Openings in Delaware charter schools for 2014-2015

Many of you may have read our school highlights leading up to School Choice Application Deadline Day on January 8th of this year. Some parents have called in to our office asking if they can still apply to charter schools after January 8th. The answer is yes! You can apply to any charter school after the deadline! But the question is, are there seats available in that school? If you apply to a school that does not have enough seats available, your child will be given a number at the end of the waitlist—depending on how many children are on the wait-list, your child may or may not be accepted. But some of our schools still have open seats! Below you’ll find a list of the charter schools that still have openings. Apply as soon as possible in order to take advantage of these open seats!


Kuumba Academy is currently a K-6 school in Wilmington, and will be adding grades 7 and 8 starting next school year. Kuumba, meaning creativity, is one of the seven principles of Nguzo Saba (African Heritage). Students at Kuumba are taught to follow these seven principles (Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith). As the school’s name would suggest, Kuumba utilizes the arts as a tool for academic learning and supports multicultural school experiences. In addition to integrating arts in their academic classes, students take drama, dance, visual art, Spanish, world percussion, and physical education.  Kuumba has recently adopted the project-based learning curriculum Expeditionary Learning, where students complete expeditions that connect all of the core content areas. The curriculum encourages student-driven lessons and community culture building. In 2013, Kuumba began their expansion into middle school with their first 6th grade class. They will open with a 7th grade for 2014-2015 and 8th grade for 2015-2016. Kuumba is also slated to move into the Community Education Building on French St in the Fall of 2014. Check out their website hereOPENINGS: 1st grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade


Sussex Academy is currently a 6-9 school in Georgetown, but is growing to be a 6 – 12 school. Sussex Academy’s mission is to prepare students for future academic success by providing an accelerated, supportive academic environment within a small school setting. Sussex Academy is currently the only charter school in Sussex County. Sussex utilizes a project-based curriculum called Expeditionary Learning where students set out on expeditions to discover their own learning. The expeditions tie all of the students’ subjects together into one linked learning experience. Previously Sussex served grades 6-8, but this school year began its expansion into high school with its first 9thgrade class. The school will add 10th grade for 2014-2015 and then continue to add one grade per year until their high school is complete. For more information, visit the school website. OPENINGS: 9th grade, 10th grade


Delaware Design-Lab is a high school opening for the 2014-2015 school year in Wilmington. The Design-Lab mission is “to delight students with education beyond imagination in the most innovative school on the planet.” The school works within their own Science Technology Engineering Media and Design (STEMD™) curriculum. Students interact with Design Learning practices that encourage communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The school aims to help encourage innovation and creativity in their students in order to improve their leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills. The school will open with grades 9 and 10 in the fall of this year and then add a grade each year until 12th grade.   Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 9th grade and 10th grade


Delaware Met is a new high school opening in Wilmington in the fall of 2014. Delaware Met offers the Big Picture Learning model in which students take ownership of their learning and build partnerships based on real world work and connections. There are currently 60 Big Picture Learning schools nationwide. Students are encouraged to develop self-confidence and create their own success through a personalized learning environment and purposeful internships of their choice with the support of advisors and community partners. The school will open with grades 9 and 10 in the fall and then expand one grade each year until their high school is complete. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 9th grade and 10th grade

First State Montessori Academy (FSMA) is a K-6 school opening in downtown Wilmington in the fall of 2014.  The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori one hundred years ago. She developed the curriculum while working with impoverished children. The project-based method, which has been proven to work in cultures all over the world among very diverse populations of students, teaches children how to learn. Specifically, teaching methods are based on research of what makes learning attractive and effective for children and how this changes as children develop. There are 5,000 accredited Montessori schools in the U.S. including 300 public schools. The FSMA program features multi-age classrooms, hands-on learning, freedom within limits, individualized attention for each child, an environment that fosters creativity, and an emphasis on “Grace and Courtesy,” meant to encourage peaceful learning and a respectful community. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade

Positive Outcomes Charter School is a 7-12 school in Camden. The school was founded 18 years ago by a group of educators and physicians who recognized a need for a school setting that was better suited to children struggling with mental health issues. The school’s mission is to provide an opportunity for children to learn in a safe, caring and respectful environment, where their individuality is valued and their individual needs are addressed. Students are taught to become self-reliant citizens and lifelong learners who contribute with integrity within their community. Positive Outcomes utilizes a Learning Through Interest (LTI) program featuring Real World Learning (RWL).  This teaching method is based on gaining relevant skills and knowledge from hands-on experience related to what interests the student. Positive Outcomes is a Big Picture Model school which utilizes internships in the local community and adult mentors to enhance the students’ classroom learning.   Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 7th grade, 8th grade

The Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security (DAPSS) is a 9-12 school in New Castle. The school’s mission is to provide a setting for students to graduate high school prepared for college or career by focusing on careers and skills in the first responder field. Students or “cadets” gain a strong academic foundation for college and careers in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medicine, and other public safety fields.  They are mentored by safety and security professionals and are held to high standards for academic performance and physical fitness. DAPSS exercises a set of core values: Fidelity to others, Diligence to succeed, and Scholarship in the classroom.  Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade

Academia Antonia Alonso is a K-5 school opening with just K – 1 in Wilmington in the fall of 2014. The school will be the first dual language Expeditionary Learning elementary school in Delaware. La Academia will have a focus on nurturing bilingual, bi-literate and multicultural children, and instruction will be given equally in English and Spanish.  Students will learn to think critically and take action in their classrooms and communities through project-based learning and by working through “real life” situations like serving a need in their community or planning their career track. The school will add a grade level every year, to grow to K-5 by 2018. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: Kindergarten, 1st grade

EastSide Charter School is a Pre K-8 school in Wilmington. The mission of EastSide Charter School is to educate children in a safe, caring and nurturing environment so that they can excel academically and socially. EastSide focuses on helping students master content standards and meet social expectations by fostering understanding and providing adequate time and appropriate support. Students are viewed as individuals and every effort is made to accommodate each child’s unique gifts and talents. Student achievement at EastSide has increased by double digits each year since 2011. More about EastSide’s growth here and information on the school website here.  OPENINGS: Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten


Early College High School opens in the fall of 2014 at Delaware State University (DSU) in Dover. The early college model is proven to support under-represented students: 77 percent of students are minorities and 57 percent are from low-income families. Ninety-five percent of students continue on to higher education. Students can earn up to two years of transferrable college credits. Students will start completing their high school work, and as they move through grades they will start taking classes at Delaware State University. By the time students graduate, they will be predominantly working with college coursework. The model is flexible and can be adjusted to meet student needs. The curriculum will be STEM-based and offer three career paths — agribusiness, forensic biology and community health. More information can be found on the school website here. OPENINGS: 9th grade

MOT Charter School is currently a K-8 school in Middletown and will be adding grades 9 – 12 starting with 9th grade in the Fall of 2014. At MOT, parents are encouraged to partner with staff and administration, and are welcomed into the school. The goal at MOT is to prepare students to be creative, intuitive, and analytical thinkers and the curriculum is designed to emphasize problem solving. The school offers a small school setting with fixed class sizes of 25 students. In addition to the emphasis on parental involvement, character development, and personal responsibility form the basis for learning at MOT, and students are empowered and expected to be accountable for their own learning. When MOT expands in 2014, the 9th graders will be the first class in their new arts and sciences high school (modeled after the partnership between Cab Calloway School of the Arts and the Charter School of Wilmington). They will add a grade each year until they have filled 12th grade. The high school is slated to move to a new building in the fall of 2015. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 9th grade


Prestige Academy is a 5-8 school for boys in Wilmington. Prestige is highly structured and practices a set of “REAL” core values: Respect and Responsibility, Excellence in Behavior, Academic Mastery, and Leadership through Service. Students wear uniforms, participate in community service, and benefit from a strong, no-excuses character education through which they are taught how to be Prestige Men. The school draws a largely low-income student population, yet 2013 graduates outperformed DCAS state averages in both reading and math, scoring 76% proficiency in both subjects. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade


UPDATE: These schools have openings for 2014-2015 as well--


The Academy of Dover (AOD) is a K-5 school in Dover. AOD specializes in Individualized Learning Plans—a teaching method that focuses on the unique learning needs of individual students. Individualized Learning is a growing nationwide trend that takes into consideration a student's strengths and weaknesses. The particular mission of the Academy of Dover Charter School is to serve as a community pillar for life-long learning, pride and self-actualization. The school aims to combine the beneficial rigors of a classical education with the latest technology and the best teaching and learning practices worldwide. The adult-to-student ratio at AOD is 10-to-1 and the average class size is 19 students. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade


Gateway Lab School in Wilmington serves students in grades 3-8. The school’s mission is to provide an extraordinary educational opportunity for children who are struggling to achieve academic success in a traditional school environment. Gateway uses research-based intervention strategies and a highly tailored, arts-based learning environment to identify and capitalize on a student's strengths and interests. The school operates according to the philosophy that children who struggle academically in a traditional classroom can flourish in an environment that combines multi-sensory instruction, integrated arts and learning by doing (experiential learning). The school also recognizes organization and social skills as key components of educating academically challenged populations. Learn more on the school website. OPENINGS: 3rd grade, 4th grade, 7th grade


Campus Community School (CCS) is a K-8 school in Dover. CCS uses a teaching approach called “constructivism,” based on the Choice Theory that all actions are driven by basic needs.  In a school setting, this translates to an emphasis on students’ interest in what they are learning and an affinity for how they are learning it. It requires a high level of engagement from students, parents and teachers. Specifically, teachers plan thematic lessons demonstrating the relationships across all subject areas. Teachers use interesting projects to teach the curriculum and the focus is not driven by textbooks, but rather by technology, manipulatives, research materials, individual reading books, and hands-on learning. More information can be found on the school website here. OPENINGS: Kindergarten, 3rd grade, 8th grade