Grants to high-potential charter schools
Girard has provided start-up funding and other strategic investments in a small number of charter schools with innovative educational models. Grantees have included: Thrive Public Schools, Escondido Charter High School, Gompers Preparatory Academy, Heritage Digital Academy, High Tech High, Health Sciences High and Middle College, Keiller Leadership Academy and North County Trade Tech High School.
Special education in charter schools
Over a period of several years, the Girard Foundation worked with the California Charter Schools Association and a group of local charter schools to develop better ways of meeting the needs of special education students. The charters wanted to assume responsibility for their special education programs instead of depending on their authorizing district for services. Several charter schools are now able to offer their own, higher-quality programs, while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees they previously had to pay the district. The project also led to the establishment of the San Diego Special Education Improvement Authority, a membership organization that monitors program quality and provides training and staff to participating schools.
Charter School Accountability Project
Girard worked with RPP International and the San Diego Business Roundtable for Education to provide a series of workshops that helped over 29 charter schools use data more effectively to improve instruction, evaluate programs and communicate with their constituencies. The program ran between 2002-2005.
California Charter Quality Institute
Designed by the California Charter School Association to increase the number of high-quality charter schools in CA, CCQI was a comprehensive program for new charter schools that provided training and extended supports in the areas of leadership, instruction and operational management. Over 49 schools participated in the CCQI between 2005-2009, and many of its core elements have been incorporated in “Charter Launch” and other current CCSA programs.