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Edison Learning, Inc., facing competition for management next year

After four years of being the main educational consulting service of Andrew H. Wilson Charter School, Edison Learning, Inc. may be replaced.

Broadmoor Charter School Board members at their Oct. 25 meeting said they are exploring hiring another company once the school’s contract with Edison Learning Inc. expires next year. Wilson is the only school that’s governed by the Broadmoor board.

Edison was crucial in helping open Wilson in 2007, by providing educational development services and support, board Chairwoman Latoya Cantrell said.

Cantrell said after the meeting that the school has paid Edison $300,000.

Board members have set a deadline of Dec. 30 to consider alternatives to their partnership with Edison and to figure out how much other companies will charge for similar educational services. Principal Logan Crowe is tasked with making a formal recommendation.

In other business, board members voted to pay teachers for their remaining personal days, rather than allow them to carry unused days from one school year to the next. The school will pay teachers half their normal pay for any days they’ve accrued over 10, with an expected total cost of $27,567.

The school’s new policy will allow teachers to carry over only 10 days of unused personal time from one year to the next. Teachers earn one personal day a month.

 Forty-two teachers at the school have accured more than 10 days – the most being 47 days for one employee. Board members said paying out the remaining days was a fair compromise, rather than teachers using their extra days to take off long periods of time.

Employees will be sent letters about the new policy and how many personal days they
have accrued.

On the academic front, Crowe gave his report on the first grade, saying almost 73 percent of first-graders had been kindergarten students at the school. Of the 51 returning students, 41 are on on grade level, which he said proves a Wilson education is working. Of the 19 new first graders who came to Wilson, seven are at benchmark.

Katchia Gethers, with Edison Learning Inc., gave a report about what Edison is doing to support the staff.

Edison will host a professional-development day for teachers focusing on helping them better assess student skills. Edison will also send in math and literacy specialists and implement a more rigorous special-education program.

In related business, Crowe said the Southern Law Poverty Center has requested documents from Wilson in regards to its special education program. The school has complied and is awaiting a response. The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against the Recovery School District, alleging that charter schools are not properly serving special-education students. Crowe said he does not believe the school has violated any regulations.

In financial business, Operations Manager Darius Munchak saved the school more than $110,000 over the next school year by adjusting or getting rid of non-essential items. The biggest cost savings came from tweaking waste and transportation contracts. Munchak will also be looking into working with the Regional Transit Authority to get middle-school students public bus passes.

The next meeting will be held on Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

 

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