Share the idea
Share with your school community (teachers, staff, school counselors, etc.) that the district is exploring new program ideas and wants to hear their thoughts and ideas.
Schools thrive when teachers and staff feel they are part of a tight-knit group. By sharing ideas, they feel more part of the team.
2. Select a theme
According to research (1), the most successful Program Choice schools select a core theme and teach through the lens of that theme. Look at your surrounding community to determine themes that would compliment the area as well as future opportunities for your students.
Utilize colleges, universities and thriving industries that will be able to partner with you and support your growing program.
3. Observe established programs
Interview, observe, and research other established programs with a similar theme. This will generate a wealth of best practices, ideas, and pitfalls to avoid.
It will also establish a future planning partner for great lessons and projects as well as support. School Choice schools need to stay relevant and open to new ideas, therefore, support is highly sought (1).
4. Spread the word
Get your families and the community talking! Get them excited by sharing the exciting elements of how this will help students, improve your community, and generate a workforce.
5. Select a location
If a location has not already been established, consider a magnet option when you intentionally place a Program Choice in a location that will improve diversity (1).
6. Determine a budget
A specialized Program Choice school will come with an added price tag. Keep in mind that these are generally fixed costs and the per pupil cost goes down with increased enrollment (2).
7. Prepare for technology
Be intentional about the technology that you want to incorporate. Make sure technology stakeholders are at the table when decisions about implementation, training, dissemination, and maintenance are discussed.
8. Train, Train, Train
Teachers will need time to learn and develop their skills. Offer support in terms of planning time, collaboration time, and a budget for materials.
Teachers are extremely resourceful and can often get creative in terms of equipment, but nothing beats the gift of time for them to craft and perfect their skills.
9. Offer continued support
Continuously reach out to families, the community, industries, and similar Program Choice schools. Research suggests that Program Choice schools that seek support are often the most successful (3).
These partnerships will keep you relevant as well as aid in recruitment efforts. People want to be part of exciting and great things.
10. Prepare for applications
The hard work is done! Now, make sure the application process is a breeze for students, families, and your team. Consider the possibility of lotteries, preferences, program requirements, and other forms of documentation that may be required.
ScribChoice was created so that you can stay focused on what matters - your students, families, and educational opportunities. Leave the application process to your educational partners.