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Charter School Accountability Committee recommends conditions on Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security's charter

Secretary Bunting to make decision at March 15 State Board of Education meeting following public comment period

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 - The Delaware Department of Education's Charter School Accountability Committee today recommended four conditions that Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security (DAPSS) must meet to retain its charter for next academic year due to academic, organizational and financial problems at the New Castle school.

A public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 9 at the Collette Building, 35 Commerce Way, Dover. Public comment will be accepted through March 9. After reviewing the full record, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting will present her decision regarding the school’s future to the State Board of Education for its assent at the State Board’s March 15 meeting.

DAPSS was placed on formal review by the Department of Education with the assent of the State Board of Education on January 19.

At today’s meeting, the Charter School Accountability Committee recommended DAPSS be allowed to retain its charter through the 2018-19 school year as it forms a partnership with the Colonial School District and Las Americas Aspiras Academy charter school if it meets the following four conditions:

  • Enrollment of at least 200 students for the 2018-19 school year by May 1, 2018
  • An instructional leader in place by July 1, 2018
  • Application and required supporting documentation submitted to the department for approval to use Colonial’s educator evaluation system by March 29, 2018
  • Certified and licensed staff on board for all core content areas by August 1, 2018 or a plan for how Colonial and Aspira will provide support for such staffing for any positions not filled

Should Secretary Bunting and the State Board follow the committee's recommendation and the school meets the conditions, the school would remain open for the 2018-19 school year. If the Secretary of Education and State Board do not follow the committee’s recommendation or should the school not meet the conditions, the state would assist the school’s more than 150 underclassmen and their families in transitioning to other schools next year. The children may return to the district schools in their home feeder patterns or choice into another district or charter school that is accepting students.

Find more information about the formal review -- including the committee’s initial report, transcript of the first public hearing, and the school’s response to the initial report -- here.

About Formal Review

The purpose of the formal review process is to see if a school is violating the terms of its charter. It is an investigative tool to see if remedial measures are needed.

Formal review can be prompted by internal concerns, such as questions about finances, or external concerns, such as tips or complaints from the public. Before recommending formal review, charter office staff typically will meet informally with school leadership to present issues and give the school a chance to respond. After the Department of Education and Secretary of Education determine that the school should be placed on formal review, the State Board of Education must vote its assent to that action.

Once a school is placed on formal review, the Charter School Accountability Committee convenes. It has 90 days to complete its process. The committee, formed by the Secretary of Education, includes voting members who are Delaware Department of Education staff and a community member as well as ex-officio members, such as representatives from the Delaware Charter School Network and the State Board of Education.