1 - Timeline for Launching Schools
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4.0 Schools Timeline for Launching Innovative Schools - bit.ly/schoollaunchtimeline
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Stages
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Pitch your Idea Design school modelTest school modelRun a School Builder PilotSecure a charterPlan for openingOpen new school
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Recommended TimelineYear 1 (3 years before school opens)Year 1 (3 years before school opens)Year 1 (3 years before school opens)Year 2 (2 years before school opens)Year 2 (2 years before school opens)Year 3 (1 year before school opens)Year 4 (School open)
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Recommended Partners4.0 Schools
Startup Weekend Education
EdTech Meetup
4.0 Schools4.0 Schools4.0 Schools
New Schools Venture Fund
National Fellowships
Local Harbormasters
State/Federal CSP Fund
National Fellowships
Philanthropy
Local Harbormasters
State/Federal CSP Fund
Philanthropy
Local Harbormasters
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Recommended Investment$250 to pay for food at an event$1,000 to run a quality pop-up (attend 4.0 Essentials)$10,000 to run a quality recurring Pilot (attend 4.0 Tiny Fellowship)$40,000 to pay for month-long, single-class, full-time pilot, most likely happening in summer$100,000 - 200,000 for full time salary and programming costs$200,000 - 500,000 for full time founder salary, hiring core staff, and money for launch (exclusive of building renovation/constuction costs)$100,000 - 300,000 to pay for associated launch costs before school is breaking even financially
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How long does the stage typically take to complete?1-3 months3-6 Months4-12 Months4-6 Months1 Year1 Year1 Year
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What is the exit criteria for this stage?1. Have an idea you are passionate about1. Run a day-long pop-up version of your idea with families and/or students1. Run a recurring paid pilot of idea with at least 10 families and students and have $10,000 in earned revenue

2. Grant funding secured to pay for planning process (founder salary)
1. Run a 1 month full-time pilot of your school with one class of students that successfully impacts student learning, is operationally sound, and demonstrates founder's capacity as a leader.1. Charter application is approved

2. Grant funding to pay for startup process is secured (founder and key startup staff salaries)
1. Students enrolled to meet budget projections

2. Teachers and staff hired

3. Facility secured
1. Retention and growth of student and family population

2. Evidence of academic progress for students

3. Organizations finances and operations in good condition, including facility for coming year
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How much time should the school builder dedicate?5-10 hours over a period of months5-10 hours a week (Part Time)10-20 hours a week (Part Time)10-20 hours a week (Part Time)Full TimeFull TimeFull Time
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To Learn1. What are problems that I am passionate about solving for my community?
1. Who are the students and families in your community that are not being served by current school options?

2. What are their underlying needs that are not being met today? Why aren't these needs being met today?

3. What kind of school should you design to meet these needs? What are you assuming and therefore need to test?
1. Does your instructional model serve a specific need significantly better than alternatives for 10 of your target students? How can you prove that with student performance data?

2. Do the students and families you are targeting want what you are offering?
1. Does your instructional model have a real impact on student learning?

2. Are you the right person to lead this school? What leadership and content skills are you missing and need to learn?

3. What are the key cost drivers of your operational model? How much capital do you need before opening the school?
1. What is a financially sustainable model for the school?

2. What are effective governance systems?

3. What is the external outreach/pitch of the school to families, funders, and staff?

4. What will be the operations needs for the school as it grows?

5. What will be the facility needs of the new school?
1. What are key attributes you're looking for in staff?

2. What will curriculum look like across all areas when the school launches?

3. What are the effective ways to recruit families?

4. How should families and staff be onboarded?

5. What are Federal/State compliance requirements?
1. What are the logistical requirements before opening? (Fire Marshall, Health/Safety Inspections, AHERA, Transportation Requirements)

2. What unforeseen issues do you need to solve for?

3. How do you maintain culture as organization grows?

4. What are state/authorizer reporting requirements?
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To Do1. Identify a problem you are passionate about and brainstorm 10 different ways you could solve it.

2. Talk with friends, mentors, family about your idea and get their feedback

3. Attend an event where people are talking about ideas and get their feedback
1. Find 5-10 families who meet your target criteria. Interview them to understand why their need is not being met today.

2. Research schools serving similar target students. Document what you learn and start identifying potential schools to visit.

3. Design and run one or more half day, pop-up classes with 5-10 families who volunteer to give you candid feedback.
1. Visit schools serving similar target students. Document what you learn and start identifying potential mentors in them.

2. Identify your skill and capital gaps based on pilot learnings. Work with 4.0 to connect with the right partners to fill these gaps. This includes creating an advisory board who is committed to you building the organization.

1. Run a month-to-semester long pilot as a summer program, an afterschool program, or a class within another school. Measure the effectiveness of your model.

2. With skill gaps identified, work with individual coach to identify resources and supports that can help you fill gaps.

3. Advisory board should become a formal board that is committed to helping you get the idea off the ground and connect you with resources to run your Pathway Pilot successfully.
1. Build financial model for launch of school

2. Build local stakeholder relationships

3. Transition advisory board to governing board for school

4. Apply for Charter School (happens closer to the end of that year, about a year from starting the school)

5. Work with local supporters to identify suitable facilities to use during startup
1. Negotiate Contract with Authorizer/Oversight Entity

2. Recruit and hire key staff / develop HR policies

3. Finalize operational issues

4. Recruit students and families

5. Secure facility for startup years

6. Create plan to onboard families and staff

7. Secure facility for school launch
1. Launch school

2. Develop communication channels for all stakeholders

3. Evaluate progress across key metrics (academic, operations)

4. Recruit families and staff for following year
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What coaching is most valuable?1. How to describe your idea in it's simplest and most compelling terms
(elevator pitch)
1. How to define target families and unmet needs with clarity. How to prioritize and examine untested assumptions.

2. How to recruit families that meet your target criteria. How to interview them to understand what they need and why.

3. How to design pop-up classes that distill your school model. How to run them to get actionable feedback from families.
1. How to design a pilot that tests the efficacy of your instructional model. How to run a pilot that captures meaningful data.

2. How to "sell" your pilot to a host school and parents of participating students. How to manage relationships and pilot logistics.

3. How to self-assess your skill and capital gaps. How to seek mentors and opportunities to fill those gaps.
1. The mechanics of incorporation and operational needs to run the Pathway Pilot.

2. How to transition into leadership/management roles for the first time
1. How to navigate the charter application process

2. How to write grant applications

3. How to create financial management systems

4. How to build governance systems

5. How to develop a community relations plan

4. How to hire and manage your first employee to do the work that you have done individually up to this point

5. How to build school culture and grow your instructional leadership

6. How to identify usable school facilities and negotiate a lease
1. How to hire multiple teachers/other staff and train them to do the work you have done individually

2. How to contract with vendors, including a facility for startup

3. How to plan staff and family orientations

4. How to recruit families/students

5. How to assess student performance and develop curriculum

6. How to develop your board

7. How to fundraise and perform community outreach
1. School evaluation and feedback on culture, operations, instruction

2. Leadership coaching

3. Assessment and curriculum development

4. Effective hiring and recruitment
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What relationships and champions are most valuable?1. Organizations that will bring you together with other people that have ideas

2. Organizations that will offer encouragement and feedback
1. Families who meet target criteria and volunteer to give candid feedback

2. Coaches experienced in the idea-stage process of school design and testing

3. Peer and near-peer school founders for shared accountability and peer learning
1. School partners willing to host the pilot with their students and staff

2. Families who agree to have their children participate in the pilot

3. Coaches experienced in the pilot-stage process of school design, testing, and measuring the academic impact of the model

4. Peer and near-peer school founders for shared accountability and peer learning

5. Innovative schools for the school builder to visit, observe and learn


1. School partners willing to host the pilot with their students and staff

2. Families who agree to have their children participate in the pilot

3. Partners who are willing to invest in the school builder post-4.0

4. Founders who have run similar pilots previously and can impart learnings
1. Local school district/charter authorizer

2. National and local funders

3. Community partners who will advocate for the school during authorization

4. Partners who can support the school facilities acquisition process
1. Organizations that can support family engagement and student recruitment

2. Organizations that can support teacher recruitment

3. National and local funders

4. Local businesses/vendors
1. Local philanthropy

2. Community Organizations

3. School evaluation and feedback

4. Authorizer Staff

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Resources1. What does a Startup Weekend Education look like for school builders? - bit.ly/sweduschoolbuilders1. How does Essentials support school builders? - bit.ly/schoolbuilderessentials

2. Food truck version of school - bit.ly/foodtruckschools
1. What is the Tiny Fellowship? - 4pt0.org/tiny

2. How do you pilot schools? - bit.ly/howtopilotschools

3. Design thinking for educators - designthinkingforeducators.com
1. What is the New Schools Venture Fund Invent program? nsvf.org/invent

2. How do you plan and run a Pathway Pilot? (in development)

1. Tips and insights for opening a school - bit.ly/greatnewschools

2. BES School Start-up Process - bit.ly/BESstartupprocess
1. Planning for a charter opening - bit.ly/charterstartupprocess

2. Tips and insights for opening a school - bit.ly/greatnewschools

3. BES School Start-up Process - bit.ly/BESstartupprocess
1. BES School Start-up Process - bit.ly/BESstartupprocess
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