Hard Decisions and a Dedication to the People who Matter Most
Friday, March 20, 2020
As many of you are aware, the League cancelled the Colorado Charter Schools Annual Conference last week. We are sorry we were not able to congregate as a community for professional development and networking. While it was a difficult decision, we thought it was best to put the health and safety of our charter community first. We know that the cancelation has caused some disruption for those who planned to attend, but our concern for safety takes precedence over what we know are economic impacts for all of us.
Colorado’s charter schools are our top priority as we continue through the rest of the school year. We are exploring new ways to provide you with content and support while making sure everyone is safe and healthy. You can rest assured that the League will continue to be your trusted partner to keep our state’s charter school community informed, prepared, and safe. We are working closely with political and health experts at all levels of government to advocate for your needs and minimize disruption to your schools.
Throughout the next few months, we hope to give you access to additional resources and support as we all navigate through this difficult time. We will have resources available on our website HERE and through other means. Our first task (just as with any emergent situation) is to assess and learn what our members need. We encourage you all to TAKE THIS SURVEY so that we can best serve you.
Several of our next step plans include: producing online learning content both from our conference and with support of partners to deliver to you virtually, curating resources and news to help you through the remainder of this year and to start off next year, and an expanded Leadership Summit for the fall. The League plans to host The Leadership Summit in mid-October of 2020 and we hope it will help fill the hole left from the Annual Conference. Information regarding the Leadership Summit will be available soon so you can continue to plan into the future — we’re targeting mid-October to give schools plenty of time to start the next school year off strong.
We would also like to provide monthly support calls. School services will be offering the following: Join one of our virtual ZOOM support groups to connect with peers across Colorado and learn how others are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in schools. Here you can connect, share and discuss with one another.
Triage Special Education Teachers Support Group - Mondays at 1:00, beginning 3/23
Instructional Leaders Support Group - Wednesdays at 9:00, beginning 3/25
HR Support Group - Mondays at 9:30, beginning 3/30
Business Managers Support Group - Tuesdays at 10:00, beginning 3/31
Board Members Support Group - Wednesdays at 1:00, beginning 4/1
Look for login links on our website beginning next week.
As you all have heard by now, the League’s president has resigned. Our Board of Directors want to express the confidence in the stability of the organization and our current staff leadership team. Dan Schaller and Teresa Tate, with the support of the rest of the management team, will serve as interim co-leaders to ensure a smooth transition and development as we move forward. These two leaders will work with other senior leaders on key decisions including Mark Heffner, Chief Operations Director; Peter Mason, VP of Communications; Lorna Beckett, Chief Performance Director; and Jason Scott Embry, VP of Development. Direct support to each school in our membership has not stopped and will continue through this unprecedented public health crisis and this leadership transition.
The League staff collectively know that the conference and staff changes don’t alter our mission one bit. In fact the cancellation of the conference, change in leadership, and even the effects to our society from COVID-19 don’t alter our purpose, but rather strengthen it. We are dedicated to our members, our schools, and the students that you are serving each day, because THIS is why we are here. In deciding to cancel the conference the single largest concern was that we (the League) had to treat each and every one of you, your staff, and by extension your students as if they were our own staff, children and family members. We could not put any one of you at risk for getting sick yourself, or infecting those in your school. Like you, we’ve had to make the challenging decisions which affect us personally, professionally and within our organizations.
We’re all in this together for educating students. Keeping them safe and healthy is our number one priority, no matter what part we play. We’re appreciative of all the work that you’re doing in these interesting times. Please let us know how we can support, assist, and lend value to your efforts.
Pete Mason and the League Staff
Colorado League of Charter Schools