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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY )– A Wilmington charter school says it has the right number of students as it started its second year today. Last year, Douglass Academy only had about half of the enrollment required by state law.

Josiah Brown started his first day of school at Douglass Academy Tuesday. His parents specifically chose to put him in a charter school.

“We like the one-on-one intervention between the students and teachers,” Josiah’s dad Demetrisu Brown said.

Brown says it was the school uniforms and strict academic structure that drew them in.

“It’s just the best environment,” he said. “Nothing against the public schooling, but this was the best for our kid.”

Last year the school did not meet enrollment requirements. In March, Douglass Academy had 33 enrolled students, which is just about half of what the state requires.

“There was a building issue,” spokeswoman Sawyer Batten said. “There was a recruiting mailer that was returned and a few other things, renovations.”

Batten also said there is a misconception about charter schools.

“Many people aren’t sure if they are public,” she said. “What’s the difference? What can my student get here? What sets them apart?”

She says the numbers speak for themselves. They saw more than 80 students enroll for this school year.

“The more successes each year brings to our schools, that will speak for charter schools,” Batten said.

Brown says he just wants a solid education for his son.

“We feel that your foundation is what’s going to build him up for his future,” he said.

Batten says this year Douglass Academy added a third grade. Eventually she says they plan to expand to fifth grade.

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7 Comments on "Wilmington charter school meets enrollment requirements"

2015 years 10 months ago

I commend Mr. Brown for wanting the best for his and the communities students! As a former NHCS teacher I am glad Douglas Academy has enough students to operate because the early years count the most!! I have seen so much illegal practices in the NHCS you would be amazed! They need to have employees sign a waver sitting you will have to make unethical decisions or you will be terminated. So sad but true!!

2015 years 10 months ago

If your statement is true, then you are hurting every child in the county if you don’t come forward. I as a parent would love to know what illegal practices are going on at NHCS.

2015 years 10 months ago

I call a foul on your comment and question your teaching credentials. The number of grammar and spelling errors alone make me question if you are really a teacher or someone working for the charter school company in question. Beyond that, I have worked for NHCS as a teacher and have many friends at various schools in the county who are teachers. Not a single one of us has ever had to sign a waiver of any kind. In addition, career status protects us from unfair termination when refusing to do something unethical.
In regards to this school meeting their numbers, that remains to be seen. We are only on day two of school. After the 10th day, I hope WWAY will follow up with the true enrollment. They claimed to have the same numbers last year as well, and you see what happened there.
As a side note: not all charter schools are bad, many of them aren’t as regulated nor are they held to the same standards as public schools, despite what they claim.

NHCS employee
2015 years 10 months ago

I do apologize for my errors in my first post. I posted quickly due to my excitement over the article. Your challenge of my credentials is based on either the lack of understanding of my background or what’s happening in the system. Or both. The simple fact is this school system and state have gotten away with numerous violations of state and federal laws as evidenced by the high number of law suits. The system relies on the lack of parental/teacher knowledge in failing to follow or even intentionally ignoring the student’s IEP and or BIP. I repeatedly pointed this out to administration, HR and Dr. Markley. NHCS has created a hostile or unethical environment not only for myself but for many others who are student advocates, resulting in many leaving New Hanover to teach elsewhere or leaving the education field altogether.

Obviously Guest123455 you either worked for the school system or are Dr. Markley’s “sexretary.” You can question my credentials, my employment (never at the charter level) and if I ever was a teacher. While you make a good grammar police, your comprehension is lacking. I said they NEED to have employees sign a waiver for the unethical “unilateral” decisions that are made behind closed doors. I have seen many illegal practices in the schools and IEP meetings. I especially like the 10th day enrollment comment included in your response. Have you ever had a student arrive one day a week then miss two months and be told by your principal to “not make noise or call anyone because as long as he isn’t here causing trouble in the school who really cares?” Clearly, the advice from my supervisor was ignored and I called responsible parties and DSS (like I was trained to do while earning my degree and certification), located the student and found his mom (who was very sick) was unable to care for him. He was running the streets. The problems were addressed and the kid has now been adopted and is an honor roll student. In turn I not only received a written notice of not following orders but I had to sign off on a “warning slip” that was forwarded to human resources. As for career status, not all of us have taught long enough to obtain career status. If you read up on the probationary, interim or time certain employees you will find their contracts are renewed every year. If you “blow the whistle” on your principal and the district, well, who is there to back you up and guarantee employment after doing so? I could go on but clearly you should do some digging and consider administrative placement of failing students even after parental requests have been made to retain them, special education services not being implemented, misdirecting parents about the PSM process, and not following IEP’s and BIP’s before you respond. Then Guest123455, please feel free to speak about how credible I am.

I have spoken to the school board, the head of human resources in Raleigh, Dr. Markley, NHCS’s attorney and Mr. Holliday (Assistant Superintendent). Was largely greeted with a “We will look into the situation ” response or no response at all. There’s little incentive for them to rock the boat. The record number of lawsuits are the taxpayers responsibility and aren’t discussed publicly or covered by the press. None of these department heads will lose a dime, much less their job. They really don’t care. Feel free to advise me where to go from here.

2015 years 10 months ago

How about talking to WWAY and let them do an investigation.

Joe Tex
2015 years 10 months ago

The only thing ‘foul’ is your blind defense of NHCS and potentially illegal activities while focusing on minor grammatical mistakes while you miss the entire point of the post. This is not a particularly well run system, nor is it one that inspires great confidence in students or teachers. The system wastes tons of money – installing the new camera ‘security’ systems for the offices for example, or the fact that on the last day of school I some teachers were pulling brand new books/educational materials out of dumpsters – thrown away by other teachers or the administrators. No telling the 10,000s of dollars that were hauled off to the landfill. The administration is bloated and continues to grow increasing costs without corresponding improvements in classroom performance.

Focus on the majors.

2015 years 10 months ago

did you see the front page article on Brunswick county schools superintendent this past weekend in the Star News? He suspects that 60% to 70% of vouchers will/would go to Mitchell Bakers management company’s NOT THE CHARTER schools.
If I were a parent of a charter school kid I’d be up in arms about that.

Perhaps there should be an investigation of that?



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