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BEST PRACTICES

Throughout the year, the Office of Charter Schools will take an in-depth look at "best practices" that are being implemented daily by the teachers and leaders of North Carolina charter schools. These practices will be disseminated in articles that will enable current and future North Carolina public educators to learn how colleagues are reaching new heights in academic achievement.

Lincoln Charter School Dreams Big (November 2014)
(pdf, 174kb)
Lincoln Charter School (LCS), a K-12 college preparatory, rural, community focused charter school in Lincoln County, North Carolina, has defined what college-prep looks like and stayed true to their program from day one. Their mission is to facilitate the development of college ready individuals through emphasis on rigorous academics and community expectations: honesty, respect, empathy, responsibility, service and preparedness. This article provides information about LCS' "Dream Big" college prep initiative.

Increasing the Success of Students – One Visit at a Time (July 2014)
(pdf, 262kb)

Strategic Planning: A Process for Quality (February 2014)
(pdf, 200kb)
The leadership team at Lake Norman Charter, a public charter school located in Huntersville, North Carolina, set out to identify their priorities in regards to the unintended outcomes resulting in the schools dramatic growth in student enrollment. The team utilized a well-structured, educationally sound strategic planning process, united with organization and stakeholder buy-in that resulted in an effective strategic plan to guide the organization towards their Mission. This article will take a deeper look at the four-step planning process utilized by the team and the strategic results of their efforts.

Investing in People: The Pathway to Academic Excellence (October 2013)
(pdf, 203kb)
Mountain Island Charter School (MICS) is a public charter school located in Mount Holly, North Carolina serving students in grades K-10. MICS school leaders have developed a pathway to cultivate their employee’s leadership talents through encouragement, skill development, and opportunity. This article will take a deeper look at the purpose, partnership and impact of this initiative.

Exploris Middle School: Educating Adolescents through a Highly Effective Teacher Team Model (June 2013)
(pdf, 362kb)
Exploris Middle School is a public charter school located in Raleigh, North Carolina serving students in grades 6-8. The educational framework is based on an inclusive interdisciplinary approach in a small class setting. A framework that the school leaders, staff, students, and school partners of this charter school know produces results because it is a model where adolescents learn best. The purpose of this article is to showcase the processes of the highly effective teacher teams working within the educational framework that has evolved in the daily culture at Exploris Middle School.

Student Attrition (March 2013)
(pdf, 88kb)
A recent study by the NC Office of Charter Schools found that pupil attrition can lead to financial deficiencies and low performing academic results in public charter schools. Investigating the causes of pupil attrition has the potential to renovate the methods public charter school leaders use to design school improvement initiatives in the charter school they lead. This article highlights school improvement initiatives that have been embedded into the daily culture in current North Carolina public charter schools with minimal pupil attrition rates resulting in sustained academic excellence.

Governance (November 2012)
(pdf, 50kb)
The role of the public charter school board is paramount to the future of the charter movement. Serving on a charter school board is no small task because every decision, in some manner, affects children. The information included in this article is to improve the governance practices of charter school boards by disseminating effective elements and features of a high functioning North Carolina public charter school board.

Community School of Davidson: A School of Relationships (June 2012)
(pdf, 85kb)
Community School of Davidson (CSD) is a public charter school located in Davidson, North Carolina serving over 1,000 students in grades K-10 in 2012-2012. The school's goal is to ensure that the learning organization operates like a community that becomes a part of the students' lives. Needless to say, CSD lives its relationship-oriented mission. This article highlights school improvement initiatives that are embedded into the daily culture at CSD to promote engaging relationships between students and staff.

The Characteristics That Sustain "High Growth" Public Charter Schools (April 2012)
(pdf, 70kb)
Twelve North Carolina public charter schools from five different regions participated in a qualitative case study to determine how these public charter schools are sustaining a high level of academic growth according to the North Carolina End of Grade and End of Course Assessments. The article provides a deeper look at the major themes that emerged from the data, and the school improvement initiatives that have produced a sustainable and highly effective learning environment for all of their students.