EastSide Charter School & Charter School of New Castle Break Up Partnership

Last month, the boards of EastSide Charter School and Charter School of New Castle decided to break up the unique partnership between the two schools that had been in existence for nearly five years.

In late 2015, when Family Foundations Academy was under formal review for financial and governance reasons, the Board of Directors at EastSide Charter School stepped in and essentially took over the school.  EastSide Head of School Director, Dr. Lamont Browne, took over as leader of both schools.  The former Heads of School at FFA were charged with theft of school funds.  Sean Moore served time in federal prison for his role in the crimes.

In 2016, Browne left for a position in Denver, Colorado and Aaron Bass took over the role as the leader for Vision Academies (the name of the partnership between EastSide and FFA).

In 2017, Family Foundations Academy changed their name to Charter School of New Castle.

Bass will continue as the Head of School for EastSide Charter School while Charter School of New Castle will continue to have LaRetha Odumosu as Principal of their middle school and Rachel Valentin as Principal of their elementary school.

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Charter School Salaries Over $100,000: Academia Antonia Alonso, Academy of Dover, Campus Community, Charter School Of Newcastle, Charter School Of Wilmington, & East Side Charter School

I did not forget charter schools in my mammoth Freedom of Information Act request!  With the above charter schools, the amount of employees making over $100,000 varies, usually based on student count.  Two of them have NO employees making over $100,000.  For Charter School of Newcastle and East Side Charter School, they are grouped together because they fall under the umbrella called Vision Academies.  For five of these charter schools, comparing their demographics to Charter School of Wilmington is crazy.  It has never been a secret that I have extreme issues with CSW’s demographics.  Two of these schools are in Dover, one is in New Castle, and the other three are in Wilmington. Continue reading

East Side and FFA Board’s Big OOPS & How To NOT Hire Teachers!

East Side Charter School and Family Foundations Academy (now Charter School of New Castle) share the same board under the umbrella name of Vision Academies.  Yes, that name should sound very familiar to Delawareans.  I guess throwing the word “vision” into the name lends clout in certain corners of the state.  But what did the board do in December that could be seen as a big no-no and has even been named as something school boards shouldn’t do in recent audit investigations?  And is their latest recruitment strategy really something that screams “Hire me”? Continue reading

Family Foundations Academy Is Now Charter School Of New Castle

Blink and you miss it.  I blinked.  On January 5th, former Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky approved a minor modification request for Family Foundations Academy to change their name.  It is probably a good name.  Family Foundations Academy, when mentioned, brings Sean Moore and Tennell Brewington to mind.  The Charter School of New Castle sounds better.

The change won’t go into effect until July 1st of this year but it is already being used for marketing purposes.  Will we see other charter schools in Delaware change their name?

Meanwhile, I have been getting tons of hits on old Lamont Browne articles in the past couple of weeks.  Browne was the Executive Director of East Side Charter School and Family Foundations Academy before he resigned and moved to Colorado.  What is Browne up to in Colorado that is garnering this renewed interest in his time in Delaware?  Aaron Bass took over after Browne left.

It has been a fairly quiet school year for Delaware charter schools.  No outright scandals have come out.  None of them, as of this writing, went under formal review.  Academy of Dover passed their renewal.  Prestige Academy announced they will shut down, voluntarily, at the end of this school year.  I am sure the Delaware Dept. of Education is hoping this trend continues with a more calm year!

 

EastSide Charter & Family Foundations Academy Have No Child Left Behind Goals But Plan To Leave More Students Behind

Aaaron Bass, the new Executive Director of EastSide Charter School and Family Foundations Academy has some very lofty goals for students.  Mirroring the very controversial No Child Left Behind law enacted in 2002, Bass wants all students to be 100% proficient on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  The difference is Bass’ plans to determine how a child advances in grade levels.  And what method of teaching does Bass prefer? Continue reading

New EastSide & Family Foundations Executive Director Aaron Bass Meets John King…

What can we expect from Aaron Bass, the incoming Executive Director of EastSide Charter School and Family Foundations Academy?  From the picture below, it looks like he knows some pretty big education figures, like none other than United States Secretary of Education John King.  The below write-up on how Bass and King happened to meet is from EastSide’s public Facebook page.

BassKing

Aaron Bass, Executive Director – Designate of Eastside Charter School of Wilmington and Family Foundations Academy of New Castle was invited to meet with United States Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and senior U.S. Department of Education officials, and spent a day of learning and advising, as part of the Principals at ED effort on Friday, May 20 in Washington, D.C.

This fifth meeting in the series of Principals at ED visits focused on the “Principal Pipeline, Retention and Support.” The goal of visits is to bring groups of innovative and successful principals from across the country to the Education Department to learn more about federal programs and to share experiences from their jobs as school leaders. Throughout the day, the principals will meet with senior staff from across the agency to learn about and give input on a variety of the Department’s programs, policies and initiatives.

“Great school leadership matters now more than ever. So much of the work ahead rests on the leadership of principals and educators in our schools and classrooms who make a difference in students’ lives every day,” said Secretary King. “What happens in classrooms and school buildings shapes students’ lives and opportunities—particularly for students who have the odds most stacked against them. I saw that impact not only when I was a teacher and a principal, but also when I was a student. Teachers literally saved my life, and they were the reason I became a teacher and a principal. Programs like this allow the Department to hear directly from principals across the nation and learn their perspectives on leading schools that provide opportunities to all students.”

Executive Director Bass was invited to participate in the program, in recognition of his strong work in school leadership and his broader activities around advocacy for elementary and secondary education.

The visit is coordinated through the Department’s Principal Ambassador Fellow (PAF) program. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education launched the first PAF program, modeled on the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, in order to better allow local leaders to both contribute their knowledge and experience to the national dialogue about public education and, in turn, learn more about education policy at the federal level. Now in its third year, four highly-talented principals are continuing to work for the Department on a full- and part-time basis. The PAF program is one means of recognizing the critical impact that principals have on instruction and student achievement; school climate and improvement; and community and family engagement.

Oh boy!  He isn’t even the official Executive Director and he is already hob-knobbing with John King!  Delaware has many excellent principals.  Why weren’t any of them invited to this shindig? If they were, I have yet to hear about it.  Let me know and I will write about it!

So who is replacing Lamont Browne as Executive Director for EastSide and Family Foundations?

In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days…

Yes, in the KIPP tradition, Dr. Lamont Browne has chosen his successor from his charter school roots, the Philadelphia KIPP charter school network. Welcome to Delaware Aaron Bass! You have some medium sized shoes to fill.