Changes planned for school

March 24, 2006|By ANICA BUTLER | ANICA BUTLER,SUN REPORTER

Anne Arundel County school officials plan to close a beleaguered charter school for a day next week as they reassign three teachers and reshuffle students.

The action comes amid a school-system investigation into the management of Chesapeake Science Point Charter School, and three weeks after the school's director, Jon Omural - who lacks state certification to be a principal - was replaced by a retired county school principal.

Chesapeake Science Point will close Monday and reopen Tuesday, school officials said yesterday. A letter announcing the change was to be sent home to parents today.

Interim Deputy Superintendent Kenneth Nichols said closing the school for a full day will give three new teachers time for planning with the other teachers, and will give the school an opportunity to redistribute students among the teachers.

The school has nine teachers and 103 students; the three teachers being reassigned will swap jobs with three teachers at Lindale Middle School and Northeast High School.

The investigation at Chesapeake Science Point, one of two charters that opened last fall, began when some teachers filed a grievance with the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, accusing Omural of treating them improperly.

But as school officials began looking into the personnel matter, management and administrative problems were uncovered, Nichols said.

Omural has said that school system officials told him that he is not allowed to comment on the investigation because he is an employee.

Charter schools receive public funds but determine their own curricula and schedule.

Nichols said the final report on the investigation may be completed as early as today, and that the report will be given to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education and the board of Chesapeake Science Point.

"We will assess it ... and make decisions beyond the personnel matters," Nichols said.

Chesapeake Science Point, a math, science and technology-based school in Hanover, is one of the county's two charters. Anne Arundel's other charter school is run by KIPP, or Knowledge is Power Program, a San Francisco-based organization.

anica.butler@baltsun.com

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