DE Academy of Public Safety & Security Has 10 Days To Put Up Or Close Up!

Ten days.  That will make all the difference for the Wilmington charter school.  If they don’t get 24 students to apply AND commit to the struggling charter school, they will have their charter revoked at the end of this school year.

It was just last month that Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security narrowly missed getting shut down by the Delaware State Board of Education.  But the conditions mounted against them could kick in charter revocation at any time if they failed to comply.  The very first condition was the school must have 200 students by May 1st.

Last night, at the State Board of Education meeting, Denise Stouffer from the Charter School Office updated the board on DAPSS’ probation.  To date, they had 176 students enrolled for next year.  They need another 24 in the next ten days or they are toast.  That includes commitment letters signed by parents.  They could still reach that number but it would be very tough.  Their enrollment number has not gone up much since the State Board rendered their decision last month.

Ten days.  For 176 students already enrolled for next year, this could be problematic for them come June 29th if the charter for DAPPS is revoked.  These students and their parents or guardians will be forced to find a new school for the 2019-2020 school year.  Do they start looking if the school doesn’t meet their numbers by May 1st or wait to see what happens over the next few months?

The Delaware DOE’s Official Response To The State Board Shutting Down Delaware STEM Academy Before They Opened

The Delaware DOE came out with an official press release on the Delaware State Board of Education’s decision today to revoke the charter of Delaware STEM Academy.  The decision came just hours ago at the monthly State Board meeting.  Most of the information is factual with the exception of one item which I will notate after their press release.

Delaware STEM’s charter revoked

Delaware STEM Academy will not open this fall after its charter was revoked today. Students who had planned to attend the school will be able to enroll elsewhere.

Earlier this month, the Delaware Department of Education’s Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC) recommended the revocation of charter unless the school’s board could provide sufficient information to address the committee’s concerns about its financial viability and programming. The New Castle high school was scheduled to open this fall with grades 9 and 10 with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The school was placed on formal review in April.

While committee members praised the school’s board for its transparency, responsiveness, involvement and leadership, citing its members’ experience and commitment as among the school’s greatest strengths, they raised concerns about how the school would be able to execute its approved charter with fidelity due to low enrollment and thus reduced funding that has led leadership to make programmatic cuts.

The school’s approved application was for 250 students in Year 1 with reliance on state/local funds generated by student enrollment. At the time of its final meeting with CSAC, the school had 124 students enrolled with a budget also reliant on private fundraising and a line of credit.

Following a public comment period, including two public hearings, Secretary of Education Steve Godowsky presented his decision to the State Board of Education for its assent Thursday.

“While the public record demonstrates that the school’s leadership and founding board are committed to the school, the low number of students and low levels of state and local funding raise too many concerns about Delaware STEM’s financial stability,” Godowsky said. “My review of the documents led me to the same conclusion as that of the accountability committee – that the school has failed to meet legal standards for financial viability and fidelity to the approved charter.”

The state will assist the families of the students who planned to attend the school this fall in enrolling in other schools. The children are able to return to the district schools in their home feeder patterns or choice into another district or charter school.

In terms of students being able to choice into another charter school, that is only if the charter school has openings.  If a charter is full and there is a waitlist, these students would not be able to automatically just choice in.

Breaking News: Delaware DOE Wants To Revoke Charter Of Delaware STEM Academy

The Delaware Charter School Accountability Committee had their final meeting with the Delaware STEM Academy on June 2nd.  The report came out tonight.  Prognosis: Don’t open the charter school!  The main reason for their formal review was very low enrollment numbers.  How low?  They had 105 students enrolled when they went on formal review a month and a half ago.  In the 45 days since… a whopping 124 according to the below report.  Their charter calls for 250 students.  They had to meet 80% of that.  They are a bit under 50%.

I think the time has come to say we are getting “chartered out” in Delaware.  This isn’t to say they aren’t popular and are growing.  But new charters?  Not so much.  Out of the more recent charter school openings, I would have to say Great Oaks and First State Military School are doing well.  Delaware Design-Lab is going through some growing pains.  Delaware Met got the heave-ho before they could start a third marking period.  Mapleton Charter School at Whitehall was going to move to Dover, but then backed out of that so they would need to reapply if they ever figure out what they are doing.  And now Delaware STEM Academy.  On top of Pencader, Moyer, and Reach Academy for Girls closing.  And Delaware College Prep will close it’s doors at the end of this month.  While this isn’t related at all, I did notice the State Board has not approved any new charters in Delaware since I started blogging just about two years ago…

The State Board of Education bit off more than they could chew when they approved all the new charter schools in 2013 and 2014.  We are seeing what happens when there are too many charter schools, especially in upper New Castle County.  As local districts beef up their programs, there are only so many students that can be choiced out of a school district.  And after Delaware Met, parents up there have to a be a bit cautious.  I am glad to see the Charter School Accountability Committee asking the right questions.  These are things we need to see from the State Board of Education when they vote on new charters.

The final report from the Charter School Accountability Committee is below.  Delaware STEM Academy will have their last public hearing tomorrow night.  Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky will make his recommendation to the State Board of Education at the June 16th meeting.  At that point, the State Board of Education will vote to revoke the school’s charter or let them open.  My gut says revocation.  The enrollment is just too low and everything in the below report doesn’t leave much room for error…

 

Academy of Dover Is Not A 501c3 Corporation As Stated In Their Charter, DOE Needs To Revoke Their Charter Now

The Academy of Dover is not listed as a 501c3 corporation with the Internal Revenue Service.  The Academy of Dover’s charter, which firmly states they are a 501c3 non-profit corporation, is not real.  The Delaware Department of Education put the charter school under formal review last year.  This was their fourth formal review in 12 years.  This did not come up at all during that process.  As well, their auditor, Barbacane, Thornton, & Company LLP, wrote about this in the last three years of audits they did for the school.

AcademyofDoverIRSRevocation

For the past three years, their auditor made note of this in their yearly audit of the school.  Each year provides a link to the full audit:

2013

AoD13AuditPt1

AoD13AuditPt2

2014

AoD14Audit

2015

AoD15Audit

And yet, for all three years, it states the exact same thing.  Ironically, the link for their 2012 audit, which may have shed some light on this situation, comes up as a blank pdf file.

How has this never been publicly disclosed until now?  Actually, it was disclosed a few years ago but it was buried in a comment section on Kilroy’s Delaware.  It was during July of 2013, which as any blogger can tell you isn’t exactly a big audience at that time of the year.  Especially an education blog!  But a commenter wrote exactly what I am telling you now but no one picked up the baton and ran with it.

But this tells me this information has been out there for a while now.  I would have a very hard time believing nobody at the Delaware DOE knew this.  I’m sure they read the annual audits.  But the fact these audits say the exact same thing three years in a row is astonishing.  With the school involved in a $2 million dollar lawsuit as well as former Head of School Noel Rodriguez’ personal theft of school funds, how does this not come up at all?  Who is reading these audits at the DOE?

The oversight for Delaware DOE authorized charters falls on the DOE.  It was right in front of them the whole time and I have never seen it publicly questioned.  It never came up in their formal review meetings last spring.  I know this because I attended all the meetings.  Transparency and this school have never been the best of friends.  But this… the DOE needs to act.  Their 501c3 status was revoked over four years ago.  They have been operating in the dark for over four years.  Granted, they could be trying to work things out with the IRS.  But if they aren’t a 501c3, even though they are still listed as such with the Delaware Department of Corporations…

AoDcertofinc.

And if anyone is wondering why charters need more oversight, this is exactly why.  Avi at Newsworks wrote an excellent article today about more charters under investigation in Delaware, including ones that were already under past investigations.  I’m just going to come right out and say Senate Bill 171 would give us more of what we have: fraud, lies, and auditors copying and pasting the same information year after year.  House Bill 186 would allow information, like what I am writing now, the ability to be seen.  Who knows what other skeletons are buried out there in Delaware charters?

Title14Charter990

One last thought…charter schools are required by the State of Delaware, in Title 14, paragraph 509, that they must have their IRS Tax Form 990 on their website.  Academy of Dover has not had this on their website since at least 2008 since the IRS said they hadn’t posted a return the last three years in 2011.  So we have a law and nobody is making sure this even happens?  Hello Jack Markell… this is transparency calling… your DOE has a lot of explaining to do.  But let’s get Academy of Dover taken care of first.  They have been out of compliance with their approved charter for over four years.  It’s time the DOE and the non-elected State Board of Education make a real decision instead of “probation” four times…

 

Delaware Met Shuts Down Three Days Early Due To Threats From Students

DelMetClosedDoors

The Delaware Met shuts its doors three days earlier than expected.  Yesterday, the Delaware Met closed it’s doors to students for good.  After threats to teachers and administrators including arson (burning the school down), property damage, and physical violence, the school shut down.  Delaware Met’s official last day is January 22nd, this Friday.  But the students, obviously not caring about any type of instruction the next few days, decided to coerce the school leader into giving them three days off by their actions.

Most of the board members resigned last week.  There was talk about a potential lawsuit, but even the school’s own attorney didn’t think it was a good idea.  And so ends the five month saga of the Delaware Met.  Opened in August, closed in January.  The school is under investigation by the Delaware Auditor of Accounts for potential financial issues.  It is not known if their management company, Innovative Schools, is also part of that probe.  Should First State Montessori Academy get their modification approved for an increase in their enrollment and going to 8th grade, the plan is to take over half of the property at 920 N. French St., where Delaware Met is now.

The Delaware Met had their charter revoked last month by the State Board of Education after violations of pretty much everything.  The biggest violation was the lack of correct IEPs for the school’s 59 students with disabilities.  Violence, including a student having their hair caught on fire, a student going to the hospital due to head injuries, and numerous fights led to a lot of police activity at the school.  While finding one thing to blame on the school for their demise would be difficult, it became more than obvious this was a school that should have never opened in the first place.

New Delaware Met Principal Reached Boiling Point Yesterday

Yesterday, students at Delaware Met got to leave school early…again…  With only a few weeks left of school at the Delaware Met, apparently something is going on with their heater system because students are reporting the classrooms are VERY cold.  What happened next could only happen at this school where the bizarre and the jacked up seem to be on a collision course every day… Continue reading

Delaware Met & DOE Holding Information Session For Parents Tonight

The Delaware Met and the Delaware Department of Education are having an information session for parents of Del Met students.  The purpose of this meeting is to give parents options after the charter school closes on January 22nd.  On December 17th, the State Board of Education revoked the charter of Delaware Met.  This was an unprecedented decision in Delaware to close a school down in the middle of the school year.  This is a very good idea, and I am glad to see the DOE and the school working together to make the best transitions possible for the students of Delaware Met.

DelMetDOEInfoSession

Does Delaware Met Have The Audacity To Try And Fight Their Closure?

Very interesting!  The Delaware Met is having a “special” board meeting tonight.  Oddly enough, their initial agenda had an action item entitled “Discussion on Halting the Closure of the School”.  Now that action item is gone from the agenda.  For a board that meets so often in “special” board meetings, they sure don’t take the time to update their board minutes!  And having NO board meeting in November, in the middle of their formal review, has to be the stupidest idea I have ever seen in my life!  Unless they were counting their formal review meetings and public hearings with the Charter School Accountability Committee as board meetings…

Here is their updated agenda which does not reflect what was on the original:

16 To Watch In 2016: The Delaware Met Kids

On December 17th, the Delaware State Board of Education revoked Delaware Met’s charter.  Over 200 teenagers, in 9th and 10th grade, will have to find a new school after January 22nd.  Most will go back to their feeder districts.  Some may go to charters.  Some could even drop out.  Even though I wrote a lot about the fall of Delaware Met, I truly feel bad for these kids.

I hope whichever district or charter ends up receiving these kids, that they take a very thorough look at what these students will need.  And not just academically.  We know over 60 of these kids have IEPs.  We know some of them are “troublemakers”.  But at the end of the day, they are scared.  They are facing a very uncertain future.  If any of them gained trust with the Delaware Met, it is going to be twice as hard for them to begin again at a new school half way through the year.

It is incumbent upon the DOE and State Board of Education to make sure these kids transition as best they can.  They made the decision to open Delaware Met and they delivered their final verdict.  The last thing we should want for these kids is for them to drop out and call it quits.  They need to know they will be accepted, no questions asked.   I am not saying it will be easy for any receiving district or school.  But compromise and allowances need to be made for these kids.  The Del Met kids will also have to realize their new schools aren’t the free-for-all Delaware Met was.

Chaos Unleashed At Delaware Met Yesterday

Delaware-Met-2

Instead of students being somber about their charter revocation January 22nd, they decided to do something else yesterday.  This week, the Delaware Met received a new leader in the form of Denise Barnes, a former middle school assistant principal from Appoquinimink.  Yesterday, the students took full advantage of the recent decision by the State Board of Education to shut down the school by misbehaving and “jumping”, a slang term for causing fights.  The school had no clue how to handle the unruly students, so they shut down at noon.  This was not a planned and scheduled day.  They just said “School’s over, time to go home.”

Why would the charter, with a model that  focuses on personal relationships called “Big Picture Learning”, allow this behavior to continue.  And with all the problems, why would they hire a person from Appo to lead the school?  Appo and Delaware Met are two completely different worlds.  I’ve heard that even though the students had issues with former school Leader Tricia Hunter Crafton, she at least had their respect.  She knew how to connect with the students.  But as the school has gone through a few “leaders”, the students are running the school.

Delaware Met closes for Christmas break on December 22nd.  When they come back in January, they will have a few weeks before they close for good.  Who is monitoring what goes on there between now and then?  Is anyone?  It is painfully obvious that whoever the authority figures are now do not know what they are doing.  Are these students even learning anything these days?  And what about all their internships?  Is that even happening (which was the whole purpose of the school)?  The school bragged about their hiring of A.J. English and his mentoring team with English Mentoring.  What is going on with that?  What is their much vaunted “school climate team” even doing there?  The school has bragged about how things have turned around, but just this week alone there was an emergency room visit for a student who got stitches after a chair was thrown at his head, and then the mini-riot yesterday that forced the school to send everyone home without parental notification.  Apparently, the DOE was unaware of the stitches incident until well into the State Board of Education meeting the next day.  As if not telling the DOE about the stitches thing would have stopped the State Board from shutting them down!

As the Delaware Auditor of Account’s office investigates the school’s finances, many are wondering about what they will find.  I would assume they are looking at how funds were allocated, especially special education dollars.  Their budget submissions to the DOE during their formal review showed a lot of funds moving around.  And if there was any misappropriation of federal dollars, that’s big time!  I would also guess they are looking at Innovative Schools role in this unprecedented disaster.  How was money spent during the two-year planning period?  Did Innovative take advantage of the apparent inexperience of their board of directors?  And will we ever find out the mystery of the bleeding meat served at lunch to students?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the State Board of Education made the right decision in shutting them down.  But with that decision also comes the responsibility of making sure things run right until that closure.  By shutting them down, the State Board is saying they don’t trust the school to make the right decisions for their students.  So if they didn’t trust them before their decision, why would they trust them now to do the right thing?  With everything going on there, someone needs to look out for these kids.

 

Key Audio Recording Links From State Board of Education Meeting Yesterday

Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities.  Wilmington Education Improvement Commission Redistricting Plan.  Christina Priority Schools.  Delaware Met.  All are here.  Please listen.  Please pay attention.  Listen to the words that are said by our unelected Governor appointed State Board of Education.  This meeting touched on most of the hot education issues of our state in one form or another.  Then email your state legislator politely requesting legislation for our State Board of Education to be elected officials.

WEIC Public Comment: Part 2

Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities: Part 3

WEIC Presentation to State Board: Part 5

Christina Priority Schools (about 1/3rd of the way in), Update on Opt-Out Penalties via ESEA Waiver Request with US DOE: Part 6

Delaware Met (starts about 1/3rd of the way in for Del Met) and Charter Renewals: Part 7

 

The Official DOE Response To The Delaware Met Closure

Alison May with the Delaware Department of Education release the following press announcement about the historic mid-year closure vote for Delaware Met.

For immediate release

Contact Alison May at (302) 735-4000

DELAWARE MET CHARTER REVOKED

DOE announces path forward for students and families with school closing on January 22

In response to the Delaware Department of Education and State Board of Education’s action today revoking the charter for the Delaware MET charter school in Wilmington at the end of the second marking period, the state announced that its staff will meet with MET students and families in the coming weeks to help them determine their best educational options for the second semester of the school year.

The school will close on January 22, 2016. The state will assist the school’s 206 students and their families in moving to other schools for the rest of the academic year. The children may return to the district schools in their home feeder patterns or choice into another district or charter school that is accepting students. The receiving schools would receive prorated funding for the returning students.

As they look toward next year, families also may fill out the state’s School Choice application for another district or charter school for 2016-17. The application deadline is January 13, 2016.

Families with questions should email Kamilah.Laws@doe.k12.de.us or call 302- 257-3635.

All documents related to the formal review, including committee reports and school responses, are available here.

Delaware Met Charter Revoked By State Board of Education in 4-1 Vote

Delaware Met is finally up, at 5:52pm.  Jennifer Nagourey with the Charter School Office is going over the reasons why they are on formal review.  Talking about staffing, school discipline, training for staff, criminal activity, lack of an organizational capability, financial viability, and so forth.

Secretary Godowsky said as he looked at the information presented.  Talking about special education, school culture, etc.  While he is encouraged by the school’s hope to improved, he is disappointed they didn’t use their two year planning period effectively.

Secretary Godowsky agrees with the Charter School Accountability Committee decision and requests assent of the State Board of Education to revoke Delaware Met’s charter and the school to be closed by the end of this marking period, January 22nd.

Dr. Gray is giving the motion.  First, Seconded.  Discussion.  Heffernan: “It’s a mess.  There is no excuse for not being ready.”
Dr. Gray is talking about a charter school closure in mid-January.  She is asking how it happens?  Nagourney is explaining the DOE reaches out to parents to explain the closure process.  Heffernan said the feeder schools have to take them back.  Deputy Secretary of Education David Blowman (for now) is explaining January 22nd would be a natural break for the students since it is the end of the marking period.

Heffernan is asking why this happened.  He said in looking at their updates, they were more worried about recruiting students and he didn’t see any real planning for other stuff until this past August.  Blowman is saying it is very difficult to open a new school.  He thinks there needs to be another look at how they approve schools.

The question is being asked about if the funding will follow the students back to their feeder schools.  Blowman said it is the state’s intention to make that happen.  Blowman is talking about how 59 out of 59 IEPs were out of compliance.  The staffing levels at a maximum got to 3 1/2 to 4 even though they were eligible for 9 units based on the number of special education students on IEPs.  There wasn’t enough staff to cover their needs.  Blowman is saying an IEP isn’t just a document, it is a federally binding document that governs the services a student with a disability gets in the school.

Melendez is talking about the safety concerns and other students coming to the school.  Blowman said at the end of the day, the CSAC was not convinced the climate was getting better.  Coverdale is saying a Del Met student is not a Cab Calloway student and the starting point in building relationships with these students is harder when kids come from trauma.

Heffernan is saying this is a very severe action to take but what are the other options.  He said he could never figure out how many students left the school throughout this process.  Two members of the Del Met board are in the audience.  Coverdale is saying he isn’t convinced the kids will be better off in their feeder pattern schools.  Blowman said the final meeting with Del Met was 4 1/2 hours long and he is stressing their recommendation was the students will be safer in their feeder schools.  Those students would be better served for the remainder of the school year.  He said it was not an easy decision to make.

Godowsky said there will be discussions with charters in the area about students potentially choicing into them as well.  Heffernan can’t understand how Del Met miscalculated.  Heff is asking about how the funding issues even work.  He said the funding will be prorated.  Nobody knows how much staff is left that are certified teachers.  Gray is saying some students who were in alternative schools may not be able to go back to their feeder patterns.  Nagourney said Charter School Office is working to make sure no students fall through the cracks.  A member of the audience named CEO Hope said “I’ll take them, I’ll take them.”

Donna Johnson is saying many students were misinformed and thought they would have to sit home until the end of the school year based on comments at the 2nd public hearing.  Dr. Gray is asking about the written response to the initial public hearing and who wrote that response.  Innovative Schools wrote the response.  She is asking where the official response is from the school’s board to address the deficiencies in the school.  Nagourney said she got something from the board today but it was after the official public comment period.  Godowsky is bringing it home and saying every single area of review was a serious problem.  He said he came to this conclusion in the best interest of the Delaware Met students.

The Delaware State Board of Education is getting ready to vote…

Gray reads the motion, four yes for revocation, one nay (Coverdale).  Delaware Met is done as of January 22nd.

*This article has been corrected to reflect the actual vote of 4-1, not 6-1.  Board member Whittaker was absent, and I want to say Melendez or Bunting were not there for the vote.

 

As The Violence Continues At Delaware Met More Questions Surface

You would think, facing the State Board of Education this week and hoping for a miracle that your charter may not get revoked in the middle of the school year, that you would do everything possible to stop the cycle of violence at your school.  This is obviously not the case with the Delaware Met.  But then again, this is a school like no other because no charters in Delaware have ever had their charter revoked mid-year.  This will most likely happen tomorrow.  But I’m sure this is small comfort for the student who had a chair thrown at his head on Tuesday.  This resulted in a trip to the emergency room and stitches.  With all the additional support this school has put in place: a new principal, school climate officers, discipline staff, and mentors, you would think someone would be able to prevent this pattern of behavior.  But no, not at the Delaware Met.  I don’t know if these students can afford to wait until January 22nd for this school to close.

It is becoming painfully obvious that this school does need to close.  As I’ve said numerous times, you can’t put a Band-Aid on a wound that needs a tourniquet.  I am changing this article to reflect that Kendall Massett and the Delaware Charter Schools Network did actually encourage the school to reach out to other charters.  As well, DCSN did contact other charters in an attempt to help Delaware Met.  I truly don’t know what happened from there, but we are where we are now.  I can say this though, there will be no situation where Kendall negotiates a deal where another charter essentially takes over the school.  I would have to assume that with Innovative Schools huge role in this school (more so than any other charter they have provided support for in the past), that could get VERY complicated.  My apologies to Kendall for my earlier comments!

Innovative Schools Screws Delaware Met!!!

Tomorrow, we will know the fate of Delaware Met.  The odds are in favor of charter revocation effective at the end of this marking period.  The big question then becomes this: where will the students go?  The last thing these students need is more chaos and uncertainty.  But does Innovative Schools care about that?  Not at all.  They care about their bottom line, not the students.

Can someone please tell me why Innovative Schools gave a tour of the school to Las Americas Aspiras Academy during the school day?  Yes, Innovative Schools MUST get a new tenant for the building.  Regardless of the fact that students and staff in the school are probably having a great deal of anxiety and pressure over the pending decision by the Delaware State Board of Education.  Regardless of the fact that Innovative Schools is just as responsible, if not more, for what happened at this school.  For a charter school management organization, they really suck!  I will have MUCH more to say about Innovative Schools…

Delaware Met Students Speak Loud & Clear About Saving Their School

Last Monday, December 7th, the Delaware Met had their final formal review public hearing.  Numerous students spoke out in support of the school, along with teachers, board members, staff, and parents.  Upon reading the transcript, I could not find one negative comment about the school.  Every single speaker, and there were many, wanted the school to stay open.  Many acknowledged the issues but said those situations are getting better.  Do you think the Delaware Met should close or stay open?

The public comment period ending at 11:59pm last evening.  To read through the entire 82 page transcript from the public hearing, please read below:

Delaware Met Head Of School Quits

After last week’s recommendation by the Delaware Charter School Accountability Committee to revoke the Delaware Met’s charter effective January 22nd, 2016, the school’s leader has decided to resign.  Tricia Hunter Crafton submitted her resignation on December 3rd.  As well, the board appears to be in turmoil and an emergency board meeting was scheduled for 12/4/15.  Good luck finding this on their website though.  It doesn’t look like they have been doing much on there at all.  In fact, they didn’t even have a board meeting in November!  One of the board members reached out to me anonymously and explained how frustrated they are with everything going on.

This train is in motion, and barring a miracle, I don’t think anything will stop this school from closing down.  The decision will be made by the Delaware State Board of Education on December 17th.  Meanwhile, surrounding districts and charters are planning for an influx of new students.  Some schools are already balking at taking these  students, even though it is in the students’ local feeder pattern.  These students need to find a school fast, and any district or charter that receives them needs to do so with welcome arms and be very proactive in making sure these students needs are met.  For the special education students, these schools need to be on top of this.  These students have already missed a lot of time, and they need help.

As well, I am very curious what happens with the building.  Delaware Met sub-leases the school from Innovative School Development Corporation who leases it from a company called Charter School Development Corporation.  That company bought the building from the State of Delaware who had bought the building from Bank of America who acquired the building in the MBNA merger back in 2006.  This is prime real estate.  First State Montessori Academy is right next to it, and down the street is the Community Education Building, which currently houses three charter schools.  This is all in downtown Wilmington.  In fact, the building is right next door to Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn’s office!  The bizarre part with this whole funky real estate deal was that Innovate Schools donated $1 million dollars to the Charter School Development Corporation prior to leasing the 920 N. French St. location from them for Delaware Met.

Hunter Crafton joined the Delaware Met last Spring.  In the third week of September, she went out on maternity leave and returned in mid-November.  She was only back at the school for a few weeks before quitting.  While she is leaving, I am hearing some of the board members are gearing for a fight of some sort.  I don’t think this is going to be as easy as the Delaware DOE seems to think.

CraftonHunter

 

Delaware Met’s SHOCKING Final Meeting With DOE Is FILLED With VERY EGREGIOUS SCHOOL CRIMES!!!!!!

I knew things were bad at Delaware Met.  I knew things I was unable to confirm officially.  But the reality, and other things I didn’t know about…

Below are just a few of the things said during Delaware Met’s final formal review meeting with the Charter School Accountability Committee on 12/1/15.  This is a must-read!  If you ever want to open a school, I would highly recommend doing the opposite of what Delaware Met did, and you should do great!  Below these quotes is the full meeting notes.

Ms. Ogden also noted that the school was not prepared for the unannounced monitoring visit, as there were active files on the table and a flash drive was lost in the first room the DDOE staff monitored. She also added that, during the DDOE monitoring visit, an event occurred which set off the fire alarm and resulted in evacuation from the building and no access to the special education resource room on the second floor where the active special education files were stored. Ms. Ogden stated that “the second floor was condemned.”

 

She added that the lessons plans are for middle school, more specifically early middle school, although The Delaware Met is a high school.

 

 

Mr. Blowman commented that the School Leader should be able to go out on maternity leave without the school falling apart. He noted that these issues point to massive weaknesses in the school’s organizational model.

 

Ms. Nagourney requested clarification whether the Board took action during meetings that were not publicly noticed.

 

Ms. Massett said that wanted the record to reflect that the school did not reach out to the charter community for assistance.

 

She specifically noted that the list stated that a bullet was found in one of the classrooms and asked the school why it did not contact the police in that instance.

 

She indicated that she was fearful about safety in the school when reading about BB guns and tasers.

 

However, she expressed disappointment that the school listed two calls for severe student disruption despite seven different instances leading to nine arrests being listed in the information provided by WPD.

 

She identified several incidents, including a student’s hair being set on fire, an assault, weapons being brought to the school, near riots, and threats toward staff members as severe disruptions.

 

And when a school fails to meet multiple standards and fails to create a safe and appropriate environment in which students can thrive, it warrants serious action.

 

The motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Breaking News on Delaware Met: Charter Revocation Recommendation By End Of Next Marking Period

The Delaware Met had their final formal review meeting with the Charter School Accountability Committee this morning.  The group’s final recommendation: charter revocation by the end of the next marking period! Which would bring this school to a close by January 22nd.  Of course, the Delaware State Board of Education has to also vote on this, which they will at their meeting on 12/17.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the meeting, but I will report details once I receive them.

The group said the Delaware Met violated the terms of their charter.  The school opened in August after a one-year delay approved by the DOE.  Charter closures are serious business.  I feel bad for all the students and parents who made a choice to go to this school.  It looks like they will need to start searching again.  I didn’t wish for this school to close.  I really hope any school can do the right thing for their students.  In this case, I don’t think the school had the capability and the means to effectively run this school.

A great deal of the student population at Delaware Met came from Moyer, which also had its charter revoked during the last school year.  As well, the school has over a quarter of their population as special education students with IEPs.