WA Charters Celebrates National Charter Schools Week with Family Outreach Event, Launch of School Listening Tour and Annual Statewide Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contact: Maggie Meyers at maggie@wacharters.org or 724-263-9826

SEATTLE – The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is celebrating National Charter Schools Week by announcing several initiatives launching this month, including a statewide listening tour, a “Charter 101” info session for families and community members, and the organization’s third annual statewide conference on May 12-13, 2017. WA Charters is also welcoming new CEO Patrick D’Amelio, who officially joined the organization on May 1.

Among the new efforts, D’Amelio will embark on a statewide charter public school listening tour to connect with school leaders, staff and students—and experience firsthand the innovative and personalized teaching and learning happening in charter public schools across our state. The next phase of D’Amelio’s tour will focus on meeting with neighborhood groups and area leaders in effort to deepen the schools’ ties with the communities they serve.

“I am thrilled to be joining WA Charters at the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Washington’s charter public schools are poised for a new level of growth fueled by parent and community demand, and I look forward to working alongside students, families, and community leaders to broaden the impact of high-quality charter public schools as an important part of Washington’s public education system. Our primary goal for Charter Schools Week is to raise awareness of ourschools and shine the spotlight on the great results they are delivering and their deep connection to their local communities. I am excited to visit each of our operating schools in person over the coming weeks.”

In addition to launching the listening tour, WA Charters also hosted a “Charter 101” info session for community members and prospective families on Tuesday night at the Rainier Beach Public Library. The audience listened and asked questions of panels with parents from Rainier Prep and Summit Sierra, and leaders from Seattle’s two newest schools opening in Fall 2017: Green Dot Rainier Valley Leadership Academy in South Seattle’s Othello neighborhood, and Summit Atlas 6-12 in West Seattle. More info sessions will be happening around the state in coming weeks and months.

This week was also marked by big news that the NewSchools Venture Fund has invested in two new Washington school groups: Willow Public School, in Walla Walla, which was authorized in 2015, and Impact Public Schools, a new network of schools submitting their first application to open a K-5 school in Tukwila in 2018.

Finally, the momentum from National Charter Schools Week will continue into next week, with WACharters’ Annual Conference on May 12-13, in SeaTac at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center. As the largest annual charter gathering in the Pacific Northwest, the conference will bring together current and future charter school leaders, teachers, parents, board members, and supporters. Keynote speakers include Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University, and Chris Stewart, Director of External Affairs for Education Post and Publisher of Citizen Ed.

Media is invited to attend the conference’s general sessions on Saturday, May 13 from 8:30 – 9:45and 3:55 – 5:00 p.m. CEO Patrick D’Amelio and keynote speaker Chris Stewart will be available for interview on request. To RSVP, please contact Maggie Meyers at maggie@wacharters.org

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