Act 55 Board Trainings Now Being Offered Virtually: The Act 55 Board Trainings that were scheduled for April 17 and May 1 will now take place online. If you would like to register for the April 17 training you can do so HERE and you can register for the May 1 training HERE. If you have already registered for these events, there is no need to do so again. PCPCS will contact folks who are already registered with the information to participate virtually.
Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, school board directors and charter school trustees were required to complete training programs pursuant to Act 55 of 2017. School board directors or charter school trustees appointed as of July 1, 2018 are required to complete the initial four-hour training program required under Act 55 during their first year in office. The training programs are intended to enhance the skills and knowledge necessary for individuals to serve successfully on the governing bodies of public schools across the Commonwealth.
In partnership with Charter Choices and the attorneys that are members of our Legal Advisory Council, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is hosting this training in various locations throughout the state so that we may be directly involved in the accountability and success of all Pennsylvania charter schools.
As part of the training offered by us, board members will participate in protocols developed by the National School Reform Faculty designed to stimulate healthy and productive conversation. The proposed agenda design makes frequent use of interactive protocols designed to ensure that participants are engaged and making meaning of the course content (rather than sitting as passive recipients). The course content itself draws upon reputable sources such as the Harvard Business Review, Charter Board Partners, and PCPCS’ own extensive library of resources.
In addition to addressing all of the core areas required by Pennsylvania Department of Education – academics, finances, charter school law, personnel, operations, governance, and ethics/accountability – this agenda invites board members to work collaboratively as problem-solvers by introducing “case studies” (i.e., scenarios based on real challenges faced by boards in PA) and supplying participants with the tools to develop solutions of their own that align with research-based best practices. Facilitators will also create space for establishing a sense of trust, common expectations and norms, and building energy and enthusiasm for the day’s work.
Each session will address the following areas:
INSTRUCTION AND ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
This session will serve as an overview of topics related to instruction and academic programs. The training covers the role of the board in overseeing academic outcomes, structure and purpose of academic committee, data review and analysis, and key questions surrounding instruction and academic programs.
This session will serve as an overview of topics related to charter school personnel and effective charter school leadership. The training includes topics such as ensuring exceptional school leadership, planning for succession, and the requirements for both professional and administrative staffing.
This session will serve as an overview of topics related to effective charter school governance. The training includes topics such as a commitment to exemplary governance, with specific information about implementation of best governance practices, including board composition, and the structure of charter school board meetings.
This session will serve as an overview of topics related to the basic operations of charter schools. The training includes topics such as the strategic direction for the charter school and an exploration of the ways in which the board of trustees may plan in a manner that balances oversight and management of the charter school.
This session will serve as an overview of topics related to charter school fiscal management. The training includes topics such as managing resources responsibly and the basics of charter school funding and budgets.
ETHICS, OPEN MEETINGS, AND REGULATIONS
This session will serve as is an overview of topics related to maintaining legal and regulatory compliance. The training includes topics such as a review of Pennsylvania Charter School Law and other applicable statutes and regulatory requirements (inclusive of the Sunshine Act and the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act).
The training is free of cost for PCPCS members. All charter school CEOs are also invited to participate in addition to their board members. There will be a $80 per person cost for non-PCPCS members to attend. On-site training is also available for $500 for 2 hours or $1,000 for 4 hours. If you are interested in scheduling onsite training, please contact Brandie Karpew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In person training will still be available on October 21 at the PCPCS Annual Conference.