PACT delays planned online program

PACT Charter School’s plan to offer online classes this fall has been shelved.

According to School Board Chairman Scott Oliversen, the school needs to address administrative concerns first.

With the departure of Daniel DeBruyn, who was both the superintendent and the secondary school principal, the school’s sponsor Bethel University has a concern with the lack of administration.

“With the departure of… DeBruyn, we believe the administrative capacity of PACT Charter School has been severely limited,” said Sandra Horn, school board authorizer liaison for the Bethel University Charter School Oversight Committee, in a letter to the board.

Before DeBruyn left April 11 to take a job with as an authorizer specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education’s Charter Center, he was performing two jobs and it is a huge workload to cover, she said.

“It will be challenging (for the school administration) just to maintain the normal day-to-day functioning of the school given his absence,” she said.

“In light of this, we don’t believe PACT has the administrative capacity to handle the additional work (and stress) of launching a new, innovative program at this time.”

Prior to DeBruyn’s departure, the 200-plus student PACT Charter School, which has K-12 students, had two executive level administrators.

“Our authorizer is clear we are at maturity level for the school, but the administrative structure has not been addressed,” said Oliversen.

Bethel University wants to see additional administration with experience before PACT can move forward with the online program, he said.

While the PACT School Board is disappointed in Bethel’s decision, “we don’t blame them,” according to Oliversen.

“We have been trying to address the administrative capacity,” Oliversen said.

Once DeBryun’s replacement has been hired and administration issues have been addressed, PACT plans to reapply for authorization to offer its online program.

The school, which was opened in 1994, had already started enrollment for the program. Over 100 students within the Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 boundaries had enrolled.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]