First 50 residents to receive first-ever training Saturday to join new DPS-authorized charter schools boards

The first 50 residents of more than 200 who stepped forward to join new Detroit Public Schools-authorized charter school boards will attend a first-ever training for these positions in the city of Detroit, this Saturday at the DPS Welcome Center. The National Charter Schools Institute will provide the first of three governance and leadership trainings for candidates who seek to be board members for one or more of the 45 Renaissance schools selected for possible transformation to DPS-authorized charter schools.

The first one-day training, which is full to capacity, will be on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DPS Welcome Center, 3031 W. Grand Blvd, for up to 50 candidates. Parking is free. Training will include:

  • Roles and Responsibilities of a Charter School Board
  • Mission Development and Assessment
  • Educational Outcomes
  • Board’s Role in Interpreting the Data
  • Fiscal Stewardship and Fiduciary Responsibilities of the Board
  • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Effective Board Meetings
  • Board Planning

The district, which will serve as the authorizer of the charter schools, seeks candidates who can commit 6-10 hours per month, believe all children can achieve the highest levels of academic excellence and have a deep commitment to improving the quality of education for all children.

The National Charter Schools Institute was established in 1995 as the Michigan Charter Schools Resource Center following the enactment of Michigan’s enabling charter school legislation. In 2001, the Institute became a national non-profit organization which now seeks to meet the performance needs of charter schools operating throughout the country.

Each participant at the one-day training will receive the following Institute publications:

  • Charter School Board University – An Introduction to Effective Charter School Governance
  • Board Essentials – A Field Guide to Help Boards Stay on the Path Toward Excellence

The training is part of the DPS Renaissance 2012 plan to draw experienced operators interested in chartering the 45 ‘Renaissance Schools’ selected for possible transformation to charter schools by fall. As part of the overall process, bidders may identify a school or schools they wish operate. The operator also may be asked to consider providing services to alternate schools as identified by the district or be given conditional approval to operate a school in 2012.

A second workshop on May 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DPS Welcome Center, Conference Room A, 3031 W. Grand Blvd, is also full. DPS soon will announce an additional date for June.

Responsibilities of charter school board members include:

  • Determine the organization’s mission and purpose
  • Ensure all students are making appropriate educational progress
  • Safeguard the public funds entrusted to the academy to run its operations
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable law and the academy’s charter
  • Select the Executive Director (school leader/management company)
  • Support the Executive Director (school leader/management company) and assess his/her/its performance
  • Ensure effective organizational planning
  • Ensure adequate resources
  • Manage resources effectively
  • Determine, monitor and strengthen the organization’s programs & services
  • Enhance the organization’s public standing
  • Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability

Additional background on the DPS Renaissance 2012 Plan:
Charters from DPS would be for 5 years, with renewals based on performance. Operators can apply if they have run a charter school in Michigan for at least 3.5 years. DPS is seeking operators that meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate at least a 90 percent graduation rate in an existing school or schools
  • Have a recognized model for academic quality;
  • Have at least 75 percent of students show proficiency on state math exams
  • Have at least 75 percent proficiency on state reading exams;
  • Have experience in urban educational settings with more than 500 students;
  • Have a willingness to hold conversations with communities surrounding each school.
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