Archive for the ‘Annual Conference’ Category

Quality and Continuous Improvement: Bringing it All Together at the 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Student success. Effective Texas public charter schools. Quality. Sustainability. Model practices. Continuous improvement. Each of these is what the Quality Framework and TCSA are all about. In fact, the mission of the Texas Charter Schools Association is to accelerate student achievement in Texas by empowering a diverse set of effective and quality-driven charter schools.

We do this by matching member needs to tools and resources through member feedback and aggregated, anonymous Quality Framework data. Of course we have products, services, and trainings available throughout the year, but the annual Texas Charter Schools Conference brings everything we do together in just a few days: targeted trainings for board members, business managers, and charter and campus administrators; Quality Framework informational sessions, Work Sessions, and best practices sessions; public information and advocacy-focused conference sessions and much, much more. Read more below to learn just a few highlights at this year’s conference.

Did you know that…

You can find the latest about everything you need to know about the Texas Charter Schools Conference online today?

The full conference schedule is available so that you can start planning your conference today? Download it now and get together with your teams to start planning.

There are 10 conference strands this year, including two Quality Framework strands and two Student Achievement Strands? Each of the 10 strands is focused around information that is important to you and every session is matched to a system of the Quality Framework. We have also arranged to have topic-related sessions in the same room so that you and your team can easily find session topics that are most important to you. These are the general topics under which conference sessions are organized and the rooms in which you can find them:

  • Advocacy and Communications – Room 4BC
  • Finance – Room 10A
  • Governance – Room 6A
  • Innovation – Room 6B
  • Leadership – Room 8AB
  • Quality Framework Best Practices – Room 9A
  • Quality Framework Continuous Improvement – Room 9B
  • School Law – Room 10B
  • Student Achievement – Room 4A
  • Student Achievement – Room 5A

You can also see an overview of the conference sessions online organized in the strands above, and see the conference-at-a-glance today, too? The At-a-Glance section online tells you more about what the days will look like at the conference next week.

You and your team can get either CPE credits or required training hours at every single conference session this year? Look for the circle symbols in the conference program to find out more.

You and your team can match your Quality Framework-identified needs to conference sessions? Look for the square symbols in the conference program to find out more.

If you don’t quite know what the Quality Framework is all about, there are sessions that will provide basic overviews about the development and implementation of the Quality Framework? You can attend either of the following sessions to learn more:

  • Getting Started: TCSA Quality Framework Introduction and Overview, Wed, 12/5, 1:15pm, Room 9B
  • TCSA Quality Framework Information Session, Wed, 12/5, 2:45pm, Room 9B

If you want to learn more about the latest updates in the Quality Framework Reports and Resources section of the portal and how schools use the data, you have many sessions to choose from? You can attend any or all of these sessions:

  • Using the Quality Framework Data at Your School, Tue, 12/4, 10:15am, Room 9B
  • TCSA’s Student Growth Percentile (SGP) and Similar Students Measure (SSM), Tue, 12/4, 1:00pm, Room 9B
  • Making Your Campus Improvement Plan Your Single Tool for SUCCESS, Wed, 12/5, 10:30am, Room 9B
  • TCSA Quality Framework Resources, Wed, 12/5, 2:45pm, Room 9A

There is now a new partnership designed to provide additional support and technical assistance for public charter schools in Texas? It’s called “the Network” and you can learn more about in this session:

  • CSTAN: Another Gateway to Charter School Excellence, Wed, 12/5, 1:15pm, Room 9B

Your charter school’s leadership team and staff can complete the Quality Framework Self-Assessment at the conference—to help plan your conference? There are 3 opportunities at the conference. Save time by signing-up today to get your user account ahead of time and be ready for one of the Quality Framework Work Sessions:

The Quality Initiatives team looked at all of the data that you and your charter colleagues provided in the Quality Framework to spot trends in member-identified needs to come up with the following high-demand sessions? We did. And here are those sessions:

  • Student Engagement: Have Every Student on the Edge of Their Seat, Tue, 12/4, 10:15am, Room 9A
  • Using Board Self-Evaluation to Assess and Improve Board Performance, Tue, 12/4, 1:00pm, Room 9A
  • Community Outreach and Strategic Partnerships (panel discussion), Tue, 12/4, 3:00pm, Room 9A
  • Road to College Graduation: A Multi-Year Process Supporting Students from Grade 6-16, Tue, 12/4, 4:30pm, Room 9A
  • The New! College & Career Resource Site, (Hint: FREE resource), Wed, 12/5, 8:30am, Room 9A
  • UPDATED SESSION! State Accountability Update (Come here the latest!), Wed, 12/5, 10:30am, Room 9A
  • Increase Student Enrollment (panel discussion), Wed, 12/5, 1:15pm, Room 9A

Many of the conference sessions presentations and other information provided by presenters will be uploaded to the Quality Framework resources portal in the weeks following the conference? Be sure that you have access to the Quality Framework, and click on “Request Account”.

There is so much more happening next week at the conference! Download the program and start planning today!

This is the last Quality Framework blog entry for this calendar year. We plan to be back next year. But the Quality Initiatives team is always available to help. If you have any questions about the Quality Framework and the upcoming sessions next week, please contact us. See you next week at the conference!

 

Telca Karen Porras

Quality Initiatives Senior Advisor

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TWO QUALITY FRAMEWORK CONFERENCE STRANDS

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

There are two Quality Framework conference strands, both of which are discussed and summarized below. Read on and start entering session dates and times in your calendar now. The conference is just about 2 weeks away!

Quality Framework Continuous Improvement Strand
For new charters, or those new to TCSA, the Quality and Continuous Improvement strand will provide introductions to the Quality Framework Self-Assessment, Reports, and Resources. As we mentioned last week, this strand will even feature time and space for school leaders to complete and submit the Self-Assessment and access the Quality Framework Reports and Data Pack at the conference.

Once the Quality Framework Self-Assessment is submitted, however, the reports and data that you will have available to you will save hours in report compilation. Learn more about how a school uses the Quality Framework portal at their school in this strand’s very first session, “Using the Quality Framework Data at Your School” (Tuesday, 12/4, 10:15am, Room 9B) with Gwyn Boyter and Jenny Davis from UT Charter in Austin.

Attend “Making Your Campus Improvement Plan Your Single Tool for SUCCESS” (Wednesday, 12/5, 10:30am, Room 9B) with Karen Mowbray from Odyssey Academy in Galveston to learn how the Quality Framework ties in to campus planning.

Also learn about the exciting new charter school technical assistance network, a partnership that includes TCSA, TEA, and Region XI. You may have heard about CSTAN, or “The Network”. Come to this session to learn what kinds of free training and resources are now available to charter schools across Texas through this new partnership and how to get connected with  the network partners in “CSTAN: Another Gateway to Charter School Excellence” (Wednesday, 12/5, 1:15pm, Room 9B).

These are but a few in the Quality and Continuous Improvement Strand. See the summary below for a complete list.

Quality Framework Best Practices Strand
As we’ve talked about a few times over the past few weeks, all of the conference sessions will present best and effective practices, tools, resources, and strategies. But the Quality Framework Best Practices strand was developed directly from member requests or in response to Quality Framework Results and Comparative Reports data. So each and every session is in response to a member request or has been planned after reviewing Quality Framework data for all schools.
Learn from a panel of charter school leaders like you from all across the state in sessions like “Community Outreach and Strategic Partnerships” (Tuesday, 12/4, 3:00pm, Room 9A) or “Increase Student Enrollment” (Wednesday, 12/5, 1:15pm, Room 9A).

TCSA Quality Initiatives staff members will also walk through how to access the useful tools and resources in “TCSA Quality Framework Resources” session. (Wednesday, 12/5, 2:45pm, Room 9A)

We have mentioned many others over the past few weeks, including sessions about student engagement, board self-evaluations, and college and career readiness tools and resources. Take a look below for a complete list of the conference sessions in the Best Practices conference strand.

Quality Framework Work Sessions at the Texas Charter Schools Conference
If you haven’t yet registered for one of the free Quality Framework work sessions, choose a date and time below that works best for you and your team—you can register for more than one—then click on a link below to register.

Pre-Conference Work Session
Monday, December 3, 2012
4:00pm – Room 9B
Use the data and information from your Pre-Conference Work Session to help plan your conference by targeting Quality Framework-identified needs.

 

Quality Framework Work Session Part 1
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
3:00pm – Room 9B
Complete and submit the Self-Assessment and get the reports, data and information from the Quality Framework—and the tools and resources you and your team discover at the conference —to use as soon as you return to your school. Complete and submit the Quality Framework in this session, or stay to complete in Part 2.


Quality Framework Work Session Part 2

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
4:30pm – Room 9B
Stay in room 9B from Part 1, or just attend Part 2 to complete and submit the Self-Assessment and get the reports, data and information from the Quality Framework—and the tools and resources you and your team discover at the conference — to use as soon as you return to your school.

 

Use your current Quality Framework data to plan your conference.
As we mentioned last week, if you already have your Quality Framework user account, login now to the Quality Framework portal and you’ll find conference session descriptions linked to indicators of the Quality Framework. Simply click on “Resources” once you’re logged in. If you need a user account, visit the Quality Framework portal and click on “Request Account”.

We’re taking a break from the TCSA newsletter and blog next week, but we will be back on Friday, November 30, 2012. Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

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Time and Space for Reflection, Assessment, and Planning at the Texas Charter Schools Annual Conference

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

From the early days of the development of the Quality Framework to the recent transition to a fully web-based version of the Quality Framework, school leaders have said time and time again that one of the main benefits of the Quality Framework Self-Assessment is that it provides a structure for reflection, discussion, and candid assessment of the current status of over 100 key indicators of a successful charter school. The next thing charter leaders have said usually went something like this, “Now can you just find time and space for us to do that?” Actually, yes, we can.

Last year, we did this at the conference and we will do it again this year. We know that the conference may be the best time for teams to gather and reflect on the current success of the school and how to continuously improve, so we have scheduled three Quality Framework Work Sessions at the conference.

Why should you take time to do the Quality Framework at the conference?

These work sessions were very popular last year, but this year, school leaders will be able to access reports and data the moment they submit the assessment—a big improvement from last year. Leadership teams can now use this data immediately to help plan their conference experience.

If you and your leadership team complete and submit the Quality Framework at the Pre-Conference Work Session on Monday, December 3rd at 4:00pm, you will have immediate access to reports that help you plan your conference sessions for Tuesday and Wednesday.

To make your planning easier, we’ve marked the sessions in the conference programs to match with systems of the Quality Framework to help you decide which sessions to attend. For example, if you submit the Quality Framework Self-Assessment and one of the areas that you’ve marked as “Early Effective” is the Leadership System indicator, “Board conducts self-evaluations,” you or a team member should be sure to attend the session we have scheduled around the topic of board self-evaluations in the Quality Framework Best Practices strand.

Matching Quality Framework Systems to Conference Sessions

If you and your leadership team complete and submit the Self-Assessment on Tuesday, December 4th at either 3:00pm or at 4:30pm, you can use the reports and the resources you find at the conference and the resources in the portal together to prioritize next steps once you return to your schools.

Who on your team should participate in the Quality Framework Work Session?

There are two sections to the Quality Framework Self-Assessment: a charter holder section containing governance and leadership indicators and a campus section that includes curriculum, instruction, and assessment and other campus-level indicators. Charter leaders usually have a leadership team (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.) complete charter holder level indicators and then principals and/or the CAO answer campus level indicators.

We’ve scheduled the Quality Framework Work Sessions on Tuesday in the same room, back-to-back. Your full leadership team can attend both sessions or choose to divide their time by working on different sections in either time slot. The best way to do this is to simply decide what works best with your team.

The bottom line is that you will have up to 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and submit the Quality Framework Self-Assessment and review reports while at the conference, even if you don’t come in the day before.

As always, TCSA Quality Initiatives team staff members will be in each work session to answer questions and assist you and your team through the process.

How can you secure seats for you and your leadership team?

First, if you haven’t already, be sure to register for the 12th Annual Texas Charter Schools Conference. [link] Next, select and register for any of the three Quality Framework Work Session opportunities at the conference:

Pre-Conference Work Session
Monday, December 3, 2012
4:00pm – Room 9B
Use the data and information from your Pre-Conference Work Session to help plan your conference by targeting Quality Framework-identified needs. REGISTER

Quality Framework Work Session Part 1
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
3:00pm – Room 9B
Complete and submit the Self-Assessment and get the reports, data and information from the Quality Framework—and the tools and resources you and your team discover at the conference —to use as soon as you return to your school. Complete and submit the Quality Framework in this session, or stay to complete in Part 2. REGISTER

Quality Framework Work Session Part 2
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
4:30pm – Room 9B
Stay in room 9B from Part 1, or just attend Part 2 to complete and submit the Self-Assessment and get the reports, data and information from the Quality Framework—and the tools and resources you and your team discover at the conference —to use as soon as you return to your school. REGISTER

Our school already has report and data. Can I use that information to plan for the conference?

If you already have your Quality Framework user account, login now to the Quality Framework portal and you’ll find conference session descriptions linked to indicators of the Quality Framework. Simply click on “Resources” once you’re logged in.

If you need a user account, visit the Quality Framework portal and click on “Request Account.”

Next week’s blog will be an overview of the Quality Framework Continuous Improvement strand at the upcoming 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference.

 

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2012 Conference Sessions Featuring Proven Best Practices and Free Resources for College and Career Awareness

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Two indicators of the Quality Framework help schools determine their levels of effectiveness on the college and career readiness:

Most schools have rated themselves “Effective” or below on both indicators, so many leadership team members have requested to learn more about tools, strategies, and resources for college and career awareness and planning. The requests we hear most often can be summarized with the following two questions:

  1. How can we learn more about what model or highly effective charter schools are doing to provide college and career awareness tools and activities for students?
  2. Are there any free resources can the school, students, and parents can use?

At this year’s conference, you will find two conference sessions that will provide answers to both questions above.

I know that planning which conference sessions to attend is sometimes tough, based solely on the brief conference descriptions—or even the titles alone when time is short! So to help you plan your days, I have provided a little more information on the two college and career conference sessions within the Quality Framework Best Practices strand. The topics are very similar, but each of them provides something different.

The bottom line is this: If you are interested in moving your school to the next level of effectiveness on the college and career awareness indicators within the Quality Framework Student Success System make you or someone on your team attends one or both of the following sessions.

QUALITY FRAMEWORK 2012 TEXAS CHARTER SCHOOLS CONFERENCE SESSIONS

Best Practice Conference Session – Model Practice – College Awareness and Planning
First, learn what other charters are doing to prepare their students for college. Uplift Education’s “Road to College” is a comprehensive college counseling program that is designed to support students in the 3 phases of their college journey: college preparation and exposure, college admissions and financial aid process, and the transition to college and successful completion of college.  The program supports all Uplift students and alumni from the 6th grade – 16th grade through individual counseling, group classes, and network wide programs and events.  Uplift Education’s graduates have gone on to attend and graduate from colleges and universities across the country.
See the conference description below or visit Uplift Education’s RTC webpage to learn more:

Road to College Graduation: A multi-year process supporting students from grades 6-16
Tuesday, December 4, 2012; 4:30pm
Room 9A
Uplift Education’s Road to College (RTC) program supports all Uplift students and alumni from grades 6-16. The RTC program relies on a team of dedicated counselors on each campus, who work with students and families to ensure student success. This session focuses on Uplift’s multi-year process for supporting students from grades 6-16.
Presenters: Denise Castaneda, Uplift Education; April Bowman, Uplift Education; Aimee Rincon, Uplift Education

Best Practice Conference Session – Free Resource – College and Career Planning Website
Not ready to implement your own in-school program? Then attend this session to learn about the new Texas College & Career Resource website available now. Attend this session to learn about how students, parents and mentors, and school staff can all access this free website and work together to help students plan for college and careers. Presenters will guide charter school leaders and staff through a demonstration and answer questions on how to get started using the easy-to-use, intuitive website, including more information and detail on each of the following user perspectives. You will learn how:

  • Students can take interests, skills, and values assessments, build portfolios including resumes, research colleges and universities, estimate college costs, and share progress with parents, mentors, and school staff.
  • Parents and mentors can understand college and career options for their students, do side-by-side comparisons of careers and college, including costs, and find affordable financing.
  • School staff can view real-time data, communicate with students, and track and assess results.

This is a very brief summary of what this new, free website offers. To learn more, attend the session below or visit the Texas College & Career Resource website.

The New! Texas College & Career Resource Site
Wednesday, December 5, 2012; 8:30am
Room 9A
Texas College & Career is a no-cost, one-stop online college and career planning resource site available for all Texas secondary students, parents, and educators. The site centralizes all the key planning elements of a student’s educational career, including interactive planning tools, personal portfolio development, key milestone reminders, and communication tools that link student to counselor to parent.  Join us for an overview and get started planning!
Presenters: Dixie Knight and Gail Ribalta, Edvance Research

To see more sessions in the Quality Framework Best Practices and Continuous Improvement strands, visit the Texas Charter Schools Conference schedule.

Register for the 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference today. If you are new to TCSA and the Quality Framework and have not yet submitted a Self-Assessment, visit the TCSA Quality Framework portal to request an account or email the Quality Framework team for an introduction on how to get started.

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TCSA Quality Framework Member-Requested Sessions at the Texas Charter Schools Conference

Friday, October 26th, 2012

As I mentioned last week, each conference session in every strand will be connected to at least one System of the Quality Framework. In addition, there are two Quality Framework-specific strands in the conference schedule: Best Practices and Continuous Improvement.

Quality Framework Best Practices Strand
As I wrote last week, all conference sessions will present best and effective practices, tools, resources, and strategies. But the Quality Framework Best Practices strand was developed directly from member requests or in response to Quality Framework Results and Comparative Reports data. This week, we continue to explore another of the Best Practices Strand sessions and how we came to identify the topic as a member-driven need based not only on data, but also on member feedback.

Listening to Member Feedback during Quality Framework Report Discussions
Last week, we featured a conference session that was selected in response to Quality Framework data. A great majority of charters in the state have noted that their boards do not conduct self-evaluations. We know this because the data shows that overwhelmingly—60 charters responded “Not Evident” for that indicator. The data demonstrates a clear need for a training or conference session in response to this indicator.

However, numerical data is only one source for providing training and selecting conference sessions. In the graph below, we see that 52 schools felt that that their Student Engagement Element levels are at “Early Effective” and “Effective” (40 “Effective”+ 12 “Early Effective” = 52).

Comparative Report and Results Distribution for Student Engagement Element

Though very few schools (5) have marked this element as “Not Evident”—in fact “Effective” is actually the response most often given—we know that research shows that student engagement is key to student success. Therefore, improving the level of effectiveness on this indicator will have a direct, positive impact for students and for the school.

Given the importance of this Element, we heard from our members that student engagement is an area in which they would like to learn more about and gain access to tools and strategies that will help improve student engagement. Based on that feedback, we have scheduled the following conference session around student engagement, presented by Dr. Nancy Grayson, Founder of Rapoport Academy in Waco, Texas.

Student Engagement: Have Every Student on the Edge of Their Seat!
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
10:15am – 11:30am, Room 9A

Do you and your teachers want all of your students completely interested in every single minute of class? Learn how to get to full student engagement in the classroom using easy, must-have formulas and techniques that you can take back to your school immediately.

Quality Framework Continuous Improvement Strand
For new charters, or those new to TCSA, the Quality and Continuous Improvement strand will provide introductions to the Quality Framework Self-Assessment, Reports, and Resources. This strand will even feature time and space for school leaders to complete and submit the Self-Assessment and access the Quality Framework Reports and Data Pack at the conference. We’ll talk more about each of the sessions in the Continuous Improvement strand in a few weeks, but below are a few sessions to consider putting on your schedules now to learn more about the Quality Framework include:

TCSA’s Student Growth Percentile (SGP) and Similar Students Measure (SSM)
Tuesday, December 3, 2012
1:00pm2:15pm, Room 9B

Are our students learning and growing academically? How does our campus growth compare to other campuses serving similar students? How do we know? Learn about TCSA’s SGP and SSM Quality Framework reports and how to use them to determine if your individual students are growing at below, average, or above average rates.

Getting Started: Quality Framework Introduction and Overview
Wednesday, December 4, 2012
1:15pm2:30pm, Room 9B
Learn about the history and development of the Quality Framework (QF) and how to use the QF tool. Attendees may request a username and password at this session.

TCSA Quality Framework Information Session
Wednesday, December 4, 2012

2:45pm – 3:30pm, Room 9B
Learn about the history and development of the Quality Framework (QF) and how to use the QF tool. Attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions about the history, development, and recent updates to the Quality Framework.

To see more sessions in the Quality Framework Best Practices and Continuous Improvement strands, visit the Texas Charter Schools Conference schedule.

Register for the 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference today. If you are new to TCSA and the Quality Framework and have not yet submitted a Self-Assessment, email the Quality Framework team for an introduction on how to get started.


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How do we connect our Quality Framework prioritized needs with tools and resources?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

The short answer is—you don’t. Well, you can, of course, but really it is TCSA that has promised to make sure that each Quality Framework indicator is matched with tools, resources, best and effective practices, and charter-customized products and services.

The TCSA Quality Framework Committee stated early on during the development of the Quality Framework that the process should not be just another evaluation without action. In keeping with this charge from the Committee, TCSA takes responsibility to make sure that once needs are identified at the individual school and statewide level through the Quality Framework, a tool or resource should be provided to help schools reach the level of effectiveness they desire.
The first step is to use Quality Framework data to identify the level of need. Does a particular school have a need? Or do most schools have a need? Quality Framework data and reports help TCSA answer those questions.

TCSA Uses Quality Framework Reports and Data to Learn More About the Levels of Support Needed

The reports and graphs in the Quality Framework provide both schools and TCSA with valuable information member needs and how to best provide high quality tools and resources for the purpose of increased quality and sustainable, continuous improvement.

Individual School Needs May Vary on Certain Indicators of the Quality Framework

Based on individual school need, TCSA may work with charter leadership to identify causes of the current level of effectiveness for each indicator, and then to seek and provide customized one-on-one support for the charter.

Statewide Needs Require a Statewide Response from TCSA

If many charters across the state assign a lower level of effectiveness to a particulat indicator, TCSA responds with a statewide or regional training or workshop. For example, in response to the statewide data below, TCSA has accepted and scheduled a session at the 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference that will provide information about the importance of and how to develop and implement a board self-evaluation.


TCSA Uses Quality Framework Reports and Data to Seek and Provide High-Quality Tools, Resources, Products, and Services

Once needs are identified, TCSA staff members seek to provide individual or statewide support in a number of ways. Below is a summary of how TCSA may respond based on TCSA Quality Framework data:

Charter and Campus Needs Identified

TCSA’s Response to Member Needs

Individual Quality Framework school reports inform school and TCSA staff about what is needed at each individual charter and campus.
  • Indicator-matched self-serve tools and resources have been made available to school leaders in the Resources section of the TCSA Quality Framework online portal.
  • TCSA communicates with charter leaders regarding upcoming opportunities that match individual school Quality Framework-identified needs.

 

Feedback, individual school Quality Framework data, and report conversations may lead to related or additional priorities for each school. Some or all of the above and:

  • Customized, one-on-one discussions, and need-specific, tools, products, and services are provided to match school needs.

 

Aggregated Quality Framework data from all charters and campuses across the state inform TCSA where needs are common among all charters. Some or all of the above and:

  • Regional and statewide trainings and workshops are provided to match member needs.
  • New products and services are made available according to statewide needs.
  • Annual conference sessions are selected based on areas where needs are common among all charters.

 

Tools and Resources Are Available Online Now

Like the reports we discussed last week, Quality Framework Tools and Resources are available now via the Quality Framework online portal in addition to the products and services that TCSA has been providing for the past several years. TCSA staff is still currently working to make sure that there are tools or resources for each indicator, but new resources are added on a regular basis.

To see what is available now, charter school leaders can log in today to access or download tools and resources, including a few of last year’s conference session presentations, free documents and tools on everything from succession planning to student safety, and more information on the types of Quality Framework indicator-matched TCSA products and services that are available to meet charter school needs.

Screenshot and Examples of Resources Currently Available via the TCSA Quality Framework Resources Portal

To access these tools and resources and begin working with them immediately, email the Quality Framework team to request your Quality Framework username and password.

If you are new to TCSA and the Quality Framework and have not yet submitted a Self-Assessment, email the Quality Framework team for an introduction on how to get started.

Next week will begin discussing in more detail some of the upcoming 2012 Texas Charter Schools Conference sessions designed specifically to provide information, tools, and resources to match Quality Framework member-identified needs.


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Rejuvenate Your Heart and School

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

15th Annual Texas Charter Schools Conference
THRIVE:  Learn, Perform, Shine
November 7-9, 2011
Galveston Island, Texas

The final preparations for the 15th Annual Texas Charter Schools Conference are underway. Our theme this year is “Thrive.” This past year has been stressful for Texas charter schools; for the first time since our inception, state funding was decreased, and not by just a little … by 6%! As always, Texas charter operators rolled up their sleeves and worked through the loss. This November, the conference is about reflecting on the energy spent surviving and re-focusing that energy on thriving. The Conference Committee has sought out experts to help you work smarter, run leaner organizations, stay in compliance, and better understand the changing laws that govern your school. A record number of breakout sessions (150) and featured speakers (8) are just days away. Are you and your staff registered to attend? If not, start your preparation for the conference by clicking here!

Here are just a few highlights:

  • School Law: 14 sessions from top school law experts
  • Effective School Leadership: 3 experts on leadership, innovation, and growth
  • Quality Best Practices: Tools and resources to help your school improve from our Quality Initiatives Team
  • Advocacy: The beginning of the 83rd legislative agenda discussion begins
  • Finance: Facilities, regulations, and best practices for your finance office
  • Plus: Fundraising, marketing, governance, and more!

See our conference website for a complete list of breakout sessions for your teachers, board members, and yourself.

“Thrive” has something for you personally and professionally. Come to Galveston Island and Prepare to rejuvenate your heart and school.

P.S. Bring a Hawaiian shirt for the Luau!

Teresa Elliott, TCSA Chief Operating Officer

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Yvette East, TCSA Annual Conference Chair, reflects on the 14th Annual Conference

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

 

Yvette East and Ruby Payne at the 14th Annual Texas Charter Schools Conference in San Antonio.

If you ever needed to experience a place to KNOW that you belonged, it was the 14th Annual Texas Charter School Conference.  On the banks of the San Antonio riverwalk, you were able to mingle with your charter cousins and friends. Most importantly, share experiences regardless of mission or vision. It’s about reaching, teaching kids – from the back office to the classroom.

Faces young and old were excited by the format. Teacher Track/Administrator Track – Top Names – I attended both tracks.  As the TCSA Conference Committee Chair, I wanted to observe how people were responding.

Harry Wong was a hoot, excellent workshop.  He spoke on procedures, procedures, and more procedures. He is quite an inspiring speaker, “Stick with me and I will make you famous!” I left feeling good about my role in education after he said, “I saw the angel in the marble. I carved him out and set him free. We don’t make a difference in the lives of kids. We are the difference.” Reminding us all to, “Give love in abundance everyday.”

I can never get enough of Ruby Payne’s delightful antidotes. She spoke on obstacles that we face educating kids from all economic classes, but especially those in poverty. Perfect for these times we’re facing now.

Opportunity was everywhere at this conference – name it, and you can learn more about it. I was happy with the quality of information that was given from experts in the field of finance, governance, RTI, seasoned charter holders, and Regional Service Centers.

From the beautiful tribute to the memory of Eric Singleton to the Legislative Rally, I was reminded of how proud I am to be part of the charter school movement. This is where I belong.

Yvette East
Houston Heights Learning Academy

 

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