National Charter Schools Conference sessions are differentiated by several different factors including Programming Strands, Content Level, and Session Format. For more information, download a past session proposal template.

Programming Strands


Sessions in the Governance strand focus on overseeing a charter school, whether as a board member, authorizer, or in another capacity. These roles come with their own set of responsibilities and challenges. Learn about board operations and training, strategic planning, judging school quality, charter renewals and other topics.


The Instruction strand presents advanced content in classroom management, curriculum, education strategies, teacher training and other classroom-specific topics. Teachers, curriculum specialists, special education teachers and school leaders are all welcome.


The Leadership strand addresses the many challenges facing those who run today’s charter schools and trains those looking to run tomorrow’s. Topics include replication, succession planning, school culture, team building, hiring and working with staff, dealing with parents and more. 


From facilities to fiscal sustainability, communications and PR to professional development, the Operations strand provides back-office employees and those who support schools in other ways with the necessary tools to ensure long-term organizational health. 


The political landscape impacts charter schools immensely, and those who align with the Policy strand are the ones who want to be kept abreast of the latest developments in district, state, and federal legislation and activism. Conversations focus on the big-picture vision for the future of the movement, advocacy, and overcoming policy-induced obstacles. 


Content Levels

Based on participant experience or knowledge:


Very basic content for attendees who are new to the topic or have less than three years with relatable content.


More in-depth content that goes beyond basics intended for attendees with at least 4 years of experience on the topic or relatable content.


In-depth analysis and discussion intended for attendees with 10 or more years of experience on the topic or relatable content.

Session Formats

Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)

Panel Discussions (2 to 3 speakers)
A diverse and focused discussion around a particular topic followed by audience Q&A.

Debates (2-3 Speakers)
A constructive moderated discussion between two leaders of opposing viewpoints, followed by audience Q&A.

Interview (2 Speakers)
A one-on-one interview with a significant leader.

Core Conversations (1-2 Speakers)
A speaker-led informal and open conversation with attendees around a particular topic.

Lecture (1 or 2 Speakers)
This is a traditional lecture format followed by audience Q&A.

Alternative Formats (Length Varies)

Hacks & Tips (1 speaker • 15 minutes)
A short presentation structured in a rapid-fire format to share tips and unique approaches.

Speed Dating 
(5-15 speakers • 60 minutes)
Subject matter experts are stationed around a room, and attendees rotate to hear from as many as presentations as possible.


Intensives (120 minutes)

Workshops (1-3 Speakers)
An in-depth, instructional program with hands-on learning and specific takeaways.

Problem Solving (1-3 Speakers)
An interactive exercise designed to address a prevalent challenge where speakers facilitate a number of small group discussions to identify possible solutions.

Exhibit Hall Content (Length Varies)

Charter Talk (1 Speaker • under 18 minutes MUST submit video pitch to be considered)
A compelling presentation with a story arc to share a big idea, a tech demo, delve into an issue, or share a small idea with an impact.

Playground Hands On (1-2 Speakers • 30 min)
A casual hands-on experience showcasing a particular idea.


You can always reach out to us at