What Is Up With Prestige Academy?

A few weeks ago, I put up an article about Prestige Academy folding into EastSide Charter School’s mini-empire.  I received this information from someone who has always been a very reliable source of information.  This person earned their stripes.  Since then, I have heard nothing on this.  Not one peep.  Today, at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting, the Charter School Office will give their monthly charter school update.  According to this update, Prestige Academy will still close this year.  At the beginning of October, I broke the news that Prestige’s Board of Directors wrote a letter to the Delaware Dept. of Education which stated they would not pursue the renewal of their charter and would close at the end of this school year.

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So what happened?  Got me!  Many things could have happened: the original plan of the school closing (which looks reasonable at this point) will go through, my source got really bad information, or this merger with EastSide could still go through but they are holding their cards at this point in time.  EastSide swooped in at the last-minute and probably saved Family Foundations Academy from closing down at the beginning of 2015.  When it comes to Delaware charter schools and the Delaware DOE, you never know what deals are cooking behind closed doors.  I welcome any confirmation on what could be going on here or if, indeed, my source got bad information.  Like I said, this source is very reliable.

Two Delaware Private Schools That Serve Special Needs Children Announce Merger

Centreville School, which provides services for children in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 8th Grade, and Layton Preparatory School, which also serves special needs children in grades 9th to 12th, have announced they will merge. The new school will be called Centerville Layton and all school grades will be at Centreville’s Kennett Pike location.

This will be the only private school in Delaware with a Kindergarten to high school graduation program. Most of the students reside in Newcastle County, but some come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The two heads of the former schools will still be in charge. Barton Reese, of Layton Prep, will be the new head of school, while Deborah Maguire, of Centreville, will be the assistant head of school.

In an article by Shirley Minn for WHYY’s Newsworks website, Maguire was quoted as saying “a learning community not yet seen in Delaware; one that can serve students with learning difficulties from the start of their education through high school graduation.” The article also had a quote from Paul McConnell, who is the chairman of Layton’s Board Of Trustees. “Students can now benefit from a continuum of education on a single campus, with the elementary, middle and high school programs being able to draw on each other’s strengths to provide an exceptional overall experience.”

Layton Prep had tuition of $25,500 a year, while the Centreville School had tuition of $26,975 a year for grades K through 8, and pre-school tuition of $16,500. For those wishing to escape Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessments, both schools had financial aid available. I would assume this would carry over into the new alignment. There is no word yet on what the new tuition will be with the combined schools.