Renewal Site Visit Overview

The Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office (GVSU CSO) Renewal Site Visit (RSV) is an opportunity that the GVSU CSO can use to better understand and explain how well schools are working to educate students. The RSV places a small team of experienced educators within the school to collect and analyze data about school performance.

The RSV is based on a transparent, research-based set of standards - the GVSU CSO Renewal Benchmarks - that serve as the framework to understand the effectiveness of school practices. The RSV is used to promote understanding and dialogue between the school and the GVSU CSO.

Both the school and the RSV team have clear roles and responsibilities that are designed to promote good rapport and clear communication. All team member are governed by the GVSU CSO's Core Values.

Honesty, integrity, and objectivity, and a focus on the best interests of students and staff are essential to the success and positive impact of the RSV process.


What are the GVSU CSO Renewal Benchmarks?

The GVSU CSO Renewal Benchmarks include a set of standards used to assess critical aspects of a school's operation. Renewal Benchmarks are based on research of the best educational practices and seek to address the following four Renewal Questions:

Is the school an academic success?
Is the school an effective, viable organization?
Is the school fiscally sound?
Is the school a safe environment that promotes effective teaching and learning?

During the RSV, members of the CSO gather information related to the Renewal Benchmarks. Given the breadth and depth of the Renewal Benchmarks, the RSV focuses specifically on five of the Benchmarks in particular:

  1. Is high quality instruction evident throughout the school? (Benchmark 1D: Pedagogy)
  2. Does the school promote cultural sensitivity and responsiveness to the school population? (Benchmark 4B: Culture and Climate)
  3. Does the school have strong instructional leadership (Benchmark 1E: Instructional Leadership)
  4. Has the school been faithful to its mission and has it implemented the key design elements included in its charter? (Benchmark 2A: Mission & Key Design Elements)
  5. Does the school organization effectively support the delivery of the educational program (Benchmark 2C: Organizational Effectiveness

How does the RSV Process Work?

The RSV utilizes multiple sources of evidence to understand how well a school is working. It extends beyond standardized measures of student achievement to collect evidence in relation to the protocol's key questions and indicators. There are four general steps in the RSV process:

Pre-visit Planning and Analysis
The GVSU CSO works with the school to organize the schedule for the RSV. Prior to the visit, RSV team member review documents that the school submitted as evidence that it is meeting the Renewal Benchmarks. RSV member record their initial assessments about the school's performance according to protocol indicators.

On-Site Evidence Gathering
The RSV team spends a day at the school to collect additional evidence through classroom visits and interviews with key school stakeholders.

Development of Findings
The RSV team's primary objective is to develop findings in relation to the key questions. To come to consensus on a set of findings, the team works together to collate and discuss available evidence collected throughout the RSV process.

Feedback to the School
While on site, the RSV team leader communicates with school leadership to keep the school informed of the team's progress and to seek the school's input on that progress.

 

Review the full GVSU CSO Renewal Site Visit Protocol