|CSP Charter Start ServicesCSP's Charter Start initiative is designed to help meet the need for more high-performing charter schools that will close achievement gaps in the urban core of the Twin Cities. CSP works with each Charter Start school in close partnership, providing technical support, consultation about academic, assessment and human resource frameworks, and financial oversight. Perhaps most important, CSP assumes the role of a trusted ally, offering ongoing counseling about the diverse political, practical and human challenges that confront every nascent charter group during their pre-operational journey to opening.
CSP Charter Start services are customized to meet the needs of each individual school but cluster around the following critical pre-operational domains:
School Leadership Recruitment: A strong school leader is the critical consideration in the creation of successful, high-achieving schools. Successful charter schools recruit and develop talented and motivated school leaders early in their school's development in order to develop a school defined by strong academic and cultural standards, high expectations and ambitious and measurable goals for student achievement.
Grant Application: CSP is familiar with the requirements for applications to Minnesota charter school authorizers, the Walton Family Foundation, and the federal Charter School Program. We work closely with our Charter Start schools to provide guidance and feedback on the applications that will ensure they communicate a clear, compelling and fiscally responsible vision for their proposed schools. We urge our schools to approach each application not as a procedural hurdle, but rather as an opportunity to reflect on their vision and mission and to hone their plans for realizing both.
Board Development: CSP recognizes the foundational role charter school boards play in the success of charter schools. We work closely with our Charter Start schools to implement best practices in board governance and guide their efforts to recruit, orient, and develop a committed board of individuals poised to reflect the needs of the community and to hold their school leader and staff to the highest standards of performance.
Data Grounding: CSP believes that successful charter schools are deeply committed to collecting and using sound student data to ground all instructional and structural decisions. We work with our Charter Start schools to develop assessment schemas and data management systems that predict their ability to make sound, data-driven decisions from their inception.
Community Building: CSP is well-connected in the charter community and in the broader neighborhood communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. We want to help our Charter Start schools establish genuine, durable and positive relationships with key stakeholders throughout their pre-operational journey.
National best practices for launching successful and sustainable charters have shown the need for a two-year pre-operational commitment on the part of an emerging charter school. The Charter Start timeline below reflects this pre-planning timeline.