Insight Online

 March 2015
In This Issue
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Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools
33 N Third St. Ste. 600
Columbus, Ohio 43215
A Message from Dr. Darlene Chambers, President & CEO 


Countless charter school stakeholders share a common goal: providing outstanding educational opportunities for Ohio's nearly 125,000 charter school students.  A commitment to that goal served as the foundation for my decision to accept the OAPCS leadership position last year, and continues to sustain me in one of the most demanding roles I've held throughout my 40-year career in education.


The team here at OAPCS works tirelessly on behalf of Ohio's charter schools and their students, and we're energized by the strong support we receive from many members of Ohio's charter school movement.  But we seek even broader support as we recognize that the more member schools we represent, the more effective we are as your advocates. 

Our team vision is for OAPCS to be widely recognized as a credible resource for all Ohio charter school stakeholders, as well as policy-makers and media.  But we can't achieve that without strong charter school support.  We are grateful to our member schools, and urge potential members to join our ranks.  A united community represents the best strategy for achieving our common goals. 


Whitehall Preparatory and Fitness Academy students pose to celebrate the 2015 National School Choice Week. Visit the school website here.


We're excited to tell you about our efforts to better serve Ohio's charter school community.  Our fiscal year 2014 Annual Report  and  2014-2015 Charter School Directory  were recently posted on the OAPCS website. Schools are already starting to respond to our request for support of the OAPCS public relations/grassroots campaign.  Early participation in the OAPCS facilities initiative has been strong.  And planning is well underway for the 9th Annual OAPCS State Conference.


It's an honor to serve as OAPCS president/CEO and the entire OAPCS team is grateful for your past, present, and future support!  We look forward to the day when all Ohio charter schools are members of OAPCS, as that will mean we have earned your full support and trust.

Support the OAPCS public relations/grassroots campaign:

Friend us, like us, follow us, tweet us!

As previously reported, OAPCS launched a public relations campaign last fall to address the many misperceptions about charter school accountability, performance, governance and funding.  We continue to share the charter school perspective through letters to the editor and opinion editorials - like this piece published by the Dayton Daily News on March 5 - and to reach out to media to establish OAPCS as a credible source of information on all charter school issues.


As we continue efforts to build strong working relationships with mainstream media, we are also increasing our use of social media as a powerful communications tool.


In the coming weeks and months, as policy makers deliberate over charter reform and budget legislation, OAPCS will work to share charter school successes that will strengthen our advocacy position.  But we can't do it without your help!


There are three ways you can support our efforts: 

  1. Send us written stories with photos that feature student, teacher, school, sponsor or board success to help demonstrate the positive impact of Ohio's charter schools.
  2. Send us short videos featuring students that capture how charters are contributing to their success.  This document provides guidelines to facilitate your participation. 
  3. If you aren't already connected to OAPCS on Facebook and Twitter, we hope that you will follow us to help spread the word about all the great things happening at public charter schools in Ohio.  We also ask that you share or re-tweet any information you find interesting to your followers and fans.

If you have questions or want to learn more about OAPCS' efforts to promote charter school success, please contact Catherine West at, or our campaign partner, Kristin Deuber with Gallagher Consulting Group, at


Thanks in advance for your support of this important initiative!

March 2015 Legislative Updates with Trint Hatt

As the Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy for the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, I want to thank you for giving us the ability to serve you. To help us improve our advocacy, please take our survey and give us your opinion on how we can be most efficient in meeting your needs. We appreciate your membership and want to make sure that we meet all your expectations.

We are now closing in on the two month mark of the 131st General Assembly, and as anticipated, we are seeing a lot of activity. To date, there have been over 150 pieces of new legislation introduced with many more to come. Current legislation we are tracking to ensure that our members are fully informed include, House Bill 2 (HB2) and House Bill 64 (HB64). We continue to closely monitor these bills and engage in conversations with our membership and charter stakeholders in an effort to gain the best outcome for quality charter reform.

HB2 was introduced in late January and can be considered the full package when it comes to charter reform. The House leadership team took the initiative to present a legislative reform bill focused on sponsors, governing authorities, and management companies.  The revisions are detailed in chart form which you can find here.

OAPCS took the position of an Interested Party on this bill, not because as an association we don't support the House's comprehensive effort on behalf of our membership, but rather there are some provisions that need further consideration. To get a better understanding of OAPCS's position, please check out Dr. Chambers's testimony which she provided to the House Education committee on HB2.

HB64, which was recently introduced, is Governor Kasich's Executive Operating Budget and included in it are many different provisions, one of which is charter reform. The governor took a different approach than the House of Representatives and proposed legislative revisions focused specifically on sponsor reform. One of the principal themes is to bring all sponsors under the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and to require a written sponsor agreement with ODE prior to sponsoring any schools. We have categorized the myriad of provisions dealing with community schools and education into three sections; General provisions, Ohio Revised Code section 3314 provisions, and the funding portions that affect community schools.

After reviewing all of the provisions of the executive budget, OAPCS will continue to take an Interested Party stance as we collect input from our membership.  If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please contact Trint Hatt at or 614-744-2266, Ext. 210.

While making sure our members are informed on all of the different legislative proposals affecting them, we have also taken up the task of convening lobbyist meetings to collect concerns or support for existing proposed legislation. It is vital to the charter school movement, that the people representing the many different sponsors, governing authorities, and management companies, are apprised and appreciative of  the various stances when we are talking with legislators here in Columbus. 

Update on the Straight A Grant - 'Data Matters' Consortium

In August, OAPCS embarked upon a significant grant implementation to bring a proven data and assessment system to 17 charter schools.  The goal: foster a permanent change in school culture, in which data drives the decisions about instruction and program effectiveness. 


Overall we are reaching approximately 237 teachers, 50 administrators, and 4,351 students.  Each teacher received a new computer, access to an online system called Illuminate Data and Assessment, a robust item bank, and Ashland University credit for their hours spent in trainings and Data Teams. 


We are making strong gains with the implementation of our data and assessment system in our partner schools, mostly due to the dedicated site administrators and our support team. In the coming months, OAPCS will continue to provide its unwavering assistance which includes both Illuminate training and data teams facilitation.  The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University will also serve as our evaluators, gathering data about the success of the implementation. We look forward to seeing the results!


If you would like to learn more about our program or see an on-site demonstration of the Illuminate Data and Assessment System, please contact Jesse Truett at (614) 744-2266, ext. 212 or

 9 th  Annual State Conference

 Coming of Age - 18 Years and Counting

 Ohio Union at The Ohio State University

 November 12-13, 2015

Join us back in Columbus for Ohio's largest annual gathering of charter school stakeholders. We are excited to host this event at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University. This annual conference will include inspiring keynote speakers, quality breakout sessions, and a robust exhibit and networking hall.


Our call for presentations will begin on March 30 and will remain open until May 1. Please consider submitting a proposal related to one of our conference tracks which include leadership, governance, teaching, legal and advocacy in order to be a part of Ohio's premier charter school networking and professional development event.

OAPCS Facilities Initiative is Underway - Your Participation is Critical
We are currently at 30%!

In an effort to advocate for significant increases in charter school facilities funding, OAPCS has launched an important initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the Colorado League of Charter Schools.


We ask that all public charter schools in Ohio make an effort to participate by Friday, April 3 by completing an online survey and facilitating site visits which involve non-invasive room measurements.


OAPCS would like to thank the following schools who have participated so far in the project:


A+ Arts Academy

A+ Children's Academy

Academy for Educational Excellence

Academy for Urban Scholars Youngstown

Academy of Arts and Sciences

Achieve Career Preparatory Academy

Akros Middle School

Ashland County Community Academy

Aurora Academy

Autism Academy of Learning

Beacon Hill Academy

Berwyn East Academy

Bridges Community Academy

Brookwood Academy

Canton Harbor High School

Central Academy of Ohio

Cincinnati Learning Schools

Cincinnati Speech & Reading Intervention Center

Cincinnati Technology Academy

City Day Community School

Clay Avenue Community School

Colonial Preparatory

Columbus Bilingual Academy

Columbus Bilingual Academy-North

Columbus Collegiate Academy

Columbus Collegiate Academy - West

Constellation Schools: Collingwood Village Academy

Constellation Schools: Eastside Arts Academy

Constellation Schools: Elyria Community

Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Middle

Constellation Schools: Madison Community Elementary

Constellation Schools: Parma Community

Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Elementary

Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Middle

Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Elementary

Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Middle

Constellation Schools: Westside Community School of the Arts

Cornerstone Academy

Cruiser Academy

Dayton Leadership Academies-Dayton View Academy

Dayton SMART Elementary School

Discovery Academy

Dohn Community High School

Eagle Academy

Eagle Learning Center

Early College Academy

Edge Academy

Emerson Academy

Everest High School

Focus Learning Academy of Northern Columbus

Focus Learning Academy of Southeastern Columbus

Foundation Academy

Garfield Academy

Glass City Academy

Graham Expeditionary Middle School

Graham Primary School

Great Expectations Elementary Academy

Great Western Academy

Greater Summit County Early Learning Center

Groveport Community School

Hardin Community School

Horizon Science Academy Lorain

Imagine Akron Academy

Imagine Leadership Academy

Imagine on Superior

Impact Academy Cincinnati

Liberty Preparatory School

Life Skills Center of Cincinnati

Life Skills Center of Hamilton County

Life Skills Center of North Akron

Life Skills Center of Summit County

Life Skills Center of Toledo

Life Skills Center of Youngstown

Life Skills High School of Middletown

Lighthouse Youth/Community School

London Academy

Lorain Preparatory Academy

Madison Avenue School of Arts

Main Street Preparatory Academy

Mansfield Elective Academy

Mansfield Enhancement Academy

Maritime Academy of Toledo

Marshall High School

Middlebury Academy

Mound Street Health Careers Academy

Mound Street Information & Technology Career Academy

Mound Street Military Career Academy

Mt. Auburn International Academy

Newbridge Math & Reading Preparatory Academy

North Central Academy

Northpointe Academy

Par Excellence Academy

Pleasant Education Academy

REACH Academy

Richland Academy School of Excellence

Ridgedale Community School

Rittman Academy

Riverside Academy

Rushmore Academy

Schnee Learning Center

Star Academy of Toledo

Sullivant Avenue Community School

Summit Academy Akron Middle School

Summit Academy Community Akron Elementary School

Summit Academy Secondary School-Akron

SunBridge Schools

The Graham School

The Next Frontier Academy

Toledo School for the Arts

Tomorrow Center

Towpath Trail High School

United Preparatory Academy

Wildwood Environmental Academy

Winton Preparatory Academy

Similar surveys have been conducted in 14 other states.  The results have been compiled and used to achieve legislative changes beneficial to charter schools.  Review other states' reports and learn more about the initiative at:


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Jesse Truett, at OAPCS by calling 614-744-2266 or or our project manager Dave Pontious at (740) 704-2368 or

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