Delaware Academy Of Public Safety Has Abruptly Closed Leaving Students Scrambling

In a letter posted on their website the Delaware Academy Of Public Safety announced that they would be closing their doors as of today.

“Dear DAPSS Cadets, Families and Faculty,

It is with deep regret that we announce that the board of directors of the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security voted today to close the school immediately, effective Sept. 25, 2018.

Today was the last day of school for our students. This was not a decision we made lightly. Indeed, we understand that this sudden closure will undoubtedly cause stress on you and your families. We can only apologize and try to explain why we are making this choice at this time.

As many of you know, DAPSS struggled last year to meet enrollment minimums as required by our state charter authorizers. For the past seven months, we have been working with a new team and a number of dedicated partners on a plan to turn around DAPSS, raise enrollment and put the school on solid footing for the future. We thought we were on the right track over the summer, and on a path toward long-term sustainability, with an enrollment of well over 200 students. But, since the start of the school year, we experienced a number of setbacks.

New financial information that came to the board only last week showed that our budget deficit for this school year is far greater than previously believed. At the same time, more than 30 students who had applied and were accepted at DAPSS did not arrive in the first weeks of school, causing our enrollment numbers to fall far short of what we expected. Due to these unexpected downturns, it is clear we will not have enough money to keep the doors open for the entire school year. We have exhausted all options for additional funding.

We know that closing now will cause a disruption for our students, but we hope the transition will be more manageable earlier in the school year than it would be if we closed midway through the year. As difficult as this is, we believe it is the responsible thing to do in the best interests of our students.

To our parents, you will undoubtedly have questions about what will come next. It is important that you choose a new school in the next few days to ensure as little interruption to your school year as possible. We are committed to working with you to place your students in a school that works best for them. We will host a high school enrollment fair at the school tomorrow (Wednesday, September 26th) from 2-5pm where you can meet with representatives from local high schools that have openings available so that you can find the fit that best meets your
needs.

Please understand that closing now is timed to make sure that students are eligible to enroll in new schools before the September 30 enrollment deadline. This date is critical for public school funding, so it is imperative that our students complete their registration and begin attending their new school by this Friday, September 28th at the latest. To our teachers and staff, we are truly sorry. More information will be shared with you tomorrow morning with the Head of School.

To our students, please know that we believe in you and what you mean to the future in our community. Just yesterday, our students were out in the community visiting local public safety personnel on their yearly Day of Service. Your new schools will be lucky to have students with such energy and spirit. We wish you all well.

Sincerely,
The Board of Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security”

We’re being told by parents that a special meeting  was called tonight at 7 PM and that several State Police Troopers were on scene. Reports are that several parents have been escorted out of the building.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.