First State Military Academy Having BIG Issues As Well, Another “Model” Of Learning Through Innovative Schools…

Looks like Delaware Met isn’t the only brand new charter school to open this year that is having problems.  Turns out First State Military Academy in Kent County is feeling major opening pains as well.  First State Military Academy (FSMA) picked the Innovative Schools inspired “New Tech Network” for their model.  You would think with a technology-based program the school would have computers for all the kids.  Nope, they are thirty short.  Oops!  Innovative Schools website describes this “New Tech Network as:

New Tech Network (NTN) is a non-profit school development organization that works with districts to build and sustain innovative K-12 public schools. NTN works to create a rigourous and engaging school experience that features the intense use of Project-Based Learning and technology to establish a positive and engaging school culture. In the seventeen years since its founding, the network has grown to 133 K-12 schools in twenty-three states and Australia. Innovative Schools has established partnerships with schools like Delaware New Tech Academy in Seaford and First State Military Academy in Clayton, to help bring the first New Tech Network model schools to Delaware. Learn More About New Tech

But the bigger problem has to do with special education.  When FSMA opened they received forty students with disabilities.  As a new school and students that transferred, the school has to redo all those IEPs.  They have one dual-certified teacher to handle all forty of these students on top of being the one to handle all these IEPs.  And here is the kicker- they have to be completed by October 30th.  In five days!  What is it with these charter schools that don’t anticipate large populations of special needs students?  The state average is 13% and rising.  Like Delaware Met, they didn’t count on this at all.  It comes with the package, and the State Board of Education, the Charter School Office and the Exceptional Children Resources Group should be making sure all new charters have their ducks in a row with this kind of thing.

With this revelation coming out, I feel obligated to reveal a story I wrote about FSMA in the summer, but I never named the school.  Yes, this was the school that had a special education coordinator that pretended to be on the IEP Task Force last year.  This coordinator quit before school started.  I wonder why?

As well, I’m hearing several students are having a VERY difficult time with the curriculum at this school.  Some are failing.  While these issues aren’t at the level Delaware Met is having, I would say they are very serious.  Time to add another one to the pile Delaware DOE?

10 thoughts on “First State Military Academy Having BIG Issues As Well, Another “Model” Of Learning Through Innovative Schools…

  1. Where on earth do you get your information? My daughter is enrolled at First State Military, and their staff has been prepared for their special needs students since Day 1! Since my daughter has an IEP, I asked about their capacity to handle many students with special needs right off the bat. I’ve been very impressed by their work every step of the way.

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    • Amy, My information is from very reliable sources. I won’t give them away, but this is solid information. I’m certainly glad your daughter is doing well there, but I worry about the capacity of one person being able to handle not only that kind of caseload with that many IEPs but also being able to accommodate that many students. With forty IEPs, that should really be a 2-3 person job and it should not rest on the shoulders of one person. That is my biggest concern.

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      • Noooooo I go to First State Military Academy is amazing and also they do help special needs students! And also its great there I have special needs and they help me and now I’m not like that anymore bc they helped me out majorly! You need to ask around before u start saying stupid things! First State is an amazing school!

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  2. I hope this school can turn things around. I think a military model done right would be good for many young men. Charters should offer something public schools don’t and a military academy is something different.

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  3. Interesting article to find since my son wants to go there…On the failing students note from the last paragraph…it’s probably because they were ill-prepared if they came from DE public schools. They may actually make the kids more dumb. Horrible, just horrible.

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  4. I bet some of your sources are connected with the DOE who are infamous for their lack of support for charters and will do anything to disparage and discourage the concept. This school needs your support not your discouraging words…name your sources.

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  5. would love to read what you think of first state military academy now, now that it has graduated its first class of cadets. This ’18-19 year will graduate the first group of cadets who have been there all four years. FSMA now has enough students to make up a batallion, and you should SEE the leaders in action. Come to Induction Day on Sept 21st. You WILL be impressed.

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