The Growing Importance of Mental Health in Charter Schools

The Growing Importance of Mental Health Access in Schools (Part 1) | A Collaborative Series with TadHealth

“With the demand for support at an all-time high, the challenge is removing silos and promoting existing programs.”

The awareness of mental health challenges among students is growing significantly. Organizations like The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association have jointly declared a National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health1American Academy of Pediatrics.

Despite this growing recognition that students are struggling, unfortunately, many students remain unaware of the support systems available to them, highlighting a critical gap in awareness and accessibility within school environments.  

Mental Health Support Charter Schools

Image Source: The Observer

Research indicates that a significant portion of students lack knowledge about where to seek help during crises or for ongoing mental health support.  

48% of students do not know where to turn to get mental health support.2Born This Way Foundation | Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission

33% of students do not know where to go in a crisis.3Inside Higher Ed

This lack of awareness underscores the need and urgency for schools to bridge the gap between available resources and students’ needs. With the demand for support at an all-time high, the challenge is removing silos and promoting existing programs.  The same goes for staff and family members. It is crucial to draw attention to existing services so your community knows where to find them and can easily utilize them.   

Unique Stressors Faced by Students

In schools across the country, students encounter a unique set of stressors that can adversely impact their mental well-being: 

Academic Pressure4Transformations Care Network

Resource Constraints5The Baker Center for Children and Families | Evidence-Based Policy Institute

Lack of Specialized Support6EdSurge

Parental Expectations7Relational Psych | Dr. Carly Claney 

Socioeconomic Disparities 8California Budget & Policy Center

Student Stressors Mental Health

Image Source: Mental Health Center for Kids

School-Based Mental Health Services in Enhancing Student Well-being  

School-based mental health programs have continued to emerge and expand to address the challenges students face today. One of the more prominent developments was the emergence of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model. The model recommends different courses of action to support the different needs of students at each tier.   

Image Source: Tad Health

While schools should have a plan and resources for each support tier, spending time on the first tier is especially crucial. Proactively addressing mental health within the school environment through Tier 1 support can mitigate crises and foster a supportive ecosystem benefiting students, staff, and families alike.   

Benefits and Sustainability of School-Based Mental Health Services

Mental health support in schools can have a tremendous impact on school climate, safety, and attendance. While schools may already have support in place, it is clear that students are not always aware of it. As the statistics indicated, 48% do not know where to go to access support9Born This Way Foundation | Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission 

While the various stressors faced by students create need for support at all levels of the MTSS model, it is necessary to begin with proactive support to build an effective program and make the most out of existing resources, This is beneficial for all tiers of support and can help alleviate demand in the long run. 

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, where we’ll dive more into the details of proactive support and how it can help to set up your school for success!


We recognize that navigating the complexities of student mental health services can be challenging. That’s why we invited TadHealth to share this guest blog series with helpful resources and advice. 

About TadHealth

TadHealth provides the only end-to-end mental health solution connecting students, families, and staff to support available through the school and community. From promoting awareness to providing evidence-based interventions, TadHealth offers school leaders the tools they need to provide, manage, and measure student well-being.  For more information, reach out to matt@tadhealth.com.

Footnotes

  • 1
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • 2
    Born This Way Foundation | Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission
  • 3
    Inside Higher Ed
  • 4
    Transformations Care Network
  • 5
    The Baker Center for Children and Families | Evidence-Based Policy Institute
  • 6
    EdSurge
  • 7
    Relational Psych | Dr. Carly Claney
  • 8
    California Budget & Policy Center
  • 9
    Born This Way Foundation | Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission

Empowering Charter Schools: Celebrating National Charter Schools Week

This week is National Charter Schools Week, a time to celebrate the transformative impact of charter schools in shaping the future of education! At EdTec, we are passionate about driving quality and having the greatest positive impact in the charter school movement. Join us as we raise our voices in celebration of this important week! 

Our Mission and Vision

At EdTec, we are a diverse team of business experts, educators, policy makers, and parents united by our passion for education. Our mission is to drive quality in the charter school movement by providing operational support, business insights, and performance analyses that equip school leadership with the tools they need to make effective decisions. 

Celebrating Charter School Impact

During National Charter Schools Week, we honor the incredible contributions of charter schools in empowering students, families, and communities. These schools embody innovation, choice, and excellence, offering unique educational opportunities that inspire lifelong learning and success. 

Our Commitment to Charter Schools

Since our founding in 2001, EdTec has specialized in supporting charter schools at every stage of development. From startup assistance to ongoing operational support, we provide a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the unique needs of charter schools. Our dedicated team of experts understands the intricacies of charter school operations, ensuring that schools receive the highest level of support and guidance. 

Raising Our Voices Together

This year’s theme, “Raise Your Voice,” encourages us to amplify the impact of charter schools and advocate for educational equity and excellence, and we’ll be doing just that by continuing to share all the great things our charter partners do every day across our social media platforms. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating National Charter Schools Week and championing the vital role that charter schools play in transforming lives and communities. 

As we celebrate National Charter Schools Week, EdTec reaffirms our commitment to empowering charter schools and driving excellence in education. Together, let’s raise our voices, celebrate innovation, and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation. Happy National Charter Schools Week! 

Grant Opportunities for Charter Schools – Spring 2024

This post includes grant opportunities with deadlines through Augst 2024.

Since 2021, EdTec has supported charter schools across the country with over 30 grant projects, resulting in an impressive $4.5 million awarded to schools. EdTec is here to help your school secure additional funding for day-to-day operations or special projects. We’ve compiled a list of regional and national grant opportunities for charter schools. See below for more information.

If you want timely information about upcoming grant opportunities, sign up for the EdTec grants newsletter here. If your school needs assistance with these or any other grant applications, reach out to our grant specialists today

Nationwide Grant Opportunities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Lemelson Foundation

Purpose: Grants to STEM high school educators to lead student teams in hands-on STEM challenge.

Grant: $7,500 | Deadline: September 30, 2024

Learn more.

 

Toshiba America Foundation

Purpose: Grants to Grades 6-12 teachers to enhance STEM.

Grant: $5,000+ | Deadline: May 1, 2024
Learn more.

 

Music Teachers National Association

Purpose: Grants to music teachers for professional development activities.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: May 1, 2024
Learn more.

 

Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation

Purpose: Funding for specific projects or activities as well as operating support.

Grant: $20,000 | Deadline: May 10, 2024
Learn more.

 

Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science

Purpose: Grants to cover program participation fees and training for teachers who will run a PLTW Biomedical Science program.

Grant: $14,000 | Deadline: June 30, 2024
Learn more.

 

Project Lead the Way Engineering – STEM Curriculum

Purpose: Grants to high schools to add engineering program to their STEM curriculum.

Grant: $16,000 | Deadline: June 30, 2024
Learn more.

 

Project Lead the Way – Middle School STEM Program

Purpose: Grants to implement a high-quality STEM program at the middle school level. Funding is intended to cover the fees associated with teacher training and program implementation.

Grant: $9,100 | Deadline: June 30, 2024
Learn more.

 

Project Lead the Way – Grades K-5 STEM Curriculum

Purpose: Grants to implement a high-quality STEM program at the middle school level. Funding is intended to cover the fees associated with teacher training and program implementation.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: June 30, 2024
Learn more.

California Grant Opportunities

California Department of Education | High School Innovations and Initiatives Office – Career and College Transition Division

Purpose: Grants for programs to reduce school absenteeism and dropout rates.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: May 1, 2024
Learn more.

 

California Department of Education | High School Innovations and Initiatives Office – Career and College Transition Division

Purpose: Grants to prepare students for career technical education.

Grant: $25,000 – $50,000 | Deadline: May 1, 2024
Learn more.

 

California Department of Education | High School Innovations and Initiatives Office – Career and College Transition Division

Purpose: Grants for innovating educational programming; new programs related to technical education for students in 9-12 grade.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: May 29, 2024
Learn more.

 

Bothin Foundation

Purpose: Grants for capital projects that benefit vulnerable populations; priority projects and services are related to technology, building enhancements, equipment, and transportation. Funding is intended to benefit individuals with disabilities and low-income families, children and youth.

Grant: $50,000 (San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo Counties) | Deadline: August 2, 2024
Learn more.

Georgia Grant Opportunities

Community Foundation of West Georgia

Purpose: Grants to music, art, and drama teachers for projects that benefit PK-12 students.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: April 30, 2024
Learn more.

 

Georgia Department of Education

Purpose: Grants to LEAs to promote parent mentoring efforts benefiting children with disabilities.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: April 30, 2024
Learn more.

Tennessee Grant Opportunities

Tennessee Arts Commission

Purpose: Grants for tickets, transportation, artists fees for events and lessons held during school hours.

Grant: $3,000 | Deadline: Ongoing
Learn more.

 

Tennessee Arts Commission

Purpose: Grants to full-time educators for professional development. The purpose of the program is to benefit the work and career of educators in arts integration and education.

Grant: $1,000 | Deadline: Ongoing
Learn more.

 

Dunn Family Foundation

Purpose: Funding to support the development and implementation of educational testing materials and educational support materials.

Grant: $25,000 | Deadline: Ongoing
Learn more.

 

Humanities Tennessee

Purpose: Grants for one-time humanities-based projects serving the general public.

Grant: Varies | LOI: May 13, 2024 | Deadline: June 28, 2024
Learn more.

 

Georgia Department of Education

Purpose: Grants to LEAs to promote parent mentoring efforts benefiting children with disabilities.

Grant: Varies | Deadline: April 30, 2024
Learn more.

__________

If you want timely information about upcoming grant opportunities, sign up for the EdTec grants newsletter here. EdTec can also provide support with grant writing – reach out to our grants specialist to discuss your school’s needs!

Connect with EdTec at the 2024 GCSA Conference!

EdTec is proud to be a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter at the 2024 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference! The conference takes place in Atlanta from March 11-13, 2024.

EdTec is a Platinum Sponsor and will have a booth in the corridor outside of the exhibit hall. We encourage you to stop by to meet our team and learn more about how we support Georgia charter schools with charter startup, back office, grant writing, and more.

EdTec staff, along with partner schools, will present two breakout sessions. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to share our expertise with charter developers, new schools, and established schools!

Breakout Sessions

Tuesday, March 12

Should I Have a Back Office Partner? | 9:30 am – 10:30 pm | Cumberland Ballroom – Salon D

  • Charter schools face unique challenges, balancing educational excellence with efficient operations. Enter the gig economy’s back-office service providers, offering a tempting proposition: specialized expertise without the expense of full-time staff. But is this silver bullet too good to be true? Join EdTec and one of our back office clients to explore benefits of the charter school-back office partnership, such as expertise, cost savings, scalability, and flexibility

Wednesday, March 13

What Charter Schools Can Learn from the Barbie Movie’s Marketing Strategy | 11:05 am – 12:05 pm | Cumberland Ballroom – Salon C

  • Even those who haven’t seen the movie would recognize that shade of Barbie pink anywhere! There are important lessons from the blockbuster hit’s marketing strategy that can be applied to almost any organization, including charter schools. Join EdTec’s marketing team as we explore how to enhance your branding, improve engagement with your community, and make a lasting impact with your message and mission. Though not required, Barbie pink attire is strongly encouraged!

We look forward to seeing you at our booths and sessions. We hope everyone has a great time at the conference!

Key Messaging Strategies for Charter Schools: Insights from Diverse Charter Schools Coalition 2024

By: Jeremy Divinity

For the last recap of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition 2024 Annual Convening, this blog focuses on key takeaways from an informative session led by the National Alliance for Public Charters and City Fund titled “Using the Words that Help Us Win.” In this session, the National Alliance and City Fund offered invaluable research-backed insights into crafting messages that build public support for charter schools!

Understanding the Power of Words

At the heart of the session was the recognition that words have the power to provoke action and shape perceptions. By carefully choosing our language, we can effectively communicate the core identity of charter schools and inspire support for our work. For example, simple shifts from passive to active language like “vote” to “be a voter” or “volunteer” to “be a volunteer” can evoke a sense of ownership and empowerment, encouraging your community to take meaningful action in support of charter schools.

Addressing Misconceptions

Despite strong support for the concept of “choice,” there remains a lack of awareness and misconceptions surrounding charter schools. However, through strategic communication strategies, there is an opportunity to dispel myths and highlight the unique benefits of charter education. By emphasizing key messages such as individualized attention, grade-level achievement, and close relationships, we can showcase the positive impact of charter schools on student success.

Building Support

An important theme that emerged from the session was the need to move away from messaging that criticizes traditional public schools. Criticizing traditional public schools or blaming educators for educational challenges is counterproductive and divisive. Instead, the presenters recommended framing charter schools as allies in the broader public education ecosystem. Highlighting the ways in which charter schools complement and enrich the educational landscape, while maintaining a positive and constructive tone, builds support among all stakeholders.

Effective Messaging Strategies

Crafting effective messages is essential for building support and dispelling misconceptions about charter schools. The session presenters shared valuable insights into key strategies for communicating the value of charter education to diverse audiences.Effective messaging strategies for charter schools emphasize their accessibility, individualized approach to learning, collaborative partnerships, and positive contributions to the public education system. For example, one of the most important messages to convey is that charter schools are free, public institutions that are accessible to all students, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.

Another messaging strategyproven to be successful is to highlight individualized attention as charter schools are known for their ability to provide personalized learning experiences tailored to the needs of each student. This message resonates with parents and caregivers who are seeking educational options that prioritize their child’s unique learning style and needs.

While waitlists and lotteries are necessary in the charter school enrollment process, mentioning them when not completely necessary can inadvertently create a sense of exclusivity or competition. Instead, focus on the accessibility and inclusivity of charter schools, emphasizing that they are open to all students and families seeking high-quality education options.

Lastly, rather than framing charter schools as alternatives to failing public schools, emphasize their role as complements that offer additional choices and opportunities within the public education system. Positioning charter schools as valuable contributors to the educational landscape is an effective messaging strategy to build public and community support.

In summary, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts ofcrafting effective messages that resonate with diverse audiences:

Do:

  • Emphasize that charter schools are free, public, and open to all.
  • Highlight the individualized attention and personalized learning environment offered by charter schools.
  • Focus on collaboration and partnership within the public education system.

Don’t:

  • Discuss waitlists and lotteries (outside of communicating key facts and dates to families), as too much focus on this can create a sense of exclusivity.
  • Frame charter schools as an alternative to failing public schools.
  • Engage in rhetoric that criticizes traditional public schools or blames educators.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the session underscored the importance of strategic communication in advancing the mission of charter schools. By conveying these messages with clarity and positivity, we can build support and advocate for the continued growth and success of the school choice movement.

Centering Mission and Values: Lessons from Phoenix International School of the Arts

By: Jeremy Divinity

As the second recap from our attendance at the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition 2024 Annual Convening in Los Angeles, this blog shares insights from a captivating Breakout Session titled, “Core Messaging: Communicating Values in Partnerships and Recruitment.” This session focused on the remarkable journey of Phoenix International School of the Arts (PISOTA) in staying true to its mission and values while forging partnerships and recruiting students.

A Visionary Instituion: Phoenix International School of the Arts

Founded in 2023 as part of the UnifiED School Launch Fellowship, PISOTA stands as a beacon of creativity and international perspective in Charles County, Maryland. Operating in collaboration with Charles County Public Schools, PISOTA offers a unique arts- and international-focused curriculum that empowers students to become leaders in a globalized world.

Mission and Vision: Empowering Through the Arts

At the heart of PISOTA’s mission is a commitment to providing students with daily immersion in the arts, including dance, music, acting, visual arts, and museum studies. This immersive experience is coupled with an international perspective woven into every aspect of learning. PISOTA believes that by exposing students to diverse perspectives, they are better equipped to tackle complex challenges and drive positive change in society.

Lessons in Recruitment and Partnership

During the Breakout Session, attendees explored PISOTA’s innovative approach to teacher recruitment and student enrollment. Central to their strategy was a focus on communicating core values and fostering meaningful partnerships within the community. By involving stakeholders in the mission and vision process, PISOTA ensured alignment with the community’s needs and aspirations.

Teacher Recruitment: PISOTA understood that the success of its mission hinged on the dedication and talent of its teaching staff. To attract top educators aligned with the school’s values, PISOTA employed a rigorous recruitment process that emphasized more than just qualifications. Interview questions were designed to gauge a candidate’s passion for arts education, commitment to cultural diversity, and willingness to engage with the community. By prioritizing these qualities, PISOTA ensured that its faculty members were not only skilled educators but also enthusiastic advocates for the school’s mission.

Student Enrollment: Building a diverse and vibrant student body is another cornerstone of PISOTA’s success. The school recognized that meaningful engagement with prospective families goes beyond traditional marketing tactics. Instead, PISOTA focuses on building authentic connections with the community by inviting parents, students, and local leaders to participate in “dream sessions” where they can share their aspirations for the school. By involving stakeholders in the enrollment marketing process, PISOTA fosters a sense of ownership and investment in the school’s mission, resulting in higher retention rates, a long waiting list, and a more cohesive school community.

Tactics for Success: Connecting with Purpose

PISOTA employed various tactics to connect with prospective students and families, from hosting community events to offering enrollment tours, each designed with the school’s mission and values in mind. These initiatives not only highlight the school’s unique offerings but also served as platforms for building lasting relationships with the community. Here are a few tactics employed that might be useful for your charter school:

Events/Bring in the Community: Central to PISOTA’s approach was the belief that education extends beyond the classroom walls and into the community. Hosting events and activities that appealed to both current and prospective families was a cornerstone of PISOTA’s outreach strategy. From art showcases and performances to wellness workshops and open houses, these events provided opportunities for community members to experience the school’s unique offerings firsthand and engage with faculty, staff, and students in a relaxed, informal setting.

“Community Uplift” and “Wellness in the Park”: PISOTA went beyond traditional recruitment methods by actively contributing to the well-being of the community. Initiatives like “Community Uplift” and “Wellness in the Park” not only promoted the school’s commitment to holistic education but also served as platforms for building relationships with local residents. By addressing pressing community needs and providing valuable resources and support, PISOTA demonstrated its dedication to being a positive force for change in the community.

Info Panels and Enrollment Tours: For families considering enrollment, PISOTA offered a variety of information sessions and enrollment tours designed to showcase the school’s curriculum, facilities, and extracurricular offerings. These personalized experiences not only helped families make informed decisions about their children’s education but also provided opportunities for school staff to connect with prospective students and parents on a deeper level, addressing their questions and concerns in real time.

By embracing these tactics and positioning itself as an integral part of the community, PISOTA not only attracted students and families who shared its values but also built a strong, supportive community that is actively engaged in the school’s success.

In Conclusion

Reflecting on the insights shared during this session, it’s evident that Phoenix International School of the Arts exemplifies the transformative power of charter schools when rooted in a clear mission and values. By prioritizing community engagement, fostering partnerships, and staying true to their vision for the future, PISOTA serves as a shining example of educational excellence and innovation.

Empoweirng Equity in Education

Empowering Equity: Insights from Dr. Pedro Noguera at Diverse Charter Schools Coalition 2024 Annual Convening

By: Jeremy Divinity

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition 2024 Annual Convening in Los Angeles, of which we are honored to serve as a sponsor. The theme of the conference, “Building Community for School Integration,” initiated thoughtful discussions regarding the importance of equity in education, which was highlighted in the thought-provoking keynote address titled “Excellence Through Equity” by the distinguished professor Dr. Pedro Noguera. As a leading voice in education equity, Dr. Noguera shared invaluable insights on the importance of equity in education and how charter schools can uniquely address equity issues.

This blog post is a reflection on the impactful and profound keynote address by Dr. Noguera.

Understanding Equity in Education: What It Is and What It Is Not

Dr. Noguera began by exploring the fundamental concept of equity in education. He emphasized that equity is not just a buzzword; it is a commitment to providing every student with the support and opportunities they need to succeed. Equity means recognizing and addressing the social, economic, and academic needs of all students, especially those facing the greatest challenges due to race and class disparities. Importantly, equity also recognizes the diverse learning styles and paces of students, fostering a commitment to developing the talents of all learners.

Contrary to misconceptions, equity is not about lowering standards or making excuses. It’s about dismantling barriers and ensuring that every student, regardless of background, has access to a high-quality education. Dr. Noguera urged us as educators to embrace a holistic, empowering approach to education.

The Unique Role of Charter Schools in Advancing Equity

One of the key themes Dr. Noguera highlighted was the potential of charter schools to lead the way in advancing equity. Charter schools have the flexibility to provide individualized support and learning experiences tailored to the needs of students. This includes promoting student agency, empowerment, and prioritizing the holistic development of every child.

Moreover, fostering partnerships within the community was also highlighted as integral component to promoting equity. By leveraging external resources and engaging with local stakeholders, charter schools can create inclusive, supportive environments that increase student success.

Promoting Equity: Strategies in Action

Dr. Noguera challenged us to move beyond rhetoric and take tangible steps toward equity in education. This begins with acknowledging the intersectionality of race and class and concentrating efforts on students with the greatest needs. Additionally, to make meaningful progress, schools must clarify their equity goals while avoiding the trap of reducing equity to a mere slogan.

Throughout his keynote, Dr. Noguera outlined practical strategies for promoting equity. He stressed the importance of engaging with students directly to understand their needs and experiences. Additionally, he emphasized the critical role of educators in building relationships, cultivating student agency, fostering deeper learning opportunities, and building both technical and adaptive capacities.

Conclusion & Key Takeaways

Dr. Pedro Noguera’s keynote address served as a powerful call to action for all of us in the charter school world be committed to building a more just and equitable education system. As I reflect on Dr. Noguera’s powerful message, several key takeaways resonate deeply that I would like to share as a closing summary:

  • Equity in education is about removing barriers and providing every student with the support they need to succeed.
  • Charter schools have a unique opportunity to innovate and lead the way in promoting equity through individualized support, student empowerment, and community partnerships.
  • Promoting equity requires a holistic approach that addresses students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.
  • Educators must prioritize building relationships, cultivating student agency, and fostering a sense of belonging within their schools.

In conclusion, Dr. Noguera’s address is a call for charter school leaders, educators, and advocates to continue to work together, learn from one another, and strive towards a future where every child has the opportunity to thrive.

Grant Opportunities for Charter Schools – Fall 2023

This post includes grant opportunities with deadlines in October 2023.

EdTec is here to help your school secure additional funding for day-to-day operations or special projects. We’ve compiled a list of regional and national grant opportunities for charter schools. See below for more information.

If you want timely information about upcoming grant opportunities, sign up for the EdTec grants newsletter here.

Nationwide Grant Opportunities

Knowles Teacher Initiative, Knowles Teaching Fellowship

Purpose: Fellowships to USA early-career teachers to participate in a professional development program to advance their teaching careers in high school-level mathematics and science. Selected fellows will receive stipends and grants, mentoring and coaching, and networking resources, and may receive funding for participation in college courses, teacher workshops, conferences, and internships. Funding is intended for teachers in the disciplines of mathematics, physics, biology, and/or chemistry. Knowles Teaching Fellowships are explicitly designed to support beginning high school teachers; hence the Foundation is seeking candidates who are committed to working with adolescents and teaching math or science at the high school level.

Deadline: October 13, 2023
Learn more.

 

GameTime

Purpose: Grants to USA nonprofit and youth organizations, schools, and parks departments to purchase outdoor recreational equipment. The purpose of this program is to help promote physical activity, reduce childhood obesity, and encourage play for all. This special matching fund offer applies to PowerScape (including Altus and Spire Towers), PrimeTime (including Odyssey), Xscape, IONiX, Modern City, and Stadium, as well as select Challenge Courses and THRIVE fitness systems.

Deadline: October 20, 2023
Learn more.

 

Veterans of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Education Teacher Award

Purpose: Awards of $3,000 and in-kind support to USA K-12 teachers to recognize excellence and dedication in teaching students topics related to civic responsibility. Eligible candidates are those that conduct activities that educate students about beliefs and values that are essential to democracy. One elementary school, middle school, and high school teacher will be selected at the national level. Teachers who promote flag etiquette, civic responsibility, and patriotism are prime candidates for the award. In addition to cash awards, winners will receive commemorative plaques and all-expenses-paid trips to the VFW National Convention.

Deadline: October 31, 2023
Learn more.

California Grant Opportunities

SVCREATES, ArtsEdConnect

Purpose:Grants of up to $500, grants of up to $2,500, and grants of up to $3,000 to California K-12 teachers in eligible regions to support arts programs. Funding is intended to enrich students’ arts experience by providing teachers with needed materials and supplies and by creating opportunities for students to engage in arts activities and field trips. Eligible teachers are located in Santa Clara County.

Deadline: October 5, 2023
Learn more.

 

Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Outreach Foundation, Building STEAM Classrooms Initiative

Purpose: In-kind support to California K-12 teachers in eligible regions for supplies related to STEM classes. Any number of teachers from the same school may apply for assistance. All materials received through the program must support STEM classwork. All funding is to benefit students and teachers in the Greater Bay Area, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties. The Synopsys Outreach Foundation works to ignite interest, nurture potential, and empower all K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In order to do this, they collaborate with Greater Bay Area education stakeholders and community partners to provide equitable and inclusive opportunities in project-based STEM.

Deadline: October 15, 2023
Learn more.

Georgia Grant Opportunities

Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Conservation Section, Conservation Teacher of the Year Grant

Purpose: Grant of $1,000 to a Georgia teacher to implement an educational life science project for K-5 students. Funding is intended to support programs related to wildlife and their ecosystems and habitats. The goal of the grant program is to assist an elementary school teacher (including science specialists) who demonstrate exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences. Although this grant emphasizes life science, cross-curricular teaching is highly encouraged. Prospective teachers must use Georgia’s native animals, plants, and habitats as the context for covering Georgia Standards of Excellence. Preference will be given to teachers who demonstrate creativity in project design and take learning outside, as well as projects that could not be funded otherwise. Teaching may take place in person (on school grounds) or virtually (online).

Deadline: October 16, 2023
Learn more.

 

Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Owner’s Association

Purpose: Grants of $1,000, grant of $10,000, and grant of $20,000 to Georgia organizations and educators for programs that benefit K-12 students in eligible counties. Funding is intended for a range of projects, including educational initiatives, community services, arts and sports activities, technology, and mentorship and empowerment programs. Projects must take place in the Greater Atlanta area and benefit students in one of the following counties: Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton. Qualifying activities include the following, as long as need is demonstrated: Arts activities, Education initiatives, Mentorship and empowerment programs, After-school programs, Community service, Sports activities, Technology

Deadline: October 20, 2023
Learn more.

 

GA 100 Initiative: Community Mini Soccer Fields Program

Purpose: Grants to Georgia nonprofit organizations and K-12 schools for the construction or enhancement of athletic fields. The purpose of the program is to benefit underresourced communities by increasing access to safe sports and building interest in the game of soccer. Funding may be used for the creation of new fields or for improvements to existing facilities.

Deadline: October 30, 2023
Learn more.

__________

If you want timely information about upcoming grant opportunities, sign up for the EdTec grants newsletter here. EdTec can also provide support with grant writing – reach out to our grants specialist to discuss your school’s needs!

Charter School Data Management

Don’t Have a Data Lead at Your Charter School? No Problem!

At EdTec, we believe that success is built upon collaboration. Our team of charter experts forms a strong partnership with your school, providing the strategic insight needed to keep you firmly on track towards your educational goals. We meet charter school leaders exactly where they are, offering expert guidance and comprehensive solutions to troubleshoot challenges, streamline processes, and create efficiencies.

Your Compass in the Sea of Data

Our team works with you to maximize your system’s features and benefits. We offer support with scheduling, report cards, and gradebook and GPA setup, and we can also create custom reports. Our team can also provide training as well as extend year-round helpdesk support to your team.

We recognize that charter schools operate within a unique landscape, and that’s why our support is charter-specific and real-time. You’ll have consistent access to a dedicated member of our team who specializes in charter schools. There is no wasted time spent navigating call menus or re-explaining an issue to a different support person unfamiliar with your school’s history and the specific requirements charters must meet.

Fuel Growth Through Student Achievement Analysis

Numbers tell a story, and we’re here to help you decipher it. Our experts perform comprehensive student achievement analyses, showcasing your school’s growth and progress. Our analysis includes an overview of school-wide performance, longitudinal cohort analysis, and insights into performance of grade levels and subgroups on state and local assessments, such as NWEA and i-Ready. We can also compare your school’s performance to state and local benchmarks,, Our analysis allows you to identify where things are going well as well as where extra supports may be needed, empowering you to make decisions that bolster student success.

Harness the Power of Learning Management Solutions

Through our partnership with Otus, a K-12 all-in-one Data, Assessment, and Learning Management Solution, you’ll have t a holistic view of your student’s performance by collecting and using data from multiple sources.

Create and share formative and summative assessments, track progress over time, differentiate instruction, and deliver personalized learning. Customization allows you to view performance by student group to ensure all students are growing and on pace to meet their goals. EdTec provides the Otus platform to charter schools large and small with attractive solution pricing and charter-specific, customized support.

Chart Your Course with Confidence

Navigating the waters of charter applications and renewals can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. Our team of experts provides guidance to ensure your charter applications and renewals are not only strong and compliant but also aligned with your school’s vision and goals. With EdTec by your side, you can confidently steer your charter through the process with grace.

Plan for Renewal with Confidence

EdTec works with schools to develop strong, compliant, and successful charter renewal applications. Our expert team provides support with narrative development and student performance analysis, all while making sure your school’s goals are in alignment with your mission and vision. and budget creation.

Shape College-Ready Futures with Postsecondary Data Analysis

Through our partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse® EdTec offers the StudentTracker® for High Schools service to charter schools bundled with EdTec’s robust, charter-specific data services.

StudentTracker® for High Schools provides information about your graduates’ college enrollment, persistence, and completion. EdTec acts as your data lead, managing the data upload and reporting process. This valuable postsecondary data and analysis resource empowers schools to track goals tied to college readiness and completion and demonstrate progress for renewal and other compliance requirements.

Actionable School Plans in Partnership with Seasoned Charter Experts

At EdTec, we’re advocates, collaborators, and partners in your mission to provide an excellent education for your students. Our data and assessment services are designed to empower you with the tools, information, and insights needed to bolster student outcomes and fulfill the mission and vision of your charter.

Ready to harness the power of data? Reach out to us today to learn more about our charter school data and assessment services!

Making the Most of the Relationship with your Charter School Back Office Partner | Part 3 of 3

August 18, 2023

You’ve worked hard to choose the right charter school back office services partner, now it’s time to make the relationship flourish! A good relationship is built on a foundation of mutual understanding of expectations, roles, and responsibilities. Read on for a few best practices and tips for a smooth working relationship.

Clarify Responsibilities

Understanding what your charter school back office partner will provide for your school is critical. Once a school leader and board understand what is covered, they can fill any remaining gaps with additional staff or staff allocations to particular tasks. This understanding aids in the efficient completion of back office tasks and avoids costly mistakes that can be time consuming to fix.

Communication is Key

Address any communication and information transfer issues with internal staff and the back office partner quickly so efficient business routines are established from the outset of the relationship.

Quality Checks Start on Day One

Address response time and service level issues early so they do not become a problem. Gently, but firmly, keep the provider accountable for what is included in the contract to ensure that your needs and expectations are being met. Just as you do not settle for substandard work in the classroom, do not settle for it from your back office partner. And remember: excellence in the classroom can either be furthered or inhibited by the quality of your back office operations.

Delegate Internally

Assign a point person who is responsible for communicating with your back office partner for each function (e.g., accounts payable, payroll, etc.) Additionally, assign a person or team of people (e.g., school leader and board member) to oversee the work and make sure it all ties together. For example, a board member who is comfortable with financial statements should review the financial reports of the service provider and communicate questions and/or concerns.

Take the Time to Understand Your Financial Situation

Schedule time each month to review the financials in detail to understand your school’s current financial position, review budget variances, and discuss what assumptions are informing the forecast updates Even with a back office partner, charter school leaders will always need to be involved in critical decisions to ensure the financial stability of their school, and the board has fiduciary responsibility for the school.

Seek Guidance

Don’t hesitate to call upon the charter school back office support company for support. That’s what they’re there for; they’re your partner!

As a school leader, you put tremendous time, energy, and effort into ensuring that your students have the best teachers and the necessary resources to reach their potential. To ensure that your charter school, both as a business and learning center, reaches its highest potential, you need access to the finest support and resources.

If you’re interested in learning more about EdTec’s back office services and how we can support your school’s success, fill out the form below!