Lots of Value in School Visits

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November 9, 2012 I have a renewed commitment to visiting schools. I encourage all schools to also make this a priority. There is so much to gain by putting time aside to be exposed to schools who are often experiencing similar challenges and successes.

For me, it is an opportunity to see firsthand, the physical layout of the facility and to get a feel for the environment the school provides to its neighborhood. But more importantly, it provides an opportunity to get to know the fantastic people who provide this important service to the public. Many schools are already equipped to provide tours to the public or potential families. One of the most important things I could do is to better understand the challenges our schools are experiencing and develop relationships with folks who have the same commitment to providing a high quality options to the students and families in our communities.

My objective is to be as prepared as possible to advocate on behalf of the schools in the Central Valley. To do that, it is important ask questions such as the ones below.

  • What kind of extracurricular activities does the school provide to its students?
  • Does the school have a specialized focus, arts, technology, character education, career technical education, etc.?
  • How does the school serve students with special needs?
  • What is the total student population?
  • Are the facilities adequate or does the school hope to expand?

A wonderful thing about charters is that there are so many different types of schools and they often look so different from each other and from traditional public schools. So don't be surprised if you receive a call from me looking to schedule a visit or I may just stop by to say hello.

John Madrid
Regional Director, Central Valley