GNO Collaborative Teachers

GNOCCS Cohorts – What You Need To Know

To build capacity within charter schools, GNOCCS has established six subject area “Cohorts.” Each Cohort includes school leaders and administrators whose jobs involve one of six areas of responsibilities: Curriculum and Instructional Programs, Special Education, Development and Communications, Business and Finance, Facilities and Operations, and Data Managers.

Membership in each Cohort is free to Collaborative member schools and available for a fee to other charter schools operating in the Greater NO Area. To inquire about joining a Cohort, contact the GNOCCS Executive Director at director@gnocollaborative.com.

The benefits of Cohort Membership include the following:

  • Networking among charters with respect to programs, operations, and services
  • Partnering with external groups to better serve our students
  • Completing professional development and training around key topics
  • Receiving up-to-date information on laws and regulations, trends, opportunities, grants, services, best practices, and student and/or community needs
  • Sharing successes and challenges with peer groups
  • Working with peers on special projects

 

The Finance and Business Managers Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of the planning and management of financial and business operations. Training programs, webinars, workshops, and topics covered in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: federal stimulus programs, Affordable Care Act, emerging trends in HR practices, Every Student Succeeds Act, audit standards and findings, public bid laws, making the decision on becoming an LEA, supporting grants writing and management, financing charter school capital projects, Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), differentiated funding, out-sourced vendors performance, public works and public contracting, charter accountability and auditing. Cohort members may use GNOCCS-developed boiler plate school bus, construction, and other contract templates.

The Facilities and Operations Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of facilities financing, procurement, maintenance, and operation. Training programs, workshops, and topics covered in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: code compliance, monitoring of parish capital improvements programs, financing charter school capital projects, public works and contracting procedures, landscaping standards, out-sourced vendor performance, in-house versus out-sourced staffing decisions, risk management, maintenance, available buildings for use, school zones and crossing guards, student transportation, utility bills, pest control, environmental hazard abatement, and charter autonomy with respect to these functions. Cohort members may use GNOCCS-developed standard boiler-plate construction documents for bidding, architect and engineering contracts, construction documents, and construction contracts and bonds.

The Development and Communications Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of assessing needs, raising funds, writing grants, branding, and communicating with the public and the media. Training programs, workshops, and topics in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: best practices for fund-raising events, developing case statements and logic models, intermediate grant writing, best practices for conducting capital campaigns, developing partnerships, offering naming rights, using community data in planning, using social media, media relations, public records requests, and coordinating grants with school financial and programmatic staff. Cohort members also have use of GNOCCS databases on funding sources.

The Curriculum Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of curriculum, instruction, co-curricular activities, raising student achievement, standards, testing, and assessing needs. Training programs, workshops, and topics covered in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: using community data in planning, athletic injuries, privacy of student data, best practices in teaching middle-level mathematics, Tier 1 curricula for middle school science, new state course standards, testing protocols, child protection laws, valuing diversity, STEM, social studies, teacher-student relations, financial literacy, arts integration, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Partnerships for the cohort include the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, EcoRise, Common Ground Relief, STEM Library Lab, STEM-NOLA, LSUHSC, Xavier University School of Pharmacy, Neighborhood Housing Services, the Federal Reserve Bank, and other institutions and organizations.

The Special Education Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of the identification, assessment, programming, and monitoring of the educational programs for students with special needs, including those requiring 504 accommodations, Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs), and related services. Training programs, workshops, and topics covered in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: special services in a virtual delivery, best practices for developing initial and renewal IEPs, 504 accommodations, emerging issues in special education laws, regulatory compliance and monitoring, shared services, adaptive PE, contracting for specialized services, and special needs funding.

The Data Managers Cohort is focused on building capacity within its member schools in terms of the collection, maintenance, processing, using, and reporting of student and other school data. Training programs, workshops, and topics covered in the Cohort’s current agenda include the following: State and LEA requirements, becoming an LEA, data security and privacy, software selection and use, processing required forms and reports, legal responsibilities, public records requests, and other areas to be identified by the members.

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