Bloodbath At DAPSS As Two-Thirds Of Their Staff And Herb Sheldon Were Fired Today

Delaware Academy of Safety and Security will look very different next year.  After surviving their formal review and getting their enrollment up to an acceptable level, the culling began today when 2/3rds of their staff AND Principal Herbert Sheldon got their walking papers.  They will still be there until the end of the school year, but many aren’t happy.

The Dean of Students and Discipline, Dakevis Matthews…gone

Director of Public Safety, David Wainwright…gone

Operations Specialist, Lisa Flynn…gone

Office Manager, Tara Williams…gone

Behavior Interventionist (listed on their website as a Behavior Interventionalist), Marcus Bazemore…gone

The odd part is that Sheldon did the firings.  But when he wouldn’t accept a lesser position, he was on the chopping block as well.  We ALL know where these firings are coming from.  That would be Board President Margie Lopez-Waite.  A few months ago, she dropped their Academic Director, Erica Thomas, like a bag of hot potatoes after the school got reamed in their formal review meeting at the DOE.  But if Margie is still involved in a year or so I would be shocked.  And this is why charter schools need to be unionized.  So this kind of bloodbath doesn’t happen.  Many of the staff that were fired were directly responsible for getting their enrollment to where it needed to be.  Their reward?  This.  So if you EVER want to be a teacher at ANY charter school Margie Lopez Waite is involved in, you might want to put body armor on your back so the knife doesn’t penetrate too deep.

And to think I actually congratulated Margie on DAPSS surviving their formal review… it’s going to take a lot of mouthwash for me to erase those words!  Had I known THIS was what she planned, those words would have never come out of my mouth.  You see, these are people’s lives here.  Their jobs, their income, their security.  What happened to all that extra training and support Colonial was going to give these teachers?  Where are the new teachers going to come from? TFA? Relay?  We all know Colonial has been boasting about their relationship with Relay.  Not cool, not cool at all.  For Margie… a school (even a charter school) is not the same as the banking world.  DAPSS is not MBNA.  You can’t run a school like a bank.


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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

23 thoughts on “Bloodbath At DAPSS As Two-Thirds Of Their Staff And Herb Sheldon Were Fired Today”

  1. I don’t know the people that were fired or why. What I do know is this. DAPPS is failing to the point of almost being shut down. All with little regard to how this would affect the graduating class of 2018 and the rest of the students. People that run a school that way shouldn’t be employed in such positions even if they were in involved in bringing the enrollment where it needed to be. Poor management and performance has affected enrollment. Why would the answer to this “bloodbath” be to unionize?

    I don’t think charter schools should be unionized. That’s one of the reasons that sets them apart. Teachers and staff have to perform their duties to maintain their jobs, ensuring student and school success. Unionized education as in traditional public schools protects even those who are under performing. It’s hard to see anyone loose their jobs but is it better for them to keep their jobs at the students expense?

    As for Margie, MBNA is certainly not her only work experience. She has been the head of charter school Las Americas ASPIRA Academy for over 5 years. A successfully run charter school I might add. You may call the actions taken as a “bloodbath” but your article is equally of not more cut throat.

    Rather than stirring the pot, lets show support for education and serve the students in our community. I am hopeful that Margie can bring DAPPS as much success as she has with ASPIRA.


    1. I believe the pot was stirred when 2/3rds of their staff was given pink slips today. Perhaps you weren’t at the Charter School Accountability Committee meeting when Margie promised the DOE she would make sure DAPSS’ teachers got the support they needed as a result of their partnership with Colonial. I was. I heard every single word of it. I heard her say there would be some painful decisions, but I also heard her say the word “I” numerous times. As in “I” was making decisions. Not as one member of a multi-person board, but “I” as in herself. While ASPIRA may be a well-run school, I’ve also heard she is hardly ever there. Any school’s success is based on the leaders of the school. Let that sink in. The leaders. To cut those who could possibly oppose that leadership isn’t a wise decision. It is a bloodbath. Pure and simple. And if you think this article is cutthroat, you might want to dig deeper!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t need to dig deeper. My children have been at ASPIRA from day one. Her first priority has always been the students and their success. Even with a rocky start she stood firm on her decisions. She had a vision and saw it through. I am glad my children attend a school that Margie IS involved in. I wish much success to DAPPS and the students.


        1. I predict she is going to pull a Chuck Taylor very soon. Not the exact same way but most likely worse. I don’t see that as a priority for students. That would be for herself.


        2. Starting your article title with “Bloodbath at DAPPS….” is insensitive to the victims and families of the very real and horrible blood baths from mass shootings. It’s poor taste which leads me to believe you’re intent is use suggestive words to hinder the success of DAPPS. Not cool man. Not cool. I’ve heard some of the plans in store for DAPPS and if they follow through on those plans the way they have at LAAA I have no doubt it will be a success. They will have unique pathways not offered in area High Schools making them a strong contender with enrollment. There is enough fake news in the media. You too can play a big role in the success of the school. Think about what you’re writing about. What is your goal with your article? Are you venting or reporting? The goal shouldn’t change but the process will. Don’t bash the process. Fact is no one can please everyone in everything. Decisions will be made, disagreements will be had and compromises will take place. As long as the goal of having a successful school is met; as long as students are truly being educated and earn a higher education, that is what ultimately what matters most. Support the goal give the process time or you may have to wash your mouth again.


          1. And what is this vaunted process? I heard the promises made to the DOE. It IS a bloodbath when you gut 2/3rds of your staff. Why don’t you do this. Attend their board meeting tomorrow night and after watching the coup d’état about to take place, tell me what the REAL motivation is. Or better yet, I’ll write about it before it takes place!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. By the way DE Resident, or YOR, or whatever alias you choose next. You can use different names to try to prove a point, but internet addresses don’t lie!


  2. I am not surprised there were layoffs and changes. Fired was a bad term to use though. It does stink that so many lives will be affected. Obviously the old DAPSS way was not working. Simply putting band aids to fix major problems would not work. They needed major reconstructive surgery and that what they appear to be doing and starting almost completely fresh. If only you could do the same to some of these other educational districts failing.


    1. If that reconstructive surgery includes nepotism and cronyism, count me out as a supporter of that. Because once you cross that line (which has been crossed), the argument of it being “for the students” is annihilated in an instant.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to burst your bubble but each family member is entitled to their opinion. Draw whatever conclusion you wish. Family memberS behind the internet address don’t lie. Such comments or accusations only question your credibility not ours. Our individual comments are clearly identifiable. I agree with PRESTIGEWW, DAPSS was botched and likely in need of reconstrictive surgery. I say give it time. Only time will tell. Until then I will remain optimistic.


  4. I will commend you on something you got right. You said “Any school’s success is based on the leaders of that school…The Leaders”. I couldn’t agree with you more. Which means you agree that poor leadership = poor success. Then you replied that it isn’t wise to cut those who could “possibly” oppose that leadership. “Possibly”? If they hadn’t opposed it yet what makes you think they’ll oppose the leadership now. Except if their job was on the line. Wouldn’t that raise doubt on their intent? “Possibly” is not reassuring nor does it scream SI SE PUEDE! Perhaps that is what Margie and the board were faced with. As I said before I feel for those who’ve lost their jobs but I also feel for the students who until now have had no representation on their behalf.


  5. This was first time I ever came across an article you wrote. I’d never read another as I have better things to do. I hope you enjoyed the attention while it lasted.


      1. Kevin,
        Serious question:
        If indeed: “Any school’s success is based on the leaders of that school…The Leaders” is your belief, why will you not promote the successes of schools whose leaders have been successful and why do you support members of the CSD board who so clearly do not demonstrate the statement? You were unwilling to publish my previous comment but the situation with the schools geographically in Christina District are so obvious, you can’t possibly believe your own statement.

        If only our districts would have some vision about dismantling their failed paradigms and took action to hand pink slips to staff AND administrators who have failed our students we might start to ‘right’ the ship. When 1/3 of students (6000+ of 18000) seek alternative schools within one of the largest districts in the state, our school districts’ leaders have failed their residents and the students. When the average pass rates of MINIMUM competency tests is below 45%, our “LEADERS” have failed their residents and students. When the teachers’ union accepts these pass rates and accepts social promotion, they are failing the residents and students.


        1. Knave, I looked in all comments I’ve blocked or refused to let go through. I didn’t see any of yours in there. The ones I have blocked are either so ugly or attack people in such a personal way. While you and I disagree often, I am not in the habit of blocking any comment that I disagree with.

          I agree with you about Christina believe it or not. While I respect the beliefs of some of their board members, I’ve found that burning bridges is not a way to run a board of the second biggest school district in the state. I will be hitting on a lot of the things you mentioned going forward but please understand those “MINIMUM competency tests” are not what you think they are.


  6. Was humbly wondering.

    I am a parent of a student who has graduated from DAPSS. Boy is there a story to tell that there was ALREADY a staff member, a teacher (not merely administrator) who was very proactive with helping the school and who’s name is never mentioned, yet – this is important – when the first school director was retired, during the hasty scramble to find a worthy leader for the school he partially fulfilled the need (and later on was grilled for that). Furthermore, the situation when the school was basically leaders-less repeated itself later on – and the same person stepped in to help keeping the school running.

    Why I am bringing this up? Because here’s what happened with that person – he suddenly fell out of favor with the last school leader and was fired on the spot without a warning. Rumor had it that prior to him there were other teachers who were fired just the same – on the spot, without a warning, without a due review process, just because.

    Let’s refine this a bit – I, too worked at MBNA and I know what this is called – it is called “clearing the turf so that there will be no worthy opponents/challengers, so whoever does this can later claim that he/she arrived and fixed the shambles that the school was in prior to his/her arrival at the scene”. I’ve lived through two disastrous managers who did that to my team at MBNA (so, probably write a textbook about what this does to a team) and boy, does this bring memories I’d rather forget.


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