Pencader families will learn about options next week

By Amy Cherry 12:13pm, February 22, 2013 - Updated 2:09pm, February 22, 2013
Parents of students at the shuttered Pencader charter school will learn more about their options next week.

The state Department of Education is hosting a meeting Tuesday night at Pencader to help families learn more about enrolling in another school.

In addition to their district's feeder pattern, students may also apply for schools through the state's Choice program. The Choice application deadline was in January, but the state has extended it for Pencader families.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to revoke Pencader's charter after six years of trouble and failed results. State Education Secretary Mark Murphy had also recommended closure for Pencader. You can read more about the board's final decision here.

State House Education Committee Chair Rep. Darryl Scott says he's not surprised by the board's decision since Pencader was given several opportunities to improve.

"In the end, they weren't successful, and that's I guess what's disappointing, given the opportunity and the time, I mean they've been under review four of the last six years, so it's not a new issue. It's something that, unfortunately, it just came to having to make this tough decision," says Scott.

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The Dover Democrat says the school faces a host of issues.

"Academic performance was not where it needed to be. they were significantly under state performance standards, and you're looking for charter schools to find innovative ways to educate children and looking for at least comparable, but you're hoping for better results, and they failed in that respect. But they also had governance issues, leadership issues, financial issues," says Scott.

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The Charter School Accountability Committee's final report, recommending Pencader's closure is available here

Parents and students can e-mail or call 302.735.4014 with questions. Counseling from the state Kids Department will be available Monday at Pencader as well.

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