It's about great public schools.

Start Right

Now that your school has been authorized, it's time to begin building the systems and teams required to make it successful. For over 13 years, the New York City Charter School Center has supported schools in the start-up phase with expert guidance, insider information, and advocacy. Our Start Right program provides new schools with the technical assistance and administrative tools needed to help ensure you’re prepared for a smooth launch.


For questions, please contact Randall Iserman, at


Through a combination of workshops, webinars, school tours, resource sharing, mentoring, and one-on-one consultations with the experts, the Charter Center’s Start Right program focuses on helping you establish the systems vital to ensuring a solid foundation for the operations of your school. Topics covered include:

  • Recruiting and Enrolling Students
  • Hiring Staff and Teachers; Creating Strong HR Policies
  • Establishing Fiscal Policies and Procedures
  • Managing Facilities and Creating a Safety Plan
  • Ensuring Good Governance and Compliance Reporting
  • Building Compliant Support Structures for Special Populations
  • Developing Your School’s Culture for Students and Staff

General Program Plan


The Charter Center’s new school development team has helped over 100 charter school leaders turn their visions into a reality. The Start Right program combines individualized supports/consultations with cohort activities to ensure start up teams have access to best practices, insider information and key resources. Participation in Start Right entitles you to:

Individual consultations with Charter Center experts, including:

  • 2 hours of consultation with our Director of Legal Affairs to provide guidance on everything from rental assistance to OML to governance
  • 2 hours of consultation with our Special Education and ELL directors to assist with recruitment and specific program planning (based upon actual enrollment)
  • 2 hours of consultation with our Government Affairs team to assist with elected official outreach and community engagement initiatives
  • Weekly consultations and on-call operations technical assistance from the Director of School Supports

Access to New York's industry experts and respected charter school leaders from around New York City:

  • Panel discussions and workshops with first year charter operators (lessons learned!) as well as more experienced school leaders
  • Monthly topical breakfast Q&As

Resources, toolkits and exemplars from high functioning charter schools:

  • Access to information and materials to ensure you don’t have to reinvent the wheel
  • Assistance navigating and integrating with NYC Department of Education systems

Complimentary participation in and discounts for key NYC charter sector programming:


"Start Right was just that — a place to start and get it right! The program pushed us to think about the most critical aspects of our leadership journey: compliance, facilities, enrollment, staffing, nutrition, health and safety… developed with like-minded individuals from other new schools. We all walked in with the promise to yield positive results...”
- Erienne Rojas, founding Director of Operations, Emblaze Academy


“I owe a great debt to Start Right and to you for helping us navigate the craziness of school founding. Your patience and guidance throughout the process was invaluable. In a small but significant way, these [state exam] results are your results, too, so thank you.”
- Graham Browne, Founder and Executive Director, Forte Preparatory Academy


To be eligible to participate, you must have received authorization to open a NYC charter school in 2019 and have at least two members of your school team willing to commit to the program.


$5,500 payable upon receipt of your school’s first Charter School Program (CSP) Grant check.


Start Right programming begins as soon as you are chartered! Whether you’re authorized in Round 1 or Round 2, we know you’re in a hurry to establish your operations, so that once your school opens you can focus on your students and learning. Consultations are worked around your schedule; cohort programming and school tours will be offered from July 2018 through June 2019.