Positive Outcomes Charter School on deck for community review

I’ve just reviewed Positive Outcomes Charter Schools webpage re: board information and financial information.

I must say, Positive Outcomes website is very nice and one of the best. I was amazed to see a yearly student and parent survey. And shame on the parents, poor number of responses!  Wow and they list their student council members. 

It appears the board members are fairly green meaning, the average years serving on the board is 2 and there are three seat vacant. Board minutes are up to date and looking meaningful. Of course I recommend this board be proactive and start to digitally record (audio) record the public sessions of board meetings. Be the first charter school to do this Positive Outcomes.

As far as the Citizen Budget Oversight Committee, they are on the ball with minutes. I am glad to see monthly review of  credit-card (Pcard) expenditures. The only concern I have of this committee is it seems heavy with board of director members as CBOC members. From what it looks like, many of these members are carrying the weight and I encourage other parents and community members to step-up and help which will strengthen overall integrity.

One thing I did notice was, though this school publishes the required IRS990 form on their website for years 2009 and 2010, the law requires current year and prior year. Seeing how the school years starts in 2012 I would assume we need to see 990’s for 2012 and 2011. Might just be a little housekeeping needed here. Also, I don’t see a file representing preliminary and final budgets. References is made on monthly reports as to draft and budget but it would be nice to see actual draft aka preliminary and final budget. Maybe some else can find it on the website. Let me know.

I didn’t get into all the academic issues because my focus here is transparency.

All and all, I see the effort with this school and give them a B+ 

So go review for yourself and comment here!

Laurel School District on deck for community review

Here is a link to Laurel School District’s website  Please review Laurel’s financial data and presentation format to the public and tell me you think. Also, visit their required Citizen Budget Oversight Committee link and tell me what you think about that.

Please comeback to this blog on post on this site Delaware Public / Charter School Review and post you comments and review here.

Thank you

Colonial School District on deck for transparency review

For those who volunteered to be part of the Delaware Public / Charter School Review I selected Colonial School District as next school / district for us to review. I wanted to be fair an not just go down the list of charter schools as traditional schools apply to our mission. Also, in my E-mail to Red Clay’s Super I copied-in the Delaware Secretary of Education and hope he becomes proactive and review the websites of charter school where many are mess.

For our review of Colonial School District, I ask that you visit their website and review areas of transparency concerns such as, updated school board meeting minutes, updated posted monthly financial reports and required Citizen Budget Oversight Committee information such as posted monthly committee reports. meeting minutes and meeting agendas.

As for me this in what I see, when you open the district webpage you don’t see a direct link to the board of education. You need to go to the tab Community Information  and then to the link to the Board of Education. So now were are there! Board members do have E-mail links directly to them. Board Meetings, place and time for school year 2012-2013 are listed. Board meeting minutes are listed under Board Docs. Would be nice to see a link to monthly financial reports with in the agenda on Board Docs. You need to exit Board Docs and go back to the tab for Community Information and then to links to District Financial Information. Not big deal but would be nice to see the link. As far as Monthly Budget Reports   , Colonial last posted report was July 2012. Make note, reports aren’t posted until the board approves them. August reports should have been posted after September’s board meeting and September’s should be posted soon as the board just met October 9, 2012. So, I see a weakness in timely reports of Monthly Budget Reports. HOWEVER, I am having problems finding a link to Colonial’s required Citizen Budget Oversight Committee. I looked under the tab Community Information, Board of Education, Monthly Budget Reports and Other Financial Information! It’s like a game of Where’s Waldo !!! I can’t find it! Delaware law requires each school district, votech district and charter schools to have a Citizen Budget Oversight Committee. Unless someone points me to a link that provides CBOC monthly reports, meeting agendas and members names this review of Colonial in unfavorable.

Volunteers please review Colonial’s website and give me your assessment. Once completed and a few weeks I’ll communicate to Colonial and DE DOE.  

E-mail to Red Clay’s super re: Delaware College Preparatory Academy review

Response to E-mail and follow-up:

On:Oct 10/12/12 10:28 AM

Thank you for your questions and concerns.
There is currently a review committee meeting with DCPA. This committee has 90 days to review to report  its findings to the School Board. We will continue this process and upon completion of the committees work will report to the school board in public session.

Respectfully,
Merv

On:Oct 10/12/12 10:50 AM

Thanks Merv, 

Didn’t feel I was asking questions :) just raising concerns :) I am confident Red Clay’s review committee will address and correct these transparency concerns. I didn’t put any action request on DE DOE because Red Clay is the oversight authority. However, in respect to the CBOC, DE DOE does have an assigned representative on that committee and there is a concern in respects to DE DOE sincerity to the law / CBOC. The concerns me and my friends have with the CBOC applies to other charter schools. I hope Secretary Murphy becomes proactive in reviewing all charter schools, districts and votechs to ensure consistency in what the CBOC law requires. Hopefully through Red Clay’s corrective action, DE DOE can learn something. Also, honestly, I have more luck getting issues addressed at the local level.

On:Oct 10/12/12 9:33 AM

To: “Daugherty B” <Mervin.Daugherty@redclay.k12.de.us>
Cc: “leah davis” <leah.davis@redclay.k12.de.us>, “faith newton” <faith.newton@redclay.k12.de.us>, “kenneth woods” <kenneth.woods@redclay.k12.de.us>, “martin wilson” <martin.wilson@redclay.k12.de.us>, “kim williams” <kim.williams@redclay.k12.de.us>, “Kenneth Rivera2″ <Kenneth.Rivera2@redclay.k12.de.us>, “Representative Gregory F. Lavelle” <Greg.Lavelle@state.de.us>, “Denn Matthew” <Matthew.Denn@state.de.us>, “Senator David P. Sokola” <David.Sokola@state.de.us>, “r wagner” <r.thomas.wagner@state.de.us>, “Representative Deborah Hudson” <Deborah.Hudson@state.de.us>, “Nichole Dobo” <ndobo@wilmingt.gannett.com>, “Senator Karen E. Peterson” <Karen.Peterson@state.de.us>, “Frederika Jenner” <fsjenner@comcast.net>, “Representative John A. Kowalko Jr.” <john.kowalko@state.de.us>, “mark murphy” <mark.murphy@doe.k12.de.us>, jcarwell@doe.k12.de.us
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2012 9:33:30 AM

Subject: Delaware College Preparatory Academy re: transparency

Merv,

A few parents and community members joined me in establishing the Delaware Charter / Public School Review. The groups goal is to review each district and charter school’s webpage to evaluate transparency. Our first review was Delaware College Preparatory Academy (DCPA) a Red Clay charted school. Red Clay is the charter authorizing and oversight agent for this charter school. We feel these concerns needs to be address by the oversight agent, Red Clay. 

Here are the concerns that we request you to review and correct.

DCPA’s website provides links to board of directors meeting minutes. However only to November “2011”. It does notated December 2011 however there is not link attached. Merv, it is October 2012 and the parents of this school, community and taxpayers are left in the dark. Please communicate to DCPA to get the webpage updated.

DCPA’s website fails to post agendas and committee reports for the state required Citizen Budget Oversight Committee. The site does list the date for meetings which are every first Monday of the month but fails to post time and place. Though DCPA does publish online monthly school financial reports I must point out those reports are just that and cannot serve as a CBOC report. Therefore, DCPA CBOC fails to provide meeting agenda, minutes and reports. Red Clay school district has a model Community Financial Review Committee aka CBOC and does have the acquired the skills to assist DCPA to become compliant with the law.

The stability of charter schools and all public schools rely on open communication and transparency. Though no disrespect to government, the public is the best watchdog but needs government support in providing the tools.

On behalf of my friends at Delaware Charter / Public School Review, I thank you for your time and ask that you review these concerns with DCPA and ensure they are corrected. This issue here is not pro/con charter school but rather transparency.

Feel free to Delaware Charter / Public School Reviewhttp://delawarepubliccharterschoolreview.wordpress.com/

Delaware Public /Charter School Review re: Delaware College Preparatory

Delaware Community Public and Charter School Review Committee to be formed

Why is Delaware College Preparatory Academy operating in the dark?

It has been over a month since I asked for volunteers to help assess Delaware charter schools and traditional public school websites re: transparency issues.

We started with Delaware College Preparatory charter school Volunteers steps up at Kilroy’s to take public school transparency to the next level

FINAL REVIEW

One concern with Delaware College Preparatory website was they spelled their own name wrong re:preparatory. That error has been corrected.

Delaware College Preparatory refuses to update their webpage re:Board of Directors Meeting Minutes. The last meeting minutes posted was November 2011. December 2011 is noted but no link to actual meeting minutes. Since Red Clay School District is the charter approving and oversight authority I will file a complaint with Red Clay.

Delaware College Preparatory’s monthly financial reports are reasonably posted on time. The last report posted was August 2012. Monthly financial reports must be reviewed and approved by the school boards before being posted. Therefore, there will be a lag in time.

Delaware College Preparatory failed to adhere to Delaware laws requiring Citizen Financial Oversight Committees. Delaware College Preparatory listed the names of their review committee and meeting dates, the first Tuesday of each month but fails to provide the public the time and locations of the meeting, meeting agendas and committee reports to the public and board. I must remind everyone to not confuse district / charter school finance committees with the required Citizen Financial Oversight Committee. The oversight committee reviews  the district / charter school finances ti ensure fiscal responsibly on the schools part. Since Red Clay School District is the charter approving and oversight authority I will file a complaint with Red Clay.

So consider this post a final review of Delaware College Preparatory charter school by the Delaware Public / Charter School Review, a group of concerned parents and community members.

Welcome to Delaware Public / Charter School Review

The time has come for the public to advocate and monitor traditional and charter schools to ensure they comply with transparency laws established by the Delaware State Legislators and to increase meaningful communication from our public / charter schools

This is a grassroots effort by concerned citizens to step up where government fails to provide effective oversight and enforcement of transparency laws established

Delaware Public / Charter School Review will visit each Delaware schools district, Vo-Tech school and charter school to review information provided on their website and report on those who fail to provide meaningful information such as timely schools board meeting agendas and minute, monthly financial reports required by the state and review of required Citizen Budget Oversight Committees reports and concerns. once reviewed concerns will be communicated to the school leaders and the Delaware Department of Education.

Please be patient as we establish ourselves

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