Assessing the Needs of a Charter School

If you regularly work with charter schools for insurance purposes, there’s a chance your clients may have asked you for advice in conducting internal audits and status assessments. As you may have learned through your line of work, the needs of many charter schools can differ significantly from the typical needs of a standard private or public school. This is especially true if your clients operate magnet schools in specialty academic areas. Fortunately, assessing needs accurately and creating realistic plans going forward may be a simpler process than your clients realize. Here are some top bits of advice you can share with your charter school clients in your next meeting.

Consider the Wants and Needs of Your Various Community Members

Although numbers alone may be able to give your clients an indication of their current financial needs, to understand the deeper state of their school, they’ll have to reach out to members of their academic community. You can advise your clients to consider the wants and needs of various community members such as:

  • Teachers
  • Administrators and other staff members
  • Students
  • Parents and guardians

Conduct Community Meetings and Ask Several Important Questions

Holding large, all-inclusive community meetings to ask crucial questions can help your clients get to the bottom of what their current needs are and where they may have to focus improvement efforts. At these meetings, your clients could ask questions such as:

  • What is the community currently satisfied with?
  • What concerns or complains does the community have?
  • What are the most pressing issues facing the charter school?
  • How can the charter school better reflect the values in its mission statement?

Run Through Internal Audits To Examine Current Resources and Fill In Gaps

For a broad view that can also get into nitty-gritty details, your clients will have to run one or more internal audits. These audits can help your clients identify resource-related needs and craft plans to address them. Remind your clients to:

  • Ensure the audit encompasses all key areas of the school, including management, accounting and finances, legal compliance, academic affairs, community engagement, and so on
  • Consider bringing in a third party to ensure a fair and unbiased audit
  • Create a realistic timetable for completing the audit and conduct at least one per year
  • Gather necessary documents for the audit and leave no stone unturned
  • Examine the availability of current school resources and materials, identify gaps, and lay out plans for filling in those gaps in the near future

For many of your charter school clients, conducting a thorough and realistic needs assessment or internal audit may be one of the most difficult challenges to surmount. Thankfully, even if your clients operate large, complex schools, it’s possible for them to identify their needs and craft workable plans to address their weaknesses if they get informed about the basic components of the assessment process.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, LLC., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.