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School Networking

Charter schools have many exciting opportunities for cross-regional collaboration with neighboring charter schools, community-based organizations, and other business and educational partners. The pursuit of effective partnerships can strongly enhance the level of service provided to all children, particularly at-risk students.

Current Activities

Project Goal:  Assessment and Identification

Surveys and interviews were conducted at participating schools and other sites in the MetroConnect Network to determine which collaborative methods rose to the "best practice" level.  Results of these findings were then discussed by school principals and educational leaders to develop both a conference presentation and a follow-up PowerPoint presentation for MAPSA regional conferences.  The team has also been working on a bulletin board exchange site and a comprehensive Internet site for easy exchange of informatioan between educators and the broader community.  The team would like to convert the survey and data collection processes to a fully-automated Internet-based process where data analysis and results are automatically available to both inside participants and website visitors.

Project Goal:  Materials Development

The team has developed the major conference workshop, question sets by participants and follow-up PowerPoint presentation.  The resource/technical manual is still under construction.  The team plans to create the manual in such a way that it can be easily accessible over the Internet and able to be updated and/or revised over time. 

Project Goal:  Dissemination

All objectives were met through participation in the MAPSA annual conference held in November 2003 and subsequent Regional conferences held in February and March 2004.  During the continuation grant, the team would alter the "recruitment" processes for regional seminars in the following ways:

  1. Pre-identify charter schools and traditional public schools that are interested in having the Project LINCS dissemination workshop hosted at their schools and/or in their region before scheduling any workshops;
  2. Publish and distribute a schedule of regular workshops hosted locally at various schools, community organizations, and area institutions (such as Wayne County Community College);
  3. Make available the initial MAPSA conference workshop over the Internet in video sections;
  4. Distribute "links" to the finalized Project LINCS website to national organizations including the U.S. Charterschools.org website, the Center for Education Reform, and others with an established national presence and following.

Strengths and positive outcomes

  1. Full participation by school leaders and representatives; surveying and data capture
  2. Best participating rates at MAPSA pre-conference workshops since the conference's inception
  3. Video capture of dissemination workshop including common questions and expert answers by panelists
  4. PowerPoint Presentation readied for mini-conferences and constructed around MAPSA conference feedback
  5. Regional workshops scheduled throughout the state
  6. Framwork for Project LINCS bulletin board, calendaring and website exchange created
 

Michigan Department of Education