November 2011

Teacher Leadership in Charter Schools

One of the great things about charter schools is that public school teachers can take on a much greater role in the ownership, vision, operation, and leadership of a charter school than they can in a traditional public school. This is particularly valuable if a teacher is interested in “moving up” to a position of more responsibility within their school - but without having to totally leave the classroom.

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Recent Legislative Visit with Senator Kehoe

We had another very successful legislative visit at San Diego Cooperative Charter School last week.

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LAUSD and UTLA Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

While we congratulate LAUSD on reaching an agreement with UTLA, we are disappointed that it will exclude charters from any transformation or reconstitution process over in the next three years, effectively dismantling Public School Choice and other reconstitution processes for charters.

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Dec. 8: Educators Get in Free at Film Premiere in LA

Green Living Project (GLP) will be returning to Los Angeles on Dec. 8 for their 3rd Annual Los Angeles Film Premiere. Educators are invited a screening of several films about sustainability, as well as a mixer before the event.

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California Charter Schools Register Significant Growth In Numbers, Enrollment

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This current school year, 100 new charter schools opened in California, a significant growth, given the state’s precarious economy. At the same time, enrollment of charter students surged by over 13%.

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CCSA Answers: CLAD Requirements

Question: Do part-time vocational teachers have to be Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certified?

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Dec. 15 Webinar: Build a Budget - How to use the CCSA Budget Template

Learn how to navigate and manipulate the multipage template. The session provides expert instruction and a forum for questions and answers.

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Dec. 8 Webinar: Charter School Funding for Developers

This webinar will cover information on charter school funding sources for developers, with an emphasis on state and federal categorical programs.

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Dec. 6 Webinar: Top 10 Things No One Tells You About Your New Charter School

This webinar will cover the most common challenges that new charter leaders face when launching their school, from authorizer relations to business services.

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Featured Grant: Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants

Funding for organizations that provide young people a continuum of opportunities to develop creative approaches to address pressing concerns in their communities

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Sacramento Area Charter Schools, by the Numbers

Recently I was working with a Sacramento-area charter leader who was curious about the number of schools operating in Northeastern California.

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External Opportunity: Free Multimedia Presentation & Leadership Workshop in Partnership with Participant Media and Me to We

Me to We and Participant Media are excited to continue their partnership through an exclusive speaking tour based on the award-winning documentary, Waiting for “Superman.” Through an hour-long presentation designed for high-school students, using themes and clips from Waiting for “Superman” and an afternoon action-planning workshop for 30 students focused on issues awareness and leadership skill building, Me to We speakers explore the importance of and barriers to education across the world.

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Aspire Applies in 3rd Round of Public School Choice

As you all know, the third round of Public School Choice has been a challenging one. That is why I would especially like to recognize Aspire Public Schools for stepping up and submitting a strong application today to run a middle school under PSC.

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Public School Choice Reviewers Needed!

LAUSD is looking for a number of educators and parents to review Public School Choice applications. This is a great opportunity for the charter community to support reform in LAUSD by ensuring that the best PSC applications are recommended for new and underperforming schools.

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CCSA Files Legal Brief Supporting Charter School Flexibility

The Fifth District Court of Appeal accepted CCSA’s amicus curiae brief filed in Squillacote v. Ridgecrest Charter School. In this case, an “at-will” teacher filed a lawsuit challenging her dismissal by the charter school, claiming it did not comply with the Education Code provisions applicable to school districts. CCSA weighed in to protect charter school freedom from these statutorily imposed teacher employment practices.

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Featured Grant: Angela Award

Honors one female student in grades 5-8, who is involved in or has a strong connection to science

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Nov. 30: STAND UP Education is a Civil Right - VIP Seating for CCSA Members!

CCSA is proud to co-host the last STAND UP meeting of the year with Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson. The theme of the meeting is “Education is a Civil Right.” We’ll look back on the accomplishments of 2011 and preview the work that can be done in 2012.

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CA Charter Schools Conference Special Event: The Charter School Board Member Best Practices Summit

The Charter School Board Member Best Practices Summit at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference & Advocacy Week will be a special one-day conference event on Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

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Prop. 39 at Work in Northern California

Our visions is for every charter school in Northeastern California to have a facility that meets the needs of their program. That means having a safe, welcoming site (or sites) that is affordable and enhances the school’s educational program and desire to grow (or not!).

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CCSA Volunteer Projects Help Three Santa Ana Schools

CCSA staff participated in volunteer projects at three Santa Ana Charter Schools: El Sol, Edward B. Cole and Orange County Educational Arts Academy.

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Past and Upcoming San Diego-Area Legislative Visits

The local charter community has had some luck getting legislators out to visit our charter schools this fall. It requires some tenacity but if you are persistent, visits can happen. Read about two schools’ successful visits and find out how you can get involved in an upcoming meeting with Congressman Filner.

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CCSA Answers: Out of Grade Level Charter School Authorization

Question: If someone wants to start a charter school for grades 7-12 but in a high school (9-12) local school district, will that local district be able to charter the school, or must the school be chartered by a K-8 district?

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$1500 Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarship Deadline is November 30, 2011

At our upcoming conference, CCSA will award five Susan Steelman Bragato scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each to graduating high school seniors of CCSA member schools. The application deadline is Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at 5:00 p.m., so encourage your graduating seniors to apply now!

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Capitol Update 11/16/11 Important Budget News

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Legislative Analyst Forecasts Budget “Trigger” Cuts for Education
* Charter School Wins at the State Board of Education

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Kayser introduces resolution on "founding parents" at charter schools

LAUSD board member Bennett Kayser has introduced a resolution seeking to clarify policy on the use of “founding parent” preferences by LAUSD-authorized charter schools. Overall, the resolution aligns with CCSA’s position which is that charter schools should be able to give a preference to parents who were involved in the start-up of the school, but that it is ill-advised and inappropriate for this preference to be extended past the opening period. Read CCSA’s letter to boardmember Kayser.

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Nov. 19: Aspire invites you to grand opening of Juanita Tate Elementary

Aspire Public Schools was selected to run a new elementary in south Los Angeles in the second round of the LAUSD Public School Choice initiative. Aspire invites other local charters to join them in celebrating the grand opening of Juanita Tate Elementary this Saturday, including the dedication of a mural honoring the late community activist, Juanita Tate.

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$4 million Available for Classroom Projects in LA!

Have you always wanted computers, art supplies, telescopes, or funding for field trips for your students? The Wasserman Foundation has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to help fund up to $4 million in classroom projects in Los Angeles! Post your project ASAP to take advantage of these matching funds.

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Nov 16: 2012 STAR Pre-ID Webcast Presented by ETS

This webcast will provide additional background information about Pre-ID for the 2012 administration of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.

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Free DataDirector 4.0 Webinars

With the debut of DataDirector 4.0 rapidly approaching, Riverside Publishing is holding a series of webinars to help prepare its users for 4.0, which is due to roll out on January 2. Each webinar will focus on a different aspect…

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Uploading Your Data for Next Term

It may be difficult to believe, but the end of 2011 is right around the corner. Most schools will be starting a new term shortly after the new year begins, meaning that now is the perfect time to start thinking…

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Updating Your DataDirector User Profile

As school staff changes throughout the year, the ZOOM! team would like to remind you to update your user profiles as necessary during the year.

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CCSA Member Satisfaction Remains High

Each year CCSA asks charter school leaders to evaluate their membership. The feedback is an invaluable component to how we craft our work on behalf of the movement.

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CCSA Answers: Components of Adequate Yearly Progress

Question: Under NCLB a school either makes Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) or it does not. What are the components of this measure?

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Positively Impacting Something Larger Than Us

There is something special and entrepreneurial when you experience a dynamic charter school first hand.

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Featured Grant: Youth Garden Grants

Grants for schools and community organizations across the U.S. with child-centered garden programs

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Washington Prep Removed from Public School Choice

LAUSD announced this week that Washington Prep High School will no longer be part of the third round of Public School Choice.

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ZOOM! Professional Development Calendar

As the first part of the year winds down, the ZOOM! team would like to remind you of the FREE Professional Development opportunities available to those at all participating ZOOM! schools.

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ZOOM! Tip of the Month: Common Core Standards in DataDirector

As schools prepare to adopt the Common Core Standards in the coming years, many are already asking if they can align their exams housed in DataDirector to those standards.

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Nov. 17 Webinar: Legal Requirements for Outreach, Admission and the Lottery

Charter school law is filled with apparent inconsistencies - on one hand, charter schools must admit all students who wish to attend, and on the other, it must describe its “admissions requirements” within its charter. This free webinar will delve into these and other legal “mysteries” regarding the student outreach and admissions process.

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Nov. 3 Webinar: Writing Your Education Program

CCSA offers online charter school development webinars on topics ranging from incorporation to designing a realistic school budget. This webinar focuses on the first three elements of your petition.

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New Video on "Budget Trigger"

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Colin Miller, vice president, Policy, discusses the possibility of “budget trigger” cuts, which will be automatically implemented if state revenues fall below projections made in the 2011-12 Budget Plan.

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Bowling Alley Reborn as a Charter School Facility in Twin Rivers Unified

Last week Gateway Community Charters hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the renovation of a facility that will house two charter programs at the McClellan Business Park.

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SCTA, SEIU, and the Sacramento Democratic Party Propose Moving Sac High

During the October 20 Sacramento City Unified School District board meeting, SCTA, SEIU, and the Sacramento County Democratic Party, asked the school board members to “swap” the existing programs at West Campus and Sacramento High School.

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Charter School Developer Taking the Right Steps

Getting your charter initially authorized as a school developer or going through re-authorization to keep your school in existence can be a bit trying…

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San Diego Unified School Board and School Budgets

The SDUSD Board made an unusual request of its charter schools…and three brave charters stepped forward.

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San Diego Unified Bond Proposition

SDUSD is proposing to place another bond proposition on the November 2012 ballot.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles--Travel tips and Discounts for the 19th Annual CA Charter Schools Conference in Sacramento!

Whether you will be joining us by air, rail or carpooling with friends, we have provided all of the information you need.

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OCS Affirms its Commitment to Serving all Students

With the recent media scrutiny and LAUSD board interest in charter school admissions practices, it’s more important than ever for charters to publicly share their commitment to serving all students. I’d like to give a shout out to Our Community School for proactively addressing this issue!

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Featured Grant: KaBOOM! Let's Play Spruce Grants

Funding for communities who wish to make their playgrounds cleaner, safer and more inviting

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Capitol Update 11/3/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* Renewal and Parent Empowerment Regulations Approved by Office of Administrative Law
* Charter School Facilities Program Funding Round Notification
* Update on SBE Revocation Regulations

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Charters speak out in Myth-busting Campaign at LAUSD Board Meetings

Recently, there has been an onslaught of misinformation and anti-charter rhetoric at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meetings. Local charter schools have been speaking out about their programs and their impact on communities to dispel these myths during the public comment sections of every meeting and they’re already having an impact.

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Nov. 17: Teach+ invites you to "A Conversation on Student Growth Measures"

Join Teach Plus on Thursday, November 17, from 5 - 7:30 pm for an important conversation on the questions surrounding student growth measures with experts Noah Bookman, LAUSD Program and Policy Development Advisor, Dr. Rob Meyer, research professor and Director of the Value-Added Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, and Chris Bertelli, Executive Director at The College-Ready Promise. Free appetizers and beverages at the reception to follow!

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Families That Can engages with the Don't Hold Us Back Coalition to push reform

Families that Can and CCSA are working with a coalition of minority and civil rights groups to push education reform in LAUSD, including supporting the Public School Choice initiative.

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Public School Choice 3.0 will move forward

The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that, as of this moment, the third round of PSC will move ahead with charter schools applying side by side with in-district applicants. CCSA is recommending that charter schools move forward with their applications to ensure as many highly qualified applicants apply as possible.

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External Opportunity: Dec. 4-7, Big Ideas Fest 2011

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is hosting its annual Big Ideas Fest, December 4-7, 2011, in Half Moon Bay, CA. This three-day gathering of the nation’s most creative makers and doers in education brings together champions across K-12, higher education, and informal learning, to participate in a truly unique interactive experience.

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