Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Case Study

The long-standing relationship between Lumen Impact Group and the leadership team of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is based on trust.

The long-standing relationship between Lumen Impact Group and the leadership team of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is based on trust.

“They are really thorough,” said Lisa Grover, the senior director of state advocacy and support for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

They follow up. They bring ideas. They are willing to expand project parameters. They focus on outcomes and know we prefer outcome-based projects.
Lisa Grover, the senior director of state advocacy and support for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Lumen Impact Group brings a strong background in charter school work to the relationship with the National Alliance. Lisa Diaz worked for several years with the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, Michigan’s charter school association.

Lumen Impact Group has worked with the National Alliance on two major projects:

1. The New Sector Development Community of Practice

The National Alliance is currently helping partners in Alabama and Mississippi launch their charter school movements after both states recently enacted charter school laws (Alabama in 2015 and Mississippi in 2013). As part of this effort, Lumen Impact Group is helping CSO leaders in these two states build a team of partners – including community leaders, educators, and business executives – to implement their laws in ways that will lead to great charter schools in these two states.

Emily Schultz is the director of state advocacy and policy for the National Alliance. Previously, she was the executive director of the Alabama Coalition for Public Charter Schools. She said the New Sector Development Community of Practice project developed by and with Lumen Impact Group has put Alabama and Mississippi charter leaders on a solid path.

“It is soup to nuts,” Schultz said. “They helped me assess what each team had to work with, helped me through conversations with the teams. They looked at the expertise around the table and helped them see what they were missing and create a differentiated strategic planning process.”

Schultz also said Lumen Impact assisted Alabama and Mississippi leaders in envisioning what success in five, 10 and 15 years would look like, then backward map from there to identify a detailed action plan. They outline agendas for Community of Practice meetings, then facilitate the discussions before following up with key leaders.

“They are our accountability partners, our thought partners,” Shultz said. “This is where their preparation and facilitation come into play. They help everybody work together more efficiently. We don’t get stuck and dwell on a topic. They find ways to give leadership groups a lens to understand and identify solutions.”

2. Master Classes

Lumen Impact Group worked with National Alliance for Public Charter Schools leaders and state CSO leaders to plan and execute professional development trainings – or master classes. Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president for state advocacy and support, has been with the National Alliance since 2005.

“Not many strategic planners or facilitators have that understanding. I’ve worked with many, and Lumen Impact Group gets it done.”
Lisa Grover, the senior director of state advocacy and support for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

“It’s high-quality training every time,” Ziebarth said. “They were key in putting the programs together. They do a great job running the meetings.”

Master classes were conducted three to four times a year and each all-day session is focused on a leadership skill. Topics have included communications, advocacy, and more.

“CSO leaders want applications and strategies, documents and ideas,” Grover said. “Not just talking; it has to be actionable, otherwise we would lose them. When we talk about building a membership base and identifying contacts, Lumen Impact is giving them tools to go back to their states and recruit members or deal with difficult members or problems.

Testimonials

"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers
"You were patient, confident, helpful and supportive, and you coaxed and lovingly nudged us through a process that on our own we wouldn’t have been able to do. It was a very pleasant experience, and even though we still have a lot of challenges ahead of us, we are better suited to meet them. "
Colin Sharkey
Executive Director, Association of American Educators
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School