Charter Central Podcast

  1. Episode 30: Culturally Responsive Schools – A Discussion with Shena Hill-Scott and Dr. Von Glass

    In this episode, we hear from two educators who are leading the way by connecting with students through culturally responsive schools. They bring their insights in this area directly to listeners covering everything from ideas for teachers in the classroom to how the entire school community can support students. Join us to learn more about this important topic from Shena Hill-Scott from Pembroke Academy and Dr. Von Glass from Warrendale Charter Academy.

  2. Episode 29: Exploring Literacy – A Discussion with Dr. Chad Waldron

    Tune in for this episode as we welcome Dr. Chad Waldron, faculty member and director of The Literacy Center at Central Michigan University. Dr. Waldron shares insights starting from defining literacy and expanding out to student engagement, literacy across the curriculum, and current literacy research. He also discusses his upcoming professional learning opportunities that are available for educators at CMU partner schools.

  3. Episode 28: Preparing the Teachers of Tomorrow – A Discussion with Dean Paula Lancaster

    As a new school year begins, we are excited to share an in-depth conversation with Dr. Paula Lancaster, the dean of Central Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Services. Dean Lancaster shares her thoughts on the many ways that teacher preparation has evolved and how CMU continuously adapts to meet the needs of future teachers. She also provides her insights on a diverse range of education topics from the use of technology in education, to special education, and inspiring students to become teachers. If you are an educator in a CMU partner school, you won’t want to miss the information on how you can receive 50 percent off a CMU graduate degree through the Charter Educator Tuition Program.

  4. Episode 27: Cultural Competency – A Discussion with Dr. Luay Shalabi

    On this episode, we explore cultural competency with Dr. Luay Shalabi, a former charter school leader and current mentor with Global Educational Excellence. He shares insights from his decades in education on the importance of embracing cultural competency in classrooms, including ideas for educators and the impact on students.

  5. Episode 26: Positive Youth Development – A Discussion with Sarah Weisbarth

    On this episode, we learn more about Discover You from Sarah Weisbarth, the organization’s director. She shares insights on the important concepts that they focus on through this positive youth development program. We also learn about the state funding available to support schools that would like to implement the program.

  6. Episode 25: The Importance of STEM Education – A Discussion with Megan Schrauben

    On our first episode of season four, we explore the topic of STEM education with Megan Schrauben, the executive director at MiSTEM Network. Learn more about the state’s STEM strategy, funding opportunities and how STEM connects with our state’s economy. She also shares how a school can develop its STEM programming.

  7. Episode 24: Examining the Impacts of the Pandemic – A Discussion with Adam Aberman and David Hartman

    On this episode, we talk with Adam Aberman from The Learning Collective and David Hartman from Venn Education. They walk us through their findings and recommendations that are now available in their report, Examining the Impacts, Changes and Innovations Schools Have Experienced During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This report follows their research, including focus groups and surveys with CMU partner schools, to investigate this important topic. We cover a diverse range of areas from accelerated learning to supporting teachers.

  8. Episode 23: Celebrating Innovation – A Discussion with Countryside Academy

    Tune in for this episode as we are joined by Countryside Academy, the winner of the Center’s third annual Innovation and Vision Award contest. We discuss what makes the school unique, focusing on its curriculum and programming that offers its students a diverse range of opportunities. We also share the schools that are the finalists for the next Innovation and Vision Award.

  9. Episode 22: Literacy – A Discussion with Dr. Meghan Block

    Tune in for this episode as we welcome Dr. Meghan Block, faculty member and co-director of The Literacy Center at Central Michigan University. Dr. Block shares her insights on a range of topics, including strategies to increase student engagement, how school leadership can support literacy efforts, and how all subject areas teach literacy.

  10. Episode 21: Strategic Communications and Engagement – A Discussion with Matt Resch

    On this episode we talk with Matt Resch from Resch Strategies about why engagement with a range of stakeholders is important to the success of charter schools. He discusses how to share you story and connect with partners serving in your community while also looking at some simple first steps in forming an outreach strategy.

  11. Episode 20: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – A Discussion with Dr. Shawna Patterson-Stephens

    Tune in for this episode as we are joined by Dr. Shawna Patterson-Stephens vice president and chief diversity officer at CMU’s Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She unpacks the differences between diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the importance of raising awareness in schools.

  12. Episode 19: School Board Recognition Month – A Discussion with Steve Grigorian and Leigh Chandler

    January is School Board Recognition Month and to celebrate we are talking with board directors Steve Grigorian from A.G.B.U. Alex and Marie Manoogian School and Leigh Chandler from Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. Steve and Leigh discuss how they use their professional management skills and experiences in their board governance roles. They also share lessons learned, points of pride and the legacy they hope to leave on their schools.

  13. Episode 18: Assessing the Pandemic’s Impact on Student Growth – A Discussion with the Center’s Research and Data Analytics Team

    Tune in for this episode as we follow up with our Research and Data Analytics team to examine student achievement and growth throughout the pandemic. They discuss assessment results and implications, how we as an authorizer are using the data, and our national contribution to educational data research.

  14. Episode 17: School Drinking Water – A Discussion with Escuela Avancemos Academy and the Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

    On this episode we hear from Holly Gohlke, the state’s School Drinking Water Coordinator. Holly shares why the quality of your school’s drinking water is so important and the resources the state has to assist with supports and testing. We also talk to Stephanie Yassine and Lily LaFevre from Escuela Avancemos Academy about the work they have done in their building and how they engaged with their students to understand the importance of water quality.

  15. Episode 16: Special Education – A Discussion with Kathy Barker

    On our first episode of season three, we talk with Kathy Barker. She is our team’s special education consultant and walks us through a diverse range of topics related to special education. We explore the continuum of services, collaboration in serving students, and the impact of the pandemic.

  16. Episode 15: Inclusive Schools – A Discussion with Jess Stone

    On this episode we hear from Jess Stone, a teacher at River Heights Academy that serves as an advocate for LGBTQ+ students and staff. They share why it is important to have inclusive and safe classrooms, including specific examples that teachers can implement to provide a supportive environment for their students. Jess also shares insights on what should be considered to ensure staff members are supported through an inclusive environment. Beyond serving as a teacher, Jess is also a member of the Distinctive Schools Michigan Regional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum Committee and shares about the work that this group of educators is doing in this crucial space.

  17. Episode 14: Celebrating Innovation – A Discussion with Renaissance Public School Academy

    Tune in for this episode as we are joined by Renaissance Public School Academy, the winners of the Center’s second annual Innovation and Vision Award contest. We discuss what makes the school unique, including the evolution of the school, project-based learning and a recent school expansion.

  18. Episode 13: The Pandemic’s Impact on Student Performance – A Discussion with the Center’s Research and Data Analytics Team

    In this episode, we hear from our Research and Data Analytics team on the comprehensive research they have done throughout the last school year on the impact of the pandemic on student performance. We cover many topics related to this research, including the history of our use of benchmark assessments, findings of the research done so far in the pandemic, and what the research will look at in the future when spring assessments are completed.

  19. Episode 12: Health and Safety Insights for In-Person Learning – A Discussion with Recon Management Group and Ivywood Classical Academy

    As schools continue to return to in-person learning, we explore the topics of health and safety with a partner school that has been learning in person since the fall as well as a school facility expert. Dan DiBardino from Recon Management Group shares his advice on what schools should be looking at from a health and safety perspective. The topics we discuss with Dan include ventilation, cleaning protocols and ideas for keeping students socially distanced. To conclude our episode, we hear from Ivywood Classical Academy. They share with us some of the innovative technologies and policies they utilized this year to keep their students and staff safe.

  20. Episode 11: Social-Emotional Learning – A Discussion with Distinctive Schools

    The team from Distinctive Schools joins us this month to discuss the importance of social-emotional learning. They share insights on their innovative approach, including their use of curriculum and assessments to ensure they are supporting their teachers and students in all of their schools. We also discuss what unique needs students have for social-emotional learning in the pandemic and how to navigate the return to in-person learning during this challenging time.

  21. Episode 10: Celebrating Board Service – A Discussion with Two School Board Presidents

    In this episode we celebrate School Board Recognition Month by discussing board service with board presidents from two CMU partner schools. Heather Gardner from Trillium Academy and Ehrlich Crain from Detroit Innovation Academy share insights with us on many topics ranging from their motivation to serve in this role to the impact of the pandemic on their schools.

  22. Episode 9: Teacher Recruitment and Retention – A Discussion with Leah Breen, MDE’s Office of Educator Excellence

    Bringing her perspective serving in leadership roles at the state and national levels, Leah Breen shares with us her insights on two important topics for schools – teacher recruitment and teacher retention. Her insights include observations on innovative retention efforts, ideas for growing your recruitment and the impact of the pandemic on teachers.

  23. Episode 8: College Access – A Discussion with Ryan Fewins-Bliss, Michigan College Access Network

    On this episode we talk with Ryan Fewins-Bliss, the executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. He shares important insights on the programming and initiatives their organization provides for schools and students. While we discuss the supports needed to ensure students have access to opportunities in postsecondary education, Ryan also shares about how his college experience impacted his life.

  24. Episode 7: Blended Learning – A Discussion with Dan McMinn, NexTech High School

    Kicking off our second season we talk with Dan McMinn, the school leader from NexTech High School in Grand Rapids. As the education world transitions to many new and different forms of instruction, Dan shares with us what a blended model of learning looks like at their school. Open since 2012, his school has utilized the blended learning model for many years. He provides important insights on what makes them unique and what others can learn from their approach.

  25. Episode 6: Insights from Award-Winning Educators

    In this episode we talk with Jennifer Melero, the 2020 Michigan Charter School Teacher of the Year and Jeremy Brown, the 2020 Michigan Charter School Administrator of the Year. They share their insights on all things education from what their students have taught them, to what they have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their messages are inspiring and show the passion they have for teaching. The legacy they will leave will certainly go on to impact future generations.

  26. Episode 5: Innovative Schools – A Discussion with FlexTech High Schools

    Tune in for this episode of Charter Central where we are joined by our friends from the FlexTech High Schools in Brighton and Novi, the winners of the Center’s inaugural Innovation and Vision Award contest. We discuss at length with our guests Sarah, Nick, and Kim about what makes their schools so innovative, including their approach to project-based learning, community partnerships and culture of collaboration. We also share some details about our next Innovation and Vision Award contest so stay tuned.

  27. Episode 4: Trauma-Informed Schools with Dr. Alison Arnold

    On this episode, we discuss the important topic of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and what it means to be a trauma-informed school. Our guest is Dr. Alison Arnold, the director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Community Health & Wellness at Central Michigan University. She is also a Master Trainer for the Michigan ACE Initiative. Our discussion includes numerous topics related to ACEs including resources for schools.

  28. Episode 3: School Safety with Dan DiBardino

    On this episode, we sit down to talk all things school safety with Dan DiBardino, managing director of Recon Management Group and the president and CEO of Crime Stoppers of Michigan. During our interview, Dan draws on his many years of security experience to educate us on this incredibly interesting and important topic. Tune in as we learn about the importance of school security, how schools can make sure they are prepared in an emergency situation, as well as the details of some new state requirements for schools coming in January.

  29. Episode 2: Dan Quisenberry

    Dan Quisenberry, president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, has been at the forefront of the charter school movement for over 20 years. In this episode, we learn more from Dan about the important resources MAPSA offers schools and the impact of some key legislative items. We discuss numerous topics with Dan from the state budget to the importance of storytelling, and even a teacher that had an impact on Dan’s life.

  30. Episode 1: Dr. Jim Goenner

    In our kick off episode we hear from Corey Northrop, the Center’s executive director who shares his insights on CMU’s role in supporting charter schools and what listeners can expect from the new podcast. We also welcome our first guest, Dr. Jim Goenner, who is a true pioneer of the charter school movement. He shares his perspective on some of the historic milestones during the first 25 years of charter schools in Michigan and walks us through what it was like to be a part of the transformation of public education here in our state. Dr. Goenner is the current president and CEO of the National Charter Schools Institute.