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Charter Board Partners

We see a correlation

November 09, 2017 | by Debbie Lister

Hunter Schimpff, Director of Policy & Analytics at the South Carolina Public Charter School District, says he sees “a correlation between high quality schools and quality boards.” That’s why the District partnered with Charter Board Partners to provide training and support to the boards in the SCPCSD portfolio, which serves 26,000 students in 39 schools. CBP offered a boot-camp-style session for charter school board members in the spring.  We returned to South Carolina in October and provided additional training based on topics board members identified as areas they’d like to dive into for deeper understanding of the board’s role: academic oversight and strategic goal setting.

Debbie Lister

At our session, we talked about what to look for and how boards can know what academic success looks like. Participants looked at overall indicators of school health, presented in dashboards that consolidate key indicators into one place.

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have goals and so the group learned about setting goals, which allow boards to then monitor progress on meeting those goals—in academics, finance, management, and operations. Participants walked away with tools and examples they could bring back to their own charter school boards.

Over 30 board members participated in the trainings in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, representing boards in various stages of development from startup to growth and expansion. The collaborative environment allowed boards to share promising practices with one another and learn how to use tools and tactics from Charter Board Partners in real-life situations.

At CBP, we are always grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with authorizers in our work with boards. Partnering with authorizers sends a powerful message and demonstrates to charter school boards the importance of effective oversight and accountability. And it reminds school leaders and board members that we all need to be aligned and working together to provide the best possible education for students.