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!