Case Study: Charter Application Development

Parents and community members celebrating school opening

After the Catholic Diocese of Memphis announced that the 2018-19 year would be the last for the Jubilee network of schools, (which predominantly served low-income families in Memphis), SchoolWorks was contracted by a non-profit organization to support the writing and development of multiple simultaneous charter applications, proposing the replacement of six former Jubilee schools with the newly-envisioned charter network: Compass Community Schools.

The Challenge
  • Work collaboratively with founding network staff to develop multiple simultaneous charter school applications that reflect the network’s overall vision, supported by a plan that articulates best practices, operational realities, and regulatory and budgetary requirements on an individual school basis
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Through a series of questions framed by authorizer guidelines, collaboratively gather information from network leaders and school founders
  • Develop aligned student and staff handbooks, master calendar, and daily schedules that operationalize the vision for the school
  • Manage and facilitate the complete application development process, adhering to all project timelines and collaborating intensely with the client at each stage
  • Ensure that founders have an application supported by best practices and a road map to inform the planning and implementation stages of the school at the conclusion of the process
The Results
  • Six Compass Community School applications developed by SchoolWorks were approved by Shelby County Schools in August of 2018 for the 2019-20 school year
  • Subsequently, each of the six schools received start-up grants at $600,000 per school
Dates: 2018


"School works has been instrumental in the development and successful approval of our six charter applications. Their work brought a coherence and focus that resulted in a strong academic program supported by research and best practice that was also grounded in operational and financial sustainability."
- Kristi Baird, Executive Director, Compass Community Charter Schools

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