I attended the Delaware Met Special meeting tonight with Rep. Kowalko. Here are a few things that I wrote down during the meeting.
- During September the school has had climate issues.
- Ms. Hunter the school’s leader is out on leave and the interim leader is Sean Gallager
- Board member Nash Childs could not be there due to medical issues.
- 218 students are enrolled – well below their necessary enrollment number 264 students
- 60 of the students are students with IEPs – how many are basic, complex and intensive?
- There may still be undocumented students who need an IEP.
- 10 full time teachers
- 2 Special Education teachers
- recently hired 2 para
- 1 Specialist – who does PE, Driver’s Ed, etc.
- Student Support person
- They recently hired 3 full-time mentors
- Line of Credit is available for unexpected short-term cost
- Innovative Schools reported that the school is good to go financially
- Going to block scheduling
- Project Based Learning
- Big Picture Model
- Thursday Back to School Night
- Once a month survey out to parents.
- Students will received a survey every quarter.
- Staff will receive a survey as well, did not mention how often.
- It was mentioned that a personal connection was made with each family with a robo call and teachers were suppose to be contacting families, no one could report how many teachers actually spoke to a family member.
The Delaware Met Special Board Meeting came to an end. I went up to the chair of the Delaware Met Board and asked why they did not allow for public comment. He responded to me by saying their attorneys advised them not to allow for public comment.
Delaware Online just posted this story on Delaware Met Charter School. Click on the below link to read story.
New charter school considering closing
Harrington said the board will consider two issues in deciding whether to stay open.
First, its members will determine whether the school is financially viable given a loss of students. The school originally had about 260 enrolled, but is down to 227.
Lower-than-expected enrollment is a financial problem for charters because they get funding from the state per student. State rules require schools to be within 80 percent of their enrollment targets; Delaware Met currently meets that requirement.
Second, the board will decide whether the school can get a handle on problems with school climate. Harrington said there have been fights and incidents in which students have been disrespectful towards school staff.
“We’re talking about kids acting out,” Harrington said. “Our board’s and leadership’s priority is making sure we can provide a safe environment for our students.”
School leaders at Positive Outcomes, another charter that uses the same school model as Delaware Met, will be coming to the school to help it get on the right track, according to Delaware Charter Schools Network executive director Kendall Massett.
One of the reasons the school is struggling, Harrington said, is turmoil in its leadership
I (former charter teacher at DCPA) think the problem goes well beyond conflict of interest. Unfortunately Kendall Massett is not someone to be trusted. Unless something has changed, she lacks integrity. When I was teaching at DCPA, my co-teacher and I testified in Dover during Rep. Terry Schooley’s public hearing on charter school reform. We met Kendall Massett there afterwards and ended up having a conversation. She shared her position and pledged to us, like she said she does to all teachers, that everything we shared with her about the issues facing our school would be in strict confidence. My hope was that the Charter Schools Network could help improve some of the issues facing DCPA. Needless to say, the next day, in the middle of teaching, my co-teacher and I were called down to our Executive Director’s office and yelled at, and told never to speak to anyone about anything regarding the school again, and told that if we did anything like that again we wouldn’t still be here the next day (a euphemistic threat to getting fired). Apparently Kendall Massett had gone to the E.D. the next day and met with him and shared everything about who we were and what we had said in detail… I don’t know first-hand, but the E.D. made it seem like her primary concern was about the potential disruption of DCPA’s image and us being out of line in sharing these things rather than about the actual legitimate concerns going on at the school. (And actually another colleague also got yelled at before we did, because her name rhymed with my co-teachers name and the E.D. had mistakenly thought it was her as being the one to go down to Dover.) Meanwhile I remember explicitly that my co-teacher’s testimony was the one that shared a lot of concerns about charter school accountability during her testimony based on examples of things that were not being accountable at DCPA – but (though she certainly could have) she did not even provide identifying characteristics of the school she taught at in her testimony! This is not a good step forward for education in Delaware.
Links to two articles from the public meeting.
Delaware lawmakers form charter school task force after public hearing
Parents, teachers, administrators and teachers express support, opposition to charter schools at House Education Committee meeting on charter law
The above was left as a response to a Rep. Facebook post, I asked permission to share.
This is an opinion of former charter school teacher and not my opinion.