OCTOBER 11-13, 2017

 C3S is proud to host the first annual Independent Charter School Symposium. School leaders, social visionaries, and policy-makers from across the country will meet in Queens, just outside Manhattan, for a groundbreaking, tHREE-day conference on October 11-13 with an audacious goal: to articulate a vision for the charter movement in the age of Trump and DeVos.


Our 3 day conference will take place at the Ravel Hotel in Long Island City, just outside Manhattan. This brand new upmarket hotel overlooks the East River and Roosevelt Island, and is 4 miles from Central Park.

Join us in the newly built Grand Ballroom for our panel discussions and exciting presentations. Network with school leaders, social visionaries, and policy-makers from across the country in the garden, and enjoy breakfast and lunch on the roof with breathtaking views of New York City.

Upon registering for #ICSS17 you will receive hotel booking information needed to access discounted rates.  

Online registration is now closed.

Our online registration is now closed, but you will still be able to register on-site at the symposium.



C3S is thrilled to announce that Deborah Meier will be a keynote presenter at the C3S Independent Charter Schools Symposium on October 11-13, 2017.

Deborah was an integral part of the small schools movement, helping to found Central Park East Elementary School 1, Central Park East Elementary School 2, Central Park East Secondary School in New York City and the Mission Hill School in Roxbury, MA. She has been an outspoken proponent of project-based learning, helping to found the Coalition of Essential Schools under the leadership of Ted Sizer.

Deborah is on the Board of Coalition of Essential Schools, Fair Test, Save Our Schools, Center for Collaborative Education, and the Association for Union Democracy. She is also on the editorial board of The Nation, The Harvard Education Letter and Dissent Magazine.

In 1987 she received a MacArthur ‘genius’ Award for her work in public education.

Deborah’s work as chronicled by Sy Fliegel in his wonderful book, Miracle in East Harlem, was instrumental in advancing the movement for autonomy in public schools and ultimately helped lay the foundation for the original charter legislation. We appreciate her participation with us in this critical moment. 

You can learn more about Ms. Meier here.


presented by
The Innovation Unconference at #ICSS17 is your opportunity to share-out the lessons you’ve learned and the works-in-progress that make our schools unique, community-focussed places of learning.


Friday, October 13, 2017 | 9:00AM

Grand Ballroom

In 1988, visionaries in education, politics, and labor met at the headwaters of the Mississippi River to try to turn a nascent idea, ‘chartered schools’ into reality. Out of that historic meeting in Minnesota came the nation’s first charter legislation and, four years later, the country’s first charter school, in St. Paul. Twenty-nine years after that historic meeting, Ember, Sy, Ted and Joe will share their thoughts in a conversation moderated by John Merrow.

Chartering, Race
and Class

Thursday, October 12, 2017 | 10:30AM

Grand Ballroom

Despite years of protest and attempts to reform, our nation and our schools struggle with a legacy of segregation and inequality. Charter schools were created as a way to improve public education by granting schools autonomy for site-based decision-making. How can we leverage this power in our schools so that we can better address the chronic issues of race and class that continue to divide us? Our expert panelists from the world of education and civil rights advocacy will explore these issues that tug at our conscience and our democracy.

Panels And PResentations

Discover the amazing programming at #ICSS17. Our breakout sessions cover a wide range of topics. Click below to learn more about the panels and presentations as well as panelist bios.


c3s thanks our dedicated #icss17 supporters