building your School’s Founding Team.”

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Oct. 12: Workshops on Special Ed in the Charter Setting

Bob Farran, former Director of the Southwest SELPA, is leading two workshops on special education, touching on best practices in intervention, referrals and services and IEP implementation. This event will be held at Vaughn Learning Center in San Fernando.

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New Web Resource: Charter School Enrollment Law Overview

Have you fielded questions from your authorizer about admissions and enrollment policies at charter schools? Our new overview of key laws around enrollment might provide some helpful background.

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LAUSD Independent Monitor Issues Report on Charter Admissions Policies

In response to concerns from parents that that charter schools were requiring parents to provide information regarding special education eligibility and services on lottery application forms, the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) recently conducted a review of applications and enrollment forms of LA area charter schools.

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Oct. 4: CCSA Accountability Framework Webinar

Do you have questions about the research behind the SSM or the CCSA Accountability Framework? This is your opportunity to connect with the CCSA Accountability Team and ask those detailed questions.

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Window Now Open for Correcting Spring 2011 CSTs, CMA, and CAPA Administrations Data Errors

Correct your school’s data errors today to ensure accurate API and AYP calculations!

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CDE Seeking Charter School Division Director

The California Department of Education (CDE) is currently recruiting for Division Director of the Charter Schools Division. The application filing deadline is October 4, 2011.

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Watsonville Regional Meeting Postponed

With apologies, we have decided to temporarily postpone the Watsonville regional meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 27, at the Watsonville Public Library.

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Teachers get in free at "Freedom's Sisters" on Oct. 2 and 9

Teachers get in free for select Sundays in October to “Freedom’s Sisters” at the Museum of Tolerance. This multimedia exhibition celebrates 20 African American women who helped shape the spirit and substance of the Civil rights Movement. Find out more about the youth programs, essay contest and how to set up a field trip.

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First Prop. 39 Legal Expert "Office Hours" To Be Held This Week!

Legal experts will be holding their first “Office Hours” session for this year’s Prop. 39 applicants on Tuesday September 27, 2011. If you have any questions about your application, or want more information on resources, and templates, register to join the session today!

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CCSA Bay Area Regional Meetings-October 4th and 5th

This past year charters were under attack in Sacramento and together we need to STOP the attempt to stifle innovation and curb charter growth. Please join us at the Charter Leader meeting in the South Bay (all are welcome) to provide your input on CCSA’s legislative 2011-2012 priorities.

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Summit Public Schools Receives Large Grant for Growth in Silicon Valley

On September 20 at a celebration marking the opening of two new schools in San Jose, Summit PS: Rainier and Summit PS: Tahoma, the Meg Whitman-Harsh Foundation announced Summit Public Schools as the recipient of a $2.5M grant.

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Two More Central Valley Regional Meetings this Week, Fresno and Bakersfield

Last week we had our first fall regional meeting in Modesto and it turned out great. For those of you in the Fresno and Bakersfield areas, please do all that you can to attend this weeks meetings.

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Have you Registered to Attend this Week's Regional Charter Leaders Meeting?

During this meeting, we want to hear from you about how CCSA should prioritize its efforts in Sacramento on behalf of your school and the charter Movement at large.

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Parents Deserve Choices, Featuring Mike Feinberg (KIPP), with Jed Wallace (CCSA)

Join Sacramento area public school advocates for this STAND UP monthly meeting focusing on school choice.

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Federal Government Outlines Waiver Process for No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

Today, President Obama outlined a new federal waiver process to allow states flexibility from some of NCLB’s sanctions if they meet several conditions.

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We Must Speak Out to Dispel Charter Myths

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Despite the success of charter schools or perhaps because of it, myths about charters continue to persist. Jackie Elliott, a charter leader in Los Angeles and representative for CCSA’s member council shares why it’s critical for schools to share their stories and what her school community is doing to counter these myths.

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Option 3 Governance Council Met Sept. 19

The council elected Brian Bauer of Granada Hills Charter High School Council Chair, Jackie Elliot of PUC Schools was voted Vice Chair.

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Submit your Renewal Petition ASAP

Have you already sent your renewal petition to LAUSD? Let us know - we’re recommending everyone submit as soon as feasible for their team.

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LAUSD still revising Prop. 39 Application

LAUSD has not released the 2012-2013 requests for Facilities under Proposition 39 application, but anticipates having the application available by Oct. 1, 2011. At this time, we are working with LAUSD in an effort to expedite access to the application.

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Key court decisions this week pave path for district-charter reforms

Two favorable legal decisions this week signal new opportunities for California’s charter schools and the school districts who partner with them to enact local reform. The Los Angeles teachers union has filed two legal actions related to the LAUSD Public School Choice reform initiative since it was passed in 2009.

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California Department of Education (CDE): Opportunities for Schools and Students

The CDE website has important information for charter schools on the Charter 20 Day Attendance Report for new and growing charter schools, Tobacco-Use Prevention Education funding, and recruitment for the State Board of Education’s 2012-13 Student Board Member.

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Prop. 39 in San Diego County

Prop. 39 season is upon us. As space is getting more and more difficult to find, we are encouraging charters to apply. For schools looking to expand, Prop. 39 might be the answer, even if it is a short term answer.

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CCSA Answers: Attendance Requirements for Receiving Apportionment Credit

Question: Is it legal for a school to count as present students who show up in the parking lot for a minute or two and then go home?

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Featured Grant: Kids in Need Teacher Grants

Funds projects that make creative use of common teaching aids, approach curriculum from an imaginative angle or tie nontraditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities

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Register now for the LA Regional Meeting, Oct. 11

The Los Angeles Regional Charter Leaders meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in San Fernando. Look forward to networking and key updates on local issues - we want to hear from you!

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Opportunity to Shape YOUR Charter Schools Conference

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Two important deadlines fall on Friday October 7. It is the last day to sign up for for the Conference Programming Committee, and the last day of the conference Call for Presentations.

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Sept. 19: Charter Employee Services 101 Webinar

Have questions about professional liability insurance? Want to know who you should call if you have a problem? Take full advantage of your Charter Employee Services (CES) benefits plan by attending a quick and user-friendly 45-minute webinar!

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ZOOM! Professional Development Calendar

ZOOM! schools have access to extensive free professional development webinar offerings.

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ZOOM! Tip of the Month: Requesting Exam Shells

Did you know that you can have DataDirector push certain publisher exam shells out to you? The DataDirector team has built many exam shells for some of the most common publishers and curriculum into the system that you can access if requested.

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Free Charter School Governance Academy for Charter Leaders and Board Members

The California Charter School Governance Academy is a free, four hour intensive workshop designed to help school leaders and governing board members increase their knowledge of their ethical and legal obligations as stewards of public institutions. Sign up today for a workshop near you!

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Important ZOOM! updates

New information about DataDirector 4.0 Mirror Sites (preview your data!), DataScanner release delays and timing, and new data available in School Profiler!

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Changes Coming: Look for ZOOM! Newsletter information in the Weekly Member Digest

Starting in October, you’ll no longer be receiving a separate newsletter from the ZOOM! team.

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Have you RSVP'd for our Upcoming Regional Meeting?

Regional meetings always include the networking and movement-wide updates on hot topics like facilities financing. Make it a priority to join us and Register Today!

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New Prop. 39 Facilities Resources Now Available!

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New Prop. 39 resources are available for this year’s application cycle. Among the new and improved resources are an online and on-demand training session to take you through the application process, office hours with our legal experts, new templates, and more to assist you in time to meet the November 1 application deadline.

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$500 Scholarships and Classroom Grants Available--October 1 Deadline!

The Association of American Educators, CCSA’s partner in providing Charter Employee Services to CCSA member schools is offering teacher scholarships and classroom grants of up to $500.

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The Work that I Do On Behalf of Members and the Greater Charter School Movement

Have you ever wonder what your Regional Director does and why? Let me share some of what I do in my role as your Regional Director.

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Opportunity for Oakland Teachers

Costa Rica? Ghana? Mexico? Learn about fellowships for summer learning fellowship opportunities for preK-12 teachers.

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New Countywide Benefit Charter Policy-Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County Office of Education is developing criteria for approving Countywide Benefit Charters and your input is needed.

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Santa Clara County Gaining Momentum on District-Charter Compacts

Charter leaders in four communities in Santa Clara County are working with their districts to strengthen the charter environment and develop innovative solutions to better serve students across district and charter schools

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Sept. 21: Measuring What Matters: High Quality Survey Resources For Schools

Attend a webinar to learn about three survey resources for our member schools to survey students, parents and staff - and get at measures that are often hard for schools to quantify.

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CCSA Answers: Receiving Credit for Emergency Days When Determining ADA

Question: Recent circumstances resulted in a day of enforced emergency closure. Can charter schools receive credit for emergency days when determining average daily attendance (ADA)?

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Featured Grant: Siemens Competition

Competition to foster intensive research that improves students’ understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in the disciplines of mathematics, science, engineering and technology

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Peter C. Groff's Departure from National Alliance

Peter C. Groff, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, leaves his post after a year of leadership in the charter school movement nationwide.

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LAUSD Special Ed and Renewal Updates

A governance meeting has been scheduled for the Charter Operated Program of the newly reorganized LAUSD SELPA/Option 3. Also, a “heads up” about an upcoming meeting for 2011-2012 renewing schools.

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LAUSD Campaign to Dispel Charter Myths Underway

In response to an onslaught of misinformation that has been put forth during LAUSD board meetings by anti-charter groups, CCSA is attempting dispel charter myths and balance the dialogue and rhetoric that is being promulgated at these meetings.

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Conference Deadlines, Conference Opportunities

I hope you’ve marked your calendars for the Annual Conference! And I hope you are also considering submitting a proposal: charter leaders want to hear from you!

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First Prop. 39 Town Hall is a Success

CCSA’s town hall meeting with LAUSD’s Sean Jernigan went well, with lots of information exchanged. A second meeting will be planned for October.

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Spread the Word: Parents Can Now Apply for Healthy Families Online!

Californians can now apply for health coverage for their children in as little as 30 minutes, using the new online application for Healthy Families. Get the word out to your parents with free handouts and posters.

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Educators at High-performing Schools Eligible for Rewards

Does your school serve more than 30% FRL and have great results? Your teachers could be eligible for $3,000-4,000 incentive reward for sharing their best practices through EPIC. Applications due Sept. 30.

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Capitol Update - 9/13/11 Special Edition

This time-sensitive communication was shared with schools that received funding from the Charter School Facility Grant Program (SB 740 Program) in the past, and may be eligible for this funding stream this year.

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Former Union Head Says Charters Burn Out Teachers, Don't Perform - What Do You Say?

Have you ever read a negative article about charter schools that just got your blood boiling? Despite the incredible growth and success of charter schools in California, there are still many misconceptions about them among the public, which sometimes show up in media coverage. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Someone should really respond to that,” take five minutes and share your point of view!

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CCSA Launches Daily News Clips Web Page

News clips about important charter school and education issues in California are now available on our website.

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Welcome Back to a New School Year

Certainly off to a hot start!! There is lots you need to put on your calendars in the next few weeks.

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I Want to Hear About Your School's Successes

I have visited many schools and recognize that measuring success by any one method does not truly represent everything about your school.

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Look at Us Grow!

Check out the back-to-school coverage on some of our region’s newest independent charters schools. Congratulations and welcome to the charter schools movement!

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OUSD Board Watch

The OUSD Board held a special meeting last Wednesday evening to review the ten schools placed on the potential closures list.

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Fall Regional Meetings Just Around the Corner

East Bay and South Bay regional meetings are scheduled. Register today!

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External Opportunity: Free Schoolzilla Data Tool

Aspire Public Schools is launching a brand new, free tool for Data Heroes in schools across California.

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CCSA Answers: Required Sections of SARC for a Charter School

Question: As a charter school, I understand that we have to create an annual School Accountability Report Card (SARC), but not necessarily comply with the specific content requirements contained in the Education Code. Which sections of the SARC are required and which are optional for charter schools?

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Featured Grant: Green School Makeover Competition

Contest to promote schools to be designed, built, renovated or operated in an ecological and resource-efficient manner reducing overall impact on the environment and saving schools money while improving students’ health and performance

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Capitol Update - 9/9/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Charter Schools Facility Grant Program (CSFGP-SB 740 Program)
* Legislative Update
* Congress Debates Federal Charter School Law
* State Board of Education (SBE)

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Non-profit Seeks Nominations for Parent Engagement Award

Do you know someone who has successfully promoted parent involvement and best practices for parents to support their children’s education? Nominate them for the Excellence in Parent Engagement Award!

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Capitol Update - 9/7/11 Special Edition

We wanted to be the first to tell you the latest news about legislation that CCSA is supporting. Read the details.

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School Development Webinars Coming Up Soon

CCSA is offering four webinars for school developers this September. All are free to members.

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Come to the College Fair Extraordinaire on Sept. 24!

Calling all LA-area students for the College Fair Extraordinaire - talk to university reps from across the country and find scholarship and volunteer opportunities at this free event!

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Charter School Facility Grant Program Applications Available, Due 9/15/11

The CDE has updated the forms and the process for eligible charter schools to apply to the 2011-12 Charter School Facility Grant Program. Applications are due by September 15, which may be a very short time line for some schools to compile all of the required documentation.

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Share Your Story on the Teacher Wall

Classroom educators, share your story on the Teacher Wall - a place where teachers from across the country can meet to celebrate their successes, share their stories and talk about education.

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Now Playing: "Charters 101"

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Featuring a talented young artist, the video describes in words and pictures the things that make California’s charter schools so special.

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Capitol Update 9/2/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Update
* Don’t Miss Out on Your Chance to Shape 2012 Conference Programming
* API Scores Released

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Featured Grant: I Love My Librarian Award

Recognizes the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians

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CCSA Answers: Annual School Accountability Report Cards (SARC)

Question: When are the annual School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs) due, and who is responsible for preparing and posting them: the district or charter school?

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LAUSD Board Approves Changes to Public School Choice

On Aug. 30, the LAUSD board approved major changes to the Public School Choice initiative, potentially giving in-district applicants priority in applying for new schools.

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LAUSD Superintendent Affirms Commitment to Develop Long Term Facilities Program

We are pleased to announce that Superintendent John Deasy has affirmed his commitment to continue to develop long-term facilities solutions for charter schools as a way to relieve Prop. 39 demands. As a result of our recent efforts and communications with LAUSD, the Superintendent is requiring staff to articulate a process for distribution of bond funds through the use of augmentation grants, in order to support continued development of long term facilities solutions.

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13 Candidates Running for San Bernardino City Unified School Board

In a year that has seen a great deal of turnover in San Bernardino City Unified, there are now 13 candidates looking to take a seat on the SBCUSD School Board.

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Mark Your Calendars for Important Dates and Deadlines

Prop. 39 application deadline, Fall Regional Meeting dates, and your last chance to take advantage of the Summer Registration Special on the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.

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Inland Empire Region is Home to Some Amazing Charter School API Performances

With the release of the latest API scores, I wanted to take a quick moment to point out some of the all-stars from this region.

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Oxford Preparatory Academy in Chino Scores Amazing 957 API in Year 1

Oxford Preparatory Academy in Chino started off what was to become an amazing first year last September as the largest independent charter school start-up in state history. OPA finished their year in the same amazing fashion that they started.

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Does Chico Unified "Work Well" with Charter Schools?

Who is John Bohananon, the director of alternative education for Chico Unified School District, trying to convince?

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Upcoming Regional Charter Leaders Meeting: Register Now!

It’s hard to believe, but Fall Regional Meetings are coming up fast. During this meeting, we look forward to collecting your input for CCSA’s 2012 legislative priorities. We will also discuss region-specific challenges and solutions.

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Sept. 17: Higher Education Summit for Foster Youth

The Higher Education Summit for Foster Youth is an event designed to motivate current foster youth in Santa Clara County to pursue higher education is scheduled for later this month.

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New Bay Area Special Education Joint Powers Authority

An enthusiastic and strong team of charter leaders recently met and decided to develop a Special Ed JPA with CCSA support. They are busy designing a unique JPA structure with a goal to help Bay Area schools like theirs better serve all students with special needs.

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Summer Registration Special Deadline is Friday, Sept. 9

There are just a few more days for you to take advantage of the best deal you will be able to get all year on registration for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.

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Help Us Spread the Word about School Choice on Twitter

Since 2011 has been such an outstanding year for school choice across the country, we are trying to unite and expand our movement with #schoolchoicefacts day.

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