The Ripple - Delaware Charter Schools Network
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June 2015 Issue - Parent Newsletter Delaware Charter Schools Network
www.DECHARTERNETWORK.org

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!

Kendall

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!



Parent Spotlight:
Anissa Morgan, Early College High School at DSU

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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.

 

Parent Stats:

Parent Name:

Anissa Morgan

Charter School Name:

Early College High School at Delaware State University

Children’s Age/Grade:

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


Upcoming Events


2015 IDEA Awards
October 9th, 5:30pm
Executive Banquet Center
Newark, DE

Nominate today!

IDEA AWARDS- 4th Annual & This year is the 20th Anniversary of our charter law too!!

Here at DCSN we LOVE to celebrate our schools! Just one night a year is simply not enough! Check out this IDEA Awards Corner for more information on the awards that we hand out, the amazing teachers, leaders, staff and parents who have been nominated in the past, and updates on how to nominate in 2015!

Why should I nominate someone for an IDEA Award?

Our charter school movement is made up of some seriously dedicated and hard-working people. Without these people-- these families, teachers, staff members, board members, legislators, students, and leaders--our movement would fall flat on its face. As charter schools, we are charged with the mission of improving the overall quality of the public school system by testing the waters for new ideas. These are experiences and ideas worth sharing-- in fact, we would venture to say that if we are quietly keeping our ideas to ourselves, we are not doing our job. We will start accepting nominations in the next few months, so NOW is the time to start thinking of people you know who are always doing something that works for kids. Then, when the time comes, share it! Nominate them! Pull their story out of their classroom and into the spotlight, so that others can see and be inspired!

 

Education Headlines

Lawmakers OK letting students skip standardized testing
The News Journal
After some of the fiercest fights of this session and bouncing back and forth between the houses of the General Assembly, it took the state Senate all of five minutes Thursday to approve a controversial bill that would allow parents to pull their kids out of the state standardized test.

Schools look to cut costs through energy efficiency
The News Journal
School districts are overhauling their campuses to make them “greener,” cheaper and more self-reliant. 

The charter movement
U.S. News and World Report
Opinion by Andrew Rotherham highlighting both the promise and challenges of charter schooling.

School Choice Works, Privatization Won't
Education Week
Commentary by our own Governor Jack Markell on the benefits of School Choice over Privatization in our school system.

 

Resource Spotlight

Summer Food Service Program

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The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.

SFSP


Family Education

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Family fun and education website with countless parenting resources for kids of all ages.

familyeducation.com


Parent Information Center

pic logo.pngA wealth of resources to assist parents in navigating the educational system with equal attention given to issues specific to children with disabilities.

PIC of Delaware

 

Del-One Partnership

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Jocn Del-One FCU today! As a part of the Delaware Charter School Network, you are now eligible to join Del-One. With nine branches throughout the state (and a 10th coming soon to Newark), plus online and mobile services, convenience is a priority at Del-One Federal Credit Union.

For more information, visit www.del-one.org or call 302-739-4496. Let us help to make your busy life easier at Del-One, the One Way to a Better Life.

 

Are you a leader at your school?

The Delaware Charter Schools Network is looking for dedicated, hard-working "Parent Captains" from each Delaware Charter School.This is a great opportunity to get your voice heard!

For more information, please contact Info@DECharterNetwork.org

 

Get Published!

Do you have a resource, news story, article or best practice that you have found particularly helpful? Do you know of a parent worthy of our coveted Parent Spotlight? Are you interested in writing a school choice or charter school editorial for our blog or for the newspaper?

Let us know! Your voice counts!

Info@DECharterNetwork.org

 

Want More?

Want to know more information about Delaware charter schools?

Follow DECharters.org -- a blog written for people like you by DCSN staff.

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Delaware Charter Schools Network
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Suite 308
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Phone: (302) 778-5999
eMail: info@decharternetwork.org

Visit our website at: DECHARTERNETWORK.org
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