Will Sussex County See A Montessori Charter School In The Future?

Sussex County in Delaware could have their second charter school in the coming years in the form of another Delaware Montessori charter.  This hint was given at, of all places, a Christina School District Board of Education meeting.

Timing is everything as they say and part of that is being at the right place at the right time.  During public comment at the Christina board meeting yesterday, a gentleman with what appeared to be a national Montessori movement (my apologies for not having the exact information on his role) spoke in support of Christina’s Montessori program.  An action item on the board’s agenda, which failed to pass, could have closed the program in the district.  But during the man’s public comment, he talked about Montessori programs in Delaware.  He indicated if Christina did not renew the program, Delaware would be the first state in the country to see a failed Montessori program.  He spoke about the popularity of First State Montessori Academy, a charter school in downtown Wilmington.  He also said the Christina program serves students in the Newark area.  But he also said there is an application in the works for a Sussex County Montessori charter school.

Nothing is showing up on the Delaware Dept. of Education’s website for ANY submitted charter school applications.  The deadline for new charter applications for the 2018-2019 school year is January 3rd, 2017.  I will certainly keep checking to see if any applications do show up.

The Delaware DOE Wants YOU!

The Delaware Department of Education will be holding “community conversations” to figure out how to carry out the Every Student Succeeds Act in Delaware.  As well, there will be discussion groups stemming out of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on ESSA.  You can nominate someone for the discussion groups or even nominate yourself.  I nominated myself to get in on this.  There are only three days left, including today, to get those nominations in because the deadline is this Friday, September 9th.

I am very skeptical of this, however.  I firmly believe the DOE knows exactly what they want from this.  The community engagement for implementation of the law is required in each state.  I could be wrong.  But history has taught me otherwise.  ESSA is the most important legislation to come out of the federal government in many years.  Folks need to understand this law and read between the lines on a lot of this.  As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”  There are traps all over this law.  They look really great on the surface, but there are red herrings portending a great deal of corporate intrusion in education.  If you care about education you MUST become involved in this.  If you have doubted everything I have ever written on this blog, this is an absolute certainty: If you don’t understand this law now you will be left standing in the wind when it all goes down in the future.  More than you realize.  But in the meantime, here is the official press release from the Delaware DOE that went out this morning:

For immediate release

 

Contact Alison May (302) 735-4006

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS TO HELP SHAPE DELAWARE’S ESSA PLAN

 

The Delaware Department of Education will host four community conversations this month to collect public input that will inform the first draft of the state’s plan under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A second round of conversations is planned for later in the fall to receive feedback on the draft plan.

 

In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the main federal law governing public education. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  As part of NCLB, Delaware is one of the 43 states operating under ESEA Flexibility.

 

ESSA gives states more flexibility and provides more state and local control over the accountability process. ESSA implementation will begin during the 2017-18 school year. The 2016-17 school year provides the opportunity to consult with stakeholders, develop Delaware’s plan, and submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.

 

The community conversations will be:

·         6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, September 20 at the CHEER Center, 20520 Sandhill Road, Georgetown

·         10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, September 24 at Christina Cultural Arts Center, 705 North Market Street, Wilmington

·         6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, September 27 at Bunker Hill Elementary School – 1070 Bunker Hill Road, Middletown

·         5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 29 at the Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover

 

Please register for the session/s you would like to attend at the links above.

In addition to the larger community conversations, department leaders are continuing to collect input through a series of stakeholder consultation meetings. A Governor’s advisory committee and discussion groups on the major aspects of the plan also will be convened in the coming months. The first discussion group will focus discussions on technical topics related to measures of school success and reporting. The second group will focus discussions on provisions for student and school supports. The discussion groups will provide information to the advisory group. Nominate yourself or someone else to join the discussion groups here. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Sept. 9.

The state aims to complete its draft plan by October 31 with the second draft completed by December 31, following the next round of engagement and feedback. Additional comments will be taken through February. The state will submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Education for approval by March 6.

The public also is invited to provide input through online surveys available here.

 

Feedback also can be submitted to ESSAStatePlan@doe.k12.de.us.

 

Find more information on the department’s ESSA web site.

Delaware DOE Extends Timeline For Priority Schools Deadline To Christina School District

The new tentative deadline for the Christina School District to submit their revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the three Priority Schools within their district is now January 23rd.  There is a catch here though.  Christina must submit the draft to date by January 9th, and the deadline will be extended if the DOE feels the draft is “substantially approvable”.  The Christina school board will have a meeting on Tuesday, January 20th to have a final vote on the MOU and their priority school plans and they must submit this by the next day, January 21st.  As well, the Delaware DOE will be giving their final comments on Friday, January 16th.

The Christina School Board will be having a meeting on January 7th to work on the priority schools plan some more at 7:00pm.  As well, the Christina Educators Association will be holding a press conference prior to the meeting at 6:30pm.

Other big meetings in January include the Delaware State Board of Education  meeting on January 15th.  This meeting could have a final decision on the fate of Family Foundations Academy in light of years of financial mismanagement and personal use of state funds, as highlighted this week in the well over 200 pages released by the Delaware DOE from the auditing firm of Auphsite Consulting.  The Delaware 148th Assembly begins their legislative year on January 13th, and there just may be some education fireworks that launch very quickly in the form of potential legislation submitted.

For those who haven’t signed the iPetition declaring their position against the priority schools initiative, please go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lets-make-priority-schools-a-real-priority-2