Teachers at Kirk Middle School in the Christina School District were not happy last June. They were losing their beloved principal, Dr. Dan Shelton. In June, the Capital Board of Education picked Shelton as their newest superintendent after a more than four-month search. Shelton, who took the reigns from the retiring Dr. Michael Thomas, began the role in July. Not only was Thomas leaving, but so was Assistant Superintendent Sandra Spangler and Director of Human Resources David Vaughn.
Shelton and the Board quickly found replacements and set out for the tasks at hand. Christina’s loss was Capital’s gain. From all I have heard, Shelton is doing a fantastic job at Capital. I have heard nothing negative about him at all. In a recent article in the Dover Post, Shelton weighed in on the Every Student Succeeds Act. He explained to reporter David Paulk that he was concerned about the “lump” funding for grants but he was glad the federal government was “stepping back”. While this remains to be seen with the feds based on their recent threats about funding cuts with opt-outs, I am confident Capital will handle this appropriately.
Meanwhile, Shelton will oversee the ten schools under the Capital umbrella and will bring a fresh and innovate look to the district.
Mapleton Charter School has withdrawn its major modification request to move to Dover and change their name to Discovery Charter School according to David Paulk with the Dover Post. I have to give the board a heads up for recognizing they were not prepared to open up in the 2016-2017 school year and avoiding some of the huge mistakes like Delaware Met this year. I admit I was concerned when I looked at their modification request and only saw a budget for one special education teacher with an anticipated 200 students. You know at least 30 of them would be students with disabilities, if not more. But perhaps they recognized this along with other matters and they are being proactive.
Allison May with the Delaware DOE said:
“If Mapleton decides to withdraw its modification application and forfeit its charter, then the school approved to open in Middletown next year will not open,” she said. “The involved parties could submit a new application for another school, including one in Dover as their modification application suggested. If so, that would go through the entire application process again just like any other new applicant.”
But not so fast, because House Bill 56 with Amendment #1 states no new charter schools shall open in Delaware unless they were previously approved until June 30th, 2018, or until the State Board makes a better plan for all of this. From HB56:
Section 2. There shall be a moratorium on all new charter schools opening until June 30, 2018 or until the State Board of Education develops a strategic plan for the number of charter, district, and vocational-technical schools in the State, whichever occurs first. The aforementioned strategic plan shall be based on a systematic evaluation of educational needs using national models and best practices that align with the public education system, such as the National Association of Charter School Authorizers guidelines.
This strategic plan is the Statewide Review of Educational Opportunities currently under review by the State Board of Education and the Delaware Department of Education. While I am sure they will be completed with this prior to 6/30/18, how does that work with applications? If they can’t approve a charter for opening in 2017 if the review isn’t done, how can this school open in 2017? This will be one to watch.
The legislation passed last year which placed a moratorium on new charter schools applies to Wilmington