Monday, March 30th, 2015
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM: General Session
General Session
Lead Presenter: 
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM: Breakout Session Group 1
Session Title: Best Practices for Serving Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
To ensure that students with disabilities can access and thrive in charter schools, school leaders, instructional staff and authorizers must understand student needs, compliance requirements, and accountability measures for special education. This session will present national best practices and provide attendees with tools for fostering strong and equitable special education practices in New Jersey charter schools.
Questions answered: What are charter schools required to provide for students with disabilities? What is best practiced in and out of the classroom? What innovative techniques have been successful elsewhere? How can we meet the needs of diverse learners?
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul O'Neill, Co-founder, The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
Co-presenters:
Mr. Dale Caldwell, Head of School, The Village Charter School
Room: Traymore A
Session Title: Our Students Are Struggling: Now What?
Session Track: Use of Data
Many students are not on grade-level when it comes to literacy. This interactive session demonstrates how to use data, the Common Core Standards, PARCC practice test items, and other helpful resources to bridge these gaps. Participants will walk away with a systematic approach that they can implement immediately.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Sarah Tantillo Ed.D., Consultant, Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D., LLC
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: Growing and Enhancing Your School Through the Implementation of a PreK Program
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Several charters across the state have added PreK-4 programs to their academic offerings. This workshop will serve as a case study of how one school planned and implemented a successful PreK program. We will provide an overview of the application and oversight process of running a PreK program, along with how to effectively integrate a PreK program into a mission- and values-driven school culture.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Colin Hogan, Head of School, Learning Community Charter School
Co-presenters:
Ms. Tracy Zent, PreK Teacher, Learning Community Charter School
Ms. Francine Strauss, PreK Coordinator, Learning Community Charter School
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: Get Real: Connecting Your Mission to Achieving Your Outcomes
Session Track: Leadership
A charter mission statement needs to be more than an abstract statement. This session will demonstrate how to make a mission statement come alive in specific and practical ways that span daily instruction, organizational operations, and long-term learning goals for students. This session will engage participants in turning their school mission statements into an observable, measurable daily reality experienced first hand in the lives of its families, teachers and leaders.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Christine Johnston Ed.D., Originator and Lead Researcher, Compass Academy Charter School
Room: Longwood Garden
Session Title: Subordinating Teaching to Learning: How to Promote Intelligent Problem Solving for Future Success
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
A pedagogy exists, fully elaborated for key subjects like literacy and mathematics, which engages students' problem-solving abilities to master content, producing learners who remain aware of their deep intelligence. That awareness produces confidence needed to tackle advanced subject matter and job-related challenges.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Theodore (Ted) Swartz, Director of Professional Development, Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
Co-presenters:
Dr. Arthur Powell, Chair of the Department of Urban Education, Rutgers University - Newark
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: Facilities Financing: Selecting the Best Option for Your Charter School or CMO
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Learn the different methods to finance or refinance land acquisition, new construction, renovation costs and equipment purchases. Speakers will discuss the basics of various financing options like Tax-Exempt Bonds, New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), and bank loans. This presentation will discuss the basic features of each, their advantages and trade-offs.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Brian Colon, Managing Director, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated
Co-presenters:
Mr. John Buck, Principal, Buck Financial
Room: Berkshire Garden
Session Title: Building Blocks for a Successful School
Session Track: Leadership
This session will focus on the elements of leadership that led to (1) a successful turnaround at a NJ charter school that hadn't made AYP for three years, to one that met expectations on the NJ Frameworks in the next three years; and (2) an innovative charter high school that focuses on college and career readiness.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Leigh Byron, Founder and Head of School, STEMCivics
Room: Lincoln Park
Session Title: Business Planning for the Future
Session Track: Leadership
Charters need to think ahead with limited funding. This workshop explores key planning to insure your charter's future through revenue shortfalls to budgeting expenses under normal and extraordinary times.There are key areas of concern, but all have an impact on the final numbers and the school's stability. This workshop will draw upon the experience of School Business Administrators and selected vendors on topics ranging from revenue analysis and payroll to technology and insurance.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Morton Marks, School Business Administrator, Hoboken Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Mitchel Mund, President, Fortitude Insurance Group
Mr. William Takacs, Former Hudson County Executive BA and Hoboken BOE BA, N/A
Mr. Michael Licameli, President, INSYNC Outsourcing Corporation
Room: Central Park
Session Title: The Basics on Charter Schools and Tax
Session Track: Operations/Governance
The presentation will address tax strategies for New Jersey charter schools, including the process to obtain an IRS 501(c)(3) status, property tax exemptions and soliciting charitable contributions.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Thomas Johnston Esq., Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C.
Co-presenters:
Ms. Deirdre Wheatley-Liss, Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, PC
Ms. Kerri Wright, Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C.
Room: Fairmount Park
Session Title: Game On! Using Math Games to Collect Actionable Data on Student Progress
Session Track: Use of Data
Educators know that many factors affect students' confidence and abilities in the math classroom. Incorporating engaging games into instruction, teachers can collect data to be used to identify learning gaps that impede skill mastery. Our session will enable participants to immediately translate game results into data that can drive instructional and intervention work. Educators will collaborate to establish alternative methods to collect data needed to focus and advance our educational journey with these students.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Emily Litman, Math Teacher, Learning Community Charter School
Co-presenters:
Dr. Elizabeth Brown PhD, Assistant Professor, William Paterson University
Ms. Nicole Dynega, Elementary Teacher, Learning Community Charter School
Room: Monticello Park
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM: Breakout Session Group 2
Session Title: Special Education, Section 504 and Student Discipline
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
This session will focus on federal and state special education law and regulations, on Section 504 disability issues for students, and on student discipline in general.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Derlys Gutierrez, Partner, Adams Gutierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC
Co-presenters:
Ms. Cherie Adams, Partner, Adams Gutierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC
Mr. John Croot Esq., Attorney at Law, Adams Guitierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC
Room: Traymore A
Session Title: Successfully Getting Renewed
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Every NJ charter school faces the same hurdle: Getting a full five-year renewal once the current charter expires. This session will focus on how to make that happen. It is led by an advisor and former authorizer with 15 years of experience seeking renewals and handing them out; by a NJ school leader who recently received a full renewal; and by a senior official at the NJ Department of Education.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul O'Neill, Co-founder, The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
Co-presenters:
Ms. Amy Ruck Kagan, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, NJ Department of Education
Mr. Ken Schulz, Executive Director, Newark Legacy Charter School
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: Project Financing Roundtable
Session Track: Operations/Governance
The roundtable features representatives from New Jersey's premier charter school financing institutions: New Jersey Community Capital, TRF, LISC and PNC. Panelists will talk about real-world project financing. All members of charter schools are expected to benefit from this discussion, particularly board members, business administrators, and principals.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Daniel Arndt, Loan Officer, New Jersey Community Capital
Co-presenters:
Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, Lending Team Leader, Education & Early Care, New Jersey Community Capital
Ms. Sara Sorbello, Director, Educational Facilities Financing Center, LISC
Ms. Molly Melloh, Loan Officer, The Reinvestment Fund
Mr. Michael Gaughan, Public Finance, PNC Capital Markets, LLC
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: Differentiated Supervision: Maximizing the Growth of Teachers
Session Track: Leadership
Teachers differentiate instruction in the classroom to maximize student growth, so it only makes sense that school leaders should do the same for their teachers. The needs of the novice teacher are different than those who are more seasoned. Each teacher should be supported, nudged, and challenged in a differentiated manner. Identify how to best promote instructional growth of your staff using observations, walk-throughs, and coaching sessions.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Mary Jo McKinley, Director, Academy Charter High School
Co-presenters:
Mrs. Megan Sherman MSW, LCSW, Director of Special Services, Academy Charter High School
Mr. Jarred Shaw, Director of Curriculum, Academy Charter High School
Room: Longwood Garden
Session Title: Close Reading: Preparing Students to Read in College
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Teachers understand that college-bound students must have the skills, confidence, and perseverance to read challenging texts. Whether it be from text books or the canon, "reading to learn" will be at the forefront of students' experiences in higher education, but we often begin preparing them too late. Join us to learn close-reading strategies that help students in any grade get college-ready by boosting their success with unfamiliar and complex texts from any content area.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Nathan Patton, Dean of Instruction, People's Prep Charter School
Co-presenters:
Ms. Alison Laycock, Assistant Dean of Instruction, People's Prep Charter School
Ms. Cristal Delgado, Teacher, Spanish, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: Hybrid Learning; Transforming the Classroom
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
The Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission (MRESC) and Dellicker Strategies have partnered to implement an innovative Hybrid Learning initiative. This Hybrid Learning initiative implements 21st-century technologies and teaching methods to individualize student learning, which is the "I" in "IEP." The Hybrid Learning environment engages and motivates students who were previously inattentive and difficult to reach. Similar Hybrid initiatives in other schools have resulted in significant improvements in student academic achievement and student engagement.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Dale Caldwell, Head of School, The Village Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Gary Molenaar, Assistant Superintendent, Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission
Mr. Mark Finkelstein, Superintendent, Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission
Mr. Kevin Delliker, President, Dellicker Strategies
Room: Berkshire Garden
Session Title: Security Breach: Are You Prepared?
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Through a group discussion, attendees will become aware of the importance of having good school policies on issues of school security. Some of the issues that will be addressed are school security plans; visitors; releasing a student before the end of the school day; security personnel; interaction with local first responders; and school security drills. Attendees will become aware of what the consequences may be for either not having or not following a policy.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Lou Schimenti, Products and Services Specialist, New Jersey School Boards Association
Room: Lincoln Park
Session Title: The Common Core Classroom: What Should Leaders Look For?
Session Track: Leadership
This session will drill to the core of the Common Core for math and English language arts. Through discussion and video, instructional leaders will gain a clear understanding of teaching practices required for successful Common Core implementation, and the ability to recognize these practices during classroom observations. Such practices include engaging students in productive struggle and problem-solving rather than answer-getting in math, and facilitating rich, text-based conversations in ELA.
Lead Presenter: Mr. David Ginsburg, Instructional Coach and Leadership Coach, Ginsburg Educational Consulting & Coaching, LLC
Co-presenters:
Ms. Alison Stumacher, Instructional Coach, Ginsburg Educational Coaching & Consulting, LLC
Room: Central Park
Session Title: Use Music and Movement to Enhance Learning of Core Content in Science, Social Studies and ELA
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
This session will explore effective methods of utilizing music and movement activities to help students understand key concepts in science, social studies and language arts. Learn to help students create original songs or dances based on a rock, frog or water cycle study. Assist them to create a mini-musical based on a favorite story. Help students better understand social study units by having them learn authentic songs and dances of a particular period or culture.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Meera Jaffrey, Music and Movement Teacher, Learning Community Charter School
Room: Fairmount Park
Session Title: Writing Instruction in the Content Areas
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Participants will acquire techniques and strategies to promote success in meeting the Common Core State Standards for writing. Presenters will provide HSPA performance data, lesson plans and templates, curriculum templates, videos of classroom implementation and discussion to engage the audience.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Joseph Miceli, Director of Instruction, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology
Co-presenters:
Mrs. Amanda Leach, Social Studies Teacher/Department Head, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology
Mr. Brian O'Boyle, Art Teacher/Department Head, Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology
Room: Monticello Park
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Breakout Session Group 3
Session Title: Meaningful Media Matters: Engage Key Stakeholders and Win for Kids
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
It is essential for charter schools and their community members to communicate who they are and what they do in a way that leaves a lasting impact on key stakeholders. Meaningful communication and public engagement is simple: build strong relationships and deliver a clear and concise message repeatedly through a variety of channels. In this session, participants will gain strategies to deliver an informative message to stakeholders that increases visibility of specific issues and addresses the needs of our students and schools.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Jose Afonso, Director, Business Development, SABIS Educational Systems
Co-presenters:
Ms. Amanda Vega, Manager of Communications and Marketing, New Jersey Charter Schools Association
Mr. Eric Shuffler, Partner, River Crossing Strategy Group
Room: Traymore A
Session Title: Strategies for Ensuring Open Enrollment for Charter Schools
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
Charter schools are, by federal definition and state statutes, open-enrollment public schools and are expected to give all students an equal opportunity to enroll and to remain enrolled. This session will explore ways that charter schools can ensure that they are truly open to all students and not using inappropriate enrollment barriers or exiting practices. Participants will discuss specific issues in the areas of recruitment, admissions, enrollment, lottery and attrition. Participants will identify categories of enrollment barriers that may exist, and assess national best practices to ensure that charter schools are truly open to all students.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Lisa Scruggs, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Co-presenters:
Ms. Renita Thukral, Partner, Civil Rights Solutions
Mr. Harry Lee, Director, NJ Department of Education, Office of Charter Schools
Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Mr. Paul O'Neill, Co-founder, The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: How Can We Hire, Support and Keep Our Best Teachers?
Session Track: Leadership
As our nation's leaders increase their focus on improving teacher quality, it's critical to understand how quality is truly defined. Two leaders will share research and models of evidence-based best practices that support the development, evaluation and retention of teachers at their schools. Throughout, participants will assess the current status of their schools and determine next steps to grow, assess and keep their most effective teachers.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Karen Drezner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Leveraging Leaders
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: From Data to a Differentiated Classroom
Session Track: Use of Data
We have become a data-rich culture, yet how can we best use data to improve teaching and learning? What strategies can be used to transition data to the classroom? This session will examine how assessment data should influence lesson planning in terms of differentiated objectives and activities. In interactive group activities, participants will use sample assessment data to structure a lesson -- down to the activities and questioning -- to promote individual student growth.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Mary Jo McKinley, Director, Academy Charter High School
Room: Longwood Garden
Session Title: Successful Schools, History Preserved: New Life for Old and Historic Buildings
Session Track: Operations/Governance
There are more than five million non-residential buildings in this country, and half of those are more than 50 years old. This session will explore the benefits of adapting old or historic buildings for charter schools, including the financial, cultural, and community impact these facilities can create. From old theaters, office buildings, former schools, and mansions, real-world examples including successes and mistakes will give attendees confidence to consider these old buildings for their own school facility needs.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Matthew Bartner AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Kitchen & Associates
Co-presenters:
Mr. William Pappalardo, Managing Partner, JBA Architecture and Consulting, LLC
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: How to Lower Benefits Cost and Manage Risk in 2015
Session Track: Leadership
Let's cut costs, reduce risk, and provide quality insurance. Sound like a daunting task? With the right tools and resources it doesn't have to be. This presentation will review low premium plans, alternative funding arrangements, and preparation for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, there will be a review of the top five risk management priorities to avoid expensive employment practices lawsuits, a tarnished school image, and safety issues.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Shawn Berger, Account Executive, Austin & Co., Inc.
Co-presenters:
Mrs. Martha Mabeus, Account Executive, Austin & Co., Inc.
Room: Berkshire Garden
Session Title: ExamView Cloud and PARCC-like Item Authoring
Session Track: Use of Data
The PARCC test is here, It is a reality. After so much work getting our infrastructures ready, it is time to focus on exposing our students to PARCC-like questions. Authoring software capable of designing these types of questions is very expensive and requires a programmer to do it. With ExamView Cloud you can just click your way through, type your problems or import them from existing ExamView test files or question banks.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Ruben Rivera, Teacher/IT Coordinator, University Academy Charter High School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Mike Chiszar, VP, Enterprise Business Development, Turning Technologies
Room: Lincoln Park
Session Title: No More Teaching to the Middle! Effective Strategies for Differentiating K-5 Instruction
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
We often find ourselves teaching grade-level content to the "middle" of our class; yet, most of our students are not on grade level, which leaves the majority of students left out. Participants will explore how they can consistently differentiate K-5 instruction with a focus on specific and immediately usable strategies. We will review case studies, learn how to identify students' needs, and determine the best practices for differentiating the content, process, product, and learning environment.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Brooke Workman, Special Education Consultant, Charter School Essentials
Room: Central Park
Session Title: Teach Kids to Think: PARCC "Test Prep" That Works
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Do we give our students enough opportunities to truly think? Now that our students have begun taking the PARCC assessments, we'll explore how these items are different from the NJ ASK & HSPA and how our instruction must change, too. We'll learn how to explicitly teach effective thinking routines that will do more to prepare them for these cognitively demanding tests than traditional "test prep" can.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Cynthia Millinger, Founder & CEO, Charter School Essentials
Room: Fairmount Park
Session Title: Best Practices in Writing Instruction
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
This session is designed to support participants' thinking, reflections and understandings of the latest research and implications for writing instruction for college and career readiness. Participants will experience a lesson designed to support writers and build a classroom writing community. Participants have opportunities to observe writing instruction and reflect on the implications of this workshop approach for all classrooms. Participants will view writing conferences and reflect on the purpose and power of these individual experiences.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Linda Rourke, National Consultant, Center for Collaborative Classroom
Room: Monticello Park
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM: General Session
General Session
Lead Presenter: 
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Breakout Session Group 4
Session Title: Board Institute
Session Track: Operations/Governance
NJCSA's First Annual Charter Board Institute is designed to place both prospective and sitting trustees on the path towards excellence in charter school governance. Our experienced presenters and partners bring a wealth of expertise in public education, school development and operations, education law and policy, and organizational sustainability. Our Institute will be a valuable first step towards mastering the complexities of charter school governance and understanding the social context in which we operate.

The Institute was developed in collaboration with the National Charter Schools Institute, a well established organization that supports charter school boards around the country.

NOTE: This session runs from 11 am to 4:30 pm, with a break for lunch.
Lead Presenter: Dr. James Goenner, President & CEO, National Charter Schools Institute
Co-presenters:
Mr. Jason Sarsfield, Vice President, National Charter Schools Institute
Mr. Richard Pressler, Interim CEO/President, New Jersey Charter Schools Association
Room: Traymore A
Session Title: Working Together for Quality Facilities
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Hear from a project manager, architect, attorney, and the NJ DOE Office of Charter Schools on what makes a successful charter school facility project. Co-moderated by experienced charter school lenders, this session will explore the lessons learned and best practices of this wide range of experts that come together to support charter schools and their facility needs.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Molly Melloh, Loan Officer, The Reinvestment Fund
Co-presenters:
Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, Lending Team Leader, Education & Early Care, New Jersey Community Capital
Mr. Lin Corsey, Senior Project Manager, NorthStar Advisors
Mr. Matthew Bartner AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Kitchen & Associates
Ms. Leah Sandbank, Attorney, McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC
Ms. Colleen Schulz-Eskow, Program Manager, NJ Department of Education, Office of Charter Schools
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: Hot Topics in Regulation and Innovation
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
New Jersey's leading charter school lawyers and leaders will recap and bring you current information on the hottest New Jersey charter school legal topics -- PARCC, charter agreements and performance framework, renaissance schools -- and strategies for preventing DOE rules from stifling innovation and a student-centered approach to school operations.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Thomas Johnston Esq., Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C.
Co-presenters:
Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: Understanding Behavior Improves School Culture and Character Analysis in ELA
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Imagine how your school culture would be impacted if students understood why they do certain behaviors and why their peers behave in certain ways. Is it for undue attention, revenge, misguided power, assumed inadequacy? In this workshop you will learn about the mistaken goals of behavior and ways that educators can effectively integrate them into character education and English language arts instruction. The application of these skills will enhance success in college and careers.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Vanessa Jones, Assistant Education Director, Greater Brunswick Charter School
Co-presenters:
Ms. Jennifer Banks, Teacher, 5th Grade, Greater Brunswick Charter School
Room: Longwood Garden
Session Title: Gettin' Messi: How Mistakes Make Mathematicians and Scientists
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Imagine the stress and anxiety you'd feel if every wrong answer is seen as a judgement of your ability. What if instead, every wrong answer is seen as an opportunity to grow and develop? In this session, Keith Robinson, winner of TNTP's Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice, will describe how to forge a classroom culture that values hard work over natural ability and celebrates the brilliant mistakes that are the hallmark of true learning.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Keith Robinson, Dean of Culture, People's Prep Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Michael Lolkus, Math Teacher, People's Prep Charter School
Mr. Alex Wheelock, Teacher, Algebra II, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: Emergencies Never Make an Appointment!
Session Track: Operations/Governance
In a highly interactive session, the presenters will discuss the importance of the School Safety Team and the roles of administration and faculty in providing a safe haven for the school community. By NJBOE design, the School Safety Team is required to foster and improve school climate. This presentation will take this responsibility to the next level and create an understanding of the relationship between safety requirements, security measures, school climate initiatives, and education practices.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Nihat Guvercin, CEO, North Jersey Arts & Science Charter Schools
Co-presenters:
Mr. Leo McGuire, Director of Safety & Security, North Jersey Arts & Science Charter Schools
Mr. Philip Patire, Coordinator of Special Projects, North Jersey Arts & Science Charter Schools
Room: Berkshire Garden
Session Title: School Based Mental Health Services: Addressing the Holistic Student
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
The public education system has failed to adequately address and support the multidimensional needs of at risk youth. The perpetual lack of attention paid in schools to students' psychological, social and emotional well-being has led to increasing maladaptive behaviors in the classroom. Addressing the holistic needs of students by introducing mental health interventions within the school environment is critical if we are to decrease dysfunctional behavior and increase academic achievement.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Megan Sherman MSW, LCSW, Director of Special Services, Academy Charter High School
Room: Lincoln Park
Session Title: Creating Opportunities for All: Using Data to Develop Programs
Session Track: Use of Data
Data-driven decision making is essential to the success of struggling students. We as educators must focus on discussing how to use data in a way that impacts day-to-day instruction and program development. This session will provide an opportunity to learn how our school has used data for program design, staffing decisions, create and revise curricula, provide targeted PD, and meet student needs through the use of an unencumbered period ("flex period") in grades K-4.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Katherine Martinez, Chief Academic Officer/ Advocate, Community Charter School of Paterson
Co-presenters:
Ms. Diana Gonzalez, ELA Supervisor, Community Charter School of Paterson
Mrs. Carmela Triglia, Professor In Residence, William Paterson University
Room: Central Park
Session Title: Closing the Achievement Gap Through Complex Novels and Nonfiction
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Are you challenged by the desire to inspire a love of reading in your students through authentic and collaborative classroom experiences while achieving the goals of college readiness? Find out how to set up a two-part literacy block with read-aloud and book club working together to achieve accelerated growth in your students. Participants will walk away with strategies for engagement, motivation, and formative assessment that can be implemented immediately.
Lead Presenter: Mrs. Sarah Collinge M. S., President, Read Side by Side Literacy Consulting and Publications
Room: Fairmount Park
Session Title: Personal and Staff Development: Where Curriculum and Leadership Intersect
Session Track: Leadership
This presentation will discuss how staff development and leadership connect to meet the needs of students in charter schools and urban school environments. Leadership is essential to effective classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school. We believe that charter school leaders need to innovate, model, and assess programs designed to enable students to reach their full potential in a safe, secure and nurturing environment.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Melvin Katz, Asst. Academic Director, Seton Hall University
Room: Monticello Park
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM: Breakout Session Group 5
Session Title: Funding Equity
Session Track: Advocacy/Law/Policy
NJ charter school students receive less funding than their district counterparts. Why does this disparity exist? What does this look like for many charter schools? How can this be corrected? This panel of state and national experts will examine the current funding environment in New Jersey and the impact on charter schools. Attendees will learn more about the current political climate that keeps charter school students from receiving their fair share of funding and the potential for fixing the funding formula through legislation. Panelists will present other options for addressing the funding inequity, and discuss how you can help fight for funding equity.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Paul Josephson, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Co-presenters:
Ms. Lisa Scruggs, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Mr. Paul Velelis, Business Administrator, The Jersey City Golden Door Charter School
Mr. Morton Marks, School Business Administrator, Hoboken Charter School
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: Effective Teacher Coaching and Evaluation Tools for Free
Session Track: Leadership
School leaders at BelovED Community Charter School weren't happy with the tools available to support teacher coaching and evaluation, so they worked to design their own and make it a breeze for school leaders to record classroom observations and recommended action steps for teachers, display the information in a way that makes analysis easy, communicate with teachers, calculate a summative teacher rating, and keep an accessible record of everything.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Bret Schundler, Consultant, BelovED Community Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Jesse Sosnicki, Assistant Registrar, BelovED Community Charter School
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: Developing a School-wide Intervention Plan Based on Student Data
Session Track: Use of Data
Why aren't my students showing academic progress? What's the best way to utilize instructional support staff in order to make student gains? How do I understand the educational gaps of my middle and high school students? Come, learn the importance of making decisions based on data or the lack of it. Learn how to identify the important data points that are necessary for you to develop a plan that serves your most at-risk students.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Doreen Land, Chief Academic Officer, The Marion P. Thomas Charter School
Room: Longwood Garden
Session Title: Our Rubric: Enlisting the Whole School in Measuring Writing Growth
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
Writing is the hardest skill to teach. It is subjective, abstract, and complex. And yet it is second only to reading as the most important skill for succeeding in college. In this session, you'll learn how educators at People's Prep, a college prep charter school in Newark, created a comprehensive nonfiction writing rubric to be used in all subjects, and how they use every teacher to measure writing growth in an objective and reliable way.
Lead Presenter: Mr. Nathan Patton, Dean of Instruction, People's Prep Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Todd Levine, Assistant Chair of the English Department, People's Prep Charter School
Mr. Brent Weber, 9th Grade Team Leader, People's Prep Charter School
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: Digital Learning & Digital Literacy
Session Track: College and Career Readiness
The presentation includes the introduction of a conceptual framework for digital learning and digital literacy in education. Participants will learn about developing a comprehensive digital literacy and digital learning plan through articulating the educational focus, scope, purpose, content and results.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Diedre Simon, Educational Consultant, North Jersey Arts & Science Charter School
Room: Berkshire Garden
Session Title: Ready, Set, Grow: Planning Tools for New Facility Projects
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Is your school ready to take on a facility project for a new or expanding student body? The speakers will walk participants through self-assessment tools covering financial readiness, board preparation, and programming considerations related to facility planning. They will demonstrate how a project-based plan approach can identify priorities and create realistic budgets to match your school's vision for the future. Best practices and common facility pitfalls will be shared along the way.
Lead Presenter: Mr. James Theimer, Owner & Principal Architect, Trilogy Architecture
Co-presenters:
Ms. Faye Premer, COO, VP of Real Estate Development, Civic Builders
Room: Lincoln Park
Session Title: Saturday School - Extended School Day = Integrated Project-based Learning
Session Track: Leadership
According to its charter, Academy Charter High School has an extended day, including monthly mandatory Saturday Schools. My focus will be on coordinating a Saturday School committee of teachers, students, and administrators to plan multi-subject project-based learning activities in mentoring groups. Students are engaged in project-based curriculum, guest speakers, leadership skills, and service in their school and community. Participants will learn how to engage students by examining available qualitative data and quantitative data (such as increased attendance).
Lead Presenter: Mr. Jarred Shaw, Director of Curriculum, Academy Charter High School
Room: Fairmount Park
Session Title: Charter School Purchasing: Law, Code and Procedures
Session Track: Operations/Governance
Attendees will be introduced to state law, state code and standard operating procedures as it pertains to charter school purchasing in New Jersey. The presentation is designed to assist charter school business administrators to be compliant with all purchasing law and code. A working purchasing manual will be provided at the session. The presenter has 25 years of experience with public school purchasing in the State of New Jersey.
Lead Presenter: Mr. James Shoop, Consultant & Retired School Business Administrator, SHOOP SBA LLC
Room: Monticello Park
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Breakout Session Group 6
Session Title: More Better Schools: Replication, Expansion and Turnaround to Fuel Charter Growth
Session Track: Operations/Governance
This panel discussion will address the role of school replication, expansion, and turnaround in creating more high-quality public education opportunities in the charter sector. Expert panelists will discuss the different models for growing successful programs and approaches, as well as the essential elements in maintaining fidelity to mission and vision.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Marcy Bostwick, Manager of New School Development, New Jersey Charter Schools Association
Co-presenters:
Mr. Ron Brady, Regional Director, Democracy Prep Charter Schools
Dr. Joseph Conway, School Leader, Camden's Promise Charter Network
Mr. Robert Giordano, Sr VP, Business Development, Renaissance School Services
Mr. Nihat Guvercin, CEO, North Jersey Arts & Science Charter Schools
Room: Marlborough B
Session Title: Arts and the Environment: How to Increase Engagement in All Content Areas
Session Track: Use of Data
During a time of high-stakes testing, teachers are looking for students to be highly engaged in their learning. Retain your students' attention by embedding the arts and environment in your curriculum. Join us for interactive, research-based strategies to improve learning and rigor.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Olivia Mode-Cater Ed.M., Special Education Team Leader, Barack Obama Green Charter High School
Co-presenters:
Ms. Kate Reilly M. ED., Principal, Barack Obama Green Charter High School
Room: Marlborough A
Session Title: Leading with Data: Using Everyday Data to Coach Teachers Towards Improved Results
Session Track: Leadership
Great teachers are made, not born. But how? In a word: data! Real-time data -- data collected during the observation -- can push the needle on scholar achievement quickly and efficiently, thus building the efficacy and practice of our teachers. Develop your coaching toolbox as we discuss and practice using real-time data in order to provide clear, specific, and actionable feedback to teachers, using video, case studies and role play.
Lead Presenter: Ms. Lisa Friscia, Senior Director of Leader U, Democracy Prep Public Schools
Room: Tivoli Garden
Session Title: Charter Schools 2.0: How Will the Second Generation of Mission-driven Charter Schools Look?
Session Track: Leadership
As the first New Jersey charter schools near the 20-year old mark, what lessons can we glean about what makes one charter school successful and one not successful? What will all charter schools need to be successful in the next decade?
Lead Presenter: Ms. Lisa Eckstrom, Assistant Head of School, Princeton Charter School
Co-presenters:
Mr. Lawrence Patton, School Leader, Princeton Charter School
Ms. Gail Wilbur, Assistant Head of School. K-4, Princeton Charter School
Room: Central Park
Session Title: Collaborative School Improvement: Advocating for Your Students, Staff and Stakeholders
Session Track: Leadership
Implementing the Common Core and preparing for the PARCC extends beyond the reorganization of resources. As new resources are woven into the curriculum, it is essential that school leaders become advocates for their staff and students. This session highlights how a campus can ensure proper preparation of all facets of the instructional curriculum including key questions to ask, deliverables that can be measured, and school climate strategies that can be employed to ensure maximum success.
Lead Presenter: Dr. Christopher Moersch, Executive Director, LoTi Connection
Co-presenters:
Ms. Jennifer Arasim, Vice Principal, Camden's Promise Charter School
Ms. LeeChel Moersch, Operations Director, LoTi Connection
Room: Fairmount Park
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Closing Session / Snack
Closing Session
Lead Presenter: 



?