Case Study: Charter Application Development

Lightbulb on a chalk board

When the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation first considered opening a charter school in Kansas City, its leaders turned to SchoolWorks.

The Challenge
  • Study other high-performing schools, develop the initial charter application, and then select and coach new school leaders.
SchoolWorks Approach
  • Guide the foundation through a comprehensive, year-long deliberation and consensus on the new school’s mission and key attributes.
  • Develop a process for touring exemplar schools, during which a team of foundation officials visited high-achieving schools across the country, researched best practices, and asked tough questions.
  • Develop the new charter application, (approved by the authorizer in 2010).
  • Design a coaching program for the new school leader.
The Results
  • The Kauffman School opened its doors to an inaugural class of 100 fifth-grade students in 2011.
  • SchoolWorks’ consultative relationship with the Kauffman School’s leadership continues.
Dates: 2009 – 2011


"We felt very much like we were learning together. The collaborative nature of the process led to trust among board members and staff, and our initial work together has provided a strong foundation for a continuing relationship with SchoolWorks."
- Aaron North, Kauffman Foundation Education Director

SchoolWorks and COVID-19

Our thoughts are with all educators as they work to support students and their families during this challenging time. If your school, district, or network is tasked with developing a plan for delivering a distance learning option that may include online learning, SchoolWorks is offering a free rubric to help your team design and implement a sustainable and equitable solution.