With all of the misconceptions and myths that surround us in the charter school movement, it becomes particularly important to brag and highlight all of the amazing things our students and teachers accomplish each and every day. This especially includes graduate stories.
Sharing graduate stories will become part of your school’s larger story of success. Incorporating individual stories on your website and on social media channels can help broadcast the success and achievement of not just individual students and families, but of those student’s teachers, your school’s support, and ultimately showcasing the important success of charter schools.
Tips on sharing graduate stories:
Always include a photo. Whether it is their yearbook photo or a casual picture taken from your phone, a photo with your article or post is a must.
Have your grads write their own story. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and MAPSA are seeking graduate blogs. Do you have a graduating senior who can write a story about their success at your charter school? Sent them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrate ALL graduates! If you only serve K-8, showcase your eighth grade graduates or even those cute kindergartners.
Showcase your alumni too! Celebrate your alumni with their milestones too! Do you have a student who only attended your building through eighth grade but is graduating at a nearby high school with honors? That story shows the strong foundation your school provided that student to succeed well into the future.
It is also important to include and invite your State Representative and Senator. These individuals are making decisions on behalf of your public charter school and it is important to show them your achievement, including your graduation events. Engaging your lawmakers in a positive manner will help tell your school’s story of success.
Tips when inviting lawmakers to attend your graduation ceremony:
Make the invite personal. Call or personally email them and ask them to attend your community’s celebration.
Give then instructions. Lawmakers are very busy people, so make it easy on them to attend your event by communicating where to park and the length of time of the event. If you are asking them to be part of the program, make sure to include as many details so that they feel prepared.
Greet them. This sounds like an obvious point, but make sure you identify a point person at the event to seek out your lawmaker and welcome them and escort them on where to sit for the event. Introduce them to your board members and school leadership. Make them feel welcome and part of your school’s community.
Tag your lawmakers on social. Make sure to snap a few pictures with your legislators with some graduates and tag them on social media.
Charter schools around the country are changing lives every day. At any given time, a charter school student is meeting the teacher that will change their life, and a teacher is meeting the student who will change theirs. Lawmakers and community members need to hear from the students, teachers, and parents that are choosing charters, and learn how charter public education is reimagining education one school, one classroom, one student at a time.