September 2015
Dear Charter School Supporter,
It's hard to believe September is here already, and with that, we are just a month out from our big state conference in Baton Rouge! As you know, our conference theme this year is "20/20 Vision: Celebrating 20 Years, Preparing for 20 More," to mark the 20th anniversary of Louisiana's charter school law. It's my hope that you will join your colleagues and the wider Louisiana charter school community in commemorating this important milestone by registering for our conference today.
This year, I'm excited to announce the introduction of two new awards to help recognize the amazing work being done by our schools: the Community Roots Award and the Innovative Education Award. We're seeking nominations for both awards, so please see below for more details on how to nominate your school   the deadline to submit a nomination is September 30, 2015.
There's much to celebrate as we consider where we are as a charter movement today, and at the same time, more work to be done to ensure charter schools are fulfilling their promise as high quality educational options for the children and families of Louisiana. I'm seeing this firsthand as I hit the road for our annual State Tour, traveling throughout the state to visit charter schools, meet with community members, and share what's happening statewide in the charter landscape. I look forward to continuing the conversation with each of you soon, whether it's in your hometown or in Baton Rouge at our conference.
Sincerely,
Caroline Roemer
Executive Director, LAPCS

Nominate a Charter School for a 2015 Louisiana Charter School Conference Award
This year, LAPCS will be presenting two new awards to member schools: the Community Roots Award and the Innovative Education Award. Awards include a $1500 donation to the school, so submit your nomination today! Visit lapcsconference.org/awards.html to view the criteria and fill out the nomination form. The deadline to submit a nomination is September 30, 2015.
Power Breakfast Speaker for Oct 13 Conference: Kai Kight
Kai Kight, an innovative violinist, composer, and speaker who has inspired thousands to reach their own creative potential, will serve as the Power Breakfast speaker at the 2015 Louisiana Charter School Conference. Check out the video below to learn more about Kai, and if you haven't done so already, register for our conference today!
New Resources from the National Alliance
The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools recently released two reports:
Chartering Turnaround: Leveraging Public Charter School Autonomy to Address Failure, provides case studies of three charter management organizations (CMOs) that have successfully restarted low-achieving public schools.
Separation of Church and School: Guidance for Public Charter Schools Using Religious Facilities is a guidebook to help public charter schools navigate the complicated legal landscape surrounding public charter school use of a facility owned or operated by a religious organization.
For more reports and publications by the Alliance, visit their website.
Percentage of Americans who said they support charter schools from two different polls conducted recently. The 64% figure is from the 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll, an annual poll of the public's attitudes toward public schools in the U.S; the 47% figure is from the 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform.
Non-SEA Charter School Grant Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Education's Charter Schools Program has announced the Non-State Educational Agency (Non-SEA) grant competition, which will provide two types of grants directly to charter schools: 1) a grant for charter school developers to plan, design, and complete the initial implementation of their school, and 2) a grant for existing charter schools to assist other schools in adapting the program, or to disseminate information about the charter school.
Please note that this grant will ONLY be awarded to schools that are in states that do not have a Charter School Program SEA grant. Louisiana has applied for the grant, so schools here will not know whether they are eligible to submit an application until the U.S. Department of Education announces the recipients of the SEA grant later in September. However, because the Non-SEA grant competition has a deadline of October 6, 2015, we encourage schools to be prepared to submit applications to the Department directly.
The Department will host a pre-application webinar on Wednesday, September 9, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. EST. The password for the webinar is “nsea”.
For more information on the grant, click here (for charter developers) and here (for existing charters).
Click here for the federal notice inviting applications for the grant.
Partner Connection Spot
For more information on our Vendor Program, please contact Donyell McGlathery, Director of Strategic Partnerships.

VOYAGER SOPRIS LEARNING™ is committed to partnering with schools to build local capacity and overcome obstacles that students, teachers, and school leaders face every day. Their research- and evidence- based solutions are innovative, both in overall instructional approach and in the strategic use of technology. Learn more about their services here.

HIGHMARK SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT serves charter schools exclusively by providing 100% financing and turnkey development of permanent, high-quality school buildings. Since 2005, HighMark has developed nearly 30 properties nationwide. And unlike commercial or bond financing, the HighMark model—with its dedicated capital—suits independent start-ups, operational schools, and multiple school operators. Learn more about their services here.

Upcoming Training & Events
  • September 15-17, 2015 – State Tour: Shreveport
  • October 6-8, 2015 – State Tour: Baton Rouge
  • October 13, 2015 – 8th Annual Louisiana Charter Schools ConferenceRegister now! Exhibitor and sponsor opportunities are still available. Visit lapcsconference.org for more information.
  • December 11, 2015  Apply Yourself! Seminar. A joint training from LAPCS and the Louisiana Department of Education for those in the final stages of submitting a charter application. More information to be announced.
  • December 17, 2015 – Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook CLE. This free continuing legal education course will review the Louisiana Charter School Board Legal Handbook, a joint project of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and Louisiana Appleseed. The training will take place in New Orleans. 
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