Updated, 9/25/18: The title of this article has been changed to reflect that the school did submit a minor modification request to change their name. This was approved by Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting at the end of August.
As announced by Jessica Bies with the News Journal last week, Delaware Design Lab High School is now Design Thinking Academy. The charter school did submit a major modification request last year to decrease their enrollment but they never submitted a minor modification request to change the name of the school.
In 2017, Family Foundations Academy submitted a minor modification request to become Charter School of New Castle. But no such application was found for Design Lab. The Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education has been without a leader since June 30th when Denise Stouffer left to become the Head of School at Providence Creek Academy.
Was this an error on the DOE’s part or was Design Lab even aware they had to submit a minor modification request to change their name? Or was it done but no one updated the DOE website? Minor modifications can be signed off by the Secretary of Education, currently Dr. Susan Bunting, without going through the full Charter School Accountability Committee.
Last year, the school was approved for another modification request “to bring the school’s charter into alignment with the way the school is currently operated.” There was mention of the school’s name in that modification approval but nothing suggesting a complete name change to Design Thinking Academy.
Since the school has publicly announced this change, I will go ahead and assume the DOE is okay with it but may make them “formally” submit the minor modification request. But it is a formality that needs to happen. By the same token, the school is significantly changing it’s vision. While some of this was touched on by the 2017 modification request, the changes are much more sweeping than that. Where is the Delaware DOE Charter School Office on all this?