Today, the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education released the final report for the formal review of Odyssey Charter School. While Delaware media covered a good deal of this, there is some new information. In addition, the Odyssey Board of Directors sent out two letters to the Odyssey Community from the Wilmington Chapter of the AHEPA organization regarding their role with the Ithaka Learning Center that has been the center of a lot of allegations of financial shenanigans at Odyssey.
Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting will issue her decision to the State Board of Education at their July board meeting. At that point, the State Board of Education will vote on the formal review. Unless even more damaging information comes out, I predict both the Secretary and the State Board of Education will go along with the recommendation of CSAC. It looks like the charter godfather was at the final CSAC meeting!
Email sent to Odyssey Community today with two letters (seen below) attached:
June 28, 2019
Good afternoon OCS Community,
On behalf of OCS Board President Joe Wolcott, I want to thank you most sincerely for all your feedback and support. The OCS Board is making a conscientious effort to improve how we communicate with you as we navigate the Governance and Formal Review challenges. We made a promise to be more transparent and prompt in our information sharing, and we are adhering to that promise.
Last Friday we sent out an email notifying you about the outstanding monies owed to Chatham Bay Construction for work performed on the Ithaka building. Additional information has come to our attention and it is important you are kept informed: AHEPA and Ithaka have taken full responsibility for all expenses related to the Ithaka Early Learning Center.
Please see the attached AHEPA letter to Joe, dated June 23, 2019 confirming this commitment as well as AHEPA letter to the Secretary of Education.
The Board understands our past governance protocols did not work. An appropriate overhaul of these procedures has started. Every charter school is a public school under the law, and the Board needs to do better and achieve complete transparency about its decisions, regardless of whether it is spending public money or funds from other sources.
I thank all of you for continuing to trust us with your children and for working together with us to make Odyssey a unique, world class education and campus. We are all very grateful to our OCS staff for their loyalty, passion and their dedication to our 1800 students. We all appreciate the allegiance, patience and understanding of all our parents, and the tireless generosity of our AHEPA volunteers and benefactors. As Head of School Denise Parks recently stated, “Our best days are ahead!” I believe she is right!
Elias Rigas (on behalf of Josiah R. Wolcott, President)
On July 8th at 5 pm, DOE is holding the final public meeting on OCS at the Carvel Building in Wilmington. We urge you all to share your love of our school via email or in person. A communication on how to participate in this public hearing will be sent out from OCS before July 4th Holiday Weekend.