Tag Archives: Delaware Met Charter School

Why was Delaware Met approved to open in the first place?

When a building is scheduled to open, there is a punch list of items that need to be completed before the building is issued the Certificate of Occupancy, this is for the safety of the occupants of the newly, constructed building. Why is this not the same when it comes to approving charter schools here in Delaware? Our children will become the occupants of the newly, constructed charter and we as a state should be making sure all that was promised in the original charter application is in place before the doors even open.

Delaware Met originally submitted their charter application December 2012 . Delaware Met was scheduled to open their doors for the 2014-2015 school year. They requested a charter modification for a year delay which was granted April 2014 and they were placed on formal review. Delaware Met opened their doors in August 2015.  Delaware Met has only been opened since August 2015, they were placed on formal review for a second time and DOE issued a punch list of items that have not been completed, see below document.

Delaware Met has been placed on formal review for the 2nd Time

During the April 2014 State Board Meeting, the State Board placed Delaware Met on formal review. I found a letter to Delaware Met from DOE placing them on formal review back in 2014. Attached to DE Met’s letter is a list of conditions, the only issue is this list of conditions is for Delaware Design Lab High School and not for Delaware Met. I have requested from DOE the list of conditions that were placed on Delaware Met back in 2014. Below are the State Board of Education meeting minutes, view page 3.

The Department is seeking the consent of the State Board to place Delaware MET on formal review to review concerns relative to economic viability and compliance with enrollment within their charter. A motion was made by Mrs. Rutt to consent to placing Delaware MET on formal review. The motion was seconded by Mr. Coverdale, after discussion on the action item by the Board with the representatives from the Department of Education presenting the item; the action was voted on and carried unanimously. Mrs. Rutt was excused at this time due to a prior commitment.

Below is the April 2014 letter from DOE placing Delaware Met on formal review. Look at the last two pages, you will see the conditions are for Delaware Design Lab High School and not Delaware Met.

State Board updated their agenda for their meeting on Thursday adding DE Met, Will DE Met be placed on formal review?

The State Board of Education has updated their agenda for their meeting on October 15th. They added Formal Review of a Charter School for Action. Lets hope they are placing DE Met on formal review. Click here to view the October 15th State Board of Education Agenda 

I have written to the DOE on 6 separate occasions about my concerns for the students at Delaware Met. I and Rep. Kowalko attended their Special Board meeting on September 28, we had many questions after attending that meeting. I also was contacted by a DE MET parent who had requested on numerous occasions to have her child released from the one year charter agreement. The parent did not feel that her son was learning and that the school was not ready to open. The school had to close down for three days for unknown reasons. DE Met finally released the student stating that the parent requested the student’s release on September 30th after dismissal, knowing full well that they would be keeping funding for that student. I have a copy of the letter that DE Met gave to the parent and it was dated September 29, 2015 not September 30, 2015. The games that are played in order to keep the funding. Again, the only ones who suffer are the students. 

Here is State Board’s summary:

The DOE Charter School Office is seeking to submit  the charter of The Delaware Met to formal review to determine whether the school is violating the terms of its charter and whether to order remedial measures under the Delaware Code.

The issues for formal review include, but are not limited to, concerns about the school’s compliance with its charter, financial viability, policies regarding student conduct and discipline, and appropriate strategies to accommodate the needs of at-risk students and those needing special education services.

In accordance with the requirements of 14 Del. C. . § 511(c), the Department is seeking the assent of the Acting Secretary and the State Board of Education to the formal review of The Delaware Met.

Will the State Board of Education Place Delaware Met on Formal Review at the October 15th Board Meeting?

Right now, there is nothing on the agenda to indicate that Delaware Met will be put on formal review, I hope that something happens between now and Thursday.  To view the State Board of Education agenda for the October 15th meeting, click here.

On October 1st and October 9th, I sent emails to the Department of Education asking if DOE will recommend Delaware Met to be placed on formal review, I have not received a response as of today.

Many Concerns with Delaware Met Charter School


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.

Delaware Met Will Remain Open; Highlights of Meeting

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.
  • Staff
    • 10 full time teachers
    • 2 Special Education teachers
    • recently hired 2 para
    • 1 Specialist – who does PE, Driver’s Ed, etc.
    • Principal
    • Counselor
    • 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.


Delaware Met Charter School Special Board Meeting Would Not Allow Comments from the Public, Open Government at Its Best


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.

New charter school considering closing from Delaware Online

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