A small but growing strategy among charter schools is to design and implement a model that aims to serve an all-encompassing variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to a racially, culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse student body (hereafter referred to as “intentionally diverse” schools). The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, presents two resources on fostering diversity within charter schools:
- Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools: A Toolkit for School Leaders: This toolkit is designed to help charter school leaders and their stakeholders design and implement intentionally diverse charter schools. It presents decisions and actions, along with specific examples from three diverse charter schools, for school leaders’ consideration. Using this toolkit, leaders will learn more about how to measure student diversity, how to intentionally recruit and retain students, how to ensure that diversity is supported and experienced meaningfully at the individual, classroom, and schoolwide levels, and how to create and run schools that help all children thrive.
- Valor Collegiate Academies: Charter Schools Intentionally Designed to Serve Diverse Students and Families: This case study features Valor Collegiate Academies, an intentionally diverse charter management organization (CMO) that operates two high-performing schools in Nashville, Tennessee. In four video segments, this case study explores:
- The key decisions and metrics that Valor CMO and school staff use to design and maintain charter schools that enable all students to thrive and learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds;
- The school’s selection of facilities and transportation services and its design of the instructional model, family outreach, and student enrollment strategies;
- The programming and structures that Valor charter schools use to serve students, engage parents, and support staff to ensure that diversity is a meaningful, daily experience; and
- School leaders’ advice, based on their experiences, to other charter schools that are working to create a school culture that supports and values diversity.