‘More Great Seats for Kids’ Newsletter: Reflecting on Renewal

Dear School Leader,

Yesterday marked a pandemic milestone for SUNY charters with the SUNY Charter Schools Committee voting to renew six additional schools, putting a cap on a renewal season unlike any we have ever experienced. March 10, 2020 was the last time the Charter Schools Committee met in person. A year later? Thirty-one renewals accomplished. I know it’s a truth that charter leaders only read the renewal reports for THEIR schools (because you have children to teach!), but a read through this year’s renewal reports provides a litany of how great schools respond in a pandemic.  Thousands of hours getting out devices, learning kits, books, food and supports to whole communities. Setting up testing opportunities. Transitioning from remote, to hybrid…to remote…to hybrid.  If you did watch the Committee meeting yesterday, you saw just how moved the Trustees and the Institute team are by all you have done, all you keep doing, to change lives for the good.

We so missed putting boots on the ground at the schools.  But the changes the renewal schools helped us put in place – virtual visits, supplementing missing state assessment data points with norm referenced exams and internally developed assessments, and APPR adjustments – you helped us stick close to the renewal policies that have made SUNY charter schools strong.  And, we learned a lot.  Maybe some new options that just might may stick around long term to create a more seamless renewal process once we return to “normal.” Again, big, big thanks to all our schools. You truly do make us smarter.

As we move ahead, let’s ensure the learning continues throughout the Spring months. We are here to support you, work with you, to ensure you have the resources and support necessary to take on any and every obstacle that stands in your way during these unprecedented times. All you need to do is ask. Please reach out.

Any time.


Institute Updates

  • This week is SUNY Application Week. Potential applicants can connect 1:1 with admissions advisors who will answer questions about:
    • How to apply
    • Financial aid options
    • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
    • COVID-19 safety
    • Application fee waivers (eligible students can apply to up to 7 schools)

The New York City Charter School Center will host a webinar on “Best Practices for Running the Lottery” on March 23 at 3 pm. Register. Additionally, the Center’s next joint webinar on reopening, held in coordination with the NYCDOH and NYCDOE, is scheduled for 1 pm on March 26. Register.

The New York Charter Schools Association will host part II of their “Public Health Safety & Advocacy in Our Communities: What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Programs” on March 24, 6-7 pm. Register.