7 Indicators of Excellence

These indicators guide our work with our schools, our evaluation of school leaders and the board of director’s evaluation of our services.

  1. Correlates of Effective Schools: Over the course of more than a decade of research, Lawrence Lezotte and Ron Edmonds identified seven correlates that were present in all high performing schools. The seven factors found to be essential are: Making all decisions based on a clear and focused mission; maintaining high expectations for all; providing instructional leadership; maximizing the opportunity to learn and time on task; creating a safe and orderly environment; building strong home-school relationships; and monitoring student progress (data driven decision making). School leaders at each academy are responsible for monitoring each of these components and for collecting evidence related to each as part of the continuous school improvement process.
  2. Marzano’s Instructional Strategies: Robert Marzano’s research has identified 41 strategies that when implemented in the classroom have produced documented evidence for improving student achievement. School leaders will use a teacher evaluation tool that incorporates the use of these strategies and will provide teachers with feedback, coaching, guidance and leadership in the implementation of these instructional tools.
  3. Student Achievement: Academic achievement of all students is the main success measure of a school. Part of the vision of an academy is how all stakeholders believe the teaching and learning process should proceed. The tests that measure academic achievement and the expected scores on those tests are all determined by that vision. Each school is expected to meet or make demonstrable progress towards specific achievement goals.
  4. Student Enrollment and Retention: Consistent retention of students allows an academy to have the necessary time to positively impact student achievement and personal success, as well as to continue building a positive school climate and culture. A high percentage of student retention is therefore essential to the success of an academy. Academies will create a procedure that proactively addresses student attrition through a plan that includes engaging and partnering with parents, cultivating relationships and paying attention to warning signs that a family may be leaving.
  5. Balanced Budget: Academies will operate within a balanced budget each year. School leaders will be conservative in their estimates and make decisions based on anticipated expenses, historical enrollment and retention information and projections for funding.
  6. Rules and Compliance: A successful academy is able to function within all the rules and regulations established by various stakeholders. School leaders will ensure that the Board of Directors has up-to-date policies and procedures that integrate all administrative requirements and current staff, student and family handbooks, and that all policies and procedures are followed continuously and consistently. All charter contracts and state/federal reports will be kept up-to-date and submitted accurately and on time.
  7. Innovation: Charter schools provide an opportunity to enact educational reform in a way that is innovative and creative to best meet the needs of students. We believe that innovation occurs when a school honors the whole child by creating practices that respect the fact that all children will learn when the environment accounts for the intellectual, social, emotional, developmental and physical needs of each student. The school leader will identify innovation in their school as it relates to the whole child, describe how it’s implemented, and verify its success.