New Location For Freire Charter School Upsets Local Wilmington Neighborhood

Freire Charter School, scheduled to open in the 2015-2016 academic year is already causing huge problems for the neighborhood it will be housed in.  According to one area resident, this small neighborhood of 220 will be faced with an initial 224 students being transported to the school via DART or walking to the school.  The school was previously going to be located at 920 French St. in Wilmington, but was moved to 201 W. 14th Street.

Nothing was done about what kind of impact this could have on this neighborhood, or even covered in their modification request with the Delaware Department of Education, as evidenced by their official request here:

Click to access Freire%20–%20Delaware%20DOE%20Charter%20Modification%20Application.pdf

118 of the citizens of this neighborhood have signed a petition opposing this plan until they see a documented transportation and parking plan.  Meanwhile, the school is continuing to recruit students to start in August.  Current estimates by the school are to have 560 students by the 2018-2019 year.

17 thoughts on “New Location For Freire Charter School Upsets Local Wilmington Neighborhood

    • As well they should; especially to overentitled, self-righteous residents who care little for the larger Wilmington communities need for equitable opportunities for learning and employability and only for their NIMBY- inspired fears of lack of parking! Really? Worried about parking are you? Doubtful! Why not tell the truth? Really? Worried about parking are you? Doubtful! Why not tell the truth? Really only concerned about the type of students the school will service- – primarily children of color from larger Wilmington area. Your anger and righteous indignation is pitiful.

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  1. Actually not all in the neighbors are against it. Only a small few very vocal neighbors feel very strongly about these “underprivileged” children walking their neighborhood. The initial petition request a traffic study to determine if the local streets could handle drop off and pick up traffic. The school presented a very thorough, thought out plan that keeps any drop off students out of the neighborhood.. The school has addressed each and every reasonable issue as it has been presented. Some neighbors refuse to see reason in regards to this plan. FYI, I do not work for Freire and am a resident of midtown brandywine. This is more about a couple of elitist neighbors who don’t want minority kids walking their streets.

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    • I would say 118 out of a neighborhood of 220 constitutes much more than a “small” group. The fact that this school did not even include a change in venue in a major modification request shows a lack of accountability and they aren’t even open yet. From the comments I have heard, it isn’t about the race of any of the students. This is a neighborhood with many one-way streets, and DART busses will be coming in around the same time people are leaving for work with many children walking. It’s a safety issue as well as a congestion issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not true Kevin, the school submitted a modification to their charter on 31 Dec with the change of venue on it. DART isn’t coming anywhere near the neighborhood, the kids attending will be using already established stops in Rodney square and in front of Wilmington Hospital. No school bus or car traffic will be on midtown brandywine streets. The majority of students will be walking down market to 14th street from Rodney square and will never enter the neighborhood. The 118 neighbors signed a petition that stated they wanted a traffic study and safety plan conducted to identify the feasibility of vehicle traffic in the neighborhood, it did NOT state that the neighborhood was against the school moving into the building. The traffic study was conducted and a plan to keep vehicle traffic out of the neighborhood has been established. I have seen emails and heard direct conversations that highlight the issue being underprivileged children walking through the neighborhood.

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        • It’s my understanding that the change of venue was noted on the application but “Change of Venue” is not part of the Board’s decision-making process. It wasn’t a factor to be considered in the modification. Merely an information piece. The school is looking to lower its initial enrollment numbers I believe. That was the subject of the modification.

          I believe the DoE should amend its major modification process to INCLUDE venue changes as a cause for more intense review and Board approval.

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          • Agreed Mike. Since that is currently not the process, suggesting that the school lacks accountability is unfair. They are following the procedure as it is currently laid out.

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  2. Comments on facebook to the contrary to the above anony – see Mike Matthews posts. Also watch Wilmington City Council public comment tonight for testimony of a business owner’s complaints about this school location. None match up with anony above.

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    • Nancy, where on facebook are you referring? From what I have seen on the midtown closed group it is a few neighbors who are making their concerns known, but in now way is it a majority of the neighborhood. I have not seen the council meeting video yet, however I did see a video presented to the youth and family council that had other business owners in Wilmington fully supprting the school. It works both ways. My concern is that a few vocal neighbors are making it seem like the entire neighborhood is against this school no matter what solutions they come up with to address the concerns.

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  3. Pingback: Wilmington City Council Votes To Not Let In More Charter Schools : Delaware Liberal

  4. I’m curious — how is the “neighborhood” above defined geographically, inside of which the 112 signatures came from? Between Washington and Market, 12th and the river, or tighter than that?

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  5. Nancy Willing’s belligerent comment to ConcernedAboutMoreThanPropertyValue to “use your real name or stfu” is an example of the behavior on the part of the vocal few that I’ve witnessed and been embarrassed by in the neighborhood meetings on this issue that only serves to shut down communication, and I’m sure it’s a factor in ConcernedAboutMoreThanPropertyValue’s desire to remain anonymous. (I’m not on FB so I can’t speak to the tone of those posts.)
    His/Her/Their concerns about the neighborhood’s dealings with the school administrators are legitimate regardless of identity. Please, let’s keep the dialog respectful and productive and ongoing both with each other and with the school officials.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never moderated on here, and when I first published this story, I didn’t realize there were two definitive sides to this story. I’m not saying one side is right and the other is wrong, but let’s keep this clean. Thanks everyone!

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