Message from Kendall
So last year at this time, we were singing Summertime, summertime by The Jamies. This year, though, I can’t seem to stop going back to this year’s theme song.
It is June 30, 2015, and it is the last day of Legislative Session and I am sitting in the cafeteria at Legislative Hall. I very much wish that I could be saying that our job was done for now – but it isn’t and we still Need Your Help!
I found this note from last year’s June Ripple and the information is still important and fits the times for today.
Advocacy by definition is public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Advocacy is the number one reason for the Delaware Charter Schools Network to exist. Charter schools as you (may or may not) know are controversial. We are challenging the status quo in public education. So that usually ends up with the status quo pushing back on us! Because of this we have to advocate on your behalf by talking to legislators and other Delaware stakeholders so that they allow you to continue to have this great opportunity for kids! BUT we at the network can't do it all alone. Charter teachers and parents are the ones that are most directly in contact with our kids and would be the ones most directly affected (obviously besides the kids) if anything changed or happened to our schools. So we have worked very hard to start two very critical networks - a Teacher Network and a Parent Network. While these networks are not just for advocacy, they are, we believe, a great way for us to help you all have your voice heard!
But you do not have to be part of either network to advocate for our schools! This year we added a very easy way for you to reach your legislators and have your voices heard! If you haven’t seen our Voter Voice page, please check it out now: DCSN Action Center. AND if you have a moment now, please check out the Action Alert – we need your voices to be heard TONIGHT!
Of course, advocacy is more than just one night, so if you want to be an advocate for your child(ren) or for your schools, it's as easy as making a call, writing an email or letter, or talking to your friends over coffee. Want some help or guidance on how to do that? Give us a shout - we are always here for you!
Have a Sunny, Summer Day! And don’t forget to Shake It Off, Shake It Off!
We're off and running...
Here we are, the last day of the legislative session and as predicted it has been a lively session. In the past few weeks we have been focused on some legislation pending in the House that could negatively impact charter schools. We needed quick action by charter school supporters (i.e. YOU!), so we activated our new outreach tool called Voter Voice, which allows us to alert you and provides you a quick and easy way to email your legislators. No more looking up who your legislator is, no more searching for his/her email address, no more staring at your screen debating what exactly you should say. It's all taken care of and all you have to do is enter some information about yourself and hit SEND. Hopefully, you received the alerts and know what I'm talking about. It really is very simple. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY, you still have a chance to take action! I urge you to go to our website's Action Center now (click here), read the Alert and follow the instructions.
Your response to our action campaigns was awesome! Since May, you all sent over 600 emails to nearly 60 legislators. That's huge! Your voice was heard and caught the attention of lots of people. We got positive feedback from multiple legislators after receiving your messages. The best part is that we now have hundreds of advocates registered in our Voter Voice database whom we know will respond when there is a need for action. Here's a big THANK YOU to them!
Growing that number is the key to success for our grassroots advocacy. If 600 turned some heads, just think what 800 could do. What about 1000? 2000? These numbers may seem out of reach, but they are achievable. We just need to get our message out to everyone in the charter movement. We look forward to working with you in the coming months to do just that.
Have a great summer!
Anissa Morgan, Early College High School at DSU
How long have your children been in charter schools?
Our youngest son has attended a charter school since he was in Kindergarten and our oldest child is in college, and started in a Charter from 2nd grade to 8th grade.
Why did you choose your school?
My husband and I chose Early College High School at Delaware State University because of the specialized interest of taking college courses to help align our child with his career goal and get him acclimated with the challenges and rewards of a college environment prior to starting college would be beneficial to our child’s learning style. Also, with the option of earning up to 60 transferable college credits and tuition free while in high school is a fantastic opportunity, one that we wish were available when we were in high school.
What is your favorite thing about your school?
Our favorite thing about ECHS @ DSU is the constant efforts from the leaders, administrators, board members, and teachers to ensure that our students are getting a proper education. ECHS @ DSU has a unique quality for our son’s access to utilize College Blackboard to assist him with learning and structuring homework formats with online assignments which I find eco-friendly because we no longer have to worry about paper assignments when it is all online. The teachers are exceptionally responsive with following-up regarding my child’s progress. Also, the first year of ECHS @ DSU students are awesome.
Are you involved as a volunteer at your school? In what roles?
Yes, I am involved as a Parent Volunteer for ECHS and PTSA events, Fundraising, Delaware Charter Network Parent Captain Committee, and I attended ECHS board meetings.
How do you involve yourself in your child’s education and why is that important?
We involve ourselves in our child’s education by improving his study habits; we communicate with his teachers and address concerns/accomplishments with our child. We constantly motivate, improve his structured and organized environment so our child can maintain an organized environment at school. We reiterate the importance of reinforced positive behavior and consequences for bad behavior. Keeping our child active with extracurricular activities, mentors and tutors have also assisted with our son’s education. It has been our experience that getting involved has benefited our son’s future success by strengthening the student/teacher relationship and student/parent/teacher relationship which will be necessary in life for strong relationship building. As parents we know our children’s strengths and weaknesses and we can assist our children by balancing their intellectual, emotional, social, positive values, and enhancing our children’s multidimensional talents.
Should parents be more involved in the political process where education is concerned? Why?
Yes, parents should be more involved in the political process where education is concerned because we understand what is best for our children. Parent involvement signals we care about our children’s education. We can express the importance of why Charter schools are necessary, address challenges that Charter schools face with possible reduction in funding and how this will impact our students, teacher, parents and our Charter schools existence. Our voice can make a difference with our politicians.
What is it that motivated you to get involved?
What motivates us to get involved with our child’s education is simple, failure is not an option. As parents we experienced our own struggles and by leading by example we can ensure that our son receives a great education. We believe that if he works smart to identify his areas of interest while in high school/college he will enjoy his career field of choice.
Charter School Name:
Early College High School at Delaware State University
Son is 15 years old in 10th grade
I love my charter school because... Early College High School at Delaware State University offers great educational opportunities for our child, by being the 1st high school/college in Delaware. Also, the lower student to teacher ratio provides our son with one-on-one time with teachers, and ensures that our child is receiving the necessary assistance needed for his educational success.
If I had a million dollars I would... donate to Early College High School at Delaware State University the necessary resources for funding school operations, providing existing teachers with competitive compensation, provide school with budget increases to hire and fully staff all departments, provide educational equipment, supplies, school activities, trips, sports, and etc. Also, I would invest in the Charter School movement by developing a strategic results planning process system to improve current processes and to build new Charter Schools.
In the Community:
1st Annual Antique Fire Truck Show
Antique Fire Trucks displayed on the museum grounds as well as free admission to all museums in Georgetown this day
Saturday, July 11, 2015, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Nutter D. Marvel Carriage Museum, Georgetown, DE
Click here for more information
Open Cockpit Day
Open Aircraft Day provides the public full access to many of the museum's aircraft and if weather permits and tour guides are available. Tour guides are stationed in the open aircraft to describe the history of the planes and their missions. They are often retired crew members of these airplanes so their descriptions are from personal experience and bring the aircraft to life for visitors.
Saturday, July 18, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Dover AFB, Dover, DE
Click here for more information
The Art of the Brick LEGO Exhibit
Art and science collide in this unforgettable display of LEGO brick masterpieces! More than 70 one-of-a-kind LEGO toy sculptures by contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya.
Daily through September 6, 2015, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Click here for more information