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2020 Colorado Charter Schools Annual Conference Sessions
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Thursday, March 12 Friday, March 13
 
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM Breakfast and Registration 7:15 AM - 8:00 AM Breakfast and Registration
8:30 AM 9:30 AM Keynote 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Session 4
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM Session 1 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM Member Forum
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Session 2 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Session 5
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Lunch 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Session 3 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM Keynote
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM Panel 2:15 - 3:15 PM Session 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM League Reception

 

••• SESSION ONE – THURSDAY 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM •••

Session: Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Strand: Academics / Instruction
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: The importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is finally gaining traction in our society. Understanding the effect EI has on relationships is crucial if educators are going to have a positive impact in education. Whether you are a leader in the classroom, or a leader of a charter school, garnering an understanding of how to manage with emotional intelligence, and how certain core character values intersect EI, is critical. Using Strata Leadership’s curriculum, attendees will learn the importance of EI, and how to regulate their own emotions, while influencing the emotions of others to leverage EI for more positive, effective and productive interactions.

Presenter(s): Alex Marquez, Principal, James Irwin Charter High School


Session: Join the A-GAME!
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: Authorizing Greatness and Modeling Excellence (A-GAME) is a federally funded project aimed at helping authorizers and their alternative charter schools (or AECs) get measurement and accountability right. Momentum's Jody Ernst (formerly of the Colorado League of Charter Schools) will present the tools and resources developed through the A-GAME project--including a publicly accessible national level AEC data tool--and show both AEC charters and their authorizers how they can be implemented within their specific context.

Presenter(s): Jody Ernst, Vice President of Research and Policy Analytics, Momentum Strategy & Research | Naomi Rubin DeVeaux, Vice President, Authorizing and Accountability, National Charter Schools Institute


Session: Ready or Not to Replicate or Expand? Guiding Lessons from Experienced Schools
Strand: Board Governance
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: When replicating or expanding a school, organizational and structural changes and logistical challenges, in addition to authorization and legal adjustments generally occur. During this session, attendees will hear from an experienced charter school development supporter as well as thoughtful school leaders well-versed in school replication and expansion who will provide their insights into the myriad avenues of work that go into these projects. Participants will learn how to mitigate the impact on these existing programs to ensure a sound educational program both before and after a replication or expansion.

Presenter(s): Gina Schlieman, Founding Consultant, GPS Strategies Group, Board Secretary, Highline Academy | Chris Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, STRIVE Prep


Session: Decoding your Financials: What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: One of the reasons why most charter schools fail is due to financial mismanagement. Accurate financial reporting is the cornerstone of sound financial management yet financial reports may seem like a foreign language. Attend this session so you can learn strategies to decode your school's financial reports and garner the information needed to build a strong financial foundation.

Presenter(s): Amanda Karger, Director of Finance, Colorado Charter School Institute


Session: Optimizing Teaching and Learning for ALL Through UDL
Strand: Exceptional Students
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: This session will provide attendees with an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a flexible framework that removes barriers towards learning and provides all students an opportunity to succeed. Because of its flexible approach, UDL can be used in conjunction with any school model. Attendees will learn how to design lessons to effectively instruct a diverse group of learners.

Presenter(s): Clare Vickland, Director of Student Services, Charter School Institute | Josh Nichols, Special Education Coordinator, Charter School Institute


Session: The Eye of the Storm: Strategies for Building Resilience and Relationships
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: Curiosity will be celebrated at this interactive session where participants will learn strategies to promote resiliency. Educators will be given guidance and hands-on practice using brain-based strategies to create healthy relationships with students who have experienced trauma. The session will incorporate key factors that build resilience, using participants’ own real-life experiences to create theories of action resulting in safer classrooms and regulated students.

Presenter(s): Ashley Brock-Baca, Trauma Array Specialist, Colorado Department of Behavioral Health | Stefanie Winfield, Research and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Mental Health Technology Transfer Center | Dallas Cooley Gartner, School Specialist, San Luis Valley Behavior Group | Christina Larson, Superintendent, Moffat Consolidated School District Re-2


Session: Exploring The Triennial Charter School Report
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) publishes a report on charter schools every three years for the Colorado General Assembly. CDE recently published its most recent report. Attend this session to learn more about this report, the six notable trends charters are showcasing, and what those trends may mean for your charter school.

Presenter(s): Bill Kottenstette, Executive Director, Schools of Choice, Colorado Department of Education


Session: New Colorado Employment Laws: What Every Charter School Needs to Know
Strand: HR / Talent / DEI
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: The Colorado Legislature passed a number of new employment laws this year and more are on the horizon. Attend this session to learn which laws apply to your charter school and which do not, as well as best practices for compliance with and practical application of those that do apply. Discussion will include equal pay for equal work, local government minimum wage, ban the box legislation, new posting requirements from the Colorado Department of Labor, anti-human trafficking law, and change in commercial motor vehicle driver age requirements.

Presenter(s): Michelle Ferguson, Attorney, Ireland Stapleton

 

Session: Get Your Fundraising Past "GO"
Strand: Fundraising
Thursday, March 12   |   9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Description: Charter Schools typically do not have a substantial base of donors or history of fundraising outside of foundation grants. Most fundraising efforts are a ground floor endeavor consisting of building up a base through events and pursuing foundations. A common challenge is what can a school do to move beyond these efforts and toward a sustainable source of revenue?

Experienced school executive director and fundraising leader Kaye Taavialma and veteran fundraiser Matt Wasserman will discuss key elements of how school leaders and board members can build and launch a more effective fundraising program.

Presenter(s): Matt Wasserman, Founder & Principal, MPW Strategies | Kaye Taavialma, Former Executive Director, NA

 

••• SESSION TWO – THURSDAY 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM •••

 

Session: Redefining Evaluation: The Power of Student-Centered Coaching

Strand: Academics / Instruction
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: Teacher retention is a nationwide concern. Burnout and lack of respect are the top two causes for teacher attrition. This presentation will focus on the research behind Student-Centered Coaching as developed by Diane Sweeney. During this session, attendees will develop an innovative peer evaluation system resulting in collective efficacy and teacher professional development optimizing teacher retention.

Presenter(s): Stephanie Mendrala, Director of Professional Development, STEM School Highlands Ranch

Session: 2019 Legislative Session: Opportunities, Challenges, and How You Can Help
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: What are the primary issues in motion at the State Capitol this year? How will they affect charter schools? How will they impact you? Join this session to hear the latest from the state legislature, learn more about the League’s current policy priorities, and find out how you can engage in the legislative process.

Presenter(s): Dan Schaller, Vice President of State and Local Policy, Colorado League of Charter Schools


Session: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Five Scenarios When Charter Boards Got It Right, Wrong, or Somewhere In Between
Strand: Board Governance
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: Serving on a charter school board can be a rewarding, productive, and positive experience. When everything is going well, it can feel like you are making a meaningful difference in your school community. However, when things go awry, it can be an exhausting, wearisome, and even combative experience. So how does one keep things on the right track and avoid the pitfalls? Whether your board is currently experiencing difficulties or not, it’s important to learn from other charter boards' experiences identifying best practices that successful boards use to avoid or course correct. This session will focus on common situations that challenge charter boards and how they each charted a positive path forward. This fast-paced workshop will equip attendees with the tools needed to keep their organization on a productive track as well as to them to the next level.

Presenter(s): Keith Ouweneel, Director, Crown Pointe Academy | John Brendza, League & CSI Consultant, ENPLC


Session: Facilities on a Budget
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: If you are a start-up, rural, or small charter school that wants to remain small, this session is for you. Attendees will hear about real-life examples from local schools and their unique challenges. They will learn basic budgeting tools to size their dream facility to what they can afford.

Presenter(s): Jane Ellis, Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions


Session: Successful Student Outcomes Start with the Support of Special Educators
Strand: Exceptional Students
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: This interactive presentation has three primary aims for attendees: (1) To raise awareness of the power and effectiveness of data systems for successful student outcomes, (2) to share strategies for acknowledging and supporting staff in ways that lead to retention of quality Special Educators (3) to foster and develop programming for students with moderate to severe learning differences.

Presenter(s): Josh Nichols, Special Education Coordinator, Charter School Institute


Session: Building a Coalition for Shared Services
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: This session will propose options for developing collaborative enterprises for shared services for effective and efficient delivery of educational services for unique learners. Attendees will leave with strategies for unifying these services for the most effective results.

Presenter(s): Brad Miller, Partner, Miller Farmer Law, LLC | Sherry Buzzell, Director of Human Resources, Monument Academy | Marie La Vere-Wright, President of the Board of Education, District 49


Session: Risk Assessments: What to Think about when Launching a New School
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: During this session, attendees will gain a better understanding about the various insurance policies a school should be thinking about at specific stages of their planning development. Discussion will also center around the risk management protocols that should be put into place as well.

Presenter(s): Brian Parks, Vice President - Director of Business Development, CCIG


Session: Launching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programming
Strand: HR / Talent / DEI
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: This session is for those in the early stages of integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming within their schools and/or are currently navigating through some barriers and obstacles when it comes to its application. Attendees will engage in a candid review and dialogue of practice and implementation by delving through four critical stages including: Data Review, Systems Review, Human Capital Review and Capacity Review.

Presenter(s): Aaron J. Griffen, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, DSST Public Schools


Session: Brand Your School Like a Visionary
Strand: Marketing/ Communications
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: Your school may not be Coca-Cola or Microsoft, but you need a brand to compete! Whether you are big or small, every school needs a brand. During this session, attendees will be provided with a short overview of branding, examples of school branding from the small and simple to the big and glorious, and learn the fundamental elements of branding so your marketing and communications can grow to the next level. During this session, school leaders and communications staff will be able to identify their values and core messages to inform the fundamental aspects of brand engaging all the stakeholders they serve.

Presenter(s): Samantha Hansen, Operations Manager, Tatonka Education Services

 

Session: Risk Assessments: What to Think about when Launching a New School
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: During this session, attendees will garner a better understanding about the various insurance policies a school should be thinking about at sprecific stages of their planning development. Discussion will also center around the risk management protocols that should be put into place as well. 

Presenter(s): Tyler Perry, Benefits Insurance Adviser, CC


Session: Building a Coalition for Shared Services
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Description: This session will propose options for developing collaborative enterprises for shared services for effective and efficient delivery of educational services for unique learners. Attendees will leave with strategies for unifying these services for the most effective results.

Presenter(s): Sherry Buzzell, Director of Human Resources, Monument Academy

 

••• SESSION THREE – THURSDAY 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM •••

 

 

Session: Short-Cycle School Program Evaluation
Strand: Academics / Instruction
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: School improvement efforts can often be unintentionally hampered by the time scales at which they are approached. While most official improvement planning processes cycle annually, it may be helpful for schools to evaluate programming on shorter timescales. Program evaluation on shorter cycles (30 - 90 days) allows school teams to assess program implementation fidelity as well as impacts on student outcomes - both providing opportunities for improvement. During this session, attendees will learn about the work of one team which included school staff from seven different charter schools that embarked on a semester of short-cycle program evaluation. In addition, members of this team will share their successes and failures, as well as the tools specifically created and used in their work.

Presenter(s): Greg Nusz, Assessment and Program Evaluation Specialist, Colorado Charter School Institute | Nick Stachokus, School Programs Specialist, Colorado Charter School Institute


Session: Special Education Policy: Key Challenges and Opportunities
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: This session will allow attendees to focus on identifying and drilling down on the core policy issues that impact our ability to effectively serve the needs of students with disabilities within charter schools in Colorado and nationally. These include accessing charter programs, funding, counseling out, restraint and isolation, approaches to discipline and much more.

Presenter(s): Paul O'Neill, Co-founder and Senior Fellow, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools

 

Session: Build Your Best Board
Strand: Board Governance
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: This session will provide attendees with the tips, tools, and practical applications for boards to strategically recruit, select, and onboard those who will help schools in being successful and sustainable.

Presenter(s): Debbie Lister, Chief Transformation Officer, Education Board Partners


Session: Facilities Financing: Selecting the Best Option for Your Charter School
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: During this session, attendees will learn different methods to finance or refinance land acquisition, facility construction, renovation, and equipment costs. Group discussions will explore the basics of various financing options such as Taxable and Tax-Exempt Bonds, New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) and bank loans. Attendees will also learn from real-world examples of charter schools that have used these financing methods. In addition, discussion will also center on rating agency factors and how your school compares and is evaluated.

Presenter(s): Brian Kelso, Managing Director, Baird


Session: School Discipline and Implicit Bias: One Size Doesn't Fit All
Strand: Exceptional Students
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: This session will discuss the various types of school discipline permitted under Colorado law and how implicit bias impacts students. During this interactive workshop, attendees will explore how school discipline can set off a domino effect on a child’s future successes and failures and how schools should be mindful of their discipline techniques no matter how big or small. Additionally, the presentation will take an in-depth look at the idea of implicit bias and its interplay with discipline types. The participants will learn to recognize behaviors that may suggest bias or differential treatment and techniques to combat these issues.

Presenter(s): Kristen Maurer McCarthy, Attorney, Charter School Law Group | Amber DeCarli, Attorney, Charter School Law Group

 

Session: Building an Information System for your Charter School Business
Strand: Hot Topic
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: Information Systems (IS) can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be! During this session, you will walk through the components of building an IS - an integrated set of technologies - with your public sector partner, Colorado SIPA. You will walk away with strategies to increase efficiency in your school's technology plan.

Presenter(s): Beth Justice, Marketing Director, Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority | Jamie Desrosier, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Colorado SIP



Session: Title IX and Charter Schools: What School Leaders Need to Know
Strand: HR / Talent / DEI
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: Title IX is a federal law that mandates equal opportunity on the basis of gender in education programs and activities. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is increasing its enforcement of Title IX within K-12 districts and institutions, including charter schools. Charter school leaders are often confused about the application of Title IX within their school operations as well as how to build a compliance program. Presenters during this session will provide participants with a Title IX compliance primer with real-life examples and lessons learned. This session will provide in-depth information about the following topics: A Brief Title IX Primer, Current Title IX Trends, How to Effectively Respond to and Manage OCR Enforcement Actions, Title IX requirements for K-12 institutions and Building a Title IX Compliance Program

Presenter(s): Karin Ranta-Curran, Founder, SISU Investigations LLC | Lynne Allen, Executive Director Finance and Operations, Stargate School


Session: Re-vision: Marketing Planning and Budgeting 101
Strand: Marketing/ Communications
Thursday, March 12   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Description: This session will provide charter school staff with basic marketing strategies that drive results. Attendees will learn which strategies and tactics can help boost enrollment numbers and positively impact your charter school’s viability.

Presenter(s): Kerri Barclay, Director of Communications, Colorado League of Charter Schools | Pete Mason, VP Communications, Colorado League of Charter Schools

 

••• SESSION FOUR – FRIDAY 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM •••

 

Session: Rapid School Improvement: One Charter School's Story
Strand: Academics / Instruction
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: Salida Del Sol Academy is a K-8 dual language academy in Greeley, Colorado. The school contracted with the Colorado League of Charter Schools in November 2018 after they were identified with Priority Improvement and corrective action by their district. League consultants worked closely with school leadership to implement a detailed school improvement plan aligned to the Colorado Department of Education's four levers for rapid school improvement: dynamic leadership, culture and climate shifts, instructional transformation and talent management. The school's state performance rating shifted from "Priority Improvement" to "Improvement" in less than a year of implementation. This workshop will provide attendees with the details of how this school accomplished this rapid improvement, as well as next steps ensuring how this school plans on transitioning into a state rating of "Performance" on its SY20 School Performance Framework.

Presenter(s): Sabrina Hodges, Educational Consultant, Specially Designed: A K12 Consultancy LLC


Session: Building a Culture of Advocacy
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: How can students, staff and parents of charter schools make advocacy a purposeful part of their school's culture? Now more than ever, everyone connected to a charter school must be able to effectively communicate the emotions, benefits, and facts of the charter school movement. Who is ready to speak up? Join this session to learn ways in which to delegate advocacy efforts and transform your school’s culture!

Presenter(s): Rena Youngblood, Senior Director of Charter School Services, Association of American Educators


Session: Fostering a Positive Charter Operator & Authorizer Relationship
Strand: Board Governance
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: During this session, participants will hear from both charter operators and authorizers about the strategic approach each party must take to ensure a positive and collaborative relationship. A successful outcome for participants will be in the form of understanding how to create and maintain a positive collaboration and specific strategies that foster these continued relationships.

Presenter(s): Andy Franko, iConnect Zone Superintendent, District 49  Constance Jones, Chief Executive Officer, GOAL Academy | Eric Dinnel, Executive Director, Banning Lewis Academy  | Peter Hilts, Chief Education Officer, District 4


Session: Which Financing Bucket is Your School in and What Options Do You Have?
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: Schools fits in one of three buckets when it comes to charter school facility finance. Bucket one includes: early stage/start-up/troubled charter schools; bucket two includes: young/growing and “storied” charter schools; and bucket three includes: mature/stable charter schools. The financing options available for each type of school vary and the option that is best for your charter school depends upon the school’s strategic goals and priorities. Attend this session to learn from peers at charter schools about the financing options they had, why they chose their structure, the pros/cons of that selection, and pitfalls to avoid so that you can make good choices when you embark on financing your charter school’s facility.

Presenter(s): Matt DeAngelis, Senior Vice President, D.A. Davidson & Co. | Eric Duran, Managing Director, D.A. Davidson & Co.


Session: Retaining High-Quality Special Educators
Strand: Exceptional Students
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: Special educators are hard to find and even harder to retain. As the need for these experienced educators increases the number of those leaving the field after five years remains constant. It's imperative schools provide solutions around key indicators of teacher retention in the field. During this session, school leaders, special education chairs and directors, as well as HR personnel in charge of hiring will collaborate to begin addressing solutions for their school communities around this topic.

Presenter(s): Meagan Gillcrist, Special Education Consultant, Exceptional Education by Design


Session: Quality Charter Application Reviews
Strand: Hot Topic
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: This session will highlight examples of authorizers implementing strong application review processes and explore how districts can adopt recommended practices in charter authorizing with CACSA support. Attendees will walk away from this session with tools and expertise that can be adapted for local needs to strengthen authorizer reviews of new charter applications. The workshop will also help charter applicants understand the authorizers’ likely approach.

Presenter(s): Alex Medler, Senior Director, Safal Partners


Session: Fast Five: Multiple 5-minute presentations on School Safety (Live videotaping of these presentations)
Strand: Hot Topic
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Description: Join us for mini presentations on: When School Safety and Student Privacy Cross Paths – Search and Seizures and your School; Threat Assessment Awareness for Schools; Reunification: Down the Road to Recovery; Affordable School Safety; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Cyberspace; Infusing Culturally Responsive Environments Through Safe2Tell


Session: Diversifying Leadership in Our Ecosystem
Strand: HR / Talent / DEI

Description: Join this session to gain an understanding about Moonshot’s approach to developing early stage school and program founders. Attendees will hear from fellows about ways in which the fellowship has influenced their pathway and identify procedures in which one can apply these practices and approaches within their own context (as an authorizer, school, or potential founder).

Presenter(s): Kat Ling, Chief of Staff, Moonshot edVentures

 

Session: Parent Engagement 101: Building a Thriving School Community
Strand: Marketing/ Communications
Friday, March 13   |   8:00 AM - 9:00 AM 

Description: Research demonstrates a clear relationship between parent involvement and student outcomes. Yet, many parents aren’t equipped with relevant and timely information about what’s happening in their child’s classroom, teams or clubs, limiting their opportunities to fully participate in the education process. As more communication tools become available school leaders are frustrated trying to find an effective solution. How do we reach the right people with the right message? During this session, school leaders will gain insights into parents’ needs regarding school communications (earned over four years of research into their pain points) and learn new practices to better engage them by simplifying communications and making information relevant and accessible. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their own challenges and successes and work through strategic plans to improve communication within their schools.

Presenter(s): Jennifer Larson, Co-founder and CEO, Hive Digital Minds

••• SESSION FIVE – FRIDAY 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM •••


 

Session: Colorado Charter Schools Health and Wellness Showcase
Strand: Academics / Instruction
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: This workshop will showcase Colorado's charter schools health and wellness successes including school-based health centers, school meal program innovations, a technology app used to improve student health, the establishment of a MS Sports League, a robust community engagement strategy, school staff wellness strategies and more. This session will be facilitated by the League's School Wellness Director and feature pod leaders and other wellness leaders from around the state who are leading the way with innovative student health and wellness initiatives.

Presenter(s): Rainey Wikstrom-Facilitator (with a group of panelists), School Wellness Director, Colorado League of Charter Schools


Session: Build a Coalition to Reshape the Charter School Narrative
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: We are stronger together. The charter school landscape is filled with hidden gems that are easily overlooked by the public when deciding on the merit of charter schools. Unless we are intentionally lifting up parent voices in a collective and powerful coalition that spans ALL charter schools, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Attend this session to learn from community organizations piloting charter parent advocacy teams so you can maximize your collective advocacy potential.

Presenter(s): Brandon Hellwig, Associate Director of Organizing, Colorado League of Charter Schools


Session: Stay in your Lane: Board Member Duties and Responsibilities
Strand: Board Governance
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: This session will discuss the different stages of board member involvement in charter schools. It will help board members and administrators understand the varying board governance models and the differences between a founding board, an operational board, and a governing board. Administration and board members alike will walk away being able to identify what the board's role should be during particular stage under the specific governance model, as well as what board members fiduciary duties and responsibilities should be.

Presenter(s): Dustin Sparks, Managing Attorney, Charter School Law Group


Session: The Benefits of the Design/Build Process
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Our team began working on an accelerated project with Denver Public Schools in 2014. Our team knew we have to have a high school ready for 500 students in less than 18 months. The site that was selected for the new school was significantly smaller than a typical site for a high school, so our team had to get creative. How do we build a 500 student high school in 18 months? How do you design and build a building that meets the tech specs of Denver Public Schools (the Owner) and the unique needs of the two charter schools who would call the building home (KIPP & STRIVE).

Our team not only met all of these goals but we started a scholarship program, have joined one of the charter's Young Professionals Boards, helped to build a community garden and were able to give back nearly all of the project contingency so the school could purchase a new state-of-the-art AV package.

All of this was because of the advantages our team had because of the design/build process!

Presenter(s): Jennifer Thong, Director of Client Relations, Eidos Architects | Jason Goetsch, Project Architect, Eidos Architects


Session: Getting Creative: One School's Story on Flexible Credit Acquisition
Strand: Exceptional Students
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Students learn in different ways and at various paces. Learn how one alternative education school has created a flexible credit system allowing students to gain credits at their own pace. Focusing on skills-based acquisition, credit is earned through success completion of academic artifacts and participation points. During this session, attendees will learn about the work of New Legacy Charter School's Flexible Credit Acquisition, and discuss the ways in which they can adapt this work to their school.

Presenter(s): Steven Bartholomew, Executive Director, New Legacy Charter School | Leah Bock, High School Principal, New Legacy Charter School


Session: Tips, Tricks, and Trials of Capital Grants
Strand: Fundraising
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Applying for a capital grant to improve or build a new charter school facility can be overwhelming. In this session, attendees will learn about basic guidelines and valued resources, garner why applicants are successful, and identify grantors that award capital funds. Case studies will also be presented by representatives of charter schools who had success with this.

Presenter(s): Ben Wilking, Architectural Manager, Farnsworth Group | Shanon Collins, Executive Director, Westgate Community School | Cindy Compton, Executive Director at Swallows Charter Academy

 

Session: Impact: A Walk Through the History of Charter Schools in Colorado and the U.S.
Strand: Hot Topic
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Charter schools arrived on the public school scene in our state in the mid 1990’s and immediately became a flash point of criticism amongst teachers, school leaders and legislative activists. In the early days of this movement, I found myself as a militant opponent of charter schools, who attempted to disrupt our public school institution. As my thirty-seven year career progressed and charter schools continued to grow, I began to recognize that these independent schools were here to stay. When I was asked to lead a charter school in 2009, although skeptical at first, within five months of the experience I found myself going through an entire metamorphosis of my core educational values. Today, I’m one of the leading advocates of charter schools in Colorado and work extensively to assist them in improving their leadership, board governance and the quality of education that they offer. Come and join me for an in-depth exploration of my journey over the past 37 years and how I now see charter schools as the single most consistent evidence of effective education reform in our country.

Presenter(s): John Brendza, League & CSI Consultant, ENPLC


Session: Fast Five: Multiple 7-minute presentations on Marketing/Communication topics (Live videotaping of these presentations)
Strand: Hot Topic
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Join us for 5-7 great mini sessions on topics relating to marketing/communications through a quick hitting format of 7 minute Ted-style talks. Hear from experts on media relations, crisis communications, public relations, branding, and marketing to help support your overall enrollment goals. All sessions will be taped for future use.

Presenter(s): Coming Soon


Session: They Did What?! Managing Employee Mistakes, Mishaps, and Misunderstandings
Strand: HR / Talent / DEI
Friday, March 13   |   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description: Schools are communities filled with people doing their best. Sometimes people make mistakes and these mistakes can be repaired with a simple conversation. Other times, schools must conduct investigations, develop improvement plans, and even terminate employees. Attendees at this session will discover practical tools for deciding which step is right for which type of mistake and what questions to keep in mind along the way. Having a strong process in place helps prevent leaders from turning an employee misstep into an even bigger, costly mistake for their school. The presenters reflective questions will support leaders to be fair and equitable when dealing with these stressful and emotional decisions.

Presenter(s): Shayna Coleman, Human Resources Director, Highline Academy

 

••• SESSION SIX – FRIDAY 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM •••

Session: Integrating Design Thinking with Human-Centered Projects into your School and Classroom
Strand: Academics / Instruction
Friday, March 13   |   2:15 - 3:15 PM 

Description: How does one effectively integrate innovation, design thinking and inquiry-based projects into more subjects within their school? During this practical, resource loaded session, presenters will highlight projects such as an interactive touch-sensitive historical quilt, technological sculptures, and delve into maker assessments, faculty buy-in, integration methods, and how to assess a student-centered innovation project.

Presenter(s): Mark Schreiber, Director of Access Program, & Consultant, Frontier Academy & Design Case


Session: Colorado Charter Sector Success: Sharing the Data
Strand: Advocacy/Policy
Friday, March 13   |    2:15 - 3:15 PM

Description: What does ReadyCO’s study examining Colorado charter sector's NAEP scores tell us about the health and success of the movement? What does Colorado state data tell us about that performance both now and over time? The facts are clear that charters are outperforming in many key areas of student success. Attend this session to learn about the fact-based achievements of Colorado’s charter school sector and how this information can be shared out to stakeholders and policy decision-makers. Participants will also brainstorm ways to deliver this message of success to a broader audience of stakeholders.

Presenter(s): Gina Schlieman, Founding Consultant, GPS Strategies Group LLC


Session: Effective Governance that Improves School Outcomes
Strand: Board Governance
Friday, March 13   |   2:15 - 3:15 PM

Description: This workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the fundamentals of governance to help create a more cohesive, goal-directed board. The session will focus on the ten principles of the Policy Governance® model at a conceptual level. Participants will have the opportunity to dialogue about the principles and brainstorm how they may be incorporated within their current board practices. An additional emphasis will be placed on the use of data to establish improvement goals and policy.

Presenter(s): Dan Jorgensen, PhD, Accountability Support Manager, Colorado Department of Education 


Session: Learner-Focused Design for the Next Generation
Strand: Business Services/Facilities
Friday, March 13   |   2:15 - 3:15 PM

Description: This session will focus on creating spaces that respond to 21st century learning, project-based learning and how the next generation of students will learn. Attendees will see examples of how spaces can be transformed from a non-traditional building to a school or new school design. Participants will learn how educators are using these spaces to teach 21st century skills to students with varying learning styles and hear about lessons learned from converting non-traditional buildings into schools.

Presenter(s): Adele Willson, Managing Principal, Hord Coplan Macht | Lynne Allen, Executive Director of Finance and Operations, Stargate Charter School


Session: Best Practices: Improving Access and Services for Students with Disabilities
Strand: Exceptional Students
Friday, March 13   |   2:15 - 3:15 PM

Description: During this session, participants will engage in a discussion using a townhall format that will include national experts, Colorado authorizers, and school leaders sharing success stories and best practices for outreach, recruitment, admissions and enrollment that increases access and appropriate services for students with disabilities. The discussion will address changes that schools and districts can make in their policies and procedures that ensure equity for all students.

Presenter(s): Alex Medler, Senior Director, Safal Partners


Session: Fast Five: Multiple 5-minute presentations on a variety of topics related to Wellness in your school (Live videotaping of these presentations)
Strand: Hot Topic
Friday, March 13   |   2:15 - 3:15 PM

Description: Come hear a variety of ideas on how to implement health & wellness in your school. Ideas to be presented include: Creating a Junior High Sports League; Successful family engagement; The Body App; The Gut Biome – the pathway to teaching nutrition; Integrating movement into every day in the classroom; School Food: Delicious food for charters as evidence by doubling participation; & School Based Health Centers: Making a school wellness center a reality.

Presenter(s): Coming Soon

Register to attend