In its first public update since being placed on a yearlong probation, Frederick Classical Charter School shared an outline of the county’s plan to restore trust in the school’s governing body on Wednesday.
Nkechi Ileka-Adeoye, FCCS’ board of trustees president, sent a community-wide email detailing the Board of Education’s requirements for moving her school off probation. She wrote she was “very confident that these concerns will be addressed to move FCCS forward in a positive direction.”
The “strategic plan” for FCCS — a blueprint provided by the county with “room for negotiation,” according to FCPS’ charter school Director Daniel Lippy, mandates its board members update their bylaws, survey the school community about its past experiences and participate in annual diversity training.
It also requires the school to provide monthly financial updates to the Board of Education throughout the next fiscal year and cooperate with an internal audit of its per-pupil spending.
At the June meeting where the Board of Education voted to place FCCS on probation, several parents expressed concern about the school governing board’s spending on lawyers to review its bylaws and aid in property searches.
Board member Brad Young had written in a November letter to the school that it relied “heavily on a litigious approach to conducting business through the use of nondisclosure agreements and threats of litigation instead of working in a transparent collaborative fashion that builds institutional and public trust.”
The crux of the community’s complaints about the school centered on a lack of trust in its governing system. That’s started to improve since the newly elected board began work on July 1, said Lippy, who is overseeing the probation on FCPS’ end.
“I sincerely appreciate the transparency of the public release of the plan,” Lippy said of Ileka-Adeoye’s email. “The FCCS community can be confident that we’re working together to make things happen.”
Under the terms of FCCS’ probation, the school is required to submit quarterly updates to the Board of Education. The first of those is slated for October, Lippy said.