December 2011

What Are You Planning for National Visit a Public Charter School Day?

As part of National Schools Choice Week (January 23-27, 2012), the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools would like to invite you to participate in National Visit a Public Charter School Day. National Visit a Public Charter School Day invites legislators, reporters, and community business leaders to tour high-quality public charter schools on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.

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Charter School Conversions: Myths vs. Facts

the majority of charter schools in California are founded as start-up, or new, schools, there’s a growing number of those that are conversions of traditional public schools. Many more across the state are considering the conversion process. CCSA has created a new fact sheet is to dispel some myths on what conversions are, and outline the benefits they bring to public education.

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"2012 California Charter School Laws and Regulations: An Annual Compilation of Selected Provisions" Addresses Key Laws

As we told you in the December 22, 2011, Capitol Update, some new education laws will go into effect on January 1, 2012 that may impact your school. CCSA’s “California Charter School Laws and Regulations: An Annual Compilation of Selected Provisions” contains all the relevant legislative and regulatory changes affecting charter schools in 2012. The booklet is a handy reference for charter school operators and board members— bookmark it or print it out and keep it handy for easy desk reference.

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New Year Discount Registration Deadline is Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

Have you registered yet for the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference? Our New Year Discount Registration Deadline is coming up on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012.

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Families That Can: The Voice of CA Charter School Parents

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Check out our new video on Families That Can, a statewide organization of charter school parents. Families That Can educates, empowers and mobilizes parents to hold our leaders accountable for ensuring every child has access to a high-quality public education.

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Featured Grant: Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries

Provides books and reading materials to the school libraries and students that most need them

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External Opportunity: Charter-friendly Fundraising Support

Several CCSA vendor members can help your school with fundraising — a great way to offset some of the impact of deferrals and state cuts.

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Feb. 4: City-wide Rally of Charter Supporters!

LA’s charter community will show our strength and raise our voices on Feb. 4 to make sure that our leaders put students first! We hope every charter school in LA will engage their parents, teachers and students to participate.

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Jan. 26: LA Regional Charter Leaders Meeting

Save the date for the next Los Angeles regional meeting! These meetings are a one-stop shop to get the most critical updates and connect with other charter leaders. RSVP today!

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Jan. 19 Webinar: Best Practices and Compliancy for your School's Nonprofit

Focusing on pre-authorization, this webinar provides an introduction to the legal guidelines and best practices for designing a governance structure that will successfully sustain your school.

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Jan. 12 Webinar: Decoding the 16 Elements: Writing a Charter Petition

This webinar will help participants understand the required elements of a California charter school petition and the development process. This presentation provides an overview of the development process, breaks down the CDE regulations using everyday language and examples to provide developers with an outline of the topics that must defined in their charter petitions.

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CCSA To Develop an Informed Advocacy Position on 3 STRS/PERS Issues

After a hosting a call on Dec. 20th , CCSA is working to develop an informed advocacy position on LACOE STRS/PERS fee structure, timeline for payments and flexibility in terms of opting out of STRS/PERS.

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Capitol Update 12/22/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:

* New Education Laws Taking Effect on January 1, 2012
* Have you made your voice heard on AB 1172?
* Green Ribbon Schools Award Program
* Applications Being Accepted for the SBE’s Instructional Quality Commission
* 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference—New Year Discount!

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Save the Date: LA Citywide Rally Feb. 4!

On Saturday, Feb. 4, we hope that you and your school community will join local families, elected officials and the greater education reform community from across Los Angeles for: “Schools We Can Believe In” Citywide Rally for Excellent Schools. Call in this Thursday, Dec. 22 to find out more.

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Congrats to Hrag Hamalian!

Hrag Hamalian was recent honored by his alma mater, Boston College, with the Alumni Awards of Excellence Gold Award. Hamalian is the founder of Valor Academy in Arleta.

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Capitol Update 12/19/11 Action Alert

We didn’t plan to issue an Action Alert before the new year; however charter school detractors are at it again…

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Have You Participated in our AB 1172 Action Alert Yet?

AB 1172 would allow a school district to deny a charter school if it finds that the charter school would have a negative fiscal impact on the district. Make your voice heard; participate in our Action Alert today!

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Growing Parent Voice in San Diego

Several parent groups have formed recently to ensure that parents are informed and have a seat at the table.

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The Importance of Free and Reduced Lunch Data

Accurately tracking and updating your school’s Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) data can have a major impact on your school’s finances.

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The Local Charter Landscape Continues to Change

Change sometimes happens slowly but a number of activities have occurred which could impact the local charter schools environment in the Fresno area.

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CCSA Answers: Parental Notification for Pest Control

Question: We have a pest control company scheduled to fumigate our charter school and are wondering about requirements for parent notification.

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Featured Grant: 2012 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Awards for talented and creative teen artists and writers in 28 categories including film and animation, video game design, sculpture, photography, fashion design, poetry, journalism, humor, dramatic script and science fiction

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CCSA Calls for the Non-Renewal of 10 Charter Schools Not Meeting Minimum Performance Criteria

CCSA emailed members last Thursday, December 15, with details of the Association’s call for the non-renewal of ten charter schools from across California that are below CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal. If you missed that email, or if you’d like additional information, take advantage of these online resources.

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Charter School Construction Projects Given $46.2 million

The State Allocation Board apportioned proceeds from the recent bond sale to school facility program construction projects.

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Happy Holidays from CCSA

From all of us at CCSA, we would like to wish you, your colleagues, friends and family a safe and joyous holiday season as well as a happy new year. Thank you for all you do to make a profound difference in the lives of the nearly 412,000 students served by California charter schools.

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Positive Vote at San Diego County Office of Education

Literacy First was finally able to realize their vision of making their school a K-12 charter school at last night’s SDCOE Board Meeting.

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Concerned about Dealing with State Payment Deferrals in Spring 2012?

Learn about a brand new cash flow loan program. Attend a webinar December 15, 16 or 21.

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LAUSD Board Raids Charter Facilities Funds to Pay for IT Improvements

The LAUSD School Board approved a funding strategy for district IT upgrades on Tuesday, Dec. 13th that would use around 22 million dollars of charter bond money that had been previously set aside for long-term facilities solutions. The board voted 6-1 with only Boardmember Vladovic opposing the funding strategy.

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Stay Tuned During the Holidays: Legislature Back-to-Session on January 4, 2012

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Recently, charter school leader Dave Patterson sat down with students from the Rocklin Academy Schools to discuss the importance of participating in Action Alerts and other charter school movement-wide advocacy efforts. Please take a few minutes to watch the video, and keep an eye out for emails from CCSA in the coming weeks.

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Register Today for Upcoming Public Charter Schools Grant Program Workshops

CCSA offers a number of workshops to help member schools successfully access funds through the Public Charter School Grant Program, including these upcoming trainings.

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Capitol Update 12/13/11

Included in the Capitol Update this week:
* Trigger Cuts Enacted: Reductions to K-12 Are Less Than Initially Feared
* Multiple Tax Initiatives Vying for November 2012 Ballot; Governor’s Proposal Polls Well
* Stay Tuned During the Holidays: Legislature Back-to-Session on January 4, 2012

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Multiple Tax Initiatives Vying for November 2012 Ballot; Governor's Proposal Polls Well

In light of California’s continued fiscal problems, multiple initiatives designed to raise additional revenues for schools and other state programs have been filed for the November 2012 ballot.

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POSTPONED: Dec. 19: Strategy Session with LA Members

The planned Dec. 19 strategy session with LA Members has been postponed to after the New Year. We’ll let you know the new date as soon as possible!

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Sacramento City Trustees Drop Plans to Move Sac High and PS7

The grassroots action of St. HOPE, West Campus, and local charter school supporters changed the outcome.

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DataScanner Update

To accompany the rollout of DataDirector 4.0, the Riverside team has created new scanning software to accompany it.

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Free One-Day DataDirector Trainings

With the debut of DataDirector 4.0 coming soon, the ZOOM! team has decided to offer FREE one-day trainings to help users better adjust to the differences in the new system.

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ZOOM! Professional Development Calendar

Delivered via webinar, these sessions are a great way to see how your school can improve and expand its use of ZOOM!.

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Dr. Howard Fuller to Keynote 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference & Advocacy Week

Dr. Fuller is an inspiring speaker and we are proud to host him in 2012!

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Featured Grant: After School Education and Safety Program

Funding for partnerships between schools and local community resources to provide literacy, academic enrichment and safe, constructive after school alternatives

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Sign up for Newsletters from the LAUSD Board

Have you ever wondered where exactly an LAUSD boardmember is coming from? A great way to get insight into the boardmembers’ perspectives and key priorities is to sign up for their e-newsletters and check their web pages and blogs.

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LAUSD Board Votes on "Founding Parent" Resolution this Tuesday

The LAUSD board will vote on a resolution introduced by Bennett Kayser that seeks to clarify policy on the use of “founding parent” preferences by LAUSD-authorized charter schools. CCSA will be speaking in favor of the resolution.

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LAUSD Augmentation Grant Applications Due Jan. 13

LAUSD has sent out the RFP for its Charter Augmentation Grant Program, a key source of funding for charter facilities.

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Dec. 20: Share your Concerns About LACOE STRS/PRS Contracts

We understand that several of you have concerns and challenges with your LACOE STRS/PRS contracts. To ensure we clearly understand the problems, the Los Angeles Regional Advocacy and CCSA Legal team are hosting a call on Dec. 20 at 1 pm to hear input from all of you.

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Defense Authorization Bill Clears Senate: Changes Enlistment Policies for Online Charter School Graduates

Online learning is no longer a small pilot program; thousands of students are learning via this model each year. CCSA encourages federal law that recognizes online education and treats it equally with other forms of educational delivery.

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Mark your Calendar! Winter Regional Meetings

CCSA organizes regional charter leader meetings around the state three times a year. The next meetings will be held in late January and early February.

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Conference Breakout Session Descriptions Now Online

We will be hosting more than 120 breakout sessions presented by charter school experts. Check them out and see how our annual conference can help you meet just about any challenge your school is facing.

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DataDirector System Down Time: December 22 - January 1

Please plan your data input and exam creation accordingly so that you don’t need to access DataDirector during the planned down time.

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External Opportunity: Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) School Awards

Intended to celebrate K-12 schools that are demonstrating success in educating boys and young men of color, award-winning schools will receive a $10,000 grant.

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Frequently Asked Questions about CCSA's Public Call for Non-Renewal

Schools have had the opportunity to review their results on CCSA’s Minimum Criteria for Renewal via the Academic Accountability Report Cards since mid-October. After the data corrections period, CCSA will make public the results for all schools, identifying those that are below the Minimum Criteria for Renewal, and calling for the non-renewal of schools in renewal below that criteria.

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Updated and Expanded Special Education Resources

CCSA’s Special Education mission is to empower charter schools to provide high quality and compliant special education services to an increased number and broader range of students with exceptional needs, by building a statewide infrastructure of resources that supports the flexible and autonomous nature of charter schools. We have recently updated and expanded our online special education resources for members.

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Dec. 6: Educators Invited to Info Session on Principal Leadership Fellowship

The Ryan Fellowship is looking for a group of the most accomplished teachers in the United States, with the highest leadership potential, to participate in a unique yearlong fellowship program preparing them to become principals ready to create student achievement-accelerating schools in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. RSVP now for an info session in LA!

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Charter, Sacramento City Unified Leaders Head to Chicago for the Gates Foundation RFP

Representatives from across America will convene in Chicago to network and learn more about the RFP. Grants are expected to range from $250,000 to $10 million dollars.

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Rocketship Education Hoping for 20 New Schools in Santa Clara County

You are all invited to attend this historic vote on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

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CDE Announces Charter School Division Director

The CDE has officially announced the appointment of Julie Balthazar to the position of Charter School Division Director.

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First 2011-12 Charter Renewals Will Go Before LAUSD Board on Tuesday

The first wave of LAUSD charters who are up for renewal this year will be before the Board this Tuesday, Dec. 6. Discovery Charter Prep, Fenton Avenue Charter and Primary Center, Global Education Academy, Los Angeles Leadership Academy and Puente Charter School are all being recommended for renewal by the LAUSD Charter School Division.

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LAUSD Superintendent Releases New Charter Renewal Framework

The Charter School Division has sent out a letter and board informative unveiling the District’s new School Performance Framework that will be used as “one criterion to analyze charter schools that are making their renewal requests this academic year.”

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Magnolia Public Schools' Alumni Come Together at 4th Annual Thanksgiving Event

Magnolia Public Schools celebrated the achievement of its graduates during a special Thanksgiving luncheon on November 26 at its flagship school Magnolia Science Academy 1 in Reseda. About 100 MSA alumni, seniors, teachers and administrators attended the event. CCSA’s Myrna Castrej√≥n and Brian Johnson of Larchmont schools both addressed students at the event.

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Do You Work with a Great Vendor or Service Provider?

Do you work with a great vendor or outside service provider? Why not invite them to raise their visibility in the charter community as a sponsor or exhibitor at the 19th Annual California Charter Schools Conference?

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Friday! Conference Early Bird Deadline; Lock in your rate today!

Register now! You can use a purchase order number to lock in at low early bird rate, but the bill will not be due until the conference happens.

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Investing Time and Energy into a Well Executed Authorization Process

Both renewal and initial authorization require extensive time, preparation and organizing of their charter communities. And it is time well spent.

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Dec. 6 and 7: Accountability Workshops

Take advantage of the in person workshops with Myrna Castrejon, our Senior Vice President, Achievement and Performance Management

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Parent Power and CCSA Efforts in Sweetwater Unified

Read about a great demonstration of parent power that unfolded in Sweetwater over the last few weeks.

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Has Your District Responded to Your ADA projections?

Under Prop. 39 regulations, December 1 was the deadline for school districts to respond to charter Prop. 39 ADA projections. Find out what to do whether you have or have not received a response.

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CCSA Answers: Teaching Religious Curriculum at a Charter School

Question: Can religious curriculum be taught at a charter school?

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Featured Grant: Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Grants for Grades Six through Twelve Tier I

Funding to support health education efforts aimed at the prevention and reduction of tobacco use by youth

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