Governance Resources

Appling for 501(c)(3) Status

Charter Schools in Florida are required to incorporate as not-for-profit agencies.  This means that when ... Read More

Board Member Application

This form can be used by potential board members to ascertain their interest and areas of expertise with regards to joining a charter school's Board of Directors. Read More

Board Member Self Evaluation Form

This form can be used by Governing Board members following a board meeting to provide feedback on how the meeting went. Periodically collecting such data can help a charter school focus in on areas that may help the Governing Board operate more effectively. Read More

Charter School & EMO Ethics: Not Just Do's and Don'ts

Charter school boards are subject to public ethics laws.  In general, charter school management companies are not.  Both must comply with state employment, whistleblower, deceptive trade practice, and false claims act laws.  This session examines the public ethics obligations of charter school boards, the intersection of state statutory regulations with them, and best practices for management companies.  Best practices derive from state and federal regulatory regimes, as well as warranties and representations required by most banks and other financial institutions which finance school real estate and improvements. This webinar, presented by Mr. Nathan Adams of Holland & Knight LLP will be especially helpful for board members and administrators. Read More

Comprehensive Policy Manual

This sample policy manual provides a sample comprehensive policy manual that schools can use to craft their own policy manual. It is strongly recommended that schools do not just adopt this policy manual, but instead use it as a reference to develop a policy manual that will work well with the school in accordance with your charter application, charter contract and desires of the governing board. Read More

Conflicts of Interest, Ethics and Nepotism

The Governing Board members of charter schools are volunteers, restricted by statute from personal gain from the school itself. Strict rules regarding conflict of interest, ethics and nepotism exist to prevent Governing Board members or their immediate family members from financial gain. These restrictions often raise questions of what is and is not allowable for governing board members. This webinar, presented by attorney Kathleen Schoenberg will focus specifically on conflicts of interest, ethics and nepotism to help governing board members and charter school staff who support them make appropriate decisions in their governance. Read More

Effective Board Meetings & Members

This webinar will discussed the three “R’s” – recruiting, running and retaining the right mix of people on your charter school board of directors. This presentation focused on ideas for filling vacant board seats and share tips for organizing your board to help retain quality board members. We also discussed the steps necessary to holding a well-organized, productive board meeting. The webinar was presented by Kathleen Schoenberg, an attorney focusing on charter school operations and an approved Florida governance trainer and Marjorie Waldo, the Principal of Franklin Academy in Boynton Beach. Read More

Florida Charter School Evaluation Site

This webinar provided an overview of the Florida Charter School Evaluation Site. The training site is intended to sustain the onsite teacher and principal evaluation training funded by the Department of Education and delivered by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/The Leadership and Learning Center throughout 2013. The resources provided on the site will help users understand and implement teacher and principal evaluation systems that meet the Florida statutory requirements. During this webinar, a team member from HMH walked attendees through the resources available on the website and how to easily access information to support evaluation plan development, refinement, or delivery of professional development on research-based teaching and leadership best practices. Read More

General Board Schedule Grid

This document provides a general outline for a schedule schools may wish to consider regarding regular annual topics the governing board must discuss and consider. Read More

Governance in the Sunshine

As a charter school, your Governing Board is a public entity, and subject to all of the rules and regulations of the “Government in the Sunshine” act in Florida Statutes. Understanding these rules is essential to ensure you have a properly operating Board. This presentation will highlight some of the key requirements of Government in the Sunshine and provide things to remember and watch out for in the operation of your charter school. Read More
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Jan 2015

Governing Board Presentation

The Charter Support Unit is available to conduct this presentation for free to charter schools ... Read More

Governing Board Resources Presentation

The CSU has developed a presentation geared towards charter school governing boards. The goal of this presentation is to open a dialogue among the board about the role of governance at the school, and to provide the Board with answers to questions they may have regarding charter schools in Florida. This webinar will share some of the information that is provided during the governing board presentation, as well as provide information about how to request this service for your school's governing board. Read More

Government in the Sunshine - Part 1

Florida Charter Schools are required to comply with the state's complex Government in the Sunshine requirements. The current Government in the Sunshine manual is 326 pages long, and contains numerous requirements that public entities must comply with. This two-part webinar presented by Melissa Gross-Arnold and Shawn Arnold of the Arnold Law Firm will cover some of the key specific questions that are often asked by charter schools. A partial list of topics include: committees, evaluations, agendas, minutes, recordings, required attendees, electronic participation and more. The first of the two webinars will be presented on October 22 with the second presentation on October 29. This presentation will be especially beneficial for Governing Board members and the school administrators who support them. Read More

Government in the Sunshine - Part 2

Florida Charter Schools are required to comply with the state's complex Government in the Sunshine requirements. The current Government in the Sunshine manual is 326 pages long, and contains numerous requirements that public entities must comply with. This two-part webinar presented by Melissa Gross-Arnold and Shawn Arnold of the Arnold Law Firm will cover some of the key specific questions that are often asked by charter schools. A partial list of topics include: committees, evaluations, agendas, minutes, recordings, required attendees, electronic participation and more. This was the second of two webinars, and is particularly beneficial for Governing Board members and the school administrators who support them. Read More

Know Your Charter Contract

For Charter Schools fully understanding the charter contract is essential. The contract defines the relationship between the district and the school, and the requirements the school must abide by. When charter school leaders reach out for help, usually the first question asked is "what does your contract say?" This presentation hosted by a respected charter school attorney will discuss how to read and understand the contract and some tips to help organize the responsibilities defined therein. Read More

New School Checklist

The new school checklist was developed for newly approved charter schools working to open a ... Read More

New School Institute Training 1

The Charter Support Unit was excited to present the first New School Institute training on ... Read More

Public Comment Registration Form

We recommend that each Governing Board approve a policy with regards to public comment at board meetings.  This form could be used for members of the public to register to speak and provide public comment at such a meeting. Read More

Public Meeting Notice

Sample document to use to publically post a meeting notice to comply with government in the sunshine requirements. Read More

Sample Board Meeting Packet Template

The CSU recommends that the Governing Board setup a process whereby they receive pertinent information regarding the board meeting agenda, reports, and agenda items a designed amount of time before each governing board meeting.  This document provides a potential template for organizing that materials.  These packets are typically prepared by school staff (most often the school's Principal) prior to each Board meeting. Read More

Sample Policy Manual

This sample policy manual provides a sample comprehensive policy manual that schools can use to craft their own policy manual. It is strongly recommended that schools do not just adopt this policy manual, but instead use it as a reference to develop a policy manual that will work well with the school in accordance with your charter application, charter contract and desires of the governing board. Read More

Strategic Planning 101

Unless you know where you are going, you’ll never know if you’ve arrived. Strategic Planning is the process of envisioning where you want to be as an organization, and building action steps to get there. As each charter school matures, strategic planning helps you break out of just the day-to-day focus of the early operational years to a strategic, prioritized approach for long-term sustainability and growth. The presenter, Mark Cannon, has a dozen years of experience in the charter school movement in Florida and nationally as a governance and strategic planning consultant. In this webinar, he will discuss the elements of an effective strategic plan and provide suggestions for charter school leaders and board members on how to carry out a strategic planning process. Read More

Supporting the Governing Board as an Administrator

A charter school administrator serves not only the traditional educational leadership role, but also the role of a CEO of a non-profit organization. This often means coordinating the activities of, and interacting with, the Governing Board. While this is an essential part of the responsibilities, it is not something traditionally covered in educational leadership programs. This presentation will talk about the balance between coordinating the Governing Board as an employee of the Board, and ideas on how to facilitate Board Meetings in an effective way. Read More

Tips for Effective Board Functioning

An effective governing board is an essential component to a successful charter school.  Operating the governing board efficiently is not an easy task.  This presentation will cover a variety of important topics ranging from how to recruit and retain members, how to use committees to make meetings more efficient, and how to set agendas and manage board meeting time.  This presentation will be very beneficial to board members themselves, but also for school leaders who are often tasked with the responsibility of staffing the governing board. Read More