Wow! I have been out of the loop! Sussex Montessori School withdrew their application for their charter school to open up in the 2018-2019 school year. This happened on January 16th.
It doesn’t look like the Delaware Dept. of Education officially dug into their application because it is not showing any response from the DOE on their website, just the below withdrawal letter. I am actually surprised at this. There is only one charter school in Sussex County and there has been a plea from folks like Kendall Massett at the Delaware Charter Schools Network for more charters in lower Delaware.
The letter does indicate they will submit another application in December, 2017 for the 2019-2020 school year. This is probably the longest stretch where Delaware has not seen any new charter schools. If their next application gets approved, it would be four years between new charters opening anywhere in the state. But I would rather see them err on the side of caution and make sure they get it right then rush to opening. That didn’t work out very well for some charters in recent memory!
Sussex County in Delaware could have their second charter school in the coming years in the form of another Delaware Montessori charter. This hint was given at, of all places, a Christina School District Board of Education meeting.
Timing is everything as they say and part of that is being at the right place at the right time. During public comment at the Christina board meeting yesterday, a gentleman with what appeared to be a national Montessori movement (my apologies for not having the exact information on his role) spoke in support of Christina’s Montessori program. An action item on the board’s agenda, which failed to pass, could have closed the program in the district. But during the man’s public comment, he talked about Montessori programs in Delaware. He indicated if Christina did not renew the program, Delaware would be the first state in the country to see a failed Montessori program. He spoke about the popularity of First State Montessori Academy, a charter school in downtown Wilmington. He also said the Christina program serves students in the Newark area. But he also said there is an application in the works for a Sussex County Montessori charter school.
Nothing is showing up on the Delaware Dept. of Education’s website for ANY submitted charter school applications. The deadline for new charter applications for the 2018-2019 school year is January 3rd, 2017. I will certainly keep checking to see if any applications do show up.