Operations Institute

Operational effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance are critical to the organizational sustainability that ensures the school is effective in delivering student outcomes. This is why it is critical that charter schools provide comprehensive and rigorous professional development for their operations professionals.

Whether launching the process with a diagnostic of back-office systems or attending our Operations Institute, CharterSource has the in-depth expertise and team of professionals to help your operations professionals build strong systems. Be sure to check out our Operations Institute which offers 16 technical sessions, a compliance feed, and a community engagement platform to share best practices with your peers.

Join us for Office Hours (2nd and 4th Thursdays from 10:00-11:00) to connect with our operations facilitator. Click here to register. 

Interested in a free preview of one of our sessions? Click here to request complimentary access to our Operational and Financial Sustainability in Student Transportation session. To learn more about our Operations Institute, please reach out.

Please see the list of sessions below.  Individual registration provides access to recorded sessions (previously live) or upcoming live sessions, templates/resources, and the opportunity to engage in a collaborative learning community for 365 days. Individual coaching is available for an additional fee.  


Preparing to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer project planning is often the “quieter” time to prepare for the upcoming school year. We will cover topics that include school vision & mission, strategic planning directives, compliance/safety, regularly scheduled upkeep, duration of work, time sensitivity, dependencies, risk mitigation, and team member availability.  

HR Performance Management

Ensure that the school’s staff and leadership performance is compliant, effective, and efficient. We will discuss key components of HR, management of year-round compliance, essential onboarding tools, HR policy, and compliance requirements, performance management, and planning for what’s next on the horizon.  

School Health, Safety, and Emergency Planning

Planning for school health services and safety and emergency planning is a key role of an operations manager. We will focus on how to be compliant, effective, and efficient when planning for your school.

Recruitment; Enrollment/Registration and General State Compliance

We will review the registration, enrollment, and admissions processes and how they fit together as well as how they are different.  We will also review the general state compliance as defined by the MN Department of Education including resources for a reporting calendar, guidance on how to organize work and deadlines, and other helpful tools. 

Procurement, Purchasing, Vendor Management/Contract Management

Need help with vendor management? We will discuss the components required for a successful procurement process using federal funds and non-federal funds. Guidance includes how to manage organized, compliant, and economical procurement, purchasing, and vendor contracting. 

Charter School Finance

Learn how to support the financial process and systems in your schools beyond what a financial services vendor will provide. Topics include defining charter school finance and valuable tools for managing charter school finance. Understand what comprises the role of an operations manager in a charter school.


Navigating Common Operations Pain Points

Learn about how to address common pain points.  The key areas of focus are issues relating to facilities such as copy matching, regulating building temperature, and managing common spaces. 

Technology and Data Systems

Learn how to support the technological infrastructure and data systems in your school. The key areas of focus include technology infrastructure for students, staff, curriculum, assessments, data platforms, and student information systems.

Elevating School Ops to a 5-Star Rating


Learn key tools to take your school operations systems to a five-star rating. We define the components of an exemplary system and guide you to understanding how to perform a system audit.

Student Transportation

We will provide guidance on supporting an effective, efficient, and compliant transportation system for families.  Topics include best practices for school busing, special education transportation, student bus conduct, and lessons learned. 

Office Management/Systems

Learn how to organize, maintain, and manage the records, files, processes, procedures, and data of your charter school. Key objections include defining a vision for the main office, outlining key office management systems, setting goals for key office management systems (while keeping in mind the vision), and understanding how to improve existing office management systems.

Ops System Planning

A well-planned system is the foundation for any successful operations. Led by Operations Institute Instructor, Sara Griffin, the objective of this session is to understand and use tools to prepare and plan school systems. Equally important is to identify when systems need to be changed or altered to better suit the needs of the organization. Together we will review how to plan and enact a systems approach to operations in a charter school.  

Operating Ops Teams and Support Structures

Course Description
The purpose of the session is for operations managers to be able to outline their key buckets of work and establish a division of labor and management structures. Equally important is to maintain management structures. Deliverables include a 1:1 and team check-in template.

Managing State and Federal Accounts

Course Description:

Jump start the new year by joining us for training led by Kelly Gutierrez, Executive Director of Finance and Operations, at St. Croix Preparatory Academy.

We will discuss how to organize your school's operations team, processes, and calendar to ensure that the school accounts leverage and comply with state and federal funding and expectations. Learn more about best practices for establishing roles and responsibilities of the operations team for the following reports:  

  • ADM to the State
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Transportation Funding
  • Title Funding
  • Lease Aid
  • SPED and more...




How to Establish and Manage Employee Records

Course Description: 

What is a personnel file and what you should (and shouldn't include)? Former KIPP Director of Operations, Liza Hill, will share key practices and tips for file organization including record retention and how to comply with record-keeping requirements. We will also discuss some key areas of FAQs such as the following:

  • Who should be able to access files?
  • How should you store files?
  • Why is file management so critical? 
  • And more on recommended policies...



Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunities

Course Description:

Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunities

With the recently passed clean energy infrastructure legislation - both locally and nationally - MN charter schools have the opportunity to update failing facility structures with beautiful, learner-friendly, physical environments that also lower energy bills. Join Katie Piehl, Founder of Bloomwise Partners, as she shares opportunities you’ve been missing on facility upgrade financing options for charter schools. Programs like the IRA’s noncompetitive Elective Pay Clean Energy Tax Credit offset energy upgrades by 30% or more. Instead of a tax credit, the IRS mails you a check! (Yup, you read that right). We’ll discuss funding opportunities you may not have considered available through the Dept of Energy, IRS, Dept of Transportation, and the EPA. Opportunities to put EV charging stations at your school, solar panels on your rooftop, and new windows, lighting, or insulation to improve indoor air quality. If it saves you on your energy bill, there’s a grant for that.


Operational and Financial Sustainability in Student Transportation

Course Description:

This course is available as a free preview for those interested in learning more about our Operations Institute. Click here to request complimentary access!

Hear from transportation expert, Carl Allen, CEO of 4Mativ. From his time serving as Director of Transportation of Boston Public Schools to his role as COO/CFO at the Harvest Network of Schools in Minneapolis, Carl has a wealth of knowledge about student transportation.  Learn more about adopting a strategic approach to transportation and employing alternate modes to deliver a safe and effective transportation strategy. 


I rate the Operations Institute a 10! I absolutely loved it. There are additional items I would like to be covered and the opportunity to go even deeper. But being able to connect and learn from really great ops professionals; I always enjoy sharing with others.

Operations Manager

Minneapolis Charter School

The Ops Institute is a great service to the community. I will take CharterSource with me wherever I land. I think it is a great resource for charter schools" Julie, Bloomington

School Leader

Bloomington School