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Editor’s Note: Building a positive school culture in your charter school can help students achieve more, build morale among both staff and students, and attract and retain exceptional teachers, among other key benefits. This outstanding content is from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and was originally published here on February 5, 2019. If your goal is to implement or improve the school culture in your charter school but don’t know where to start, this toolkit will be an invaluable resource to get the ball rolling.
We think it’s vital to keep tabs on the pulse of all things related to charter schools, including informational resources, and how to support charter school growth and the advancement of the charter school movement as a whole. We hope you find this—and any other article we curate—both interesting and valuable.
Positive culture is a key ingredient in any school’s success. A strong culture helps schools hire, develop, and retain more great teachers; avoid challenges with staff morale; and inspire students to reach greater heights. But we’ve found many charter schools are unsure where to begin in understanding or improving their culture.
This toolkit contains practical resources to help school and network leaders build stronger cultures at their schools—starting tomorrow—so that they become places where the best teachers want to build long, rewarding careers. Many of the tools were created and curated by TNTP, a national nonprofit with more than two decades of experience working with public charter schools and traditional district schools.
These resources provide a high-level overview of the most important elements of a strong instructional culture.
A key part of sustaining a strong school culture is holding on to outstanding teachers who embody it. These resources can help school leaders do just that.
Salaries and career advancement matter to teachers as much as they matter to other professionals—and both are an important part of how teachers perceive their school’s culture. Network and school leaders can use these resources to help ensure their compensation and career pathway policies reinforce strong cultures at the school level, and give their best teachers more opportunities to shape policies and practices beyond their own classroom.
Every teacher hiring decision sends a message about what a school truly values in its culture. Those new hires, in turn, help shape the school’s culture for years to come. Building a selection process around a clear vision and set of expectations can help schools hire the teachers who best fit their culture—and reduce morale and performance challenges over the long run. These resources can help school and network leaders take stock of the standards they want to set when hiring teachers and implement them consistently.
These organizations offer other useful perspectives on building school cultures designed to attract and retain top teachers:
Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!Learn More