Aside from the controversial Special Education Strategic Plan presentation and Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security going under formal review, what else happened at the January State Board of Education meeting? This is what goes out to legislators and all those important education folks in the state!
January State Board Meeting Highlights
The State Board of Education held its Regular Monthly Board Meeting on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
All materials and presentations from the meeting can be accessed on the online meeting platform posted within each month’s agenda as posted on our website (www.destateboarded.k12.de.us ).
- Here is a direct link to the agenda complete with links and attached documents related to presentations and other items before the Board: SBE Monthly Meeting Agenda
The audio recording from the meeting is now posted on the State Board website. An index of the recording with live links by section is copied below.
· Board President, Dr. Dennis Loftus, discussed his attendance at the Governor’s State of the State address earlier in the day and provided a recap of the key points involving education. The Executive Director presented her report which included discussion of the latest publication by NASBE which focuses on Early Learning. A link to the publication as well as a few other articles regarding accountability plans across all 50 states according to ESSA plans and an interesting approach to chronic absenteeism. Her posted report called “News Updates and Information” is provided monthly. There will soon be a link added to the home page for easier access to these reports and local and national articles related to education issues which are provided for review by the Board and public. Ms. Johnson then updated the Board on the work related to the Literacy Campaign and highlighted the upcoming meetings for the steering committee and subcommittees of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
· Secretary Bunting provided a comprehensive report to the Board which included details about several school visits and opportunities to engage with members of the business community and other policy leaders, meetings with school administrators, educators, and students in which she had been involved throughout the month. These visits included meeting with the School District Consolidation Task Force Academic and Student Needs Committee where they discussed the state’s EL Strategic Plan. She also had the opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievement of 4 schools for Continued Excellence and identified 15 as Recognition Schools. Recognition Schools receive a banner to display in their school as well as $8,000 to further advance learning at their schools. She highlighted her involvement at the P-20 Council, Governor’s Cabinet meeting, Family Service Council, and the G.E.A.R meeting.
· The Board received a presentation from the 2018 DE State Teacher of the Year, Virginia Forcucci. Following her presentation and discussion with the Board they honored her with the SBE Award of Excellence.
· The Board received a presentation on the Special Education Strategic Plan from the co-chairs of the Special Education Strategic Plan Advisory Council, Dr. Michele Marinucci and Bill Doolittle. Board members discussed the development of the plan and asked questions regarding the goals and metrics within the plan. Additional information and resources from the presentation were provided on the agenda page for this item.
· Department Regulations
o Regulation 925: Children with Disabilities Subpart D, Evaluations, Eligibility Determination, Individualized Education Programs was presented for final action. There was discussion regarding the comments received from the GACEC and Statewide Disabilities Council as well as the fact that this change was only addressing one aspect of the regulation to align with federal requirements. The Board was informed that a broader group of stakeholders are currently working on revisions to further update the rest of the regulation and that this regulation may be before them again with more comprehensive changes in the near future. A motion to approve the regulation as presented for final order was made by Mrs. Rutt and seconded by Dr. Whittaker. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote with one abstention (Mr. Rushdan, who was just confirmed to the Board the prior day and not a part of the prior month’s discussion of the regulation).
o Regulation 501: State Content standards was presented for final action. The amendments included the addition of statewide K-12 Financial Literacy and Computer Science standards. The public comment received as well as feedback received through the community engagement sessions held by the Department was shared with the Board. There was discussion regarding the date in regulation for adoption and how that was different from the full implementation date of these standards to be integrated and aligned with curriculum. It was explained that the date in regulation is the date that the standards would officially become the state content standards and that the implementation of those standards into professional development for teachers and integrated and aligned with curriculum would follow a similar timeline trajectory has was used for the Next Generation Science standards. A motion to approve the regulation as presented for final order was made by Mr. Heffernan and seconded by Mrs. Rutt. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote with one abstention (Mr. Rushdan, who was just confirmed to the Board the prior day and not a part of the prior month’s discussion of the regulation).
o Following the approval of Regulation 501, the Board took a moment to thank Mr. Michael Watson, Chief Academic Officer, for his many contributions to improving education for children in the state of Delaware. It had been announced the prior month that this would be his final State Board meeting before leaving the department. The Board recognized him for his service and awarded him the State Board’s Award of Excellence.
o Regulation 1008 DIAA Junior High and Middle School Interscholastic Athletics and Regulation 1009 DIAA High School Interscholastic Athletics were presented to the Board for discussion. These regulations are out for comment during the month of January and will be back before the Board in February for final action. The DIAA Executive Director and legal counsel addressed questions from the Board members regarding the proposed changes which dealt with Officials organizations and Foreign Exchange and International Students’ eligibility.
· The Board received public comment from two individuals commending them on the decision to approve regulation 501 and adopt statewide Computer Science standards for Delaware.
· John Carwell, from the Charter School Office, presented the Department’s request to place Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security on formal review.
o At the December 18, 2014 meeting of the State Board of Education, the charter for DAPSS was renewed with the following conditions:
§ 1. The school shall attain a rating of “Meets Standard” on the Academic Framework for the 2014-15 school year; and
§ 2. The school shall attain a rating of “Meets Standard” on the Financial Framework for the 2014-15 school year.
o In SY 2014/2015 Delaware implemented a new system of accountability known as the Delaware School Success Framework (DSSF) and was permitted by the U.S. Department of Education to use this school year as the year from which to measure academic achievement and progress. Due to this waiver, DAPSS was provided an additional year to satisfy its conditions.
o In SY 2015/2016, Delaware changed the academic assessment for high schools from Smarter Balanced to SAT. Due to this change in academic assessment, DAPSS was provided an additional year to satisfy its conditions.
o In SY 2016/2017, DAPSS failed to meet academic standards in three of the four DSSF metrics and showed a decline in both academic achievement and academic growth.
o As for financial standards, in SY 2014/2015, SY 2015/2016, and SY 2016/2017, DAPSS failed to meet financial standards.
o In 2015-2016, DAPSS was approved for a modification to decrease enrollment. Despite this decrease, the school did not meet the 80% requirement for enrollment by May 1st for SY 2017-2018 enrolling only 77% of its projected population. As of September 30, 2017, DAPSS enrolled 228 of their projected 340 students or 67% of their approved enrollment. Since September 30, 2017, DAPSS’s enrollment has again declined. The school currently has 217 students enrolled.
o This is the third year that the school has shown a decline in enrollment going from 303 students in SY 2015/2016 to 217 students SY2017/2018. With a 2018 graduating class of 47 students, 49 choice applications, and one withdrawal at the time of this report, it is doubtful that DAPSS will meet the Financial Framework standard this school year.
o After considering these potential violations of its charter, the Department as approving authority, has determined that DAPSS should be submitted to formal review to determine whether the school is violating its charter and whether there are grounds for remedial measures. The Department is seeking the assent of the Secretary and the State Board for this action.
· The Secretary of Education following this outline of performance and concerns regarding the compliance with their charter stated, “Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security appears to have failed to meet the conditions of its charter renewal and should have the opportunity for a rigorous review of the school performance. Therefore, as Secretary of Education, I assent to placing Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security on formal review. In accordance with 14 Delaware Code Section 511(c), I seek the assent of the State Board of Education to the decision to place Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security on formal review.”
· Dr. Loftus asked for a motion to assent to the formal review of the charter for Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security. The motion was made by Mrs. Sorenson and seconded by Mr. Heffernan. After discussion of the Board which involved discussing the process that is included during formal review the motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
· The charter office also provided in its monthly update, which was posted on the SBE website for information a timeline for the review of the new application received to open a new charter school in Sussex county called Sussex Montessori as well as the major modification requested for Design Lab HS. The links to all of these were provided in the agenda item online.
· The Professional Standards Board had no items to bring before the SBE this month since their January meeting was cancelled due to snow.
· The Board had no one signed up for general public comment
· The Board received an update from its Deputy Attorney General regarding two appeal requests that have had their hearing and are currently in the time window in which either party is able to submit responses to the hearing officer’s recommendation. Both of those appeals will come before the Board for action at the February meeting.
The next regular monthly meeting of the State Board is scheduled for
Thursday, February 15, 2018
The meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. and the Board will enter Executive Session to discuss two disciplinary appeals and then will return to general session at 5:00pm
January 18, 2018 – Delaware State Board of Education Audio Recordings