Scholarship Prep teacher greets student with a high five.
Scholarship Prep Sparks Compassionate Leadership and Data-Driven Excellence at 2024 CCSA Conference
March 28, 2024

Amidst the bustling halls of the Long Beach Convention Center, Scholarship Prep Public Charter Schools stood as a beacon of collaboration and innovation during the 2024 California Charter School Association (CCSA) Conference. Over two days of insightful sessions, Scholarship Prep shared its expertise while highlighting the spirit of partnership that defines the charter school landscape.

Day One: Balancing Data and Love as a Leader

The conference kicked off with a standing-room-only, thought-provoking discussion led by members of Scholarship Prep’s leadership team: Jason Watts (Executive Director), Andrew Crowe (Deputy Director), and Taylor Ellis (Chief Academic Officer). Their session, “Balancing Data and Love as a Leader,” delved into the delicate balance between data analysis and compassionate leadership, emphasizing Scholarship Prep’s unwavering dedication to student well-being while maintaining a robust data-driven culture.

Andrew Crowe continued to captivate audiences as he shared insights on countering dwindling enrollment and navigating the complex terrain of school growth with strategic and community-driven approaches. Joined by experts in finance from Charter Impact and marketing from FinalSite, Crowe illuminated nuanced strategies essential for sustaining growth amid challenging enrollment projections with “Countering Dwindling Enrollment: Tactics for School Growth.”

The day reached its pinnacle as Crowe, Jessica Leahy (SP Oceanside Principal), and Elizabeth Stone (SP Orange County Principal 4-8) delved into trauma-informed practices in the session “Trauma Train Your Staff to Increase Performance and Satisfaction.” Attendees gained valuable insights into creating supportive environments that address students’ diverse needs.

Day Two: Empowering Communities and Fostering Well-Being

The momentum carried into the second day, with Scholarship Prep actively engaging in discussions on governance, finance, fostering community collaboration, and staff well-being. Andrew Crowe spearheaded discussions on board governance and cash management, underscoring Scholarship Prep’s commitment to transparent governance practices in “Best Board Meeting Ever: 2024 Edition” with members of the Procopio and CCSA teams.

In his second conference appearance, Jason Watts, Charter Impact, and Banc of California team members led an interactive discussion on effective cash management strategies amidst economic challenges. The session, “It’s Getting Hot in Here! Cash Management in an Inflationary Environment,” demonstrated Scholarship Prep’s commitment to financial stewardship and thoughtful short and long term planning.

“Check in Before They Check Out: Creating a Staff Wellness Framework” highlighted the critical importance of staff well-being in fostering a positive school culture. Here, Andrew Crowe and Chantel Van Pool (SP Orange County Principal TK-3) shared how crafting a tailored wellness framework through community partnerships engages staff, monitors their well-being, and fosters proactive support to address mental health needs.

In partnership with CCSA, Scholarship Prep presented the “Collaborative Communities” session, during which Taylor Ellis, Efren Castillo (SP South Bay School Counselor), and Marisol Ontiveros (SP South Bay Dean of Mathematics) shared insights from the innovative Community Meeting Toolkit. This toolkit was designed to support highly impacted student populations and won the Homeless Innovative Programs grant from the California Department of Education. It showcases Scholarship Prep’s commitment to inclusive education.

The conference concluded with a heartwarming presentation by SP South Bay Principal Allison Vann and SP Orange County Principal Chantel Van Pool on the benefits of morning meetings. Their “Lead with Love: How Implementing a Morning Meeting Benefits Everyone” session demonstrated Scholarship Prep’s dedication to creating safe and supportive environments for all students. Those in attendance left with actionable steps to enhance academic performance, reduce absenteeism and suspension rates, and improve student satisfaction and belonging.

Reflecting on Collaboration and Innovation

As Scholarship Prep reflects on its participation in the 2024 CCSA Conference, it does so with gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with fellow educators and share insights for the betterment of public school education. Through a commitment to innovation, compassionate leadership, and collaborative partnerships, Scholarship Prep remains steadfast in its mission to provide exceptional education for all students.