Today two people, Bob and Jennifer, from the National Resource Center on Charter School Finance and Governance presented the first of a two-day workshop on charter school finances for school leaders. They were brought in as a part of the Get Smart Schools Initiative that is conducting twice monthly professional development for new charter school leaders.
One of the goals for the training was to provide a complete overview of the business side of a charter school. Charter schools operate like a business in addition to being a public school.
Many of those in attendance at the workshop are associated with an application in Denver for either or a charter school or a performance school (non-charter autonomous). Some are going to lead newly replicated schools, such as the new West Denver Prep-Harvey Park.
There are extra challenges in leading a brand new charter school. In addition to starting a new business, the leader needs to bring new staff members together to form a cohesive team, get to know all brand new students and parents, make sure the physical plant is sufficient and operational, and all while keeping the new charter school governing board happy! Leadership development is essential to increasing the success of new charter schools. The Get Smart Schools plan is to continue with a broad spectrum of support even after the new school opens.