The Charter School Startup Program

Stop Thinking About Writing A Charter School Application and Get Moving

An Assistance Program That Transforms A School Idea Into A School Movement

Praise From a Pleased Partner

"Leaders Building Leaders not only ensured that our charter application was complete and expertly written, they also helped ensure our mission and vision was clearly reflected in each section of the application. They are professional, responsive, and provided informed, invaluable advice from beginning to end. I could not recommend working with LBL more!"

Catherine Lordi

Founder of PEAK Academy Asheville

When you understand what is truly involved in writing a winning charter application, you’ll never have to worry about being approved again.

Sick of wondering if your ideas add up to a winning application? Tired of feeling overwhelmed about the application writing process? Maybe you’re an education expert but know little about finances, or you’re a successful business person who cares deeply about education but lacks expertise in school operations. You wonder if you’re up for the task…

Meet Katy Ridnouer, M.Ed.

Katy has been where you are. As the founder of a charter school herself, she took her school idea from a thought to a reality in two years. She wrote the application, weaving her mission and vision into each section. As board chair, she prepared her board for every step of the application and approval process, ultimately winning unanimous approval from the authorizer. Another member of our team, Dr. Tom Miller, is a former charter school leader and consultant for the NC Office of Charter Schools who was responsible fore writing the charter application process for North Carolina. There's no other group more qualified to write charter applications. 

She will walk alongside you and your board and do the same thing. In fact, in the last few years, she has written a half-dozen successful charter applications through this process. As a 25+ year education veteran, she understands education, leadership, and project management, and as the author of two education books, she understands writing. Partner with Katy for an application that will get approved.

 

Ever wonder, “Is there a trick to getting a charter school application approved?”

If so, I get it. Maybe you’ve poured hours and hours into understanding the charter school application process and talked with experts. Maybe you feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel, going nowhere.

You wonder, “What am I missing?”

The thing is, you know you’re smart, creative, and talented...and you’ve invested in your own growth and personal development. Your heart is in the right place. You might even be certified and highly qualified in your field with a ton of degrees. Then you read about someone opening a school and you just want to throw your hands in the air and shout…

“How is THAT person opening a school, breaking ground for a new facility, and enrolling hundreds of students when I know that I’m just as good or better? What am I missing? Better marketing? Better board? Better vision? What do I need?”

Of course you’d be skeptical and leery of that success story because here’s the thing:

No one out there wants to tell you the truth about what it takes to write a successful charter application...but I’m going to.

The #1 Reason Many Charter Applications Fail is Because They’re Trying to Push a Good Idea...Instead of Sharing Why Their School Should Exist.

The secret to LBL’s success--and yours--is that you’ve got to focus on providing a vision of a THRIVING, FULLY-ENROLLED SCHOOL. Don’t get me wrong: each section of the application is important ismarketing is important...but you have to paint a credible and compelling picture of serving students. 

Download the 10 Reasons Charter Schools Fail

Writing a charter school application that doesn’t have a STORY behind it is a recipe for disaster.

People try to do this all the time. That’s why their applications fail; there’s no substance, no pull of the heartstrings, no emotion, no transformation, no WHY… No wonder the NC Charter School Advisory Board denies these applications. When applications propose an idea but don’t demonstrate that their idea solves a problem or is even what the community wants, the charter application is dead before it even begins. So take it from me…

Building a Successful Charter Application Isn’t About One Great Idea. It’s About Moving People.

I'm based in North Carolina, and when I think of the schools that we learn from to help customers like you, I think about schools such as Henderson Collegiate, Community School of Davidson, Lake Norman Charter, Triangle Math and Science Academy, and Sugar Creek Charter. People follow, flock, and fight for these schools. Their combined waitlists exceeds 10,000 students. 

You should see how irritated I get when I hear people say, “There aren’t any great charter schools out there.” I know that’s not true. These schools that I just listed aren’t just schools; they’re education communities that transform children’s lives.

You Might Be Thinking: “Easy For YOU, But…”

Look, I didn’t go from teaching in a classroom to writing a successful charter school because I knew everything when I started. Please! When I started out, I had a very supportive husband and a good idea and that’s about it.

You need a team, and so did I. I built my team at my very own dining room table. I hosted hosted weekly board meetings and served dinner to everyone, so they’d stay energized and focused.

Before I did this though, I spent hours writing on my own, but it wasn't until I had my team, the Board of Directors, that the application started coalescing. 

Envision our first meeting: All I had were printouts of the charter application, a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, and a home-cooked meal. Here’s what I didn’t have:

  • A clear education plan

  • A team of writers

  • Guidance for writing charter school applications

  • Understanding of charter school law

  • A clue on how to secure a facility or why that mattered.

Most charter school applicants focus on the easy stuff: The bylaws, the 501c3 application, the website, and the Facebook page. None of those will matter if you don't have a compelling story. 

To write your school's story, capture your vision, craft your mission, and capture the hearts of community stakeholders. That's where a charter application begins. 

Leaders Building Leaders Has A Process.

One thing I had that no one could ever take away from me was a story that moved people. That’s how I built my school. Years later (and I’m gonna tell it like it is):

…It Feels Pretty Great To Go From Having An Idea To Having An Existing School! From Having an Idea to Leading a Group of Innovative Educators, To Giving Hope To Families, And To Developing Programming That Changes Children’s Lives.

I won’t apologize for saying that because I want the same for you! Can you imagine how good that would feel? To have families chase you down instead of the other way around? To know you can spend every day of your life doing work you actually love and believe in? To make more of a difference than you ever thought possible?

It’s possible because when your story moves people, you’ll never have to worry about approval again.

Calling All Charter School Starters...It’s Time to Start Your Movement. 

Writing your school story is all about finding your WHY. Why did Apple become such a rabid movement? Because Steve Jobs was clear on his WHY, to create elegant, sleek devices that changed the way we interact with the world. Why is TOMS Shoes such a beloved brand? Because Black Mycoskie had a WHY: to provide for someone in need with every purchase.

We’re not even talking about social, cultural, or religious movements yet … but think about it. Would you call Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a storyteller? Or Mandela? Or Jesus? Or Gandhi? People followed them because they had a story, a belief, and a WHY that was worth following. These people were change-makers, trendsetters, and thought leaders … not storytellers. They didn't chase the paper, they chased a dream … and people followed.

News Flash: You Are Your School's Story!

There are hundreds of people right where you live who have a problem you have a solution for. You have an idea for better schooling--right? Then it is YOUR responsibility to get your school in front of as many people as possible.

That’s why you have to start with YOUR story. When you infuse your story with your WHY, you become unstoppable. The two go hand in hand. When your idea flows out of your story, and you align plans with passion, parents will stand in line to enroll their students in your school. 

Remember, Applications are Approved When the School Story is in EVERY Part of the Application…

So, how do you write a successful charter school application? Easy. You create a moving story! You align your ideas with your why and you refine it...until it is PERFECT.

I’m not talking about becoming a professional writer. I’m talking about using writing strategically (in whatever context you’re in) to convey your mission and vision for your charter school. At a coffee shop. In a small group. In a boardroom. Rocking the stage at a charter school conference.

Think back to the leaders of the schools I mentioned earlier. Imagine them when they first started. None of them were “professional school leaders” by trade.

But what’s the one thing they did to create their school? They aligned their mission and vision with their communities' needs, and they wrote a clear, unified story.

So, do you need to build your board? You’ll need to perfect your story. Want to promote your school in your community? You’ll have to have a story. Want to make a splash in the charter world? You have to have a story worth listening to. In the charter school world, the story behind the message is everything.

And if you don’t learn how to convey your story, you are losing those who need you most.

“What do I really need to work on to write a winning charter school application … with the least friction possible?”

The answer is simple. You don’t need a huge marketing budget or a degree in marketing. It starts with SPEAKING to the right people about your story.

That’s not to say it will be quick or easy … but like I mentioned earlier, I’m a former teacher and a published author… I opened a charter school that outperformed the neighborhood schools by two letter grades; now I help other people do the same thing.

It all started with a story. If I can do it, you can too … and if you let me, I’m going to show you how, step-by-step.

The Charter School Startup Program is designed to show you step-by-step what you need to transform the school idea in your head into a school story that gets approved.

Who Is This Program For?

If you are an educator, professional, or community leader looking to open a charter school for your community, you are a perfect fit for this program.

This program is also for you if you’re…

  • feeling like, no matter what you do, this is going to be a struggle

  • sick of not reaching the students you are teaching

  • confident that you can improve the education choices in your community

  • wondering if your children are destined to be educated in your community’s underperforming schools.

The world needs what you have to offer, and The Charter School Startup Program is going to help you bust through those roadblocks and help you go further with your charter application, faster.

Who Is This Program Not For?

If you are someone who is not serious about opening a public charter school that serves people and solves problems, but instead you are looking for an easy way to open a school, this is not the program for you. If you are not willing to jump in and take action, this program is also not for you.

Here’s What You Need to Know About The Charter School Startup Program

The bread-and-butter of The Charter Application Assistance Program is a deep dive designed to help you clarify your story, connect the story to each part of the charter application, and convey your story in a cohesive charter application.

The Movement

Focus on your why. Why should the NC Charter School Advisory Board approve your application? This is foundational work, and once you do it, your followers will explode.

The Mess to the Message

You’ll learn the fastest, most effective way to connect the messiness that just lies in your head to your message underlying your story and to the requirements of the charter application. This is a critical step because this is exactly how to connect the dots of the application.

The Math

I’m not talking about Calculus, I’m talking about a simple, effective strategy that shows you exactly what you need to do to reach your goal of a completed charter application. Listen, I don’t like mystery. Our process is methodical and strategic.

The Method

This is where we find the thread that ties it all together. You’ll learn to tie your compelling mission to school operations, governance, and finance, and submit a winning application.

This Is A Marathon with Options For Extended Sprints To Keep Your School Rolling

Writing your charter school application can be simple AND successful. I’ll show you how. Our program offers assistance for each stage of opening a charter school, from partnership through every stage of the writing process to launching your school with a strong and successful first year.

You’re A Rising Charter School Star, and We’re Here to Help You Fly Even Higher.

The Charter School Startup Program is filled with dynamic support structures to help you understand everything you’re learning, take massive action, and submit an application that gets approved.

Option 1: Application Bootcamp

$997

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Option 2: Writing Assistance

$2,500

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Option 3: Writing Partnership

$8,900

Starting Cost

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Option 4: Ready to Open Support (Planning Year)

$997

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Option 5: First Year Support

$6,000

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Option 6: Strategic Partner Support

$24,000

$19,997

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Option 1: Application Bootcamp

LBL's Charter Application Bootcamp webinar series begins each June and will cover the following:

  • Mission, Vision, and Goals

  • Education Plan

  • Special Populations (English Language Learners and Special Education)

  • Developing Your Board, Roles and Responsibilities

  • Finances 

  • Organizational Structure

  • Target Population and Needs Assessment

  • Marketing

  • Legal Requirements

  • Facilities

Total Cost: $997

For up to three seats in LBL’s Charter Application Bootcamp Webinar Series. This fee also includes revision recommendations for each section of the application and a final read of the entire application in its entirety.

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Option 2: Writing Assistance

  • Extensive oral and written feedback on multiple drafts of each of the following documents:

    • Mission, Vision, and Goals

    • Education Plan

    • Operations Plan

    • Finance Plan

    • Governance Plan

  • One-on-one budget planning assistance

  • Intensive preparation for the NC Public Charter School Advisory Board capacity and follow-up interviews

  • Batphone assistance on other issues as needed.

Total Cost: $2,500

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Option 3: Writing Partnership

  • The Leaders Building Leaders Strategic Calendar

  • Each section of the application is written by Leaders Building Leaders with the information, vision, and documents provided by the applicants, including the following sections:

    • Mission, Vision, and Goals

    • Education Plan

    • Operations Plan

    • Finance Plan (Budget plan is completed by the applicant.)

    • Governance Plan

  • Appendices items are collected, organized, and prepared for submission. 

  • One-on-one budget planning assistance

  • Intensive preparation for the NC Public Charter School Advisory Board capacity and follow-up interviews

  • Batphone assistance on other issues as needed.

Starting Cost: $8,900

This is the North Carolina charter application price.

We do write for other states and will customize a plan and price upon request.

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Option 4: Ready to Open Support (Planning Year)

For groups that receive conditional approval by the NC Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB), LBL provides the following support and assistance during the approximately 18 months from the time of conditional approval until the opening of a school:

  • Direction and assistance necessary to eliminate weaknesses identified by the CSAB and meet final charter approval conditions

  • Three seats at all RTO Support calls and webinars

  • One-on-one consulting on enrollment, marketing, policy development, and other issues throughout the planning year   

  • As a part of the RTO Support Program, we will help you write, communicate, and pitch your program. Through coaching and practice, you'll be able to market your school with confidence.      

  • Links and introductions to other community resources

  • Basic guidance for completing the NC ACCESS grant application and to secure other charter school grant funds

  • Membership in a professional learning community of other charter leaders

Total Cost: $997

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Option 5: First Year Support

Once a school has opened, LBL continues to provide support through the first school year. Services include:

  • Access to ongoing workshops

  • One-on-one coaching for the administrative team.

  • Consulting on issues throughout the year

  • Links and introductions to community resources

  • Membership in a professional learning community of other charter leaders the School Leaders Consortium

  • Board training through Navigate

  • Assistance with first-year self-evaluation processes and strategic planning

Total Cost: $6,000

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Option 6: Strategic Partner Support

From vision to heartbeat, you’ll have a strategic thinking partner. This includes:

  • Writing Partnership for a complete and compelling application

  • Direction and assistance necessary to shine in interviews with the CSAB

  • Three seats at all RTO Support calls and webinars

  • One-on-one consulting on enrollment, marketing, policy development, and other issues throughout the planning year        

  • Links and introductions to other community resources

  • Basic guidance for completing the NC ACCESS grant application and to secure other charter school grant funds

  • Membership in a professional learning community of other charter leaders

  • One-on-one coaching for the administrative team.

  • Consulting on issues throughout the year

  • Links and introductions to community resources

  • Membership in a professional learning community of other charter leaders the School Leaders Consortium

  • Board training through Navigate

  • Assistance with first-year self-evaluation processes and strategic planning

Total Cost: Regular price: $24,000

Discounted price: $19,997

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Need Help Signing Up or Have Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us:
[email protected]
980-333-1939

No-Risk 100% Money Back Guarantee!

We’re here to help you write a winning charter school application. We firmly stand behind the integrity and value of The Charter School Startup Program and our reputation as a leader in this industry.

So here’s the deal. If your charter application is denied because we failed to provide a required document or gave you bad advice, then we will refund your money. 100%.

We will ask for your completed course work (to make sure you gave it a go) and ask what failed (so we can improve). But we’re willing to lose money on this guarantee because that’s how much we believe in this program.

Got Burning Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

If you’ve read this far, we know that you’re serious. But there could be a few thoughts running through your mind, such as…

If you have 250 hours available to dedicate yourself to learning everything you need to know about the charter application process and to writing a compelling application, then No, you don't need LBL's assistance.

20% of applications are approved, and they all cost $1,000 to be submitted. If you are comfortable with those odds, then No, you don't need LBL's assistance. 

If not, then Yes, you do need LBL's assistance. It takes LBL 100 hours to write a winning charter application, and we have been doing this for 10 years. How long will it take you--someone who has never done this before? What will it take away from your family and work? We have assisted 20 applicants turn their vision into an operating school, and we can do the same for you and your board!

That depends. Do you have the necessary expertise on your board? Does your proposed school meet a need in the community? Are you ready to commit 100% to running a school? If you are Yes! Yes! Yes! Then Leaders Building Leaders’ program will work for you!

We’ll give you a checklist for what you need and assist you in getting it in place. We’re deadly honest too! If you’re not ready, we’re going to let you know before we’ll accept a penny from you.

It’s best to have at least a 5-member board in place before we start writing the application, but if you don’t, let’s talk. We have lots of ideas to help you build a governing board that operates at a high level!

Leaders Building Leaders exists to support you in the pursuit of your dream to open a charter school. On our team, we have former charter school founders, leaders, board chairs, and a former Office of Charter Schools consultant. We know what the Charter School Advisory Board is looking for, and we know how to translate your ideas into a compelling charter school application.

Everybody doesn’t need the same level of help, so we want you to choose the level that is right for you. 

  1. Writing Assistance is for folks who want to write it themselves. They are seeking feedback and advice on how to make sure that their application is not only well written, but also compelling, complete, and compliant. 
  2. Writing Partnership is for folks who have the ideas, but they want to hire Leaders Building Leaders to steer the project from beginning to end, ask questions, complete research, write the application, organize each section of the application, and submit the complete application.

We will lay out a plan with action steps that will guide you to write a winning charter school application, step by step.

Yes. The Charter School Advisory Board has a due date for your application, but we will create a strategic calendar to help you complete a winning application before then. We will deliver trainings live, but they will also be recorded so that you can listen to them on your own time

We do everything electronically and by phone unless you have technology limitations. We will work with you however you need us to.

We get to work! We create a schedule tailored to your needs chock full of specific deliverables and timelines.

The longer you wait, the less time you have to write an impactful application. In North Carolina, the applications are due in July, so the longer you wait, the harder this process will be.

We guarantee that we will write a compelling, complete, and on-time application. If the application isn’t approved based on the completeness or accuracy of the application, then we will return 100% of your money.

Schedule a phone call at Katy's Calendar Link or email Katy at [email protected]! We are here to support you as you, perfect your vision, clarify your mission, and build your team!

Choose the Plan That’s Best for You and Enroll Today

How much is a lack of a plan hurting your chance at opening a charter school? How many potential families are out of reach because you haven’t clarified your story? How many sections of your charter application are unwritten or even ignored?

Join Leaders Building Leaders’ Charter School Startup Program and bid these problems farewell forever.

Option 1: Application Bootcamp

$997

Webinar series starting in June. 

Up to three seats in each Charter Application Boot Camp Webinar and feedback for each section of the application.

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Option 2: Writing Assistance

$2,500

LBL provides extensive oral and written feedback on the application and offers feedback and guidance during the writing process. LBL prepares and conducts a mock interview with you and your board and provides batphone assistance when needed. 

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Option 3: Writing Partnership

$8,900

Starting Cost

We capture your vision in write, coach and guide you and your team regarding charter school law and best practices, and submit the final document as a compelling, complete, and on-time application. LBL prepares and conducts a mock interview with you and your board and provide batphone assistance when needed.

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Option 4: Ready to Open Support (Planning Year)

$997

LBL provides support, guidance, and assistance during the approximately 18 months from the time of conditional approval until the opening of a school through monthly calls and webinars and is available for batphone assistance when needed.

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Option 5: First Year Support

$6,000

Support through the first school year with workshops, coaching, consulting, connections, and training tailored to your mission, vision, and specific school community needs.

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Option 6: Strategic Partner Support

$24,000

$19,997

Go all in with from vision to heartbeat. Hire LBL as your strategic partner to write the application, interview with the CSAB, develop the board, develop policies, and open your doors and operate successfully.

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Need Help Signing Up or Have Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about this course, please contact us:
[email protected]
980-333-1939

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10 Reasons Charter Schools Fail

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