"Back-to-School/New Charter Schools" Media Push

September 16, 2010

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Now that summer has ended, thousands of students are going back to school this year as new charter school students. In order to highlight the growth of charter schools across the state, as well as our members' continued commitment to the movement, the Association's Communications Team embarked on a proactive media outreach effort centered on a "back to school" theme.

With the help of Regional Directors, we were able to identify charter leaders across the state and secure media opportunities in every major city. The results were phenomenal, and are still on-going.

Here are some highlights:

On August 11, 2010, Univisión KMEX Los Angeles conducted a series of live shots during their morning newscast, Primera Edición, at the site of the new Camino Nuevo school, Jose A. Castellanos. CCSA's Senior Vice President of School Development and Support Myrna Castrejón and Camino Nuevo CEO Ana Ponce participated in four 5-minute long segments broadcast that day.

Castellanos is one of five charter schools selected during the first round of the Public School Choice initiative in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). A week later, on August 18, CCSA organized a news conference with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, and Ana Ponce, among other charter leaders and supporters, to officially welcome students. Media turnout was great, and the school's opening was featured in major publications, including the Daily News, Jewish Journal, La Opinión, as well as KPCC radio and every major TV station in L.A.

In San Diego, 10News reporter Alejandra Cerball profiled the new College Preparatory Middle School in an afternoon newscast. Reporter Cerball visited the school and spoke with College Prep's Chris Callaway on the impact of a new high-quality charter school in the area.

"We are excited not just to get the word out about our school, but to help the community to understand more about charter schools and the positive impact they can have on student achievement and the education field," said Callaway, after the segment. Click here to view the clip.

In San Jose, NBC's education program "Class Action" recorded and aired a segment on the Rocketship Los Suenos charter school, and in Sacramento, CBS 13 and Univisión KUVS aired a story on the growth of charters in the Northern California region.

Even before the new California College, Career & Technical Education Center (CCCTEC) opened in West Sacramento, CCSA proactively secured media coverage of the new charter, helping to promote their open enrollment, as well as their focus on career technical education and bookless learning. CCCTEC, which started classes on September 7, will be providing every student with their own iPad. Read the stories in the Woodland Record and the Sacramento Press.

In addition, the Sacramento Bee reported on a story on the growing popularity of charter schools, and spoke with Jed Wallace, CCSA's President and CEO, as well as Regional Director Laura Kerr. Here's that story.

News 10 and The Lodi Sentinel are working on stories currently, and CCSA is assisting them.

"CCSA's members have been essential in this effort," said Director of Media Relations Vicky Waters, "and we really appreciate their flexibility and availability. As we move forward, we'd like to solicit success stories from every area throughout the year to highlight in the media the importance of charter schools in our communities."

For more information, or to share a success story with CCSA, please contact Vicky Waters. Also, be sure to follow CCSA's on social media (twitter.com/calcharters and facebook.com/calcharters) to stay up-to-date on the latest charter school news from across the state.

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If you are a member of the news media, please contact Emily Galbreth at: (412) 559-8571 or egalbreth@calcharters.org.

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