Mapleton Charter School at Whitehall is officially dead! In November, they handed their charter back to their authorizer, the Delaware Department of Education. The school submitted a major modification request in September to move the school to Dover, but at their first Charter School Accountability Committee meeting, nobody showed up! They did indicate this was going to happen with the charter, but there was no application on the DOE website. If they applied at the end of 2016, and they were approved by the State Board of Education, chances are they would not even open until August of 2018.
The first time I experienced the Marcia Brady of Delaware was at the House Education Committee meeting on House Bill 50 last spring. She spoke in opposition to the bill to the ire of many parents and teachers across Delaware. Courtney Fox is the Head of School at First State Montessori Academy. As the below Charter School Accountability Committee report shows, this school can do no wrong. Marcia Brady, the oldest sister on the Brady Bunch, could also do no wrong. This caused her younger sisters to envy and disdain her. Such is the way of Delaware education at times. There is always a bright star in the crowd. And the comments from Kendall Massett with the Delaware Charter Schools Network really wanted to make me heave! But is all it appears to be at the groovy school? Below is CSAC’s initial report, followed by a very interesting letter from a company I’ve written about before on here, and finally the public comments received for this modification request to increase their enrollment and to take over the Del Met building. The last public comment raises some serious eyebrows, including my own…
Odyssey Charter School looks to have their hands tied by their current bondholder. If they do not score well on their next financial performance framework, the bondholder will step in to intervene at the school. The school submitted a minor modification request to increase their numbers by a shade below 15%. Normally, that type of request doesn’t require a full-blown Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC) hearing, but it is at the Secretary of Education’s discretion. Godowsky wanted that, and here we are. Who did the school call to help them out with their struggling money issues? Below is the initial report from CSAC.
Delaware Design-Lab High School is having some major issues. While they are struggling with enrollment, it appears their school model isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Parents and students saw right through this based on some of the parent complaints below. One parent went so far as to say they weren’t releasing her child from the one-year contract until after the September 30th counts. Citing a lack of supplies, and even cafeteria food by one parent, this brand new charter school looks to be having some of the same issues as the recently closed Delaware Met. While it doesn’t appear to be having the extent of the issues Del Met had, there is a pretty clear and consistent pattern here. Their enrollment is so bad they want to decrease it. Below is the Charter School Accountability Committee report from last week, along with information the school provided and parent complaints that came into the DOE.
I have never heard of a charter school basing their model solely on first responders. I’ll just get that out in the open. It is a rather unique model, but for a secondary school model? I don’t know if I would choose to send my child there, even if he wanted to be a first responder. Apparently, many parents agree as the school’s enrollment is precariously low. Even though the Charter School Accountability Committee thinks things are on the upswing, it is based on estimates. If their current trends continue, Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security will be on life support very soon. The DOE will be on them, STAT! (Sorry, had to do it!)
The Delaware GOP Chairman, Charlie Copeland, is also the President of DAPSS Board of Directors. When I posted an article about the school’s low numbers the other day, Mike Matthews shared the article on Facebook which drew Copeland to the school’s defense. He responded to my many questions about their enrollment issues and the timing of their modification request with the following:
Just simply call the school and take a tour. You can get answers to all your questions. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off. Life is so much simpler if you just do the right thing rather than join the wackos who make up conspiracies.
I may just take him up on it! I’ve never had my socks knocked off! In the meantime, take a look at the Charter School Accountability Committee’s initial report on their major modification request to officially lower their already low enrollment.