Destin High School Project Will Be Delayed
In April, Destin High School’s (DHS) Governing Board announced that the tuition free public charter high school will defer opening until August of 2021.
The COVID19 outbreak has significantly impacted the community as a whole, challenging schools, businesses, and religious organizations alike. All schools are closed through this school year and the Stay-at-Home order issued by Governor DeSantis limits all non-essential interactions. Closing on the purchase of Destin United Methodist Church, the proposed school site, was going to be delayed for up to several weeks. As a result, the high school would not have sufficient time to do the necessary renovations to retrofit the campus and continue student recruitment and fundraising activities prior to the scheduled opening date of August 2020.
Florida Statute allows charter schools to defer opening without a penalty, and the DHS board has notified Okaloosa County School District of its intent to defer.
The field of 150 applicants for the school principal has been narrowed to three candidates. Once the Stay at Home order is lifted and groups are allowed to meet, the board intends to have the final three candidates travel to Destin for one-on-one interviews with the board and a parent advisory group. The plan is to bring the principal on board to work with Collaborative Educational Network to recruit students and teachers, finalize course offerings, and help establish community partnerships for the career academies.
Parents and students who have confirmed their seats at DHS will be able to attend their Okaloosa County School District zoned school for the 2020-21 school year. The Governing Board will be personally reaching out to enrolled DHS students and their families with additional information.
This has been a difficult decision for the board to make, but we know that it is in the best interest of our students and families and we want to be mindful of the current pandemic and uncertainty that is happening in both our community and world. We are grateful to all the families who have committed to support DHS, and community members who have assisted us financially and in other ways. We look forward to continuing this journey together and to opening our school in August of 2021.