Understanding Francine Delany

What is a charter school?

A charter school is an independent public school. Francine Delany New School for Children (FDNSC) became a charter school in 1997. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction sponsors FDNSC’s operating contract.

As a charter school, FDNSC has the ability to hire and dismiss, contract for outside services, define its own educational philosophy and curriculum, and control its own finances. Charter schools are held accountable by the state; in order to stay in operation, they must meet the terms of their respective charters. 

Charter schools may not charge tuition.  They receive the same per-pupil money allotment from the state as other schools in their district.  They must maintain a racial balance that reflects the racial makeup of the local school district. 

Charter schools focus on results, permit true decentralization, offer new professional opportunities for teachers, and provide for a more market-driven educational system.

What is FDNSC’s philosophy?

“Francine Delany is a school I truly believe in—where the community works for the individual, and the individual learns to work for the community. 

Our emphasis is on academic development and social justice.

It’s a model of public education that really works.”

  • We believe that students learn best when they are actively engaged in an experientially rich, hands-on program of study.

  • We strive to create a learning community that includes students, teachers, parents, and community all working in partnership. Our classrooms serve as working models of this learning community. 

  • We challenge students to develop critical thinking skills and reach ambitious academic goals while developing self-respect and respect for others. 

  • We value curiosity and creativity.

  • We believe that teachers function as guides and partners. 

  • We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, disability, or religion.

How is FDNSC governed?

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FDNSC has
three main bodies that govern the operation of the school.

1.      
The Directorate is responsible for discussing
school issues and maintaining the vision laid out by the FDNSC charter. It
consists of FDNSC teachers and founding teachers. Its responsibilities include:

·        
ensuring
that the school conforms to state and federal laws,

·        
making
curriculum decisions,

·        
managing
the budget,

·        
overseeing
the admissions process,

·        
managing
faculty and staff,

·        
disciplining
students as outlined in our Safe School Plan, and

·        
carrying out the philosophy of the school in
instruction.

2.      
The Executive Council is the
administrative and operating body of the school responsible for the day-to-day
management.  It consists of Buffy Fowler,
Helping Teacher-Operations Coordinator; Ted Duncan, Helping Teacher-Outreach
Coordinator; Debbie Newton, Professional Development Coordinator; Elana
Froehlich, Title I teacher; and Melissa Murphy, classroom teacher representative.
Its responsibilities include:

·        
making
final decisions with teacher input/recommendation (that cannot be decided by
the Directorate; finalizing details/policies/proposals with teacher input,

·        
handling
emergency time sensitive decisions that need action before the next
Directorate,

·        
acting
as board and Directorate members, and

·        
ensuring
that philosophy and theory of the school is followed as written in the charter.

3.     The Board of Directors is the governing body of the school and safeguards its existence, values, and philosophy as stated in our charter.  The Board has nine members: four teachers employed by the school, three parents of children attending the school, and two members from the community.  The Board meets monthly at 5:30 p.m. at the school.  All meetings
are open to the public, and we encourage parents to attend. The meeting
dates for each school year are set at the first Board meeting. For
information on Board meeting dates, please call the office.

  • establishes policies,

  • approves personnel,

  • oversees the budget, and

  • ensures that all of the school’s affairs are consistent with state and federal laws.

Anyone interested in serving on the board should contact a Directorate or Board member. For a listing of current Board members, please refer to www.fdnsc.net.

What is the volunteer requirement for parents?

Because we believe parents play an important role in our learning community, we ask that you volunteer ten hours per semester. You can fulfill this volunteer time by driving on field trips, helping out in the classroom, lending a hand at the health fair, etc. Contact your child’s teacher for other volunteer opportunities.

Please be sure to record your volunteer hours in the log book in the office. We use this log to gauge the level of parent involvement; plus, this log is very useful when we apply for grants and donations.

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When volunteering on campus, you may learn about
students’ strengths, needs, and tendencies. 
In order to provide a safe and caring environment, we ask that
volunteers maintain a high level of confidentiality.  Please do not share information you learn
about children while volunteering with anyone but the child’s classroom
teacher.