I expected there to be some fireworks over at Glasgow High School today. There were. District officials came rushing over at 8am and met with Principal Harold “Butch” Ingram. Ingram then held a staff meeting to let folks know what was going on. Cue some Spin Doctors music here readers! I sent an email to Butch to let him know he is more than welcome to come on here and let the fine people of Delaware know what happened. I sent this to Ingram, Superintendent Richard Gregg, and the entire Christina Board of Education minutes ago. Continue reading
The quickest way to lose special education funding is to lie about holding IEP meetings. Such is the case with Glasgow High School in the Christina School District. If this were one or two IEP meetings that would be one thing. But sources are telling me this could be upwards to 70 IEP meetings. The situation is so bad that the school lost a ton of funding for these special education students.
How does a school hold up to 70 fake IEP meetings? You set them up in the system, set up a date for the meeting, and then do NOTHING ELSE. Who gets blamed for this? Is it Principal Butch Ingram? The education diagnostician for the school? The school psychologist? The teachers? Was the then head of special services for the district, Michele Marinucci, aware of this situation? (Marinucci is now the Head of School at Academy of Dover.) Did the IEP team members actually sign off on IEP meetings that never happened in the first place? Tons of questions here folks!
Sources for this horrible news are laying very low. The situation is playing out but the September 30th unit count report is going to look very different for Glasgow H.S. compared to previous years. That report usually comes out in November courtesy of the Delaware Department of Education. Speaking of the DOE, how long have they been aware of this mess? Why has NONE of this been made public until the scrappy little blogger from Dover had to stick his head out of the sand to write about this?
While I’m sure Christina’s CFO Bob Silber and the other fine district folks are scratching their heads and trying to figure out how to do damage control over this latest debacle, I would hope someone in the district is considering the impact this will have on the actual students with disabilities. How many services will they go without this year because the adults screwed up? For a school that had a little over 15% of its population listed as students with disabilities, that amounts to 114 out of the 753 kids that attended the school during the 2018-2019 school year. That’s a ton of funding for the school to be losing! What say you Superintendent Richard Gregg?
Chances are good this story is going to keep on growing. I’m just breaking the ice here. I have no doubt there is much more going on here.
If we are to have a chance to reduce and reverse this type of behavior, it is necessary to begin early and to start in the home. Efforts must be made to reach out students and to provide them with positive new directions in elementary school. Several committee members pointed out that “middle school is too late.”
“If joining a gang is the only way to survive, the kids will join gangs,” one committee member said, adding, “A lot of teachers don’t know who gang members are. You, as a teacher, should know how to interact with kids and parents because kids and parents may not have the ability to interact with us.”
The committee discussed the possibility of cell phone bans in schools, but public schools in Delaware have not done so because parents want to be able to reach their children by phone.
These were just a few of the topics discussed in the Special Committee on Public Safety.
School safety. Two words that mean so many things to so many people. To some, it means making sure every single student and staff member is protected from violence. To some it means reporting requirements. Many think of Sandy Hook or Columbine. Others think of a mounting problem that can never be corrected.
Earlier this year, in the wake of two very violent deaths in Wilmington, a group was formed by Senator Robert Marshall. Marshall is the Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee. He formed a group that met twice to discuss school safety issues with various topics introduced. Out of these meetings, Senate Concurrent Resolution #83 formed a Special Committee on School Safety. The final report was given to the President Pro Tempore of the Delaware Senate and Governor Markell yesterday.
The below report has a great deal of information. It is very long but it is worth the read. Take the time to read it. Every single word. Whether you are for or against School Resource Officers or Constables in Delaware schools, it is important to know what is happening out there. It affects every single citizen of this state. Issues in schools can explode outside of schools often, but issues outside of schools are brought into schools all the time.
The one thing I took out of this report is there are no easy answers. Issues around funding and legality are some of the biggest obstacles to making schools safer. Trauma plays a huge role in our high-needs schools. Family issues outside of school are one of the biggest obstacles to safe schools.
There was one recommendation coming out of the final report that I didn’t see discussed anywhere in the meeting minutes.
Provide funding for the Delaware Department of Education to conduct a voluntary, statewide survey among students, parents, and teachers to get their thoughts on improving the learning environment and ways to make our schools safer.
It can’t be a report on education in Delaware without the Delaware Dept. of Education inserting something they want, which usually involves them getting more money. One important thing to take note of in this report is that Delaware Senator David Sokola and State Rep. Earl Jaques were both listed as members of this committee but neither went to any of the meetings on it or bothered to assign a designee to attend in their absence.
The parts about Senate Bill 207, which I also issued severe problems with, were echoed by many in regards to future under-reporting of incidents in schools. I thank God the House added an amendment to the bill that still requires mandatory reporting to the Delaware DOE. But there is one line about Senate Bill 207 in the final report which will give any Delaware citizen severe anxiety.