The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) hosted a training specifically for its Solution Providers last week. More than 30 representatives attended this half-day training which was held at the J.W. Marriott in Austin as a preview for the upcoming Texas Charter Schools Conference in October.

TCSA’s Solution Provider program is designed to help facilitate public charter school leaders and educators with quality products and efficient services to meet their needs. TCSA’s Solution Providers are committed to offering competitive pricing and high-quality customer service. Attendees were eager to gain knowledge on how best to approach the unique charter market and how to be a partner in the movement.

TCSA’s Executive Director David Dunn opened the meeting and delivered remarks to welcome attendees. Afterwards, Chris Busse, the Vice President of Quality Initiatives, presented information on the history of public charter schools in Texas. This was followed by a legislative update and a discussion on growth of the sector. There was even a panel of veteran Solution Providers with representatives from Wortham, Mobile Modular, and Champions who shared success stories and answered questions from new partners and exhibitors.

The day ended with a presentation on the upcoming Texas Charter Schools Conference and a sneak peek at the exhibit hall space. If you are interested learning more about TCSA’s Solution Provider program or need help finding a Solution Provider, contact Nadia Luna.

Knight Office Solutions (KOS) is a locally-owned and operated authorized dealer for Ricoh, Sharp, and Lexmark products and services. We’re proud to announce that we’ve recently joined the TCSA network of solution providers. We’re honored to fill the void and serve as TCSA's turnkey solutions provider for copiers and printers. KOS has been working with Trinity Charter School since 2014 and recently added Wayside Schools to our growing list of charter school partners.  In fact, TCSA's own office copier is from KOS. As a local business, we felt it was important to grow and be an integral part of our community. We can’t think of a better way to do that than to provide products and services to one of the most important institutions of any community…public charter schools.

I was fortunate enough to meet Chad Riley, Director of Growth and Strategy, and Zac Ziebarth of Wayside Schools at a time when they’re both working hard to reduce the schools’ operating cost, planning a strategy for sustainable growth, and doing their due diligence to ensure that the schools’ budget is astutely allocated. In Wayside Schools’ particular case, Chad commented that “after years of being underserved and overcharged,” KOS “was able to analyze our situation and provide the best hardware and maintenance solutions for our growing Charter School’s needs.” Our starting point is always to analyze, crunch the numbers, and share the information we’ve learned from our cost-analysis with potential clients before any “sale” is ever mentioned.

During the sales stage with Wayside Schools, KOS was hit was the devastating news of losing one of our beloved technician, Cathy Standage. It took an emotional toll on all of us but no one was hit harder than our owner, George Ross. When he found out I had the opportunity to work with a public charter school, he made a commitment to establish a scholarship in Cathy’s name and recently presented Chad Riley with the check to honor that pledge.

We understand you have many options when it comes to copier companies and we hope Knight Office Solutions will be the starting point in an honest evaluation of your school’s document management cost and needs. Please feel free to contact us, we’ll do most of the work to ensure that the benefactor of competition is YOU.

TCSA member schools should contact Troy Nguyen at 512-617-7080 ext. 137 or troyn@kosaustin.com

For general inquiries about TCSA's Solution Providers, contact Nadia Luna at 512-584-8272 or nluna@txcharterschools.org

Planning for Innovative Expansion: How we can help you grow

In general, schools are experiencing increasing student enrollment, and among the fastest growing sector are public charter schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), public charter school enrollments have gone up by 1.7 million in the past decade. The number of charter schools across the country has increased by 3,500. Overall trends indicate that enrollment size in charter schools has significantly grown from the school year 2003-04 to 2013-14. Specifically, the percentages of public schools that were charter schools with an enrollment size larger than 300 increased.

With this upsurge in enrollments, schools are looking everywhere for a solution to accommodate the urgent need for more classroom space. Often, the solution lies in temporary structures while full projects are completed. However, there are many options to consider when taking on a project like that and still providing a modern approach to classroom teaching and learning. Here is what you should keep in mind while strategically planning for a growing enrollment.

Are You On Top of Modern Advancements in Education?

Are You On Top of Modern Advancements in Education?

Technology has become a large part of education and is being incorporated in schools across the world. So much so that it is now almost impossible to teach a class without using an electronic device.

Bringing different types of technology into teaching environments not only makes learning more interesting, but it also provides stimulus to many senses at a time, resulting in a more lasting impact on the student. Technology allows for more interactive classroom sessions by spurring discussions and keeping the students engaged on all levels.

Furthermore, audio-visual teaching aids, innovative teaching techniques, and the use of apps in teaching caters to all the different types of learners you would find in a classroom; auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and audio-visual learners.

Schools are now recognizing a need to impart a more wholesome educational experience to students, and many are doing their best to make their classrooms technology-friendly.

How Mobile Modular Can Help with Space Issues and Technology

Mobile Modular offers a variety of classroom rental plans that can adapt to any budget and enrollment size. These plans are highly flexible and can be modified to fit your needs. Our modular classrooms can be installed quickly, are highly energy-efficient, are made with materials of the highest quality, and are surprisingly affordable.

Furthermore, since all our buildings are manufactured offsite, your school routines will remain uninterrupted for the entire duration of the installation. We pride ourselves in swift work and quick delivery to allow you to temporarily (or even permanently) address any space issues that you may find while planning to accommodate a larger student population.

At Mobile Modular, we can combine the issues of expanding your educational space as well as fulfill any ideas you would have to incorporate more technology into your teaching setting with our new FREE technology promotion.

We can provide private, charter and higher education schools the potential freedom to build their own innovative classrooms. With the rental of our portable classrooms options, we are offering a choice of free technology products that you can select to enhance your learning environment.

You can receive five percent of the total rental dollar amount (or up to $5 thousand) in the following products:
-Chromebooks™
-Chromebook Charging Carts
-Cloud Consultations
-Projectors
-Document Cameras

We invest in your journey to providing the best possible education to your students, and we understand that this can only be done with top quality classrooms that have ample space, are well designed, and are equipped to handle the different variety of educational technologies.

Contact us for more information about our educational promotional offer, or get in touch with us to speak with our sales representatives. We are happy to walk you through the offer so you can make the best choice for your school.

We know you are busy getting ready to open your doors for the 2016-2017 school year. Our Preferred Providers want you to know they have specials, deals, and resources available to help you get through the last stretch of summer.

S&S Worldwide

30 Percent off all items through August 31, 2016. Visit http://txcharters.ssww.com or contact Ryan Testa at rtesta@ssww.com to learn more about unlocking the extra savings on classroom supplies, physical education equipment, and art & crafts supplies. 

Grainger

Grainger is helping you beat the heat! Keep those kids cool by visiting www.grainger.com for free resources on how to avoid heat stress. Grainger is partnering with MovingCool portable air conditioning to help support schools stay cool this summer. Visit www.grainger.com for more summer deals.

Staples

65 Percent off laminating pouches through August 14, 2016. Stay current with Staples offers by visiting the ‘my deals’ section on www.staplesadvantage.com. Contact Tim Taylor at tim.taylor@staples.com to access all the current specials.

CDW-G

Stay SB507 compliant! CDW-G will provides resources, equipment and installation to ensure your classrooms meet physical security legislation for special education classrooms.

CDW-G has also been the largest E-Rate awarded company for the last two years. Let them help support your networking needs!

These providers have undergone a competitive RFP process. Texas Charter Schools can take advantage of nationally negotiated pricing to maximize savings for their schools by utilizing this member benefit.

Questions? Contact Erin Tholen at etholen@txcharterschools.org.

Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) held its quarterly Member Council Meeting last Friday, February 5, 2016.  More than 30 attendees representing more than 20 organizations participated in this day-long meeting held at our sponsor’s, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, office in Austin. 

After a brief welcome and introductions by TCSA’s Executive Director David Dunn, General Counsel Lindsey Gordon provided legal updates to the group covering a range of topics including the impact of the new Open Carry laws (HB 910) on school campuses and separately, the new Open Meetings Act requirements.  Additionally, she provided a briefing on HB 2610; information on the issue concerning the disposition of charter school properties; and the open comment period for proposed rules.

TCSA Members also received a briefing from Veronica Garcia, the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, on Charter Schools Now, a newly formed 501 (c) (4) non-profit corporation, as well as the current status of TCSA’s advocacy efforts including updates from the Senate Education Interim Hearing which discussed the implementation of SB 2, disposition of property, and public charter school facilities funding.

Laura Kelly, TCSA’s Director of Quality, gave a presentation to members on the TEA’s Charter Schools Performance Framework outlining important deadlines and concerns.  As part of the presentation, she walked through a sample report with our members.  Following this presentation, Director of Training Services, Paula Moeller provided dates for upcoming training and professional development events and showed the group the newly created Learning Zone, TCSA’s centralized training website.  One of the primary training opportunities is TCSA’s Annual Conference which will be held in Austin on October 3-5, 2016.  Make sure to sign up for early registration!

TCSA’s members last met in October at the annual conference in San Antonio, so this was an opportune time to share information and best practices, receive updates, and ask questions from the staff.  We want to thank our sponsors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for hosting the meeting and for their services as one of our solution providers.  We encourage all of our members to attend the next Member Council Meeting on April 28, which will be held at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Conference Center in Austin at no charge for TCSA members. Look for more information on the events section of TCSA’s website.

See photos from the February 2016 Member Council Meeting

On Tuesday February 2, the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) hosted its second annual Solution Provider Training. More than 50 corporate vendor partners (or as we affectionately call them, “Solution Providers”) came from as far away as Minneapolis and Milwaukee to expand their knowledge on charter schools.

TCSA educated our partners on what exactly a charter is and is not, historical trends, recent Texas legislation, and TCSA's interaction with its members. A panel of charter school representatives from Austin Discovery, John H. Wood, Southwest Prep, and Wayside schools spoke on how they function operationally and their preferences on how to conduct business with them. Partners from BB&T, Preferred Meals, and Texas Teachers Alternative Certification also shared their experiences working with member schools and partnering with TCSA in the past five years.   

It was a day full of information, questions, answers and lots of peer to peer networking.  Our partners are now better equipped to build relationships with our member schools.

While Texas continues to grapple with a shortage of certified teachers, TCSA Solution Provider Texas Teachers is providing numerous free services to assist schools with recruiting from the state’s largest teacher candidate pool.

David Cofer, Human Resources Director of Jubilee Academic Center, has worked closely with Texas Teachers to recruit numerous teachers for their campuses.“Without a doubt, [the Texas Teachers’ staff] are the most professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and responsive organization that I have encountered since being out of uniform.  I would highly encourage anyone thinking about becoming a teacher or hiring ACP teachers, to look at Texas Teachers as an option.” 

Texas Teachers Teacher Certification Program has partnered with Texas charter schools for over 10 years. With 50+ full-time office personnel and over 150 field supervisors across the state, we strive to offer a streamlined, affordable and highly supportive option for teacher certification.  

Take advantage of our free candidate lists, vacancy notifications, and teacher job fairs to find the right teachers for your classrooms.  Call our District Hotline,877-342-1202 , with certification questions, teacher status updates, and candidate list requests.

Your customized Texas Teachers’ candidate lists will contain only highly qualified candidates, most immediately eligible for hire. Our committed team sends lists within 24 hours of your request. As our certification program is self-paced with year round enrollment, our lists update daily with newly eligible candidates. Contact our District Hotline or email thelist@texasteachers.org any time you have a vacancy.

By campus request, we also notify our candidates of openings via blast emails. In addition to full time positions, we are happy to advertise substitute, paraprofessional, and networking opportunities. We will also post your hiring events on our website.

Texas Teachers also holds summer job fairs for our highly qualified candidates.  Free of charge for both schools and prospects, we encourage you to attend and network with hundreds of our eligible candidates. In recent years, candidate attendance has topped 650 for both our Houston and Dallas job fairs, and we may soon expand our job fairs into additional regions like Austin and San Antonio.

Texas Teachers is here to assist in staffing your vacancies throughout the year. With a multitude of options to connect you with quality candidates, we are committed to making the hiring process seamless for your schools. Contact Texas Teachers Teacher Certification, and take advantage of these free services.

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