She also expects her staff to focus intently on data and to hold themselves accountable, which has been a challenge for some.
When she took over, half of the school’s teachers turned over after she informed the staff they would need to reapply for their jobs.
That fundraising effort is likely getting easier as the school gains more attention.
Every other Wednesday afternoon, students have advisory periods and meet with their mentors.And critics can point to research published in But what became abundantly clear is that CGLA is more an example of how much of an impact school leadership can have—regardless of school type—than it is of anything else.Elaine Swafford was hired as CGLA’s executive director in 2012 and given less than a year to transform the then-failing school, which had launched several years earlier as the state’s first single-gender public charter school and then tanked. But in the intervening years, under Swafford’s leadership, the school’s scores have shot up, graduation rates have risen, and a waiting list to get in has developed at the sixth and seventh grades.Where other school leaders might be able to imagine some of the extracurriculars and support services the girls at CGLA have access to, few seem as adept at actually securing the funding to deliver them.(Swafford is also the co-founder of an education consulting firm, so she’s not unfamiliar with the corporate world.) Twenty-nine percent of the school’s budget is from fundraising, she told me, which helps fill a ,500-per-student gap in funding.
(Full disclosure: I attended an all-girls parochial high school.) CGLA is the first single-gender public charter school in Tennessee.