View Resource: Restart Case Study NSVF
This is a report commissioned by the DC Fund of New Schools Venture Fund. It profiles two charter-to-charter restarts and explores some of the challenges and lessons learned early in the process. From the report, “this report examines the initial execution of the two restarts in detail, from the selection of the restart operator to the negotiations of the asset transfer – in order to pull out lessons learned for future restarts.”
Outcomes & Lessons Learned:
- Start the process as early as possible, even informally, in order to allow sufficient time for all stakeholders – particularly families of students attending the school – to prepare for the restart. Rather than waiting for an authorizer decision, founding operator boards should proactively review their school’s progress annually, and if goals are not being met, plan for multiple scenarios, including a restart.
- Conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that all parties have a clear picture of the process and what it will entail. Founding operator boards need to engage in internal conversations to determine how they will assess quality and which factors they will prioritize so they can effectively vet potential restart operators. Similarly, potential restart operators should carefully review the founding operator to determine what the restart would require, particularly in terms of school program and staffing. Ideally, a potential restart operator would also review its internal staffing resources to see if it could handle a restart, even before there is a clear opportunity for one.
- Allocate sufficient staff resources both for the planning process as well as the negotiation over the specifics of implementation and associated legal agreements. The necessary staff and board time required from both the founding operator and the restart operator are easily underestimated.
- Balance the need for transparency with tight coordination over external communication with stakeholders throughout the process. Founding and restart operators should act as a team and confer on family communication in advance to avoid confusion and mixed messages, which would undermine families’ trust in the process and in the new operator.