Massachusetts Charter Schools

Sharing Resources and Information

There are many ways to share resources and information with other schools. The list below starts with the more passive, or low-lift, ways to disseminate and continues with more active, or heavy lift, dissemination activities where schools invest more time. The most active form of dissemination is a partnership, which will be discussed further in the next section "Sustaining Partnerships." Consider using a variety of both passive and active activities to share resources and information1.
  • Share resources or programs developed at the charter school (curriculum, internal assessment systems, professional development courses, advisory programs, etc…) by publishing them on the school's website, sending them directly to other schools, or making them publically available in some other manner such as an article, book, documentary, newscast, etc.2
  • Consider how the resources or programs being shared might still be effective if they are adapted instead of directly replicated based on the capacity and autonomy of a potential adopter. Provide suggestions for adaptations.
  • Present at professional/national conferences best practices. This may also lead to partnering with schools/districts post conference to implement best practices at their schools.
  • Host other educators at the charter school to share your school's specific best practices. When hosting visitors, ensure that they are provided with documentation and discussion to inform what they observe. Highlight specific areas of the program for them to observe.
  • Participate in communities of practice or consortiums that align to your school's best practice.
  • Establish teacher exchange programs with district schools, where teachers from charter schools teach in a partner school and teachers from the partner school come to teach in the charter school for a pre-determined number of days.
  • Host teacher training programs/professional development based on your charter school's best practices for the benefit of external educators.
  • Consider scheduling a session in conjunction with a school district's year-long professional development program.
Examples

"The way we think about our responsibility to disseminate has evolved over time. We used to think about dissemination almost exclusively in terms of explicit partnerships or programs. Over time, we've come to believe that we can contribute the most value by putting in the time to effectively communicating our beliefs and practices and sharing that information as widely and openly as possible. Practically speaking, that means describing what we do on our website, through written materials and video. Doing so helps us be much better partners in the conversation about how to improve instructional practice and much better hosts to visitors as well." — Jon Clark, Brooke Charter Schools

"While time consuming, documenting the practice to be disseminated helps clarify the essential elements and resources in a way that can be explained to others. In turn, it highlights areas requiring refinement, thus strengthening the practice." — Stephanie Callahan and Sarah Morrill, Salem Academy Charter School


1 Dissemination can be challenging for a charter school in its first charter term. A school in its first charter term should be working to identify practices to share, and beginning to build relationships with potential partner schools.

2 As noted in the Charter School Statute: Charter schools may not charge a public school for the use or replication of a part of their curriculum, subject to the prescriptions of a contract between the charter schools and any third party providers MGL c.71 S. 89 (l).


Last Updated: August 5, 2016

 
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