MCPSA membership offers charter school leaders and their staff opportunities to exchange best practices through seven job alike Communities of Practice and our online Charter Knowledge Center.
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
Communities of Practice (COPs) are job-alike groups that provide a critical networking and professional development experience for charter school leaders and their staff across the State. There are currently seven Communities of Practice open to charter school leaders and staff from member charter schools:
- Executive Director Community of Practice
- Principal Community of Practice
- CFO/COO Community of Practice
- ELL Director/Coordinator Community of Practice
- Special Education Director/Coordinator Community of Practice
- College Placement Director Community of Practice
- School Nurse/Mental Health Practitioner Community of Practice
By leveraging the expertise of our school leaders, Communities of Practice enable school leaders and staff to:
- seek and provide support to and from each other on a variety of instructional and operational topics;
- identify, document, and disseminate best practices in governance, management, and teaching and learning to each other and colleagues in district schools;
- test new approaches or ideas;
- participate in shared activities that will enable them to drive state education policy as it concerns charter schools and district reforms; and
- provide input into other professional development programming that will be developed by MCPSA.
Most Communities of Practice convene in-person three times per year for all-day working sessions. The needs and interests of each group drive the content of each meeting where discussions tend to focus on practice and policy issues. In addition, there are ongoing opportunities to connect virtually with colleagues through the Charter Knowledge Center.
CHARTER KNOWLEDGE CENTER:
The Charter Knowledge Center is an online intranet for charter school leaders and staff from member schools that facilitates real-time exchanging of best practices, critical resources and social networking. The Center is currently comprised of two primary areas: Virtual Communities of Practice and an Online Document Library.
The Virtual Communities of Practice (COPs) enable real-time interaction between charter school leaders/staff from across all member schools. Here, members engage in online dialogue about best practices in operational and instructional topics, pose questions and seek advice, and disseminate resources and documents within and across the Communities of Practice. In addition, all meeting materials from each COP meeting are posted within each group’s “virtual meeting space” to facilitate easy access to content. Our goal is to build a culture of collaboration of support among schools so that schools have increased capacity to: support their students, reach and sustain higher levels of student success; and achieve the goals of their charter.
The Online Document Library will be created in spring 2013 and will include model documents and templates to support members in numerous areas including: accountability, financial management, human resource management, and governance.