I have many concerns about tonight’s Special Board meeting at Delaware Met Charter School. The impression I got from tonight’s meeting is chaos at the school. I am concerned about the principal being out and I did not hear if she was coming back; they just opened and no leader. The board spoke about clarity is needed around behavior issues and the need for accountability among students and teachers. They spoke about how the student population was challenging. A board member did state that the issues they are having are normal for any new school opening, I do not necessarily agree with that comment.
I spoke to someone after the meeting from Innovative Schools and asked why their financial reports were not posted online, they told me because they just started receiving money in July 2015. When I go to Delaware’s Online Checkbook, DE Met Charter School has been receiving funds for a few years now. In FY 2014 they spent over $287,000, FY 2015 they spent $201,000, and FY 2016 Period 1 and 2 $315,000.
The board focused a lot of their conversation around student cell phone usage and dress code issues.
They spoke about how the teachers did not have lesson plans in place. They were working on a master class schedule. Talked about staff needed to be on time. Classroom management was not there. They indicated that the school was closed last week for a few days so the teachers and staff could get things in order and to offer PD. Staff realizes urgency. Staff needs to focus on soft skills, rigor was not clear.
Some of the comments that were made by the board concerned me as well.
- One board member asked about the students from alternative schools who were enrolled at the school without proper documentation.
- Another board member said what are we going to do with students who are not a good fit here?
- Someone from the staff commented how they have failed the students.
- One board member stated that they thought there should be a strict no cell phone policy and a staff member said the students would not like that. I am wondering who is running the school?
- Dress code may have to be a part of the long-term plan; don’t want to do too much to soon may upset the students.
I am very confused about the internship that students will go to during their 9th and 10th grades. The students write their own plan. Does the school have relationships with businesses in the area? Is it the schools job or the students job to find the internship?
Lots of questions and no answers, especially with no public comment. I am concerned about the students who are gong to this school. I don’t want the school to fail but to consider closing only after being open one month is extremely alarming. September 30th Unit Count is fast approaching, my concerns are what if the school decides to close after the money has been funded.
Special education – identifying the students and providing services is very important. If all the Spec Ed students have not been identified, the school will receive no funding after September 30th. If the student is intensive or complex you could be talking about a lot of funds that the school will not receive. How would they be able to pay for all of these services? They do not have a large staff what if a student need OT, PT, or Speech who is paying for these services?
Are the students going to have sports teams? What about physical education that is still required in high school? What about all the fun activities that go with a high school band, clubs, etc. I am not sure if these students are going to have any of these things.