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Charter Leader Spotlight Series: Gayle Nadler, Executive Director, Multicultural Learning Center

April 28, 2022

Last month, the Multicultural Learning Center received the California Charter Schools Association’s (CCSA) Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year (Southern California). The Hart Vision Awards, established in 1995, are named in honor of Gary K. Hart, the former California State Senator and former California Secretary of Education. The prestigious Hart Vision Awards are given annually to individuals and organizations with outstanding records of leadership and excellence in furthering California’s charter public school movement. The award recognizes​​ the work and achievements of exceptional charter public schools, leaders, and advocates.

We’re proud to work with MLC as a longtime client and admire their steadfast commitment to students and families. As a part of our Charter Leader Spotlight Series, we interviewed Gayle Nadler, the co-founder and Executive Director of MLC, to learn more about MLC, how it feels to receive such a prestigious award, and why developing global citizens is such a critical part of the school’s mission and vision!

 

EdTec: How does it feel to be the winner of the CCSA Hart Vision Award  for Charter School of the Year (Southern California)?

Gayle: It’s an honor to receive an award in Gary Hart’s name. I heard him speak at the CCSA conference many years ago and was inspired by him, the movement he started, and his brave work to get charter schools on the map in California back in 1992. He passed away in January this year, so it’s even a little more heartfelt to receive the award in his name.

I was very excited that receiving the award had to do with not only our growth academically but also our innovative dual immersion program along with our emphasis on developing global competencies in our students.

To be honest, the timing was really incredible, coming out of the two years that we’ve just experienced. To be recognized when we have felt so vulnerable shows the impact of the hard work and determination of our community. It really comes down to who you are as an organization and your values, your team, and your community especially in the toughest of times.

It’s MLC’s time to share what we’re doing, and the outcomes we’re achieving. We’re willing to share all the work that we do so that other schools and students can benefit from what we’ve learned. It’s been 20 years of innovation, creation, development, and making mistakes and fixing them. There’s a lot that we can share with developing charter schools and other organizations.

 

EdTec: Have you ever been approached by other charters for advice?

Gayle: We’re frequently working with other schools on different levels. We’re approached by a lot of developing dual language schools. These schools usually want to hear about how we teach in two languages, what curriculum we use, and where we find bilingual teachers. We’ve also been approached about different things that we do in terms of organizational culture, special programs, instruction, planning, development, and strategy.

MLC is not in this movement for solely our own benefit. We want our school to do well and be successful for the community we serve, but we’re in this movement to improve education for all students, families, and educators in California.

 

EdTec: What has been the most rewarding part of this 21-year journey for you?

Gayle: The thing that always makes me smile most, is our alumni. It’s most rewarding to hear from the alumni in terms of what they’re doing with their lives, how they furthered their education, and the impact MLC has had on who they have become as global, bilingual citizens.

 

EdTec: What has been your most valuable lesson learned over the past 21 years?

Gayle: I say this to new charter leaders all the time, the most valuable lesson you can learn as a charter leader is this: there will always be obstacles – that is the job! Don’t hope or wait for the day there will be smooth sailing because it won’t come! The job is riding the waves and sticking to your vision and mission and the reason you opened in the first place. There’s always going to be challenges in front of you and because your vision and mission is so powerful, you have what it takes to overcome them.

 

EdTec: What is it like working with your mom?

Gayle: For the first eleven years, my mother was the Executive Director and I worked under her as the Program Director. She retired in 2012, so for the last 10 years, I’ve been running the show, although she is on the board and she volunteers in the classrooms. Without her knowledge and powerful ways of making things happen, I don’t know that we would have opened. She got us going, so that I could take the reins one day and take it to the next level.

Honestly, the work is so hard and so demanding, especially in those first 10 years of running a charter school  that you don’t even have time to think about anything else! We definitely had to create boundaries and have very clear delineations – “Okay, am I talking to you as your employee or as your daughter?” So, there was a lot of that in the beginning. We were excited to build something together. It really came from our experiences as mother and daughter when I was in public school. The fact that we took this really deep experience from my childhood, and her experience as my mother, and turned it into something that would fulfill us and the community, is a very powerful thing.

 

EdTec: As a charter school leader, you need a strong support system in place. What kind of support has been key to your success?

Gayle: On the ground, it is having an operational and instructional team that is completely committed to the school, to the vision, to the purpose. You need instructional leadership that is extremely talented and focused on outcomes for students, social, emotional, and academic.  And the operations team must have wide knowledge and experience with facilities, finance, and human resources.

Beyond your staff team, you need partners like EdTec!  Having a strong, trusting relationship with our back-office provider has been essential because it’s such a fluid relationship. Our relationship with EdTec has been essential in overcoming some of those hurdles that we face on the back end of things, so that the school can operate and have all these outstanding outcomes for kids.

Other community partners and the LA philanthropic community play a critical role. And of course, our parents – they know their students best, they are true partners in their education.

It’s also important to allow an opportunity for all folks, whether they’re administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, after school tutors, custodial staff, to have a voice in the organizational operations, policies, procedures. Your supporting community should have a strong voice and a seat at the table where they can express themselves, where they can share ideas, give feedback, make suggestions, and make decisions. The key to having a strong school organization is a collaborative approach in the truest sense. This requires a lot of listening and a lot of empathy on the part of leaders. It takes a lot to create that in an organization, but that’s a key element in our success.

 

EdTec: Why is developing global citizens is so important to you?

Gayle: It’s very important for young people to know how to navigate and live in a world with diverse thinking, diverse backgrounds, diverse cultures and language. For young people to be successful in a diverse world, they must be raised in an environment where they not only are taught to be respectful to people who are different, but to live and breathe and share space each day with people who come from diverse backgrounds. The experience at MLC enables young people to think more critically when they’re adults and to look at all sides of a story, to see different perspectives and points of view. Our students can also speak in more than one language which creates greater compassion and understanding. It’s also about having the confidence and the commitment to create change when it’s necessary. Those are the skills that we’re building when we talk about global citizens.

 

EdTec: What is your vision for the future? What is something you hope to accomplish in the next few years?

Gayle: Right now, we’re working on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. I see us bouncing back and getting back into the groove of what we do. Then it’s about what can we do to take us to the next level because we never stop growing. I’d like to see us become more involved in creating change and spreading the word about some of our successful initiatives to influence others and perhaps policy.

I also want to bring in more partners, to engage more folks in the community and perhaps document our work. One of the benefits of being a charter is you’re this little incubator of innovation. But you’re so busy doing it, that you don’t really have time to sit down and document all the wonderful things you’ve done or put it into a guidebook.  It would be great to document some of the things that we’ve done so that it can be more easily shared, studied, or developed to influence equitable access to high quality education for all students.

Thank you to Gayle, and congratulations to the MLC community!

CCSA produced a special video series featuring the exemplary charter school leaders who received the 2022 Hart Vision Award. You can view the MLC video here.

The Multicultural Learning Center (MLC) is a K-8 public charter school in Los Angeles founded in 2001 by mother and daughter team Toby Bornstein and Gayle Nadler with the vision to “bring together a diverse community of learners where cultural and individual differences are the building blocks of academic, social, and intrapersonal success.” MLC achieves this vision through the school-wide implementation of a dual immersion program (Spanish/English) and a focus on global and social-emotional competencies.

Connect with EdTec at the 2022 California Charter Schools Conference!

March 7, 2022

EdTec is excited to be a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter at the 2022 California Charter Schools Conference! The conference will take place in Long Beach from March 14-17, 2022. EdTec staff, along with our partner organizations and partner schools, will present six breakout sessions, as well as one session at the virtual School Developer Summit. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to share our expertise with charter developers, new schools, and established schools.

Because everyone can always use a new headshot, EdTec is the Headshot Bar sponsor this year! The Headshot Bar will be set up at the back of the exhibit hall in the right corner during exhibit hall hours (Tuesday from 9:00am – 4:30pm, and Wednesday from 9:00am – 4:30pm).

We will have two booth locations in the exhibit hall. We hope you will stop by Booth 1112 to meet the EdTec team and learn more about our charter development and back office services. Our school data and assessment experts will be available at Booth 1515 to discuss how we help charters to create actionable school plans by supporting school leaders with accountability reporting, performance analysis, and educational partner engagement.

EdTec Breakout Sessions

Monday, March 14

Tuesday, March 15

We look forward to seeing you at our booths and sessions, in-person for the first time in three years! We hope everyone has a great conference experience full of learning, networking, and inspiration.

Connect with EdTec at the California Charter Schools Virtual Conference!

(This post has been updated to include links to the session recordings that are only accessible to conference attendees.) 

March 2, 2021

EdTec is proud to be a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter at the California Charter Schools Virtual Conference! The conference is scheduled for March 15-19, 2021. EdTec staff, along with our partner organizations and partner schools, will present 10 breakout sessions, as well as participate in the School Developer Summit and present during the Solutions Hour. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to share our expertise and connect with charter leaders across the state.

On Tuesday, March 16 at 11am, as part of the Solutions Hour, EdTec will open up its monthly, clients-only Leadership Hour series to all conference attendees! Our school finance and accountability experts will provide updates on current issues impacting California charter schools, including the 2021-22 State Budget proposal and related legislation. We’ll also provide guidance on the Local Indicators and 2021-24 LCAP development, preparing you to align your goals, set reasonable metrics, and track expenditures.

We also hope you will visit our booth in the Virtual Exhibit Hall to meet the EdTec team and learn more about our services.  We’ll be available everyday during exhibit hall hours to meet one-on-one to discuss how we can support your school with new charter petitions, back office, CALPADS,  student achievement analyses, the LCAP, licensing for learning management solutions, charter renewal, grant writing, and more.

EdTec Breakout Sessions

Monday, March 15

Tuesday, March 16

Wednesday, March 17

Thursday, March 18

Friday, March 19

 

EdTec Booth Demos

Monday, March 15 

  • Introduction to Otus — Data, Assessment, and Learning Management System | 1:00pm – 1:30pm
    • EdTec will showcase Otus, an affordable K-12 learning platform designed to streamline the process of using data to improve learning. Combined with EdTec’s charter-specific support, Otus is the ideal solution for charter schools striving for a data-driven, equity-focused school culture in a distanced-, hybrid, or in-person learning environment.

Wednesday, March 17

  • Introduction to Otus — Data, Assessment, and Learning Management System | 1:00pm – 1:30pm
    • EdTec will showcase Otus, an affordable K-12 learning platform designed to streamline the process of using data to improve learning. Combined with EdTec’s charter-specific support, Otus is the ideal solution for charter schools striving for a data-driven, equity-focused school culture in a distanced-, hybrid, or in-person learning environment.

Thursday, March 18

  • Introduction to Otus — Data, Assessment, and Learning Management System | 10:00am – 10:30am
    • EdTec will showcase Otus, an affordable K-12 learning platform designed to streamline the process of using data to improve learning. Combined with EdTec’s charter-specific support, Otus is the ideal solution for charter schools striving for a data-driven, equity-focused school culture in a distanced-, hybrid, or in-person learning environment.

Friday, March 19

  • Verified Data from National Student Clearinghouse | 10:00am – 10:30am
    • EdTec has partnered with National Student Clearinghouse® to provide verified data for charters on their graduates’ college enrollment, persistence, and completion status. EdTec makes the StudentTracker® data process simple and provides key reports to support your LCAP and renewal.

We look forward to connecting at our sessions, during our booth demos, and in the exhibit hall. We hope everyone has an informative and fun conference experience!

Connect with EdTec at the 26th Annual CCSA Conference!

March 6, 2019

EdTec is proud to be a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter at the 26th Annual California Charter Schools Conference! The conference will take place in Sacramento from March 11-14, 2019. EdTec staff, along with our partner organizations and partner schools, will present 13 breakout sessions and poster sessions, as well as two sessions at the School Developer Summit and one session at the Renewal Summit. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to share our expertise with charter developers, new schools, and established schools.  Take a look at our sessions below so you can plan ahead!

We’re also excited to announce that, for the second year in a row, we will have two booth locations at the conference this year! We hope you will stop by Booth 904 to meet the EdTec team and learn more about our charter development and back office services. Our data experts will be at Booth 710 to introduce you to LCAP 360 by EdTec – the first integrated, end-to-end LCAP service for charter schools. They’ll also be available to discuss how we support schools with CALPADS, student assessment, PowerSchool, charter renewals, grant writing, WASC, and more.

Breakout Sessions & Poster Sessions

Tuesday, March 12

Wednesday, March 13

Thursday, March 14

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

Get Your School’s Performance Data Renewal Ready!

By Annice Weinstein, Senior Manager, Assessment Data & Analysis

December 14, 2017

Charter renewal is a very time intensive process, and it can be even more demanding if you haven’t already collected the necessary performance data. The following three steps will set you up to have your data ready when the time comes to start working on your renewal petition, so you can focus your energy on putting together a sound analysis and a strong narrative that highlight your school’s achievements!

  • Download your student level data files for state tests as soon as the state makes them available. These files may not be available in your account when it’s time for renewal, so it’s best to download the files annually as they are released. For example, the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) currently stores just two years of summative test results, so make sure to have your LEA CAASPP coordinator download the files as soon as the state indicates they are ready. You can find the files in TOMS (https://caaspp.ets.org/) under Reports (on the left), LEA Reports. Scroll down to the bottom to download the Student Results Report-Student Score Data Extract for each year available. CalTAC has recently removed the 2014-15 files, so you may need to contact them directly if you didn’t already download these files. You may reach CalTAC at 800-955-2954 or caltac@ets.org.
  • Keep track of your comparison schools. Does your authorizer require comparisons to specific schools? Are there other schools in your area, or schools with demographics or programs similar to yours, that you strive to outperform? If most of the relevant comparison schools are within the same district, take a look at the California School Dashboard Five-by-Five grids to see how your school stacks up on the Dashboard indicators: http://www6.cde.ca.gov/californiamodel/. And keep an eye on your Academic Accountability Report with the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA): http://snapshots.ccsa.org/aar. CCSA produces a Similar Students Measure that will give you an idea of how your school’s performance on the SBAC compares to that of demographically similar schools.
  • Select LCAP performance metrics that track longitudinal progress for the same set of students. This will help you stay on track with annual data collection and give you a boost when you want to share your longitudinal progress on local assessments with your authorizers. The metrics can include performance on NWEA MAP, developmental reading assessments, or i-Ready. Working the tests into your LCAP metrics is a good way to ensure that you review progress annually and have the data necessary for your renewal.

EdTec @ the 2017 CCSA Conference in Sacramento!

The 24th Annual California Charter Schools Conference will be held in Sacramento, March 20 – 23, 2017. EdTec is proud to be a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter. Our staff, along with many partner organizations and schools, will present 14 breakout and poster sessions on a wide range of topics from Financial Management to Demonstrating Student Achievement to the LCAP. Take a look at the variety of sessions listed below to see what to attend. And don’t forget to stop by our booth #915 to chat with EdTec staff!

Tuesday, March 21st

Wednesday, March 22nd

EdTec Presented 16 Sessions at the 2016 CCSA Conference in Long Beach!

EdTec was honored to present 16 sessions at the 23nd Annual California Charter Schools Conference, March 14 – 17, 2016.

EdTec experts, partner organizations and school leaders spoke on topics targeted to both new and existing charter schools:

  • Everything You Need to Know about LCAP and LCFF
  • Navigating the Ops and Finance of Blended Learning
  • Thinking Through Special Education: School-of-the-District or SELPA?
  • The Secret Sauce for Building and Growing an Effective Board of Directors
  • How a Lender Looks at Your School…and How You Can Look Your Best
  • Smart Strategy: Building the Future, Today
  • Defining Reasonable & Measurable Goals for Students in Your LCAP (Poster Session)
  • Funding Equity & LCFF Implementation: Role of Fundraising to Close the Gap
  • Tips from the Masters: Sustaining Excellence in CA’s Fickle Fiscal Climate
  • How to Set Up Common Core Grading in PowerSchool (Poster Session)
  • Benchmark-Driven Budgeting: Informing Your Spending Decisions
  • Bulletproof Your Charter Petition Budget
  • Your Annual Audit: Don’t Be Afraid, Be Prepared
  • Been There, Done That: Facilities-Planning Options & Advice From Schools
  • Replicating for Success: Approaching Growth Strategically
  • From Vision to High Performing: The New School Track to Academic Success