One of the core principles of the CSMI approach is to free educators from the business and management functions of operating a school so they can focus their time and energy on teaching.
Coupled with creative and resourceful education reforms, the separation of management and teaching has had a profound effect on student outcomes at urban CSMI-managed charter schools – by changing lives in underserved communities and providing opportunities for kids that never existed before.
Below is a summary of the majority of critical management functions that CSMI undertakes working with School Administrators and their School Boards.
Accounting & Finance
CSMI provides customized, full back office accounting and finance support for its client schools. These services include accounts receivable, purchasing, accounts payable, payroll, general ledger maintenance, financial reporting, treasury management, risk management and other services as may be required. CSMI also supports a client school’s in-house accounting and finance staff with highly trained, experienced experts.
CSMI has extensive background in the development, construction, maintenance, and management of client school facilities. As of now, CSMI has assisted in the construction, capital improvements, and annual maintenance of 14 buildings across five campuses. CSMI works closely with building principals to ensure that building repairs are completed timely. CSMI believes that the comfort of safe, well-maintained surroundings and state-of-the-art facilities are key to enabling students to succeed.
CSMI maintains a seasoned Grants Team to support client schools’ efforts in receiving entitlement funding and competitive grants. Many small and independent schools do not have the resources to pursue the multitude of private and public grant opportunities that are available to them. Furthermore, the compliance requirements of grants and entitlement funding require expertise gained only from years of experience in the field, which the members of our Grants Team have acquired.
CSMI provides across the board technology support for: computers, copiers, fax machines, video-monitoring systems, SMART Boards, internet, email, and phones. The purchasing and upgrading of technology for client schools is coordinated by CSMI.
CSMI coordinates with a client school’s leadership the fulfillment of all state and federal reporting requirements, to ensure the school administration’s accurate and timely submissions. CSMI aids client school personnel in maintaining accurate student accounting for reporting to the district and state. CSMI works with client school administrators to establish a calendar that adheres to applicable laws and regulations. CSMI assists client school leaders in developing programs to comply with special education laws and related services.
CSMI develops systems for management and oversight of a client school’s food services department, which are presently serving nearly 1 million meals per school year, coordinating and using a turnkey food service program. This includes: food ordering; inventory management; meal service; tracking of free and reduced meals; determining eligibility for the National School Lunch Program; and monitoring all regulatory requirements for nutritional service to meet the needs of students.
CSMI oversees and manages all human resource department functions for client schools, including staff recruitment, clearances, licensing, health benefits, training and professional development. CSMI makes recommendations to a client school’s senior leadership regarding hiring, termination, discipline, compensation (including health benefit plans, 401K and other compensation programs), and assists with creating policies, procedures, and handbooks subject to approval by a client school’s Board of Trustees.
CSMI uses its experience in vendor management to ensure that client schools receive the best quality of products, services, and resources in an economically efficient manner. Through the implementation of purchasing best practices, CSMI helps client schools save money, thereby increasing the resources available to educators and their students.
CSMI assists client school leadership in the design, planning, and logistics for school-related events, collaborating with school staff and the Parent Association as appropriate. Events include the parent report card dinner, award ceremonies, the Santa Brigade, and the staff recruitment fair, among many others. CSMI also assists in coordinating procedures for extended school services, such as the Eagles Book Mobile and dental and physical exams, when necessary. Additionally, client school student recruitment events and marketing materials are coordinated by CSMI.
CSMI provides guidance and procedures for client school administrators’ front office operations, including all clerical and administrative functions: from child accounting, file maintenance, visitor reception, and clerical support, to scheduling and submitting maintenance requests. A client school’s mailroom and copying functions are also coordinated by CSMI, thus freeing up more time of instructional staff.
Running a school involves managing an immense amount of planning and organization on multiple levels. CSMI, in coordination with a client school’s administrators, provides guidance and procedures for space requirements, transportation, student-to-teacher ratios, allocation of support personnel, and ordering of books, equipment, supplies, and furniture. CSMI also assists in establishing programs for capital improvements and maintenance as needed from year to year.
In order to be effective, a learning environment must be safe and secure. Protecting students in the modern world goes beyond simply locking doors. CSMI client schools provide comprehensive electronic surveillance of school premises, the most efficient evacuation and lockdown procedures, and fully maintained facilities that prevent accidents and injury. CSMI has experienced professionals working with client schools’ administrative leaders, who are constantly monitoring and working with the client schools’ safety committees to maintain the highest levels of school safety, so that teachers can focus on teaching with full confidence that they and their students are in a safe and secure environment.