News


Announcing a free online module from CSDC's charter school development experts

Published September 06, 2016 16:53

Considering starting a California charter school? CSDC presents our newest resource, an online version of our Start Smart Workshop for Charter School Developers.




Start Smart provides an overview of the start-up process, including the following:

  • Start-up process and timeline
  • The founding team
  • School design
  • California charter school finance
  • Start-up funding
  • Facilities basics
  • Petition drafting
  • The petition approval process

The oldest charter schools organization in the country, CSDC draws on its staff’s 25-year history to provide guidance to new school developers.

Start Smart distills the basics of this experience, giving viewers both “nuts-and-bolts” factual content, as well as insightful perspectives and cautions on what can be a challenging, lengthy process.

Start Smart is free and available on-demand.

The online version of Start Smart is available online, on-demand, and is free of charge. Complete a brief registration form for access to the nearly 1.5-hour online version now.

CSDC also presents Start Smart in a lively in-person format, with time for questions and answers with the presenter and added anecdotal context. The next in-person Start Smart workshop will be presented at CSDC’s annual California charter schools conference on December 8-9, 2016 in San Diego. Please click here for event information and registration, which includes access to Start Smart as well as other conference programming and sessions.

More support from CSDC

In addition to Start Smart, CSDC supports developers in a number of ways:

CSDC Membership: Members can call or email for answers or practical guidance on pressing matters. Charter Currents keeps members informed–some call it “ongoing professional development.” Members also receive discounts on events and publications and gain access to website resources, including CSDC's newest feature, Charter Jobs.

Consulting: On a limited basis, CSDC assists developers with tasks such as financial plan development, charter petition and MOU reviews, and strategic outreach communications. Sometimes the authorization or launch process presents specific challenges with which CSDC is particularly well-prepared to help. When the needed work exceeds phone and email support provided to members, developers can request consulting help.

California Charter Schools Leadership Update Conference: CSDC’s annual conference offers extended workshops – notably, a governing board training – as well as many shorter breakout sessions of interest to developers. Opportunities to dialogue with other school leaders and with service providers also extend attendees’ education.

Charter Schools Leadership Institute: Newer charter school administrators and highly committed governing board members may be interested in this intensive “boot camp,” held over a week in June, for an overview of charter schools accountability, finance, operations, legal issues, governance and tricky issues like special education. The Leadership Institute is also a great place to develop lasting connections with peer school leaders. Participation is by application. See also CSDC’s Charter Business Officer Training Program.

Contact CSDC

CSDC thanks prospective school developers for their interest in expanding families’ access to alternatives. While the neighborhood school is just right for some kids, we hear countless testimonials on how a charter school made a life-changing difference for a child. That said, creating a strong school is an intensely demanding task that requires a broad and deep skill set, including masterful instructional expertise. We welcome initial calls with people considering starting a school to help them assess if and how charter school start-up is right for them.  Please feel free to contact our offices with any questions regarding Start Smart or the services we provide to charter school developers.


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