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March 10, 2017 | Spotlight

Institute expands new charter school governance training program

Part of the training program that the Institute developed for Clarke County school governance teams is being adapted for other Georgia charter districts to use.

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Online governance courses that the Institute of Government developed for Clarke County schools are being adapted to enhance training offered to dozens of charter school systems throughout Georgia.

The Charter System Foundation has asked the Institute to produce eight online courses based on training the Institute is providing this year to members of 21 local school governance teams in the Clarke County School District. The Athens school district became a charter system July 1 and by law must establish governance teams comprising administrators, teachers, parents, community members and others to assist with school management.

More than 250 Clarke County governance team members began on-site training in January through an Institute partnership with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Training and curriculum development collaborators also include the Northeast Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency and the Foothills Education Charter High School superintendent.

In addition to providing classroom training, the governance team project includes developing online sessions for new team members and those who miss an on-site session, according to Russ Cook, the Institute faculty member who oversaw curriculum development and delivery.

Leaders with the Charter System Foundation learned about the training and asked the Institute to develop similar online modules to supplement the on-site training the foundation offers to its 26 member districts, Cook said. “We’re adapting the online modules to provide critical content that can supplement training for any charter school system in Georgia,” he said.

In Clarke County, the Institute’s on-site training will continue through September on topics such as school operations and school improvement planning. Those sessions are presented by Institute faculty as well as Fanning Institute faculty, RESA personnel and subject matter experts with Clarke County School District.