Now Providence Creek Academy (Charter School) is in Hot Water With Parents! No Love From DE Charter School Network for Kent County Charters?

Correction, 11/5/14, 9:07am, the terminated employee was not a computer teacher, but the IT Tech person.  Sorry for any confusion!

This is what they call a hat trick!  Last month I wrote about Academy of Dover, this morning I wrote about Campus Community, and now the third: Providence Creek Academy.  This one is kind of crazy, so bear with me!

The custodian at the school got fired, for of all things, having a BB or pellet gun on the premises.  That and his bad aim!  The guy had a love for shooting cats!  And other things according to this Twitter post:

But even more bizarre was the IT Tech person got canned for inappropriate use of the internet.  When he was fired, he made quite the scene and even threatened staff members during his exit!  This culminated in the police showing up at the school last Friday, during the students’ Halloween parade!  Maybe they thought it was part of the holiday fright fest, but no, this really happened.  But nothing like this ever happens at charter schools, right?

Where this story gets even more strange is how the principal was involved.  The IT Tech guy is the principal’s son, and the custodian is distantly related to the principal.  What’s that phrase I’m looking for… oh yeah, nepotism!

As a result, their school Board called an emergency meeting, and parents tried to crash it.  The Board tried to get the parents to leave, but the parents wanted to know what the hell was going on with the craziness, and the fact that threats were made by an employee.  The Board President denied any threats were issued by the teacher, but another board member confirmed it.  The Board President was not happy about the other member owning up to the reality of the situation.

As a result, there is a parents forum tonight at 7pm at Providence Creek.  Here’s the link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProvidenceCreekAcademy#

Gotta love these Kent County charters!  Isn’t the DE Charter School Network supposed to put band aids on all the charters and make everything better?  Kendall, I know you have your “priority” right now, but you might want to give some love to the charters south of the canal!

Updated 11/5/14, 9:09am: The DE Charter School Network did send in Chuck Taylor, former Head of School at PCA to help “fix” the problems.

Campus Community Charter School Expelling Students At Record Rates @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @dwablog @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @DoverPost @DeDeptofEd #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware

 

It appears public schools aren’t the only ones in Delaware with unruly students.  Campus Community School, a charter school in Dover, has expelled students very fast this school year in what appears to be a renewed zero tolerance for bad behavior.  Actions range from fighting down to shooting a piece of paper from a rubber band.  This new get tough program comes at a very interesting time.

As a former parent who had a child attend this school, I find this very puzzling.  They do have a new head of school as of last January as well as a new student handbook that was approved by their Board of Directors in August.  Their board minutes from the same month do speak of a new tiered behavior policy.  But charter schools are supposed to save society from all of this, aren’t they?

I have to wonder why this is happening now.  My questions are threefold.  How many expelled students were or should have been special education and were there any manifestation determination hearings that are legally entitled by law?  What were the students DCAS scores last year?  How many of these expulsions occurred after the September 30th count and what happens to the funding in these situations?

This is a school that lives by something called Choice Theory.  This means every student has the capability of making choices.  Under this theory, every single adult also has that ability as well.  So I would have to ask what kind of environment fosters a situation where there are so many “disruptive students”?  From their website, this is their basic belief:

“We believe that all children can learn, but all learners have different needs, experiences, and ways of learning. We believe that children will rise to expectations if effectively engaged in learning tasks that are meaningful to them. We believe excellent teaching is reflected in high levels of student achievement and positive attitudes.”   

For the estimated 12 students who have been expelled, what choices were they given in this process?  I first heard this news from a student, which I didn’t see as fact until another independent parent verified this information.  I was wondering why they hadn’t posted their board meeting minutes from September even though their websites states they will be available on October 24th.  Their new student handbook which would show what their new behavior policies are isn’t even up on their website either.  If any parent of these expelled students wants to reach out to me, feel free.  I am very curious about what infractions these students committed and if they had previous offenses.

For any school, getting rid of students with low performing expectations could certainly help to close any proficiency gaps.  I would hope no school would ever result to mass expulsions to reach these levels.

Is the Delaware Department of Education aware of these expulsions?  Is this isolated to just Campus Community or are other charters in Delaware doing this?  If that’s the case, John Sadowski down at the DOE must be clocking in a lot of extra hours lately!