Management Practices for Charter Schools

As public schools throughout the United States have started to reopen to a mixture of remote learning and in-person classes, some of the country’s top charter networks have made changes to bring the classroom to the cloud. With the spread of COVID-19 this past spring, which brought school systems throughout the U.S. to a close, charter schools have had to rethink traditional teaching environments. But how are they doing it? From real-time online classes to having regular check-in sessions between teacher and student, charter schools are working hard at adapting to this new normal. Prioritizing Progress Monitoring One way charter schools have seen a level of success in adapting to remote teaching and learning is through monitoring student progress. By holding frequent one-on-one check-ins between students and teachers, assigning and grading student work, and using digital resources that enable monitoring in real-time, charter schools have been able to stay on top of progress and attendance. Some charter schools are requiring teachers to serve as advisers who build relationships with groups of students and help them figure out academic and behavior issues, connect with resources, or even apply to college. Some advisers meet with students virtually through platforms like Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. This includes one-on-one meetings to regular classroom instruction through synchronous learning. Serving Students Remotely Some charter schools are shifting school practices to adapt to online learning. First, school days have structure and outlines, but allow teachers more flexibility than bell schedules. Next, teachers are delegating tasks and taking care of what they can on their own in a virtual setting; essentially prioritizing what’s more important that day. And lastly, collaboration extends throughout school sites for content teams and grade levels. School systems have been filtering in virtual lessons or resources for public and charter schools for years now, especially with resources like BlackBoard serving as templates. But now, charter schools are depending heavily on pre-recorded lessons that are shared throughout a charter’s network. Teachers can record themselves for practice lessons, allowing students to access them later. Charter schools are also acting communally, having one teacher lead synchronous lessons for an entire grade, while others check in with students, grade assignments, and prepare for other classes. These offline tasks are more flexible for instructors with other responsibilities, such as home life. Driving Better Remote Learning Moving Forward Charter schools have more flexibility than public school districts to try out different strategies and think up new ideas to test. But even with this flexibility, the trial and error approach to remote learning still needs to be tweaked and monitored. Some questions that have come up are: What could students and teachers do differently with their time, given this new learning environment? How can teachers strengthen student-to-student learning and student collaboration? This unprecedented disruption in charter schools' teaching and learning structures requires novel solutions and plenty of experimenting. No one knows exactly the right path, but through better technological solutions and shared ideas of communal learning, charter schools can continue to see positive results. About PGUI Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., 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.
How Charter Schools Have Adapted to Remote Teaching
September 7, 2020
Show all

Management Practices for Charter Schools

Charter Schools

Charter schools are often considered places where educational innovation is paramount. They usually have more flexibility in how they are outlined, including their charter school management practices. While there isn’t one true way to manage a school, there are steps to take to enhance both student and teacher experience.

Here are some management tips provided by charter schools that others can utilize in their organizations.

Empowering Employees

Many charter schools keep from using organizational models that distribute leadership roles beyond the top positions, such as principals or directors. Yet empowering teachers to be responsible for their development in their chosen profession and student outcomes can help everyone achieve better results. Charter schools should create incentive structures by establishing multiple performance indicators and provide steps for salary increases and additional career opportunities for top-performing instructors.

Learn How to Streamline

Compared to public schools, charter schools must do more with less and find ways to work efficiently. However, schools can find ways to be creative and still achieve educational success. Some creative ideas to work more efficiently and manage the resources include:

  • Volunteering: Local businesses and other community organizations might be willing to donate overstock supplies, meals, books, or services, such as landscaping or marketing.
  • Go Green: Some schools provide dry erase boards instead of paper for writing down test answers or math problems. Schools can also go digital with tablets, if possible, or by setting up blogs for teachers to distribute homework assignments, add links to resources for students, and provide updates to parents.
  • Reusing Materials: Teachers can put plastic sheet protectors over worksheets that students can use over and over after cleaning them.

Teacher Recruitment Practices

Another primary management practice that charter schools can use is enhancing its teacher recruitment efforts. Schools have to decide what skills and disposition the right kind of teacher has and find them. But with most schools continuing online education for the time being due to COVID-19, the search for a teacher doesn’t have to be confined to the region a school is in.

Hiring foreign teachers or instructors from other parts of a state is a fast-growing trend as schools struggle to find qualified candidates. Many schools look at this tip as a lifeline for their blaring gaps in instructors.

Often, global teachers or teachers from other areas are more motivated, which helps students receive the benefit of being taught by professionals in a variety of fields and backgrounds, such as STEM or foreign languages.

Get the Parents Involved

Charter school management practices should also include parental involvement. This is true if a charter school is in a low-income, high-poverty, or minority community. Parents of low-income students often find it challenging to stay involved in their children’s education lives due to work schedules and language barriers.

As part of a charter school’s management plan, they should include parent teaching as well. This is the process of helping parents of students learn how to be more involved in their child’s education. Schools can empower parents to be part of the school’s decision-making processes, motivating them to attend more meetings, and stay informed about how their children are performing at school.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., 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.