Breakout Sessions

Detailed Breakout Session Information and Descriptions

Our break out sessions are organized by topics and interest. Some of the sessions may also be workshop sessions. We want to provide an opportunity for conference delegates to participate more actively in the charter school movement, and for several discussions to take place at the same time. A facilitator will present the topic or question to be discussed, and team notes may be taken down with the group’s ideas. The information gathered may be used for future purposes and for sharing information. We feel we have breakout sessions which have clear and realistic objectives, as well as those which present interesting and well-formulated questions for charter school advocates. We hope you will feel more comfortable sharing ideas in smaller groups. If there is an idea which has not been considered please let us know. Please plan your breakout sessions in advance as some rooms may fill up fast.

Breakout Session 1

Monday Morning, July 23, 9:15 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.

Managing Cash Flow 101 – John Helgeson and Jon Dahlberg, Charter School Capital

Breakout Room A – Finance

Charter schools are a business, the business of educating our kids, but a business nonetheless. As a result, cash flow is king for keeping charter schools operating well. Just as important, managing cash is a team sport. Doing it well requires participation at all levels of an organization. This presentation will help you understand how to think about managing cash and provide practical steps to get you on your way to a more productive cash plan.

Click here to download presentation.

All in a Days Work: Implementing Job – Embedded Professional Development – Tina Mitchell, EdD and Renea Boles, Educational Empowerment Group, LLC               

Breakout Room D – Administration

Teacher professional development that focuses on teaching and learning enhances student achievement.  Such learning is most valuable when it occurs within the context of the school day when teachers are interacting with their students and peers.  This interactive presentation will define Job-Embedded Professional Development (JEPD) and its value to teachers, students and schools.  We will also discuss strategies for implementing JEPD while creating a culture of learning throughout the school community.

Click here to download presentation.

Blended Learning Support Tools for Struggling Readers – Sandie Blackley, MA/CCC and Chad Myers, Lexercise

Breakout Room G – Instruction

Many English language learners and children with language processing problems struggle with reading and writing skills.  In this session we will describe Lexercise, a 21st Century, research backed, eLearning system that helps schools provide structured and coherent, blended learning intervention for struggling readers. Case studies will illustrate how Lexercise works. Participants will be able to describe and differentiate the two main types of reading disorders and explain blended learning approaches for each.

Click here to download presentation. 



STEM Programming Drives Revenue — Shane Vander Kooiand John C. Smith, Garden School of Technology Art and Green Mouse Academy

Breakout Room H – Instruction/ Finance

The barrier to implementing new STEM programming always seems to be limited budgets and scarce resources.  Charter schools have the freedom to be creative thinkers and there are solutions to these challenges.  What if investing in STEM programming drove revenue rather than drained it? Learn about how a new STEM-focused charter school launched last year with no money is now modeling  robotics, animation, digital art, exergaming and video game design programming for schools nationwide.

State of NC Charters: National View -  Bradley S. Barth, The Roger Bacon Academy

Breakout Room I – Advocacy

Conversations in Minneapolis: NC  at the National Conference. What a great honor to represent North Carolina and the N.C. Alliance at the 2012 National Charter Schools Conference. The board was right, it was crucial that the Alliance be represented in this venue – we sent a message, not only to N.C. charter school leaders, but also National charter school leaders that the N.C. Alliance is stronger and better than before! My task was not only to represent our fine state, but bring back nuggets of wisdom, and gauge the tenor of the charter school movement across the nation. A recap of the event will be shown with a slide and video presentation.

Click here for Introduction.


Teachers Teaching Teachers – Trish Williams, Mary Keenan, Novice/Master/Colleague Connections

Breakout Room J – Instruction

You’ve Got a Friend!  This is an immersion induction framework embedded into implementation of Common Core Standards .This is an organization module to train and retain new teachers and empower master teachers while raising student achievement.

Click here to download presentation.

Breakout Session 2

Monday Morning, July 23, 10:35 – 11:25

Oh Bee-have! – Kim Norcross, Superintendent & Heather McNees, Principal, Phoenix Academy

Breakout Room A – Teachers / Principals

To Bee or Not To Bee, that is the question… Is your hive out of control?  Tired of no one listening to the Queen Bee?  Are your worker bees not pollinating up to their potential?  Buzz on over to our hive and hear Oh Beehave! Our beekeepers will address how the use of Positive Behavioral Techniques in the classroom and school can increase the productivity of your class and change the environment.  Learn about the positive reinforcement program being used at Phoenix Academy in High Point, North Carolina that has everyone buzzing.  We will talk about techniques used for everyday application in class and school, how to adapt your program for different grade levels, and for more challenging students. Takeflight with the honey that you need to get your bees best sweet behavior and to Oh! Behave! Bzzzz! Bzzzz!

Click here to download presentation.

Of Course it’s True; I Found it on the Internet!:  Teaching Students to Skillfully and Effectively Determine the Reliability of Internet Source – Sheryl Dwyer, National Center for Teaching Thinking

Breakout Room D – Instruction

As schools make the shift toward digital data, today’s students must learn to navigate through vast amounts of evolving information.  Studies suggest technology saturation disrupts one’s ability to make thoughtful decisions.  Learn how to teach students to identify the most reliable sources of information, specifically those found on the internet.  Discover dynamic lesson ideas that will teach students how to use what they find on the internet to make better decisions and solve problems skillfully.

Leveraging the Internet to Promote Your School – Frank Williams, Pioneer Strategies

Breakout Room G – Marketing

Seasoned public relations practitioner Frank Williams will show current and future charter school leaders and board members how to utilize social media and other online tools to spread the word about their public charter schools.  This session will touch on Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, developing an effective website and more.

Click here to download presentation.

990 Basics for Charter Schools, Creating Trust Through Transparency and Accountability – Denise P. Hill, CPA, Elliott Davis

Breakout Room H – Finance

Did you know that Form 990 is the most visible means of communicating transparency and accountability to the public and potential donors?  This session will be a primer to help Charter Schools stay on top of the important tax issues and filing requirements that are necessary to ensure that their constituents and board members are fully informed.

Click here to download presentation.

Teaching Strategies to Improve Retention of Complex Vocabulary – Dr. Rebecca Shore, UNC

Breakout Room J – Instruction

This presentation is based on a study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte involving middle school science students.  Different instructional strategies designed using cognitive science principles were implemented to over 500 seventh graders. Results showed that having students engage in more active strategies using the science vocabulary improved retention, particularly with low readers.  This session proposes a variety of practical strategies for a more brain-based approach to teaching vocabulary.

Evaluating Interventions and Tutoring Protocols:  Do they actually produce results? – Baker Mitchell, The Roger Bacon Academy

Breakout Room I – Management

Usually when we are pleased with the growth exhibited by a group of students having received an intervention, we tend to say that the intervention “worked.”   But did this group of students progress more than they would have without the intervention, and if so, how much? Conventional statistical techniques suggest that we randomly divide our students into two groups and give the intervention to one group and not to the other group; then we compare the two groups.  But this method deprives the control group of a possibly beneficial treatment. A method called regression discontinuity design (RDD) allows all students to receive the treatment or intervention, yet can dramatically show what effect the treatment had on the group. This session explains RDD and gives examples of its application.

Click here to download Multi-Measure Growth Graph presentation.

Click here to dowload A Precision Teaching Intervention to Increase Oral Reading Fluency and Comprehension as Analyzed by a Regression Discontinuity Design.

Breakout Session 3

Monday Afternoon, July 23, 1:00 p.m.– 1:50 p.m.

Charter School Legal Issues – John Branch, Shanahan Law Group

Breakout Room A – Legal

Charter schools face many of the same legal issues as other organizations including issues related to formation, governance, operations and potential litigation: properly forming a legal entity, board and governance issues, regulatory and compliance-related, employment matters, and dealing with any litigation that may arise.  In addition, the unique dual-nature of charter schools as public entities with near autonomy creates additional regulatory and compliance issues. Shanahan Law Group has experience handling these types of issues for Charter Schools and we have experience representing clients in the education community.  We will discuss our past success stories and share with you how to avoid the legal pitfalls of starting and operating a Charter School.

Middle School Math:  The Critical Transition from Arithmetic to Algebra – Tom Clark, VideoText Interactive

Breakout Room D – Instruction

This educational and entertaining session will explore the reasons behind the difficulty in transitioning from Arithmetic to Algebra. Numerous topics will be discussed, and will include examples of the change in thinking that must occur for students to be successful in Algebra.  Very simply, understanding “why” is the secret, not memorizing shortcuts and rules.  Further, it provides for a much smoother transition to algebraic thinking, which naturally leads to success in other high-level math courses.

Meaningful Evaluation of Teacher Candidates – Cary Andrews, The Roger Bacon Academy

Breakout Room G – Principals

Fourteen teachers or instructional leaders with known performance records from our schools were administered an exam from the National Evaluation Series (NES) called “The Essential Components of Reading Instruction (104)”  by Pearson.  This three-hour 150-question multiple choice test was administered on-line by a testing center in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The purpose of testing these teachers was to determine if NES-104 had predictive value and might serve as a screening test to be used for hiring new teachers.

Positive Behavior Support for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Disturbance, and At Risk Children – Angela Gardner-Street, LMSW, GPS Management Services

Breakout Room H – Management

Implement Inclusion through Positive Behavior Support to decrease problematic behavior for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Disturbance, and At Risk in an educational setting. The session will teach System-wide Support Strategies, Group Contingencies, Positive Culture Enriched Interventions, and Comprehensive Attention to Social/Emotional well-being of all students. This model will teach students skills to behave appropriately, positively acknowledges students engaging in those behaviors, and  provides consistency and stability in interactions among students and staff members.

Lessons from the Common Core: Aligning Text and Task for Rigorous Instruction – Julie Jackson-Forsberg and Kriko Michaels, Critical Thinking Works

Breakout Room J – Instruction

As charter school teachers and leaders plan to implement the Common Core, they will need to think not only about curriculum alignment but also about the implications for instructional planning and execution embedded in the Common Core. This session explores these instructional planning and execution implications, engaging participants in an experience of an aligned lesson cycle. Participants will analyze and identify rigorous instructional practices in terms of the expectations and demands of the Common Core.

Click here to download presentation.

Maneuvering Through the Building Process – Panel Discussion with John Shurley, AIA, Bo South, and Scott Rolfs; Insight Architects, Myers and Chapman, and Ziegler

Breakout Room I – Facilities

The complexities associated with creating a school facility can be a challenge even for experienced building committees.  Professionals experienced in financing, designing and constructing school facilities will share their expertise and answer questions related to the building process.  We will discuss site/building selection, financing, space needs, budgeting, scheduling, design and construction, as examples.  If you have a question about the process, we will answer it or share with you someone who can.

Breakout session 4

Monday Afternoon, July 23, 1:50 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Compliance / Legal Audit for Charter Schools – Les Meritt, NC Alliance Treasurer

Breakout Room A – Legal

Description Forthcoming

Teaching English Learners: What Does the Research Say? – Ray Myrtle and Peggie Garcia, National Charter Resource Center

Breakout Room D – Instruction           

North Carolina has both an increasing number of charter schools and a growing population of English language learners. How can charter school educators in North Carolina best meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in their schools? Join us for an informative session that will help charter school educators who do not have a great deal of experience with ELLs better understand the characteristics of the ELL population, what the research says about instructional practices that are most effective with ELLs, and how teachers can provide ELLs with a variety of classroom supports to help them master the academic content and improve their language proficiency in English.

Click here to download presentation.

Comprehensive Digital Programs that prepare learners today for the world they will build tomorrow – Elizabeth Jordan, Brett Craig, and
Julia McCombs, Pearson Digital Learning

Breakout Room G – Instruction

Nearly half of the US children enter kindergarten lacking the early literacy and math skills needed for long term academic success.  Waterford and SuccessMaker, digitally driven, Kindergarten through 8th grade Reading and Math software solutions, can put these students on the road to academic achievement. Via engaging activities, curriculum is delivered in a customized learning path for each student.  Student performance data needed to inform instruction, identify intervention and meet accountability requirements is a “click away.”

Developing High-Level Oral Vocabulary through Fine Art Images, Photos, and Illustrations – Barbara Place, Davis Art

Breakout Room H – Instruction           

The session will share the research on high-level vocabulary and its correlation to reading comprehension.  Participants will learn how to easily incorporate 4–6 new challenging vocabulary words each day in just ten minutes by using any available classroom images – fine art, illustrations, and photos. This approach was proven in a scientifically-based study to show significant improvements in overall vocabulary knowledge, comprehension, and using context clues. This approach has been used in K–6 classrooms.

Click here to download presentation.

Governing Board Training – Senator Howard Lee and Dr. Robert Landry

Breakout Room I – Boards

This session is to commence discussion on what charter school governing boards need to become effective.  Senator Howard N. Lee is the former Chair of the State Board of Education and Dr. Robert Landry was a superintendent – both presenters have worked with school boards for many years.

Real-time data driven instructional decisions – Samantha Williams, The Roger Bacon Academy

Breakout Room J – Instruction

Learn innovative ways to track your student data and have the freedom to make informed decisions for the best possible instruction. Using data on a daily basis you can track individual, grade, or instructional trends. Identify and target what is working and change what is not working immediately.

Click here to download presentation.

Breakout Session 5

Monday Afternoon, July 23, 2:40 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

FASTAR: Drill and Thrill, Fun with Fluency – Jesse Smith, The Roger Bacon Academy

Breakout Room A – Instruction

Pit crews, qualifying races, and big trophies for the winners; no, it’s not stock car racing, it’s FASTAR® – an exciting academic competition for students at The Roger Bacon Academy. Each year, nearly 200 charter school student-racers and their crew chiefs – parents – accept the challenge of tuning their reading and math skills, qualifying for the big race event, and competing for trophies and gold medals while their classmates cheer them on to the finish line!  Research shows that practicing to the point of fast, smooth, nearly automatic response – fluency – has several benefits: memory of the skill is retained longer, the student is able to perform the skill for a longer time before getting tired, comprehension may be improved, complex tasks are easier with a stronger foundation in basic skills, and homework times may decrease.

Video previews shown in classrooms:

NC Charter PEP Program – Paul Norcross, The Howard Lee Institute

Breakout Room D – Management

This presentation is to present new offerings which the Alliance will be bringing forth this coming year.  These programs are for teachers, administrators and governing boards.

How to Prepare for a Financial Audit – Kristen Hoyle, CPA, Jay Sharpe, CPA, CFE, Amanda P. Habich, CPA – Thomas Judy Tucker

Breakout Room G – Instruction

Charter schools are required to have an annual audit performed in accordance with government auditing standards and North Carolina State single audit standards. These standards require both financial and non-financial elements. Your school must be prepared for both aspects well in advance of the time the auditors arrive. This presentation will provide you with an overview of the most important financial and non-financial requirements that will help your school be prepared for an audit that will achieve the goal of having no findings or recommendations.”

Click here to download presentation.

Using Telepractice to Provide Speech Therapy Services – Jacquelyn Taylor, M.S

Breakout Room H – Instruction

Telepractice services for speech therapy is gaining momentum across the country.  It is a cost effective way to provide speech and language services by overcoming the barriers caused by location and distance from qualified therapists.  Telepractice uses real time teleconferencing platforms to provide audio and video feeds, as well as interactive materials to and from the speech therapist to target IEP goals and objectives relating to speech, as well as incorporating the student’s current curriculum.

Click here to download presentation.

What is New About Testing and Accountability?  Dr. Tammy Howard, Department of Public Instruction

Breakout Room I – Testing

In 2012-13, North Carolina will implement new assessments in English language arts, mathematics, and science as well as a new accountability model. Information on the new  item types, the transition to online delivery, and the READY accountability model design will be presented. Also included will be an overview of the transition to the SMARTER Balanced Consortium’s Assessments, slated for 2014-15.

Click here to download presentation.

An E-Rate Primer, Jeannene Hurley and Barry Pace, Department of Public Instruction

Breakout Room J – Management

NC Schools and Libraries are now applying for a record $130M in E-rate discounts.  Learn how you may also take advantage of this program and discounts, including Priority 1 and Priority 2 requests, Tech Planning, Competitive Bidding, Gift Rules, NSLP and surveys, Eligible Services, CIPA Compliance, and BEAR vs SPI reimbursements.  Forms discussion includes the 470, 471, 486 , 472/474 and Form 500.

Click here to download presentation.

Afternoon Vendor Breakout Sessions

3:30 – 5:30

Mobile Modular: Modulars: The Fast, Effective, Efficient Jumpstart to your Charter School

Breakout Room A

Description ForthcomingMobile Modular will be presenting an informative view point on modular construction, ability for quick and easy installation, lower overall initial costs, and how modulars can be a viable option for your charter school whether it is a temporary or permanent solution.  Some topics being discussed are: Modular Construction, Site Necessities, Project Management, Project Planning, and the Finished Product.  We look forward to seeing you there and answering any and all questions you may have.

Barker Jones CPA and Shipman & Wright, LLP: Charter School Students Deserve to be Funded Equally

Breakout Room I

Local Education Agencies (LEA) appear to consistently underfund your Charter School students.  Since the 2002 Court of Appeal’s case Francine Delany New School for Children v. Asheville Bd. of Educ., the courts have attempted to translate the legislature’s intent regarding the LEA responsibility for funding Charter Schools across the state of North Carolina.  In recent years, the Sugar Creek cases have provided an outline for Charter Schools to follow in order to ensure that their students are receiving an equal amount available to other public school students.  Learn how your school can protect its children from this injustice in student funding because without your proactive attention to this matter Charter Schools are being taken advantage of.

Click here to download presentation.

AlphaBest Education and Kaplan Early Learning: Putting the STEAM into STEM

Breakout Room J

K-8 students across the country are being empowered with STEAM, developing 21st century skills inside and beyond the classroom.  Discover how they are building and designing robots, creating digital art, filming stop motion animation and programming their own computer games.  Students shouldn’t be the only ones to have all the fun so we’ve included hands-on opportunities for you to try out some of these programs yourself!

Breakout Session 6

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Teachers Teaching Teachers– Trish Williams, Mary Keenan, Novice/Master/Colleague Connections

Breakout Room A – Instruction

You’ve Got a Friend!  This is an immersion induction framework embedded into implementation of Common Core Standards .This is an organization module to train and retain new teachers and empower master teachers while raising student achievement.

Click here to download presentation.

Forum on Charter Schools-NC Alliance Board Members Bradley S. Barth, Moderator

Breakout Room B – Q & A

The NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools Board of Directors  will conduct a Q & A Panel Discussion to answer all of your questions about the organization, or charter schools in general.  The Board consists of current and previous charter school veterans and leaders in North Carolina.

Common Core + Middle School Math = Success for All – Sherry Bailey, Holt McDougal

Breakout Room C – Instruction

The new Common Core State Standards embrace new changes for both students and teachers.  Incorporating “Mathematical Practices”  with the content strands are exemplified in the new Standards.        Join us to experience some supporting authentic tasks that will ensure Success For All!

Cure for the Common Core – Nick Ewen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Breakout Room H – Instruction

Research guides most decisions in our lives: what car to buy, what medicine to take, what investment to choose. So why do many common classroom practices fly in the face of research into how students learn? In this interactive session, participants will learn how proven instructional strategies and brain-based research in Saxon can meet the Common Core State Standards and increase student math achievement, including concrete suggestions for immediate application in the classroom.

Planning, Financing, & Designing Charter Schools – S. Joseph Bruno and Brad Noyes,  Brailsford & Dunlavey

Breakout Room I – Facilities / Finance

This session will discuss the challenges and potential solutions to development, design, construction, and funding.  We identify factors that include: square footage requirements, economics of space, property control, expansion options, funding structures, and lease vs. own.  Through case studies, we will demonstrate how to analyze and determine appropriate financing and design solutions.  We will conclude by conducting an interactive session with the audience to build a financial model together.

Click here to download presentation.

Media Relations 101 – Frank Williams, Pioneer Strategies

Breakout Room J – Marketing

Seasoned public relations practitioner Frank Williams will provide current and future charter school leaders and board members with tips on how to effectively deal with the media.  Topics covered will include writing and distributing press releases, preparing for interviews, and dos and don’ts of dealing with reporters and editors.   

Click here to download presentation.

Please Check Back

Check back often as we update information – and remember to visit this page after the conference as we will keep links and information up from the conference sessions for your resources.

Additional Questions:

Please e-mail or call 888-275-5161


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