Positive Outcomes Charter School of Camden came prepared for its sixth meeting with a state committee that reviews Delaware’s charter schools’ progress.
Positive Outcomes showed the committee a short video presenting a lot of anecdotal and data-based successes.
We’re very proud to be in front of you today seeking our sixth renewal of our school,” said Ed Emmett, school director. “This renewal would actually take us into our fourth decade of providing services to students throughout all three counties.”
The 13-person Charter School Accountability Committee is made up of charter leaders, community members and Department of Education officials from academic support, student support, operations support, educator support and more.
Positive Outcomes is the first of six schools to go through the renewal process this fall.
Delaware charters are required to go through a renewal process every five years in which they make their case to stay open by offering data focused on student achievement, test scores, school climate, graduation rates, suspensions and more.
The accountability committee curates a report for Mark Holodick, Delaware’s secretary of education.
The decision about renewal is guided by three questions, said Committee Chair Kim Klein: “Is the academic program a success? Is the school financially viable? Is the school organizationally sound?”
Positive Outcomes has students from seven different districts this year, Emmett said, with Lake Forest providing the highest number.
It serves seventh through 12th grade, and its enrollment of 115 students is 46.96% low-income and 65.22% have disabilities.
The school has a proficiency rate in math and English language arts that is lower than the state average: 5% of students meet grade-level expectations in math, and 13% meet those for English language arts.
Statewide, those numbers are 41% and 31%, respectively.
Chronic absenteeism is also higher at the charger than the state average: 45.37% of its students are chronically absent, which means they miss 10% or more of school days in a year. The state average is 20.79%.
Emmett said the school had a 20% chronic absenteeism before the pandemic.
“We’re seeing average daily attendance rates improve, but we still are really working with students to remind them of why being in school is important,” he said. “It’s one of our major points this year because we cannot improve deficits if [students] can’t come in the building.”
Next, Positive Outcomes will respond to a report created by Accountability Committee during a public hearing Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.
The other six charters up for renewal this year are First State Military Academy, Freire Charter School Wilmington, Great Oaks Charter School, Kuumba Academy Charter School and Sussex Montessori School are the six up for renewal this year.
Here the schedule:
- First State Military Academy –Thursday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.
- Freire Charter School Wilmington – Monday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.
- Sussex Montessori School – Oct. 30 at 1 p.m.
- Great Oaks Charter School – Oct. 31 at 8:30 a.m.
- Kuumba Academy Charter School – Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.
To see a timeline of meetings, reviews for each school and find live streams to the public hearings, click here.
Secretary Holodick’s decision on all six charters will be presented to the State Board of Education Dec.14 at 5 p.m.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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