Charter School Growth Strategies - National Charter School Conference

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Charter School Capital presents recommendations and information on building a growth strategy for your charter school. Panelists for this session at the 2014 National Charter School Conference included Marshall Emerson, CEO & Co-founder at I CAN Schools in Ohio, Dante Simi, CEO and Founder, Learn4Life Concept Charter Schools, and Stuart Ellis, President & CEO, Charter School Capital.

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  • Charter School Capital began in 2007, focused on addressing the funding challenges charter schools in California were facing. Since 2007, Charter School Capital has provided charter schools with access to over $500M in funding. Providing access to capital to charter schools is all we do. Charter School Capital is comprised individuals with deep knowledge and experience in charter school finance and operations. We are perfectly aligned with our charter school clients as demonstrated by the relationships with over 400 charter schools that serve more than 400,000 students. Our industry relationships are vast, perhaps lead by our investors where Charter School Capital maintains a stellar record of 0% defaults. This type of success and commitment has resulted in Charter School Capital serving as the access point of an increasing pool of funds solely focused on the charter school market.

    As a result of this – what can we learn from this – Growth Estimator showcase…what you will see today includes input from all of our client schools. Three different stages and whereever you are there are different strategies and resources and priorities you have to have to run your organization. What we’re going to walk through are insights from our schools.
  • STUART – Hi everyone, I’m Stuart Ellis, Pres & CEO of Charter School Capital.

    Housekeeping info:

    1. You can ask questions through the GoToWebinar tool and we will monitor and answer those questions as they come in.

    2. You will be able to download the presentation after the session.
  • STUART
  • STUART

    Start-up Fact - NC study of 70 charter schools – 87% of school failures happen in the first three years.

    Growth Fact –

    Sustainable Maturity Fact –
  • Charter schools are challenged in a number of operational areas. Interestingly, 42% of charter schools fail due to financial issues. Charter school capital was created for the sole purpose of funding charter schools and we believe we can play a key role is assisting charter schools to overcome many of the finance challenges they face. Although this pie charter shows distinct boundaries between many of the identified categories, we all know financial issues can contribute across the board. Specific example could be the mismanagement of funds due to the challenge associated with cash flow. Additionally, the need for funding of technology to support academic initiatives. Finally, our experience indicates that the challenges associated with facilities tends to begin in the lack of flexible financing approaches that can address the unique needs of charter schools.
  • STUART
  • STUART
  • STUART
  • STUART
  • STUART
  • CAPRICE
  • CAPRICE
  • CAPRICE
  • CAPRICE
  • MARSHALL
  • MARSHALL
    Entering into Growth phase

    Schools 3-5 years in operation
    Adapt to new education standards
    Continued growth
    Strain on schools to sustain

    What are the common misperceptions schools may face during the Growth phase?
    ·         “After the third year, all will be in place and its smooth sailing!”
    ·         Performance targets and accountability requirements will be the same as when the charter was approved.
    ·         Professional and leadership development will be limited, because teachers and principals will be fully trained.
    ·         Routines and systems will be in place and there’s no need to change.
    ·         There will be sufficient funds from our operating revenue to support enrollment expansion and related capital requirements.
    ·         Facility upgrades will be minimal, if at all.
  • MARSHALL

    What are the challenges schools face during the growth phase? 
    ·         Adjusting to higher expectations and new and/or changing state/sponsor accountability requirements
    ·         The ability to advance from incremental progress in student performance to higher levels of performance and expectations
    ·         Managing with limited resources and often, facing greater demands for services
    ·         Inefficient or inadequate operating and data systems (including student assessment systems)
    ·         The annual loss of high quality teachers and leaders
    ·         The ability to recruit, select and hire new teachers for schools with increasing enrollments
    ·         The lack of adequate capital for FFE, marketing and curriculum for increasing student enrollments or campuses
    ·         Inadequate funding and/or lack of quality professional development and leadership training necessary to meet new expectations, curriculum and standards.

    What can schools do to meet these challenges?
    ·         Build in ‘longer term’ expectations for continuous growth and development and create the right school culture from the beginning.
    ·         School Improvement plans must have a clear delineation of the multi-year goals and measures, and must include clear strategies, actions, milestones and evaluation component.
    ·         Schools and their staff must be prepared for the “roll out” of Common Core State Standards and the implications for curriculum, leader and teacher knowledge and skills, and how schools and classrooms should be organized.
    ·         Greater access to resources and expanding the learning environment via technology.
    ·         Conduct an annual “Quality Review” grounded in school standards of excellence.
    ·         Make “Capacity Building” and on-going priority (on-going training and development of school leaders and teachers, staff recruitment).
    ·         Create structures within schools that enable teachers to track their students’ progress and advance changes in practice on a routine basis.
    ·         Improved ‘assessment’ systems that provide teachers and school leaders with user friendly, real time data and information.


  • MARSHALL

    What approach did you take and what are some best practices you can provide?
    ·         Prepare staff for the opening of school throughout the summer (July, early August and prior to school opening), rather than an intensive 5-10 days of training just prior to opening of school.
    ·         School Culture: Must be grounded in core values and all must know your routines and procedures and a shared language or terms.  Create the “Wilson (your school’s name) Way” or another research based program.
    ·         Your school improvement plan should be a “live” document that includes a roadmap and key milestones that be celebrated as they are accomplished.
    ·         Focus on continuous leadership development and growth. We have created a program with several components, that include: Leadership Standards of Practice (and an accompanying set of rubrics), select conference/s participation, assignment of a mentor, exposure to high performing learning environments).
    ·         Focus teacher training and development on the essential changes that are unfolding: Common Core, Inquiry Based learning and Project Based learning approaches, understanding and using assessment data appropriately, etc.
    ·         Create PLCs (professional learning communities) and/or “data teams”, and a school schedule that enables them to operate effectively and efficiently.
    ·         Expand your community’s vision of the learning environment to one that is 24/7 and includes the use of technology and other educational institutions within your community.
  • DANTE
  • DANTE
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  • DANTE
  • Stuart
  • Stuart
  • Stuart

    GROWTH ESTIMATOR??

    This presentation is available for download as well.
  • STUART
  • Charter School Growth Strategies - National Charter School Conference

    1. 1. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. Charter School Growth Strategies National Charter Schools Conference July 1, 2014
    2. 2. WHO WE ARE •  Caprice Young, President, Education Growth Group •  Marshall Emerson, Co-Founder and CEO, I CAN Schools •  Dante Simi, CEO and Founder, Learn4Life Concept Charter Schools •  Stuart Ellis, President & CEO, Charter School Capital Panelists
    3. 3. 3 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. WHAT WE’LL COVER •  Charter school growth stages •  Challenges school operators face at each stage •  Best practices and takeaways Agenda Presentation is available to download at www.slideshare.net/CharterSchoolCapital
    4. 4. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. Stages of Growth
    5. 5. 5 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH # of Students Start-up Survival/Establish Growth Flexibility/Stability Sustainable Maturity Efficiency Time (years) 0 2-3 5-10 100% Students as a % of mature targets 10-25% 25-90% 90-100%
    6. 6. 6 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. CHALLENGES Reasons for charter school closures 42% 24% 19% 6% 5% 4% Financial Mismanagement Academic Authorizer Obstacles Facilities Other Source: The State of Charter Schools, The Center For Education Reform, December 2011
    7. 7. 7 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Strategic approach Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Facilities Community involvement Academic accountability Operational support
    8. 8. 8 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Strategic approach Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Any liquidity Facilities In target locale Community involvement Awareness Academic accountability Establish program Operational support Outside experts
    9. 9. STAGES OF GROWTH Strategic approach Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Any liquidity Flexibility/ scalability Facilities In target locale Modular Community involvement Awareness Fulfill the promise Academic accountability Establish program Measure program Operational support Outside experts Transitional resources
    10. 10. 10 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Strategic approach Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Any liquidity Flexibility/ scalability Cost Facilities In target locale Modular Curb appeal/cost Community involvement Awareness Fulfill the promise Fabric of community Academic accountability Establish program Measure program Continuous improvement Operational support Outside experts Transitional resources In-house team
    11. 11. 11 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Strategic approach Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Any liquidity Flexibility/ scalability Cost Facilities In target locale Modular Curb appeal/cost Community involvement Awareness Fulfill the promise Fabric of community Academic accountability Establish program Measure program Continuous improvement Operational support Outside experts Transitional resources In-house team
    12. 12. 12 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH •  Different structures of working capital – Receivable sale – Term loan – Line of credit •  Facilities financing options – Lease option – Bond – Traditional bank loan •  Regarding costs of funds, all costs are NOT created equal – Evaluate total $ cost rather than % rate – Consider fixed transactional costs and penalties, in addition to annual rate related to costs Finance considerations
    13. 13. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. The Start-up Phase
    14. 14. 14 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Start-up Common Misperceptions Founding team to “create” best practices “If you build it, they will come.”
    15. 15. 15 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Start-up Marshall speak to this series of slides The Challenges Finding good leadership and teachers Securing resources Finding suitable facilities Healthy enrollment Sustaining high performance as network expands
    16. 16. 16 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Start-up Best Practices Study and meet with schools doing things well Don’t be a master of everything. Master a few things and do them really well Build genuine and robust relationship with teachers, leaders, vendors, and external constituents Pay close attention to the budget Pay even closer attention to student progress data Do not waiver in your belief or mission
    17. 17. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. The Growth Phase
    18. 18. 18 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Growth Common Misperceptions “After the 3rd year, all will be in place and it’s smooth sailing!” Performance and accountability requirements will be stagnant Done with professional development No need to change routines or systems We’ll have sufficient funds from operating revenue to support expansion Facility upgrades will be minimal, if at all
    19. 19. 19 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Growth Challenges Maintaining high expectations and being flexible Advancing levels of student performance Managing growth with limited resources Upgrading systems to support growth Retaining quality teachers and leaders Matching capital to operational needs
    20. 20. 20 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Growth Best Practices Continuous professional development and leadership training Build on the culture Focus on individualized instruction and data analysis Increase visibility in the movement
    21. 21. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. 21 Copyright © 2013 Charter School Capital, Inc. The Sustainable Maturity Phase
    22. 22. 22 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Sustainable maturity Common Misperceptions The snowball effect Time to cash in Challenges decrease as you scale
    23. 23. 23 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Sustainable maturity The Challenges Developing and executing a development plan Right team to implement strategic vision and plan Reevaluate financing to match your needs
    24. 24. 24 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Sustainable maturity Best Practices Define your objectives clearly and communicate them extensively both internally and externally Develop data-driven culture and make sure you retain the passion that got you started
    25. 25. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. Recap
    26. 26. 26 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH Recap Start-up Growth Sustainability Financing Any liquidity Flexibility/ scalability Cost Facilities In target locale Modular Curb appeal/cost Community involvement Awareness Fulfill the promise Fabric of community Academic accountability Establish program Measure program Continuous improvement Operational support Outside experts Transitional resources In-house team
    27. 27. 27 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. STAGES OF GROWTH •  Stages in charter school lifecycle present very different challenges •  Strategy and focus needs to vary significantly as you grow •  Leverage experts at every stage to allow you to focus on educating kids •  Financial analysis illuminates positive potential impact of growth and scale Key takeaways
    28. 28. Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. Thanks. Questions? Want to download the slides? slideshare.net/CharterSchoolCapital
    29. 29. 29 Copyright © 2014 Charter School Capital, Inc. Stuart Ellis 877-272-1001 sellis@charterschoolcapital.org

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