2013 is off to a quick start already - I've been in my role as Executive Director for the WCSA for just a few months now, and even within a few short weeks of the new year things are getting more and more exciting.
Coming up super soon we have the National School Choice Week Whistlestop event - this will take place January 30th at the Grainery in Milwaukee. A big event that will attract much attention, it will include the Governor, the Mayor of Milwaukee, and many other dignitaries. I am proud to announce that the WCSA is a partner in the event. Go to our homepage to get more of the details.
At the end of 2012, we started mapping out our plan for the coming year. We used input from our survey last fall, which included member input that discussed our accomplishments over the past year as well as identified areas of need, to establish priorities and goals for 2013.
Based on input from our Members and the WCSA Board, we are now working on the following priorities for the next 6 months to 1 year:
1. Member only services - we will look to introduce more services that are available only to members. This will include a password-protected members-only area with resources that area of value to our membership base. More on this in coming months.
2. Increase the number of funders - we are looking to find donors and funders who will contribute to some of the key efforts we have in our plans, like the quality school framework initiative.
3. Increase base of members - we are looking to increase our membership base, and are well on our way to accomplishing this goal.
4. Ensure that the WCSA is differentiated from other groups, and communicates how it works closely with other educational groups around the state - we are in partnership with the DPI and WISN, and together these groups will do more outbound communicaiton explaining how we fill different roles, but are complimentary in nature. Together, the sum is greater than the individual parts.
5. Obtain legislative victories - we all know there are plenty of things we need to support quality education and charter schools in our state. We will be working hard on the advocacy side to gain a victory (or more) for charter schools and those who educate in them.
6. Focus on quality - the only way we can help the children in our state is to offer a quality eduction in all schools. We are looking to launch a quality initiative in coming months, and our priority is to ensure a strong public school education is available to the greatest number of Wisconsin students possible.
7. Events (such as Advocacy Day, Charter Schools Week and the Innovation Conference) - we know that our members want great quality events that accomplish a wide number of purposes. We heard loud and clear that you want opportunities to network and gain professional development so we look forward to bringing you the Leadership Institute Series. We also have Advocacy Day and Charter Schools Week coming up this spring, and the WCSA is proud to be a part of the Innovation Conference in Appleton. We will continue to determine the ways WCSA can offer or be a part of events that are important and valuable for our members.
It’s that time of year again.
It is time to gear up for the 2013-14 enrollment season. The open enrollment time period has been extended this year in Wisconsin - it begins February 4th, and lasts through April 30th. Some clarity around open enrollment: Open enrollment is to a district, not to a specific school. Your Charter Schools enrollment period may be for any length of time, but you are obligated to publicize your charter schools enrollment period for parents and the community.
One of the things I aim to do in 2013 is meet with as many of our member schools and discuss in detail our overall goals and our legislative priorities. Please make a point to meet me at an upcoming event, or drop me an email or give me a call. I truly want to talk to as many of you as possible.
All the best,