Fowler HS and Delaware Academy facing shutdown over academic performance

Fowler High School and Delaware Academy in Syracuse will be shut down or see big changes because they failed to raise academic performance over the last three years.

The details come in a letter CNYCentral obtained from the State Education Department.

The letter from Assistant Commissioner of Education Ira Schwartz to Syracuse Superintendent Sharon Contreras discusses several possibilities for the struggling schools.

The state is already closing Hughes Elementary School, which the district plans to phase out and replace with a new Syracuse Latin School. It will target high achieving students who will have to apply for admission. They will get a classical education, focusing on grammar, logic and discipline of thinking. They will also learn Latin for at least four years.

According to district spokesperson Michael Henesey, no decisions have been made about the future of Fowler or Delaware. " this time, it would be premature to comment as no decisions have been made regarding the plans for either school," Henesey told CNYCentral by email. "The District is still in discussions with NYSED regarding the proposed plans for the two schools."

The district will consider phasing out Fowler High School to be replaced by a Public Safety School in the 2014-2015 school year. Delaware Academy would be taken over by the State University of New York (SUNY) which would assume responsibility for education the students.

The letter also discusses the possibility of converting the schools to charter schools.

For Fowler High School, the district will consider offering students access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the BOCES, or have SCSD CTE programs audited and approved. This option would be in addition to implementation of one of the school reform choices.

Once the plans are finalized, the Board of Education will have public work session to discuss them. After the board approves the plans, they will be submitted to the State Education Department for approval.