Dr. Dan Shelton Milks Financially Ailing Christina School District

The mysterious contract for Dr. Daniel Shelton, the Superintendent for Christina School District, was finally released today in an article by Amy Cherry over at WDEL. Considering Shelton started out at Capital five years ago in the $150-$160,000 range he sure made a windfall moving over to Christina School District. Because he is now making $199,000 a year (for the first year, read further to find out how that could drastically increase).

Among Dr. Dan’s many perks, he received $15,000 for this school year as a “transition” stipend to cover his costs of relocating to the district. Because, yes, it apparently costs $15,000 to “transition” when you live in the Red Clay School District all the way to Christina School District. I would love to see the justification for this exorbitant fee (and that’s exactly what it is). But luckily for the taxpayers of Christina, Delaware, and all of America (because his contract is paid through local, state, and federal funds), it will only cost us $9,000 a year to cover Dr. Dan’s automobile expenses to the tune of $750 a month.

Even more egregious and insulting to the taxpayers of Christina-Delaware-America, Dr. Dan gets an automatic step increase of 2% a year ALONG with whatever percentage of raises the local teacher unions get for their increases. Because hell, why not? No apparent conflict of interest here given that HIS OFFICE NEGOTIATES TEACHER CONTRACTS.

What confuses me though is the fact that the Zoom meeting to vote Dr. Dan in took place on 6/4/2020. All the board members were in different places at the time. So how in the world did they all manage to sign this contract on 6/4/2020? Furthermore, the contract had zero public input which would have been helpful given that the district was going out for a referendum at the time. And four out of the seven board members were elected by the board and not the public.

While everyone is figuring out what to do with Covid-19 and schools, it looks like Dr. Dan took FULL advantage of the chaos to get himself a contract that benefits him immensely.

To read the contract between Dr. Dan and Christina, feast your eyes. It is QUITE a read. Thanks to WDEL for doing all the legwork on this!

Glasgow High School & Christina School District In Big Trouble With Delaware DOE Who Fell Asleep At The Wheel And Let It All Happen

In the wake of the IEP scandal at Glasgow High School, ALL of Christina School District is at the mercy of the Delaware Department of Education when it comes to special education.  Following the events concerning fake IEP meetings at Glasgow High School that I published in October, the Delaware Department of Education was forced to act.  But questions linger about how and why the Delaware DOE was unable to find out before they did. Continue reading

Administrative Bloodbath At Christina School District

As reported on Transparent Christina, the Christina School District Board of Education has voted not to renew four contracts in their district office.  While I am not at liberty to give names yet, these are four VERY big names.  The ripple effects of these non-renewals will affect the district in major ways.  I expect there could be some type of legal response to at least one of these non-renewals.  The names are out there and people are talking, but I will not be releasing those names “officially” until it is public.  Two of them I am very happy about.  They have been sources of controversy for years and have done more harm to the district than anyone else.  So with Superintendent Richard Gregg announcing his resignation as of June 2020, look for Christina to look very different in the 2020-2021 school year.

My Email To Glasgow High School Principal Butch Ingram, Richard Gregg, & Christina’s Board of Education

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

Glasgow High School In Middle Of Scandal With Fake IEP Meetings & Loss Of Funding

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.

Disgusting Lunch At Brennen School For Children With Autism Has Parents Fuming

This is just foul!  The Brennen School in the Christina School District is serving kids lunch that I wouldn’t feed to my dog!  A parent sent me a picture of their child’s lunch at the school that serves children with Autism as part of the Delaware Autism Program.  I know Christina is having money woes but come on people!!!!

Brennen Hot Dog

Aside from this shriveled up hot dog, students were served a clementine along with it that day.  Sources tell me teachers are bringing in food for the kids the food is so atrocious.  Hey Christina, just because students have disabilities doesn’t mean you have to serve them sub-standard food.  I have to wonder what year this hot dog was cooked…

Christina Board Member Sworn In & Resigns Minutes Later

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In the oddest move I’ve ever seen in Delaware education, Katie Hegedus was sworn in as a board member of the Christina School District Board of Education last night at their monthly board meeting and resigned minutes later.

Hegedus beat incumbent John Young two months ago in the school board election.  Her platform was basically that she would resign once she is sworn in.  This would force the current board to hand-pick a replacement.  They announced at their board meeting last night they would begin this task.

This ridiculous stunt was concocted by the Friends of Christina, a small but connected group of parents in the district who basically hated the fact John Young would call out the district on, well, anything.  Whether it was right or wrong.  Their mantra of go along to get along brought forth this latest oddity in Delaware school board race history.  One for the record books, that’s for sure!  This election meant so much to their de facto leader that she is currently trying to sell her house and move out of state.

While Young is no longer on the Christina Board of Education, he has come back and relaunched his blog as Transparent Christina 2.0.  I fully expect Young, who is now no longer beholden to certain bylaws of being a board member, to come out swinging on his blog!  While this very sad attempt at silencing Young may appear to be a win in some circles, I fear all they have done is awoken an already alert dragon.  With a tagline of “Because sometimes Exceptional needs some help“, Young has written several articles of late.  Speaking for Exceptional, I welcome any help in the Delaware education blogosphere!  Unless it is some urgent sounding blog…wink wink!

The board re-elected former President Meredith Griffith to another one-year term as President while Keeley Powell was elected to Vice-President of the board.

Christina School District Changes School Start & End Times Without Board Approval Or Letting Parents Know

Ah, it must be summer in the Christina School District.  The days when district leadership make changes to how the district operates without board approval.  In the latest round of “how can we make the district look bad”, the district has now changed start and end times for the schools in the district.  Some are good and some are bad but the fact it was a unilateral decision by the Superintendent (Richard Gregg, who the board hired) is a smack in the face to the governing authority of the district (the board).

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How this district leadership can be so infantile in its arrogant way of thinking is beyond me.  I guess they don’t have to care how these changes could affect the schedules of working parents, teachers, and extracurricular activities students might do outside of school.  And I guess they still haven’t gotten the memo that 7:05 is way too early for teenagers to go to school in the morning!!!!  Tsk, tsk…

Did Hegedus Campaign Violate Election Law In Illegal Emails To State Teachers?

A school board campaign in Delaware could be breaking the law and they are turning what should be a fair election into a disgrace.  And how could a member of this campaign benefit should her ghost candidate win?  And which legislator is foolishly endorsing a candidate that won’t serve if elected? Continue reading

Email The Christina Board of Education To Vote NO On Any Reduction In Force Of Teachers

After failing to pass their referendum last week, the Christina School District Board of Education will hold a board meeting tomorrow night.  The first action item?  A reduction in force.  This means they will vote to fire a ton of teachers.  It won’t be the first time their board voted on something like this but they can do something different this time.  They can vote a resounding NO for this action item.

Many will ask the same question: then where does the money come from?  Simply put, Christina School District is too big to fail.  Who is going to take them over?  The Delaware Department of Education?  They don’t have the capacity or the money to do the job.  The charter schools?  Hell no!  They are not one organization with a ton of umbrella schools under the same name.  Like the banks in 2008, the answer is simple- a state bailout of the district.  Force them into a bankruptcy type situation and let the legislators dole out the money to save them.

For far too long teachers in this district have been forced to sweat it out come referendum time.  Their jobs, along with their livelihoods, have been put on the firing line every single time a referendum comes along.  The madness has to end and has to end now.  If you agree, email the Christina Board of Education between now and tomorrow night (May 7th) at 7pm or show up to their meeting at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, 50 Gender Road, in Newark, DE.  Give loud and proud public comment urging the board to vote NO on their latest gambit to fire teachers.  Their email is CSDBoardMembers@Christina.k12.de.us and I would strongly suggest emailing them NOW!  Then go a step further and sign THIS PETITION on Change.org.

Yes, this is a drastic step.  But it is time for the state of Delaware to stop with their silly education funding games and finally take education seriously.  It is time for the legislators to stop whining and be forced to do something.  The students and teachers of Delaware can not afford any more half measures.  It has to be go big or go home!

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Christina? Cathy Hegedus Sure As Hell Isn’t The Answer!!!!

It wouldn’t be a school board election season without some controversy springing out of the Christina School District.  Hot on the heels of the district’s crushing loss in their referendum last week, Christina voters will head to the polls again on May 14th to elect the District D candidate.  Many are trying to make sure two-time board member John Young does NOT get re-elected.  But the biggest threat to the district does not exist with Young.  It lies within. Continue reading

Autism Delaware Gives Clarification On DAP Situation

Autism Delaware released a fact sheet today on the debacle involving the Delaware Department of Education, Christina School District, the Office of Management and Budget, and Governor Carney’s office.  This should answer many questions folks are having based on the Delaware Public Media article as well as my own last night.

If this is how it was supposed to happen, someone dropped the ball big time.  A lot of fingers can be pointed at Christina Superintendent Richard Gregg for failing to notify the district’s Board of Education (which is the governing body for the district and hired him in the first place).  As well, Governor Carney’s administration goofed big time by not putting certain funding for training personnel in their FY2020 budget proposal.  A lot of this comes down to communication.  We live in the 21st Century where communication is instant.  This kind of stuff shouldn’t happen!

State Rep. Kim Williams wrote the following on Facebook today:

OMB, Controller’s Office and DOE are setting up a meeting with Christina next week. The schools are not changing anything, they will still report to their current district. Teachers and staff will not be affected by any of this. They need to hire the two specialists and those specialists need to report to someone. They need to hire someone to oversee the specialists and the statewide program. The meeting this week will work all those details out.

Thanks to Autism Delaware for getting some facts out on this matter!

State Steals Autism Program From Christina, Students Future In Jeopardy

The State of Delaware stole the Delaware Autism Program from the Christina School District when no one was looking.  With an almost imaginary and very vague loophole in recent legislation, the Delaware Department of Education is now in charge of DAP.  But not so fast… Continue reading

The Strange Case Of The Disappearing Christina Board Meeting

I see this with charter schools quite a bit but postponing a regular board meeting for a school district?  That is highly unusual!  Today, the Christina School District postponed their regular January Board of Education meeting scheduled for tonight at Bayard Middle School.  Is this a fluke or is there a specific reason the meeting was postponed? Continue reading

Las Americas ASPIRA Submits Modification Request To Add High School & Increase Enrollment

Rumors began circulating in the fall that Las Americas ASPIRA Academy would be submitting a major modification request to add high school grades.  What I didn’t count on were the huge amount of fallacies and grandiose boasting within the application itself. Continue reading

Big Mac Attack! Christina 1:1 Device Plan Supports Poor Nutrition!

You might want to Super Size this article.  Continue reading

The Schols of Christina!

No, I did not misspell the word “schools”.  Apparently the Christina School District is now investing in tectonic plates made of ice.  I find this rather fascinating.  Yes!  This is what the children of Christina’s Wilmington schools need to succeed and compete in the global economy!

It makes sense in a bizarre way.  Schol, a dutch word for ice floes, is defined as any type of sea ice not attached to land.  This is exactly how the Christina Wilmington schools are in relation to the rest of the district.  They are an island, separated from the rest of the district.  I have no doubt in my mind this was the intention of the district when they created this video.  It was a Jedi mind trick to see how many people would get it.  You can’t fool this blogger!  But someone forgot to tip off Christina Board President Meredith Griffin.  He pronounced “schol” as “schools”.

Ten days ago, the Christina School District spent  an undisclosed amount of money on a promotional video for the “Wilmington Schools Partnership”.  For those wondering what that is, it is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the district, the Christina Educators Association, Governor Carney’s office, and the Delaware Department of Education.  The goal is to improve educational outcomes for Christina’s Wilmington students.  The plan is still in the implementation stages.  The jury is still out on whether it will be successful or not.  After ten days, as of this writing, the video has received an astonishing 22 views.

106 years ago, a schol caused a major problem for the RMS Titanic.  When the passenger liner collided with the schol, it caused the boat to sink hours later.  Over 1,500 passengers died in the Atlantic Ocean.  Another word for schol is iceberg.  Which is also the name of a kind of lettuce.  But that is different than Romaine lettuce.  People aren’t eating that these days because of another major problem.

 

Here Comes The Jaques State Takeover Legislation! Legislators Need To Read This! You’ve Been Warned!

State Rep. Earl Jaques is actually going to do it.  According to Delaware Public Media, Jaques actually went on the record with it yesterday. Continue reading

Rep. Paul Baumbach To Christina: “Keep Moving As Fast As You Can”

At the end of the Christina School District Board of Education meeting last week, State Representative Paul Baumbach spoke before the board.  He thanked the board and the district for the changes they implemented in the past year and “strongly encouraged” them to keep doing it.  There was a specific reason Baumbach did this.  He admitted the General Assembly doesn’t help. Continue reading

Earl Jaques Is Really Pushing For State Takeover Of Christina

The most controversial piece of legislation in the Delaware General Assembly will be State Rep. Earl Jaques’ brainfart of an idea to have the State of Delaware take over the Christina School District.  Continue reading