Your partnership is crucial to our success in advocating for your interests and we hope you will renew your membership today. In addition to benefiting from TCSA’s ongoing advocacy work, membership brings additional benefits, including:

  • All Model Policy documents now included as a part of the membership fee;
  • Free On-Demand Training through the TCSA Learning Zone, TCSA’s online training portal, and discounted registration rates for the Texas Charter Schools Conference;
  • Legal information and advice, as well as updates and alerts on specific matters pertaining to public charter schools;
  • Tools to engage parents on advocacy efforts with the legislature.

We know that you have many tough decisions to make when it comes to balancing your schools’ books. Joining TCSA may mean not hiring a new teacher or foregoing something else that you need. We know you’re counting and watching every penny. But, having a strong TCSA in your corner is not a luxury. You need us to be your eyes, ears, and voice to ensure you can keep doing what you’re doing so well.

Will you please take a minute today to renew or begin your membership with TCSA? We know you count on us and we count on you too.

HOW TO JOIN OR RENEW:

Step 1:
Login to the Quality Member Portal

Applications will be completed in the Quality Member Portal. Once logged in, click the ‘Membership’ tab at the top. Please click here if you have forgotten your password.

Step 2:
Complete the Online Membership Application

Upon submission of the online application, an invoice will be automatically generated and sent directly to the accounting contact email listed on the application.

Step 3:
Remit your Membership Dues to:

Texas Charter Schools Association 
3801 South Capital of Texas Hwy, Suite 330
Austin, TX 78704

If you have questions, please contact Nadia Luna.
Thank you for your continued support of charter schools in the great state of Texas.

If you joined us for part one of this series, you’ll recall that we are considering a few key characteristics of great leaders, those being growing and learning, clear vision, and caring about people. This week let’s look at the why, what, and how of creating and communicating a clear vision.
laura.pic

The Why of Vision

Most of you are familiar with the critical nature of having a clearly defined ‘why.’ As leaders and founders, many of you were charged with shaping and capturing the reason for your organization’s existence in its charter application to the state. As decades of literature tells us, having a clearly defined purpose and vision for the future will make or break an organization.

Captured well, the vision will transcend the day-to-day wins and losses and help carry a team through the battlefields of disappointment to victory. The ‘Why’ of vision is what compels teams into action. It brings unity and clarity and inspires beyond the moment, as strategies are refined and action plans optimized. Though the ‘Why’ of vision is critical for inspiring action toward the horizon, there are key aspects of vision that must be clarified in order to make that vision a reality.

The What of Vision

It is the ‘What’ of Vision that provides enough substance and direction to facilitate action. Lencioni suggests that having answers to these six questions is critical:

· Why do you exist?

· How do we behave?

· What do we do?

 

· How will we succeed?

· What is most important right now?

· Who must do what?

 

The Why is undergirded, and can be accomplished, by teams having enough meaningful clarity to move forward. If we look at each one of these, there is information that should be defined together and known throughout the organization.

Why do you exist?

  • Are the mission and vision known, lived, felt?

How do we behave?

  • What are the articulated and shared values that uphold the organization? Those that shape decisions in situations lacking clarity. Is it expected and known that staff members operate as a team, laboring together toward the good of the organization versus being driven by self-interest?

What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important right now?

  • Has the path forward been clearly defined? The logic models created? Have the specific outputs and outcomes been defined? Does the plan note timing and priority of action?

Who must do what?

  • Does your team know who owns what outcomes or who has responsibility for certain tasks? Do they know their buckets of work well enough to establish systems and develop personal mastery? Or, is their energy being squandered by redundancy of effort due to lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities?

Finally, let’s look at the ‘How’ of Vision and the steps to support the internalization of the message and the sustainability of the work.

The How of Vision

A colleague of mine notes that when promoting our schools, we should be marketing ‘always and in all ways.’ The same holds true for communicating vision. Communication is key. Three words come to mind related to how to share vision effectively – simply, continuously, and systematically.

  • Simply - For the larger vision to take hold, it must be known and internalized. Clear, digestible language facilitates absorption.
  • Continuously – We have all experienced the evaporative nature of messaging. What is claimed as critical from higher in the organization may be missed during delivery or only truly heard by a portion of the team. Repetition over time conveys the organization’s unwavering commitment and assures the staff that the vision is not a passing fad. Kotter notes that the average employee intakes approximately 2,300,000 words or numbers from the organization over a three month period of time. Overrun by details of the day to day, a new vision may be hard to absorb. Here, as always, the ancient Latin notion that repetition is the mother of all learning holds true. When we hear something said and see it lived out, in the words and actions of the leader, then we take it in as a truth to be trusted.
  • Systematically – Finally, let’s discuss what holds it all together. Systems. Regardless of what you are trying to convey or prioritize as meaningful, if there is not a system in place to message, train toward and measure that stated priority, then it will fall uselessly to the wayside overtime. As you reflect on your stated vison, consider if it is reiterated and supported systematically throughout the organization. Do job descriptions and postings reflect where the organization is heading? Does the onboarding process include a clear vision and the role of that employee in making that vision a reality? Is the team systematically reviewing and discussing progress toward that vision? The established systems of sharing the vision and the expected and current progress toward that vision is what will ultimately drive change. The system that support the vision provide the rails of consistency upon which excellence and sustainability are built.

As you reflect on how to lead your team well, like other great leaders before you, may you lead with a clear and consistent vision that is known, lived and deemed important enough to measure.

TCSA has Training and Services to Meet Your Specific Needs!

  • Did you know - There are very specific professional development requirements outlined in 19 TAC §100.1102-1105 describing required training for board members, CEOs and charter officers, and campus administrators;
  • Did you know - New board members must receive 12 hours of prescribed Commissioner-hour training in their first year of service and 6 hours annually thereafter, with training in Public Records and Open Meetings within the first 90 days of service on the board;
  • Did you know - CEOs and Business Managers must receive 30 hours of training in their first year of service and 15 hours annually thereafter, with different training modules for each role;
  • Did you know - Campus administrators are required to have 10 hours of training initially and 5 hours annually thereafter; and
  • Did you know - The Texas Charter Schools Association has a solution for all of your training needs!

Training Solutions for Board and Administrator Training

  • TCSA’s on-demand training portal is a great option for board members, CEOs, and campus administrators who want high-quality, up to date Commissioner-hour credit training with the convenience of 24/7 access.
  • In-person board training is available at reasonable rates for schools that prefer a “live” training option and can be customized to meet the needs of the school. TCSA is also one of the few authorized providers of the new state EISO training for CEOs and boards that are interested in an effective way to look at data and goal-setting.
  • TCSA will again provide a 6-hour large-group board training on Friday, October 26th in Houston as part of the TCSA Conference.

Customized Training to Meet Your Needs for 2018-2019

  • TCSA can provide training to complete the ESSA-required Campus Needs Assessment and Campus Improvement Plan using the TCSA Quality Framework
  • Request access to the TCSA Heat Map and learn how the Campus and Network Data Packs in the Quality Portal can help you with Growth and Development strategies.
  • Be looking for an announcement of our CFO Boot Camp Training to be held in early December!

As your member organization, TCSA is here to assist you in any way we can to help you achieve excellence in your organization.  Be sure to let us know how we can serve you!

Something New: EISO Training

Many member schools have inquired about the 3-hour SB 1566 Evaluating and Improving Student Outcomes (EISO) training that is required for ISD elected trustee boards by September 1, 2018.  This training is not required for charter boards; however, it is excellent training for any charter governance board as the training allows boards and CEOs to:

  • Understand student outcomes and why they matter
  • Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Focused, and Timebound) goals linked to measurable student outcomes with an identified baseline, target, population, and deadline.
  • Develop a system of Progress Monitoring to evaluate progress towards goal attainment
  • Understand the latest changes in the A-F Accountability System and how the EISO process can facilitate improved student performance

TCSA is one of only a handful of Authorized Providers who are eligible to provide this training. TEA has mandated that this training be conducted “live” so no on-demand course option is available.  If you are interested, contact Dr. Bruce Marchand to make plans to provide this 3-hour training for your board.

Upcoming TCSA Professional Development Opportunities

Below are upcoming training opportunities for TCSA members:

May 15th Deadline - Conference Call for Proposals

Time is running short for you to submit a conference session proposal for the 2018 TCSA Conference.  Proposals are due May 15th.  Proposals can be in one or more of the following strands - Innovation, Advocacy, Finance, Governance, Leadership and Coaching, Operations, Student Success and Learning, School Law, Growth, Safety and Security, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Communication.  Schools and individuals may submit multiple proposals.  Contact Dr. Bruce Marchand if you have any questions.

April 26th Member Council Reminder

Be sure to make time to attend the Member Council Meeting next Thursday, April 26th at 9:00 a.m. in Austin.  The agenda is robust with a focus on charter advocacy and getting your voice heard as we rely on your input to craft legislative priorities for the 86th Legislative session.  A virtual attendance option is available for those unable to attend in person.

We Need Your Input on Training

TCSA has in-person and on-demand training available for governance boards, CEOs, leadership staff, and campus administrators that can be customized to meet your needs.  Contact me and let me know how we can meet your training needs!

Spring is the time for all things new, and at TCSA we’re committed to ensuring that our member schools have access to professional development that is up to date and that our webinars, workshops, and on-demand content is exactly what you need in your role as a school leader.  Speaking of new (which is a term that doesn’t ordinarily apply to me) you may already know that I am in a new position at TCSA as the Director of Training.  You may also start to notice some subtle changes in our approach to professional development at your association, all of which are designed to improve our services and help our member schools access the highest quality training to help you achieve your school’s mission.

That said, we’ve had great responses to our free one-hour webinars, and there are four scheduled between now and the end of May:

April 19th, 4:00 p.m.Energy Savings 101 - How to Find Energy Savings in Your School Facility.  Energy efficiency experts Kwame Watkins and Chuck Thomas from Jengo Consulting will present a step by step overview on how to reduce energy costs in your school building.  Energy reduction best practices will be shared that can be implemented at little or no cost.  Audience – Operations staff, CEOs, CFOs

May 1st, 4:00 p.m. - Employee Situations Involving Alleged Harassment, Retaliation and Discrimination.  Texas charter school expert and attorney Joe Hoffer will offer authoritative advice and guidance in this one-hour webinar on dealing with employee situations regarding alleged harassment, retaliation and discrimination.  Audience – CEOs, HR and Operations staff, Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

May 16th, 9:00 a.m. – School Safety and Active Shooter Threats – Next Steps.  This webinar is a follow up to our well-attended March webinar on school safety.  Edward Rivas of AIG will guide school leaders through additional steps to take that will help ensure that your school is utilizing the latest information and practices to ensure the safety of your students and staff.  Audience – CEOs and Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 Minutes Health and Safety.

May 22, 4:00 p.m. – Charter Advocacy 101 for CEOs, Boards, and Campus Administrators. TCSA advocacy experts Martha Fernandez, Director of Civic Affairs and Advocacy, and Erika Rocha, Central Texas Outreach & Field Manager, will provide expert advice and guidance on ways to successfully advocate for your school in today's contentious political environment. Audience – CEOs, Board Members, Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

TCSA is very excited to co-host the Charter School Law Institute Texas Legal Seminar: Student Civil Rights Summit on Tuesday, June 26th at Goodwater Montessori School in Georgetown.  This one-day workshop presented by national charter law experts will provide the legal expertise charter school leaders need to serve their students, staff, and community in understanding the breadth of civil rights law and the ways they are changing with a clear understanding of how they are applied to charter schools.  Register by May 25th to get an early registration discount.  Discounts are also available for two or more participants from one organization.   Audience – CEOs, Board Members, Campus Leaders.  Credit - 360 minutes Charter School Law.

Our next Member Council Meeting is scheduled for April 26th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the TCEA training facility in Austin. This is the best way to engage with your organization and strengthen our movement.  Please note the agenda on the registration link.  Lunch will be provided by our sponsor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  At this time we are also planning on making remote access available as well; we should have that link available shortly.

Finally, with our annual TCSA Conference coming up October 24-26, we are looking for quality conference session proposals focused on one or more of the following areas - Innovation, Advocacy, Finance, Governance, Leadership and Coaching, Operations, Student Success and Learning, School Law, Growth, Safety and Security, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Communication.  We are planning for our 2018 conference to be the biggest and best yet.  Please help make that happen by considering submitting a conference proposal before the May 15th deadline!

At TCSA we offer specially discounted bundled training for governance teams and administrators, and we can set up customized in-person training for your staff and governance teams as well.  Please reach out to me and let me know how we can help meet your training needs!

Have you checked out the TCSA Events Calendar lately?  We are continually adding training content that is focused on helping our member schools stay up-to-date on best practices in the myriad of areas that impact the operation of a successful charter school.  Here’s some of the upcoming opportunities that are offered to you free as a TCSA member:

April 5th - 4:00 p.m. - Diving Into Your Needs Assessment.  Conducting a comprehensive needs assessment is a vital task for school leaders as you use all relevant data to assess strengths and weaknesses and develop a campus improvement plan (CIP) to address identified needs.  This webinar will discuss what data needs to be considered, best practices to analyze your data, and how to use your analyzed data to prepare your CIP as well as your ESSA application for federal funds.

April 19th – 4:00 p.m. – Energy Saving 101 – How to Find Savings In Your School Facility. This webinar will present a step by step overview on how to reduce energy costs in your school building(s).  Energy reduction best practices will be shared that can be implemented at no cost or with minimal to substantial investment.  Energy experts from TCSA Solution Provider Jengo Consulting will share personal stories of how they saved one Texas school district $4 million and other real life examples of energy saving successes at charter schools and traditional ISD campuses.

May 1st – 4:00 p.m. - Employee Situations Regarding Alleged Harassment, Retaliation and Discrimination.  Texas charter school expert and attorney Joe Hoffer will offer authoritative advice and guidance in this one-hour webinar on dealing with employee situations regarding alleged harassment, retaliation and discrimination.  In the webinar Mr. Hoffer will precisely describe what harassment, retaliation, and discrimination may look like in a workplace environment, legal steps that must be followed if an employee alleges that any of these behaviors have taken place, and how to create a healthy workplace environment to mitigate the likelihood of these types of behaviors.

April 26th – 9:00 a.m. - Be sure to register to attend our next TCSA Member Council Meeting on Thursday, April 26th in Austin.  At this meeting we will continue our focus on charter advocacy and what TCSA is doing as an organization, including the addition of our 501c4 Charter Schools Now under the TCSA umbrella, along with the latest information on our CEO search, the most recent news from the charter sector and TEA, and an instructional and quality service update.  This is also a great opportunity to network with other charter leaders!

Coming in June – We are tentatively scheduling a charter school law conference and CEO summit for Tuesday, June 26th in Austin.  We will e-blast an official invite to member schools as soon as details are finalized.

Don’t forget that TCSA is your one-source solution for governance and administrator training.  We offer on-site and on-demand training opportunities that are deeply discounted for member schools.  Please contact me to learn about how TCSA can meet your training needs!

I would like to invite all of our charter leaders to attend one of the free regional meetings being held by TCSA during the month of February.  These meetings are scheduled for San Antonio on February 12th, El Paso on February 13th, East Texas on February 19th, the Metroplex-area on February 20th, and West Texas on February 27th.  For details on locations, times, and to register for a regional meeting near you, click here.  These meetings are open to both member and non-member schools.

As a former charter superintendent, I would often make excuses as to why I didn’t want to leave my campus to attend a meeting, with the usual reasons being that I had too much to do, the building might catch on fire if I left, or there would be a ten-foot tall stack of phone messages to return when I got back.  But upon reflection I discovered that many charter directors/CEOs/superintendents were dealing with the same challenges that I faced, whether it was issues with student enrollment, finances, facilities, and curriculum and instruction, to name a few.  Participating in regional meetings allowed me an opportunity to stay current in what was happening in the charter movement, both across the state as well as nationally.

Regional meetings allow leaders an opportunity to hear the most recent TEA updates, share ideas, challenges, and successes, as well as develop professional networks which are vital as we all strive to accomplish the same goal – provide students across the state of Texas a great charter school education.  Specific to this round of regional meetings are topics that are hot-button issues for the charter movement in regards to advocacy, legal issues, and changes in accountability.   In addition, we will share the latest information concerning grant opportunities, waivers, special education policy, student assessment, as well as enhancements to the TCSA member portal that will improve your ability to have your current school data at your fingerprints.

We know that your time is valuable, so plan for a meeting that has plenty of current information as well as opportunities for networking and discussion.  Lunch is provided.  Please take a minute to register for a regional meeting near you.  We look forward to seeing you there!

The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) offers a variety of grassroots advocacy tools and resources for your public charter school. Whether you are an individual campus or a large network with multiple campuses, we have the bilingual staff and materials to support your grassroots advocacy efforts. Our grassroots support consist of the following:

- Grassroots Consultations
- Grassroots Trainings (Charter 101, Story of Self, Civic Education)
- Strategic planning around parent engagement (recruitment, enrollment, advocacy)
- Opportunities to network with peers and share best practices
- Legislator Outreach Support
- Online Bilingual Advocacy Website/Database
- Legislative one-pagers
- Portable Professional Translation Equipment

Public charter schools exist because of strong advocates. One primary example includes achieving facilities funding during this most recent legislative session, which was made possible thanks to the many parents, teachers, school leaders, and board members advocating for charter schools like yours. We want to help strengthen your advocates to fully engage with your local community and representatives from all levels of government.  Please reach out to us and invite us to your next parent meeting, staff development, or board retreat. We are here to partner with you!

Did you know a lack of board, officer, and campus administrator training can result in a material violation of your charter?  Many charter systems struggle to aquire the appropriate amount of training for board members, officers, and campus administrators.   The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) offers member schools various webinar trainings either free or at a discounted rate to help charter leaders meet Texas Education Agency training requirements.  Member schools can opt to join bi-monthly webinars or access the webinar recording each month, accelerating progress toward training requirements.

Member schools also receive deep discounts on training bundles within the TCSA Learning Zone.  If you are a new or existing charter on a tight budget, TCSA can manage your school's compliance training efficiently and affordably. Please contact Dr. Paula Moeller to discuss how online training is the right solution for your school. This is one more reason to join or renew your membership with TCSA.

HOW TO JOIN OR RENEW:

Step 1: Login to the Quality Member Portal

Applications will be completed in the Quality Member Portal. Once logged in, click the 'Membership' tab at the top. Please click here if you have forgotten your password.

Step 2: Complete the 2018 Online Membership Application

Upon submission of the online application, an invoice will be automatically generated and sent directly to the accounting contact email listed on the application.

Step 3: Remit your Membership Dues to:

Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA)
700 Lavaca Street, Suite 930
Austin, TX 78701

If you have questions, please contact Nadia Luna.

Thank you for your continued support of charter schools in the great state of Texas.

There are several reasons to join or renew your membership with the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA), and one of the primary reasons includes TCSA’s support in addressing the challenges that you and your charter team are wrestling with right now.

TCSA assists charters and their boards with a wide array of subject matters, all of which fall into one of the systems in your TCSA Quality Framework. As Director of Quality Services, I assist campus and district leaders and governing board members in resolving or addressing areas of struggle by improving performance and/or processes.

I am ready to help your team with any of the following tasks:
• Develop logic models and action plans (Leadership/Planning)
• Refine governing practices and optimize board composition and norms (Leadership/Governance)
• Refine improvement efforts and data review processes (Data Driven)
• Conduct an organization-wide analysis to determine expansion readiness (Leadership/Planning)
• Develop, launch and analyze surveys to inform practices or address issues (Staff/Stakeholder)
• Conduct an organization-wide analysis to identify gaps and strengths and craft improvement plan (Leadership)
• Refine mission/vision statements, develop values or norms, or improve organizational culture (Mission Vision Values)

Public charter schools with strong systems and good leadership remain sustainable over time. Join or renew your membership with TCSA today and let us help your team advance to the next level.

HOW TO JOIN OR RENEW:

Step 1: Login to the Quality Member Portal 

Applications will be completed in the Quality Member Portal. Once logged in, click the 'Membership' tab at the top. Please click here if you have forgotten your password.

Step 2: Complete the 2018 Online Membership Application

Upon submission of the online application, an invoice will be automatically generated and sent directly to the accounting contact email listed on the application.

Step 3: Remit your Membership Dues to:

Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA)   

700 Lavaca Street, Suite 930   

Austin, TX 78701

If you have questions about TCSA membership, please contact Nadia Luna. Thank you for your continued support of charter schools in the great state of Texas.

searchuserlockbookmap-markertwitterfacebookenvelopelinkedinyoutube-playinstagram