GA Charter Schools Group Offers Petition Workshop
This intensive, one-afternoon workshop helps groups develop quality charter petitions and how to set up governing boards.
So you want to launch a charter school but just aren't sure how to do it. Not to worry, the Georgia Charter Schools Association will present Charter Development 101, a workshop for individuals or groups interested in starting a charter school.
The workshop will be held on Friday, July 27, from 1-5 p.m. at 600 West Peachtree Street, Suite 1555, Atlanta, in the 12th floor training room.
The session will be taught by Elisa Falco, GCSA’s Director of Education & Training, and a former charter school principal.
"We certainly will discuss what some of the challenges are in some of the communities and even in Georgia right now," Falco said.
She wants to reach groups starting out who don't know how to do outreach or the researched needed for the school. The workshop will help groups put a plan together.
"We are just going to try to provide as much detail, answer as many question as possible, to get people on their way to developing quality charters," Falco said.
"In Fulton County, it's definitely going to be a challenge to be approved," she said, but it's not impossible.
"We are not necessarily going to discourage people from going through Fulton County if that's where you realize that there's the greatest need for a school you intend to establish," she said.
Governance will be a big topic.
The founding group is key, Falco said, so the workshop will help participants learn what to look for and how to find board members. They'll have to determine the scope of work so people know what they are signing on to do.
"The key thing for us is that people understand what a quality petition is, and how to do it," she said.
Falco said she has consulted with groups that get locked into an idea that won't get charter approval, as the petition depends on things that won't get approved. An example is a year-round school with no outside source of funding to support the school during the summer months when state and local school systems won't be operating or offering funding.
The workshop has 35 spots available, and Falco said she plans to offer it at least quarterly.
The following topics will be reviewed and discussed at the session:
- Chartering in Georgia
- Developing Your Founding Board
- Educational Innovation
- Developing a Mission Statement
- Community Engagement and Support
- GaDOE Guidelines
- Next Steps...Establishing a Timetable
- Q & A