Charter schools are those that have broken away from the public school mould to a certain extent. They are still have to produce certain results and are still a non-profit organization. Furthermore tuition cannot be charged by them and in many cases they provide a more well rounded education and better environment than public schools. This is mainly due to the better teacher to student ratio in these schools.
All said and done charter schools are not as easy to open. It is a long and complex process and needs a lot of perseverance, willingness to persist and you can reap the rewards in due course. Here are 10 Reasons to consider before opening a charter school.
1. Vision – First and foremost you must be very clear as to what your vision for this school is. Decide early on what kind of education you intend to give and how you intend to go about it.
2. Mission - Draft out a clear and concise mission statement. Before drafting your mission statement, you must check with the governing bodies if there are any specifics that must be added to the mission statement.
3. Gathering support - no venture of this scale can be started alone, so gather as much support as you can get from people who share your passion in this area. Then recruit experts in the field to help you run this.
4. In your community – Let there be a good mix of people who set out to propagate interest in your school including educationalists, business men, leaders in the community etc. This will evoke more of an interest in your school.
5. Filling it up – There is a lot of paperwork to be filled out when you set out on this enterprise. Be prepared to fill out pages and pages of application forms and sort out legal documentation to get approval for the charter school.
6. Funding - Get your funds in order. Charter schools get their funds from the governing bodies of the state and local school district. You can also look into low-interest loans and funds from personal investors and corporate.
7. Land – You need to buy either a land to start you school or a much cheaper option would be to buy an existing building.
8. Supplies- School should be properly stocked with school supplies like books, boards, tables and chairs etc. Find out for someone who has expertise running a charter school how much you will need, so that you will not fall short of supplies, but also not go over budget either.
9. Faculty and Staff – Be clear about what kind of education you intend to provide, so that you can look for the best educators and staff to fulfill your mission.
10. Students- no school is one without students. Place ads in the local newspaper informing parents about your school and the application process. Start the application process during spring break or summer. Have a good informative handbook ready along with the application form to make charter school a success.
These 10 Reasons to consider before opening a charter school should give an insight to anybody aspiring to start a charter school.