Charter Modification Update: DAPSS, DE Design-Lab & First State Montessori Get Thumbs Up From DOE

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Three of the five charters that submitted major modification requests to the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education got the green light today.  The Charter School Accountability Committee held their final meetings with the three schools today.  All three received a recommendation of approval from the committee.  The State Board of Education will make the final decision at their March meeting.

Two other schools that submitted major mods have meetings tomorrow with the CSAC.  Prestige Academy has their last meeting and Academia Antonia Alonso has their first.  Another school, Odyssey Charter School, submitted a minor modification for enrollment changes but Secretary of Education Godowsky exercised his authority to give them the CSAC treatment.  They also meet with the CSAC tomorrow.

Should the State Board approve all these modifications, many students will be in flux next year.  First State Montessori will increase their enrollment significantly.  Two other charters submitted minor modifications for up to 15% increases: Great Oaks and Kuumba Academy.  They only need Secretary approval and not the State Board.  Prestige, Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, and Delaware Design-Lab will decrease their enrollment.  Academia Antonia Alonso will actually move their location from the Community Education Building.  This is on top of Delaware Met closing in January and Delaware College Prep closing at the end of this school year.  In December, Red Clay’s board approved a modification for Delaware Military Academy to start increasing their enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year.  Who needs a freeze on new charter applications when the Delaware DOE becomes Grand Central Station for Wilmington charter school students?

Mapleton Charter School A No-Show At Their Own Major Modification Meeting Today

When you submit a major modification to the Delaware DOE, you would think you would have the good sense to show up at your own Charter School Accountability Committee meeting to present your case.  This was not the case for Mapleton Charter School of Whitehall.  They sent an Innovative Schools representative to read a brief statement.  The rep asked for a continuance which the CSAC granted.

Last month, Mapleton submitted an application for a Major Modification to change their name to Discovery Charter School and move their school location to Dover.  They had a huge application for the modification, and over the summer they had a very large and extensive community survey they sent to numerous residents, churches and organizations in the area where they want to move.  Why in the world they would drop the ball and not show up to one of the most important meetings for their cause is beyond me.

It seems to me like charters are relying on Innovative Schools to run everything.  Innovative Schools is just a management organization.  They are NOT the actual school.  This school knew about this meeting for weeks.  I would have not granted a continuance to them.