Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A bi-weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings
around Oregon and the Nation.
RSVP today for our upcoming workshop - Determining the Data Your School Needs to Meet Its Goals, Part 2 on October 20th (3:30-4:30PM PT).
During this session, we will work collaboratively to identify appropriate data school leaders should utilize to inform their improvement strategies. Secure your spot and RSVP today!

This workshop is the second of a three-part series on determining the data your school needs to meet its goals. Can't make this one? No problem - each workshop in the series can stand alone. Attend just one, two, or all three. Missed the first one? Click here for member-exclusive access to the recording. Click the dates below to RSVP:

2021-2022 Oregon Kid Governor Classroom Registration

Oregon’s Kid Governor® program (ORKG) is a statewide civics program for 5th graders supported through Oregon Secretary of State’s office. Timed to coincide with Election Day in November, every school and home school in Oregon is eligible to enter one 5th grader to run in a statewide election that other 5th graders will vote in. Classrooms can vote in the election, nominate a classmate to run for office or do both! Oregon’s Kid Governor nominees work with their classmates to create a campaign video about why they want to be Kid Governor, their leadership skills, a community issue they want to address, and a 3-point plan that will help 5th graders across Oregon make a difference in their communities.

Now entering its fifth year, ORKG continues to be an outstanding opportunity for developing leadership skills as students are immersed in a meaningful civics experience. There is no cost, and the program provides a full classroom curriculum and information for parents whose students choose to run. Students gain valuable knowledge of our state government, how to take action through civic participation, and how people of all ages can choose to participate in our democratic society.

Click here to register!

Classroom registration for the 2021-2022 Oregon Kid Governor Election is now open! The deadline for nominating a candidate and submitting their campaign video is 11:59 p.m., October 21st, 2021. If your 5th grade class only wants to vote in the Kid Governor election, you have until 11:59 p.m., October 29th, 2021 to register.

Click here to learn more about the program. Lesson plans and other materials will be shared with you once you register but we're glad to send them along in advance if you would like to preview them! To learn about all the exciting opportunities available to Oregon’s next Kid Governor, check out this year’s Kid Governor, Taneesh Garg’s blog.

Questions? Contact Nikki Fisher at

Learn More
We are celebrating ORC3S’ third anniversary! We officially established the coalition on October 9, 2018. In the last three years, we have built a network of incredible charter schools.

In this last year, we've expanded on and launched new resources including the ORC3S Member Portal, Event page, and Job Board and brand new programming - events hosted by ORC3S and crafted specifically for Oregon's charter community. In the next year, we aim to continue growing as a network, increase awareness, and promote the success and sustainability of Oregon charter schools. 

In celebration of 3 years of ORC3S, we want to express our gratitude for our member schools. Together, we can continue to have a positive impact on students.

Thank you, ORC3S schools!
Programs, Policy, and Research

Charter School Enrollment Grew 7% in the 2020-21 School Year While District Enrollment Declined
The National Alliance's new report, “Voting with Their Feet,” shows hundreds of thousands of families came to charter schools during the first full school year of the pandemic. According to data from the 2020-21 school year, charter school enrollment grew 7%, the largest increase in half a decade. Nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in these innovative, student-centered public schools, despite a sharp decrease in overall public school enrollment during the same period. Of the 42 states evaluated, 39 experienced charter school enrollment increases, while only three saw modest decreases. By comparison, district school enrollment dropped precipitously in every state. For many families, charter schools’ nimbleness and flexibility made them the right public school choice. Watch a recording of their webinar on enrollment trends or read coverage on the report on AxiosEducation PostNew York Post, and The 74 and hear report co-author Debbie Veney, senior vice president of communications and marketing at the National Alliance, on the Education Gadfly podcast. Click here to read the report.

Elevating Teacher Voice for School-level Advocacy
The National Alliance partnered with TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) to produce Elevating Our Voices: A Guidebook for School-Level Teacher Advocacy, a guidebook for teachers on ways to effectively advocate for positive change at their schools. The guide contains tools and strategies on how teachers can present their ideas to school leaders to increase the chances of having their feedback incorporated into the school community.

Can you recognize and prevent school decline before it starts?
In a new publication, Identifying Indicators of Distress in Charter Schools, Part 2: The Roles and Perspectives of Charter School Leaders and Board Members, the National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) provides school leaders, governing board members, charter school support organizations, and authorizers with the tools to recognize the signs of early school decline before schools spiral into failure. 

Senate Hearing on School Reopening
Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for a hearing on School Reopening During COVID-19: Supporting Students, Educators, and Families. Key themes discussed included safety guidelines for operating schools during the ongoing pandemic, use of COVID relief funds, and strategies to accelerate learning.
During the hearing, charter school supporter Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) highlighted how charter schools were, in many cases, able to reopen their buildings to serve communities nationwide and emphasized that families should have the right to choose the school setting that best meets their children’s needs.

Importance of Black Charter School Network Leaders
The Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) released a new report looking at the impact of Black charter school network CEOs on Black students attending their schools. The report includes interviews with 26 students representing five school networks. From the findings, CSGF developed recommendations that center on students. Read the full report for the student perspectives and recommendations. 

A timely new guide to starting and supporting charter schools in
Native American Communities

Capacity-Building Guide for Founding Native American Charter Schools provides essential context and assistance for aspiring Native American charter school founders and supporters. Charter schools are a proven way for Native American and tribal communities to strengthen and support their educational self-determination. Native American charter schools offer a chance for communities to create schools that are rooted in their cultural values, languages, and traditions. But the complexities of building a founding team, obtaining startup costs, and navigating authorizing policies can stand in the way of schools getting off the ground. The Capacity-Building Guide offers real-world assistance on these issues and more from experts and educators serving Native American communities. It can be used by anyone looking to create a charter school to educate Native American youth.
Upcoming Events
School Opportunities and Resources
National Charter School Resource Center Funding Opportunity Database
The database includes one-time and ongoing grants, fellowships, prizes, and scholarships. Sponsors include the U.S. Federal Government and philanthropic organizations. The page is updated frequently as charter school funding opportunities are announced. Click here or the button below to view the database and search for funding opportunities.

Support for Students Facing Homelessness Webinar Series
As the federal ban on evictions lifts and the pandemic continues, education professionals face multiple complex challenges. At the same time, American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth funds provide new opportunities for supporting vulnerable students and families.To support you in these challenging times, our partners at SchoolHouse Connection are launching a new Learning from Liaisons series of Q&A-style conversations. Each week, homelessness liaisons will discuss specific strategies to assist families facing eviction and how to use funds to support students affected by homelessness. Register today for upcoming sessions.

Charter Schools in the News

Here are a few local headlines from the past few weeks:

Some families frustrated over long-standing Oregon rule allowing districts to cap students who can attend online charter school, KGW

K-12 Virtual Charters See Wave in Enrollment, Oregon Business

Despite return to in-person classes, many who chose homeschooling during pandemic stay home, Salem Reporter

New Trends Emerge In U.S. Schooling Amidst Pandemic’s Second School Year, Forbes

Here are a few national headlines from the past few weeks:

All charter schools are public schools (Op-Ed), Inside Sources

Educating Amid COVID: From Supply Shortages Threatening School Meals in Alabama to Pittsburgh’s ‘Crisis Intervention Committee’ to Tackle COVID Learning Loss, 10 Ways States Are Adapting, The 74

The School That Aspires to Be a Basketball Factory (Not That Kind), The New York Times

Charter school fund to price 'social' deal, The Bond Buyer

How My Newark Charter School Uses the Power of Tutoring — and the Power of Relationships — to Achieve Academic Recovery for All (Op-Ed), The Seventy Four
Is your school a member of ORC3S yet? 
We are a coalition of community-based, public charter schools representing all corners of our state. Although, we are all unique in our pedagogy and practice, what unites us is our commitment to educational innovation and to high-quality schools for all students. Our mission is to provide a voice and sustainable support and guidance for the members of our coalition.
Join us now!
Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools
13809 SE Division St Ste A
Portland, OR 97236

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Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools · 13809 SE Division St Ste A · Portland, OR 97236-2843 · USA

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