New Schools Institute

New-School-Institute-250Your charter application has been approved?  Congratulations!   You’ve completed the easy part.  Now the real work begins.


Opening a charter school is a monumental task.  There are so many tasks which will need to be completed between your charter approval and August that it can be overwhelming.  The vast majority of school leaders who are opening their first school significantly underestimate the amount of time and number of tasks which will need to be completed in order to open successfully.  As a result, many leaders put off these tasks until Spring, making it nearly impossible to complete everything.  Many charter schools which plan to open the following year are required to request an deferment to open later as a result of this under-estimation.    The Charter Support Unit would like to help the leaders of new schools to prepare for their opening through the New Schools Institute.

The New School Institute is a series of trainings provided for free to school leaders who are working to open a charter school.  Governing Board members and administrators will particularly benefit from these trainings.  The institute will meet every two months, and will specifically deal with topics and issues that leaders will be facing over the next two months to prepare them for the tasks they will be working on.

The first New School Institute occurred in 2015-16.  Over twenty schools have participated in the training, and the results have been overwhelming positive.  Take for example these testimonials:


  • I don’t know how a new charter school could open without using this New School Institute. It was invaluable to us to have the resources provided by Curtis Fuller and all the template policies, forms and procedures as well as practical advice from his real experiences running charter schools.
  • Our charter’s founding group was passionate, dedicated, and resourceful, however we all had one thing in common … we never did this before! Having the support of CSU was instrumental in making sure we were on target with important deliverables, and acted as a wealth of information whenever we found something difficult to navigate. Now that we’ve officially opened I still leverage their abundant resources that have been made available to us as we find our new normal as a new public charter school. Thank you Charter Support Unit!
  • Overall, the trainings conducted by the Charter Support Unit provided my Board and support team with valuable resources and tools to assist us in preparing to open our charter school. All information and presentations were delivered in a thoughtful manner and time was given for feedback and participation by those attending. The handbook is a tremendous asset and Curtis and his team have always been encouraging and helpful.

The New Schools Institute will be starting a new session for a new cohort of schools in November, 2017 at the Florida Charter School Conference, as one of the pre-conference sessions held from 9am – 12pm on Wednesday, November 1. We ask that you please complete the RSVP form below if you are able to attend the session so we can prepare materials for the correct number of people. While we highly recommend that everyone considering opening a school attend the conference, if you are unable to do so, you can participate in the New School Institute electronically or separately.  If you would like to participate electronically, please indicate so in the form below.  If you would like to attend in person, but are unable to attend the state conference, please contact Curtis Fuller at cfuller@flcsu.org or 727-286-3185 to discuss your participation.

Future sessions of the New School Institute will be held in January, March and July of 2018.  The participants of the November session will help to set the schedule and location of the future meetings to meet the needs of the participants.

We highly encourage all schools who have an approved charter application but have not yet opened their school to consider attending the this free training.  Each training will focus on key tasks which should be considered within the time frame of each meeting in order to prepare for opening your school the following August.   Some of the key benefits to participants will include:

  • The opportunity to network with other school leaders who are also opening your school.
  • Key “just-in-time” training related to tasks you will be working on to open your school.
  • Access to a free project management software system hosted by the Charter Support Unit to organize tasks and projects.
  • Training from charter school experts regarding the operation and opening of charter schools.

Each meeting will focus on key topics that will be relevant to the school leaders at the time. Below is a partial list of the topics to be covered at each training:

November 1, 2017
9am – 12pm
January, 2018 March, 2018 May, 2018 July, 2018
Florida Charter School Conference
100 North Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida, 32118
To be determined To be determined To be announced by the DOE To be determined
  • New Schools Checklist
  • Corporate Documents
  • Tax Exempt Status
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Facilities Search
  • Marketing and Messaging
  • Administration
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Project Management
  • Charter Contract
  • Project Management
  • Corporate Operations
  • Government in the Sunshine
  • Insurance
  • Finance / Budget
  • Human Resources
  • Hiring Timelines
  • Facilities Updates
  • ESE Basics
  • Enrollment & Lottery
  • CSP Grants
  • Common Legal Issues
  • Policy Manual
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Student/Family Handbooks
  • Budgeting & Purchasing
  • Curriculum
  • Inventory
Required training provided by the state

  • Governance Best Practices
  • Sponsors
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Charter School Funding
  • Financial Management and Operations
  • Federal Funds and CSP
  • Legal Updates
  • Changes for 17-18
  • Staffing Issues
  • Onboarding Students
  • Master Scheduling
  • Day-One Procedures
  • Student Behavior / Culture
  • Finances
  • Purchasing & Inventory

If you would like more information or if you have any other questions regarding the New School Institute, please mail Curtis Fuller or call the Charter Support Unit at 727-286-3185.

RSVP Form:


Archive of Past Trainings