The Ripple - Delaware Charter Schools Network
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October Issue - Parent Newsletter Delaware Charter Schools Network

Message from Kendall

Happy Fall Y'all!

How can you not be happy with all the beauty that nature is providing these days? I love this time of year - leaves changing, pumpkins & hay, the crisp autumn air, and of course the calm after the storm of putting an event together! This year's IDEA Awards were once again a phenomenal success, thanks to the students that performed, the team that worked so hard to put it together, and of course our entire community that told the stories of the 'planes that landed' and came out to celebrate together!

For those of you that missed this incredible evening of celebration (including honoring our 20 Year Charter School Champion - Senator Tom Carper)carper pic 2015.png, we have an amazing recap of the winners in our feature story this month. Over the next few months, we hope to spotlight as many of these incredible members of the charter village as we can. Their stories need to be shared so that we can change the conversation. As I mentioned in my remarks on October 9, I had the incredible opportunity to hear Joel Klein speak at the beginning of the month. One of the stories that he told was about a conversation that he had during his tenure with a NY Times reporter. He asked why the paper was only telling the stories about 8 failed schools out of 100 and not the incredible stories of the 92 that didn’t fail. The reporter responded that they don't report about planes that land. We need to change the message - we need to talk about the 'planes that land'! The IDEA Awards is an amazing opportunity to do just that.

That cannot be the only time though! We are asking every day: "What planes landed today?" We want to share the stories of our successes, but cannot do so without those of you on the ground helping! Please tell your stories and let us help get the word out so that everyone knows about the Planes That Landed!



PS - check out this cool video - love this song, especially since I believe that all of our charter community are Renegades! click here For those that were at the IDEA Awards, you will recognize the song, as it was played a good number of times that night!


Feature Story: What's the big IDEA?

Innovation. Dedication. Education. Admiration. These are the qualities we celebrated a few weeks ago at the IDEA Awards. It was a festive evening devoted only to shining light on the goodness of charter schools. And it was a SUCCESS! Spirits were high, the mood was right, and for at least one night Delaware's charter schools were on top of the world. And I haven't even mentioned the outstanding performances given by our very own charter students. Ten schools represented by more than 200 students demonstrated such unbelievable talent, the audience was awestruck. And then, of course, there were the awards...There were 70 nominations for awards in 8 categories, with Providence Creek Academy garnering the most at 17. Way to go PCA! (Should your school have had more? Well, I have great news... YOU have the power to make that happen. We will start accepting nominations for the 2016 awards in late spring. Watch for the notice then and tell us who you think deserves recognition.) In the end there were 18 award recipients, who are listed in the right-side margin, among a room full of charter school supporters who just enjoyed an entertaining, inspiring, and pride-inducing evening. Can't wait 'til next year! 

We are featuring a few of the winners in the Spotlights this month, and others in the months ahead so that you can meet these folks who are making a difference every day in our schools. This year the Cornerstone Award went to Henry Clampitt. Henry's children attended The Charter School of Wilmington where he served on the Parent Association for years, including two as Co-President. He then moved on to the Board, on which he has served for the past five years. He is an ardent supporter of school choice and charter schools and devotes so much of his own time and energy to advocating for students. He is undoubtedly deserving of this recognition. Please read on to learn more about him...


Parent Spotlight:
Henry Clampitt, The Charter School of Wilmington

clampitt.jpgWhy did you choose your school?

My sons chose CSW based on its reputation among their peers and also to be with their middle-school friends who applied to CSW, to be challenged in high-school, and to be at a “big” school campus with many available activities. I supported their choice, wanting them to have a positive high school experience, a solid exposure to the college-preparatory sciences, and to develop their individual potential in an academically-challenging environment.

What is your favorite thing about your school?

There are so many good things about the CSW. There are also many opportunities for improvement. But if I have to pick a favorite aspect, it is CSW’s sense of community among the students and among the parents. That sense of community is built by the classroom culture among students and teachers, and by the many ways in which the families reach out to each other in ever-evolving peer groups through the Parent Association, athletic/academic teams, clubs and more.

Are you involved as a volunteer at your school? In what roles?

I served two years as a Co-President of the Parent Association along with Yvonne Johnson, it was a great partnership and a priceless experience. I then served five years on the school board with an emphasis on governance, training, and charter-renewal. Shortly after I joined the board, our leader (Walt Warner) gave us generous advance notice of his plans to leave and I headed the search process for his replacement. In that process we engaged a wide swatch of our community and I had the pleasure and privilege of serving with Walt and with teachers, students, parents, and board members in the process. My wife Jane and I both served as judges at the Science Fair and as active boosters for the CSW-Cab wrestling team. Overall, I have been very involved as a volunteer.

How do you involve yourself in your child’s education and why is that important?

I’ve always tried to set an example for them about volunteer service and about willingness to learn new things and meet new people. I’ve typically volunteered for supporting the back-office functions (e.g., board, PTO, booster) even when I had to learn a role from scratch, so that the front-line adults in their educational lives (teachers and coaches) could have more freedom to do their jobs well. This is only one way to be involved and it works for me -- it allows more time for our family to be together while also fostering our children’s personal independence.

Why is it important for parents to have school choice?

Choice is one of the most important factors in the public education system. Choice compels the education system to be responsive to its consumers, and consumers make uniquely different individual choices. “One size does not fit all”, and in this digital age we expect ever-increasing freedom of choice. The challenge in public-education choice is to enable everyone to take advantage of the choices, to empower students to be part of those choices as they mature, and to structure the system over time so that choices match demand.

Should parents be more involved in the political process where education is concerned? Why?

Education politics is a challenging topic. I would say that parents should only get involved in educational politics if they can keep focused on the issues rather than on the people behind them. The political process is not for the faint of heart. But one political thing which everyone should do on occasion is to write to their school leaders and boards, and their legislators and Governor, when an issue concerns them or if they simply want to express appreciation.

What do parents need that would enable them to become more involved in the political process?

Be informed. Attend board meetings, and speak during the public comment period. Read editorials, write Letters to the Editor. Attend legislators’ town hall coffees. Volunteer for a task force or committee. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but even a little bit can teach you a lot about the politics of education and will help you to find a niche where you can make a difference.


Parent Stats:

Parent Name: Henry Clampitt

Charter School Name: The Charter School of Wilmington (CSW)

Student(s): Jeffrey and Peter (both are Class of 2012)

I love my charter school because…

The school has a positive and compelling culture of high expectations and motivated achievement, a great community of families, an outstanding staff of teachers and administrators, and a large-campus relationship with The Cab Calloway School of the Arts which benefits both schools and the district.

If I had a million dollars I would…

Well, let’s be clear that this would be “the million dollar windfall” I have been waiting for. When it arrives, I would like to use it to help endow a fund for the expansion of CSW so that more students could be enrolled and enjoy this excellent high school experience.


In the Community:

First Saturdays at Johnson Victrola Museum

A premier collection of its kind, displaying sound recording industry items dating from the 1890's through 1929. The museum honors Eldridge Reeves Johnson of Dover who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901.

Saturday November 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Johnson Victrola Museum, Dover
Click here for more information

RAL Annual Holiday Fair Fine Craft Show

The Rehoboth Art League is happy to bring back another year of Holiday fun with our 26th Annual Holiday Fair – Fine Craft Show. The 2015 Holiday Fair will feature over 30 artisans exhibiting and selling their work, including jewelry, glassworks, pottery, clay sculpture, painting, woodworking, mixed media, and decorative and wearable fiber creations. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth Beach
Click here for more information

Try Science

The family science career series where children (and grown-ups!) can "Try On" science! Each month we will conduct fun experiments, examine live organisms up close, and learn all about different science careers in an interactive laboratory designed to inspire children of all ages to become confident science learners.

Saturday, November 14, 2015, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Delaware Children's Museum, Wilmington
Click here for more information


Did you know?

The SAT is all new for 2016! To help students prepare, the College Board and Khan Academy have partnered to create an online tool. The Official SAT Practice through the Khan Academy will be available to all students FOR FREE. For further details visit:

Upcoming Events


Public School Choice Expo
December 5, 2015; 10am - 2pm
Hercules Building
1313 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Stay tuned for more information...




Charles S. McDowell, Esquire, EastSide Charter School


Henry Clampitt, The Charter School of Wilmington


Caroline Dowd, Providence Creek Academy

Johnny Means, Delaware Military Academy

Jagger Peck, Gateway Lab School

Eric Long, The Charter School of Wilmington

Hannah Cote, Campus Community Charter School


Ed Emmett, Positive Outcomes Charter School

Sally Maldonado, Kuumba Academy


Denise Parks & Kathryn Standish, Odyssey Charter School


Elementary School

Kristen Egan, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy

Middle School

Kelly Hanson, Providence Creek Academy

High School

Robert Lingenfelter, Delaware Military Academy


Elementary School

Trina Willey, Providence Creek Academy

Middle School

Great Oaks Charter School Wilmington Founding Tutor Corps, GOCS-W

High School

Cathie Kennedy, The Charter School of Wilmington


Kuumba Academy; Sally Maldonado, School Leader; Joan Coker, Board President

Newark Charter School; Greg Meece, School Leader; Stephen Dressel, Board President


Senator Brian Bushweller

Representative Joseph Miro


Senator Tom Carper

Senator Chris Coons

Congressman John Carney


Education Headlines

Senate approves new education secretary - News Journal

The Delaware Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve Gov. Jack Markell's nomination of Steven Godowsky for Secretary of Education on Wednesday, but only after its members made clear they expect him to be more approachable than his predecessor, Mark Murphy.

New funding model a priority in state education reform efforts - Delaware Public Media

The Vision Coalition's new Student Success 2025 plan is a multi-tiered approach that looks at things like personalizing learning for more students and improving career prep. And perhaps above all, it calls for an upgrade of Delaware's decades-old education funding model.

How early education can close the gender gap in STEM - Fortune

By 2020, in the U.S. alone, there will be 1.2 million jobs requiring computer-related skills. This should offer amazing opportunities for people in computer science and with other relevant skills, regardless of gender.

Resource Spotlight

NGAkids Art Zone

ngakids art zone.pngThis site will get your child's left brain working! The NGAkids Art Zone is part of the National Gallery of Art and offers an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history through fun games for all ages. 

NGAkids Art Zone 

Delaware Kids Directory

delaware kids directory.jpgThe Delaware Kids' Directory is a free resource guide parents can use month after month to find great products and services for their family. If you're looking for dance lessons, karate class, tutoring, counseling, family events-- you'll find it in this guide. We have partnered with Christine at the Kids Directory for our Charter School Expo and we use their Directory every month when we write the "In the Community" section of this newsletter. You can pick up your free copy each month at our office, or read it on their website.

Delaware Kids Directory

Parent Information Center of Delaware (PIC)

pic logo.pngEstablished in 1983, PIC of Delaware is a state-wide non-profit organization with a mission to advance effective parent engagement in education. They deliver important information, education, and advocacy to help parents and caregivers with diverse needs understand public education policies and program options. PIC empowers parents to become their child's best lifelong advocate!

PIC Calendar 


Del-One Partnership


Join 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 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


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!


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