Residents of the Pike Creek area have the opportunity to meet with members of the Board of Directors of the proposed Pike Creek Charter School this Tuesday evening, May 21, at 7 p.m. The gathering will be held at the future site of the middle school, at 4905 Mermaid Blvd. in Pike Creek. The facility currently houses the Delaware Swim and Fitness Center.
Spokeswoman Melissa Whitehead said board members are prepared to update the community on where the proposal stands with the State Board of Education. "After the presentation, the public may ask questions of individual board members regarding the future middle school. The proposal has already received several layers of approval, and this is another vital step in the process, she said.
State Representative Mike Ramone said he believes in the state of Delaware's approval process for charter schools as it now stands. "If the board members perform their due diligence, and if and when the final approval is granted, then I believe the new charter school will have a greater chance to be successful," he said. Ramone added that he feels this type of school is needed in this area.
According to the State of Delaware website: "Charter Schools are authorized by Del. C., Title 14, Chapter 5 which was enacted in 1995. The creation of the charter school legislation is intended to improve student learning; encourage the use of different and innovative or proven school environments and teaching and learning methods; provide parents and students with improved measures of school performance and greater opportunities in choosing public schools within and outside their school districts; and to provide for a well-educated community."
Pike Creek Charter will be a tuition free charter school that serves middle school students in grades 6-8. Whitehead said the school's mission and vision will focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle for children, "The mission was derived from Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. Our focus is based on research that proves physical activity fosters and conditions the brain for learning."
During the first year of operation, the school plans to educate about 245 students in grades 6 and 7.In the second year, the plan is to add eighth graders and boost enrollment to about 320 students.
Literature for the proposed school states: "The mission of Pike Creek Charter Middle School is to promote pre-adolescent student achievement through rigorous academic instruction while incorporating wellness and fitness strategies. Through the utilization of the mission, the school's vision is to ensure students are prepared to succeed in the most prestigious academic setting, and are well prepared to lead a healthy and physically active lifestyle."
Page 2 of 2 - Final approval may be decided on June 20th. Once that takes place, more planning and fundraising for the charter school will commence. Board members are hoping to open the new Pike Creek Charter School in the fall of 2014.