July 28, 2020

 

The Virtual Charter Schools Conference (NCSCvirtual) entered day two of the event on Thursday, July 23. The conference schedule was filled with engaging sessions packed with content. The content focused on three main areas: remote learning, reopening schools, and reimagining education. 

The day began with homerooms, which focused on career tracks this week. The homeroom theme allowed participants to connect with other attendees serving in similar capacities. 

In keeping with our commitment to elevating black voices and addressing race and equity issues, DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist and co-founder of Campaign Zero, and Tre Johnson from Catalyst: Ed opened with a powerful keynote address focused on understanding the Black Lives Matter movement. The session focused on the role of charter schools in advancing educational equity and engaging in meaningful conversations that bring about change and understanding. Artemisio Romero y Carver, a student activist and rising senior at New Mexico School of Arts, also spoke during the opening keynote on his activism in the community and encouraged us to stand with students. 

DeRay McKesson, civil rights activist
DeRay McKesson, civil rights activist 

After a brief break, breakout sessions began with a featured session on equity in education, moderated by Afrika Owes from the Center for Constitutional Rights and a KIPP STAR NYC alumna. This session featured a rockstar group of panelists: Margaret Fortune (president & CEO, Fortune Schools), Shaver Jefferies (president, Democrats for Educator Reform), and Layla Avila (CEO, Education Leaders of Color) came together to discuss the inequity within education that has plagued the American school system for years. Each panelist offered strategies that charter school organizations can implement to take steps toward eradicating inequality within education.

On day two of NCSCvirtual, registrants had the opportunity to participate in over ten engaging sessions related to reopening schools, remote learning, and reimagining schools. These sessions ranged from topics like social-emotional learning, navigating teaching during remote learning, and charter school finance. Participants walked away with newfound knowledge and insight. 

Day three is sure to provide even more opportunities for our participants. We are excited to hear from our keynote speakers who are sure to ‘bring us home’ on the final day of NCSCVirtual. We cannot wait to see you there! 

There is still time to join us live for the final day of our conference and access all content on-demand. Register here

Zoie Jones is a 2020 Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellow serving with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. She is a rising senior at Spelman College, a historically black college and university in Atlanta, majoring in Elementary Education. After graduation, Zoie aspires to become a teacher focusing her efforts on educating and inspiring children from low-income communities.

July 21, 2020

 

The Virtual National Charter Schools Conference (NCSCvirtual) kicked off on Thursday, July 16th, for the first of three content-packed days. The content focused on three main areas-remote learning, reopening schools, and reimagining education. The event kicked off with our popular homerooms, which focused this week on affinity groups. There was a little something for everyone, and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion homeroom had nearly 200 participants. 

National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees kicked off the conference with powerful opening remarks addressing the challenges that schools are facing in the wake of COVID-19 and the racial justice issues stemming from the protest surrounding the death of George Floyd. She stressed that the challenges we are facing must be addressed head-on, as 68% of the student population in charter schools are students of color. 

Nina Rees
National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees

After a brief break, the breakout sessions began with a featured session by Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow, discussing the future of education. In his session, Dr. Crow explained how Arizona State University is taking the lead in a student-focused approach to learning and reimagining their classrooms for the future. 

Michael Crow
Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow

We had over 2,300 registrants participate in 9 breakout sessions with thoughtful discussions. Session topics ranged from budgeting and procurement, teacher retention, best practice for remote learning, and many others. There is no doubt that our attendees came away with tons of great information that they will be able to utilize in their schools and organizations. 

Kairos Academies
Kairos Academies presentation on preparing your model for remote learning

The virtual conference was not just keynotes and breakout sessions. We had a much-needed stretch break with Daniel Hatcher, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, as part of our Moving More Challenge. We also had over 40 exhibitors sharing valuable information and products to reopen schools safely, manage the college application process, curriculums that are student-driven, and so much more through the Virtual Solutions Center

Day two is sure to provide so much more for our attendees, and we cannot wait to hear from our great speakers. There is still time to join us live for the remaining days of the conference and access the content on-demand, register here

Patricia Guidetti is the director of programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

July 8, 2020

 

As the 2019-20 school year winds down and state legislatures issue warnings of more budget cuts, it's hard not to think about what that means for the financial picture for the next school year. We've curated four sessions for the Virtual National Charter Schools Conference to help you successfully lead your school through economic uncertainty.

Led by finance experts and charter school leaders, these sessions will prepare you with the knowledge and strategies you need to recession-proof your school:

Philanthropy, COVID-19, and Education
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact and re-shape the world, philanthropy has been keeping pace to mitigate the devastating consequences. Join Kristin Todd (Daniels Fund), Ash Solar (Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation), Dakarai Aarons (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), Melanie Brown (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and Katherine Haley (Philanthropy Roundtable) for a session on the impact of the pandemic on philanthropy and adjustments funders have made to better support schools. 

Charter School Finances During a Fiscal Downturn 
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a tremendous amount of economic uncertainty around the world. The effect on school budgets is yet to be fully understood, but we know that a sizable reduction in revenues is likely over the next several years. In this session, Nathan Barrett, Ph.D., (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools) will help leaders understand fiscal risk indicators, prepare a flexible budget, and plan for uncertainty by taking what we know from the Great Recession and applying it to today's crisis. 

Budgeting and Procurement in the Time of COVID 
Charter schools will face unprecedented challenges as they seek to procure products and services necessary to reopen schools safely. Leading this session is a panel of charter school and finance leaders—Ellen Lin (Green Dot Public Schools), Stephen Parmer (Uplift Education), Cameron Mascoll (Colorado Early Colleges), Catherine Sanwo (Friendship Public Charter School) and Marco Rafanelli (BuyQ)—sharing strategies and their school's approach to meeting COVID-related operations challenges with significant budget cuts. 

Planning for the Unplanned: Tools and Essential Questions for Strategic Leadership
Over the last several months, school leaders have worked to meet students' needs through the challenges presented by the coronavirus. And with multiple scenarios possible in the 2020-2021 academic school year, they'll likely need to continue to plan through uncertainty. In this session, Jessica Naioukas (Mott Haven Academy), Nnenna Ude (Match Education), and Tresha Ward (Bellwether Education Partners) will share best practices and tools for decision making when much is unknown. 

NCSCvirtual is your chance to get ahead of the curve and protect your school against the recession fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Register today for access to these sessions and more.

Sindy Pierre-Noel is the senior manager of programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

July 6, 2020

 

The NCSC Exhibit Hall is the heart of our annual conference. Each year, attendees tell us that one of their favorite things to do is to walk down the aisles checking out the booths, chat with exhibitors, and cuddle with therapy puppies. Although there is no in-person event this year, some of our sponsors and exhibitors have joined in to share resources to meet your most pressing needs.

Our all-new NCSC Virtual Solutions Center is an online directory and information platform that allows you to connect with organizations that can help you find solutions and products for your school's needs, including the new essentials created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are looking for remote learning services or reimagining your curriculum, we've got you covered.

Visit our exhibitors and sponsors in the Virtual Solutions Center to find the resources, products, and services you need to support your work. You may even find a game, a giveaway, or a prize drawing or two!

Virtual Solutions Center

Sindy Pierre-Noel is the senior manager of programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

June 26, 2020

 

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and DonorsChoose teamed up to support charters schools in a partnership that has supported charter schools with over $87 million. DonorsChoose has also graciously provided the National Charter Schools Conference with gift cards to help conference registrants with their classroom and distance learning projects. Fifty qualifying registrants were randomly selected to receive a $500 gift cards to use to fund projects on DonorsChoose.org. 


Here are the winning registrants: 

DonorsChoose Gift Card Winners

Congratulations to all the winners!

To learn more about the National Alliance's partnership with DonorsChoose, check out the Charter School Leader Toolkit

Sindy Pierre-Noel is the senior manager of programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

June 4, 2020

 

To our community–

Earlier this week, the National Alliance released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd. We would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to stand with the black community in solidarity against racism, violence, and hate. Now more than ever, we must support one another and speak up for justice and equality. As we continue to prepare for the virtual conference, and beyond, the National Charter Schools Conference team is committed to amplifying more black voices as part of our speaker lineup and producing content that reflects our commitment to equity and social justice. 

We invite you to watch and reflect on some of the most influential and empowering keynotes from black leaders on the general session stage. We believe in their message of self-determination, persistence, and hope.

Our hope is that we can emerge from this tragedy as a country, organization, and conference more committed  to justice and equality.

The National Charter Schools Conference Team
Angela Christophe, Patricia Guidetti, Sindy Pierre-Noel 
 

#NCSC19 – Margaret Fortune

#NCSC17 – Dr. Steve Perry

#NCSC16 – Dr. Howard Fuller

#NCSC11 – Marion Wright Edelman