General FAQ

Q: Will transportation be provided?
We will survey the students who are accepted and see if they need transportation. If so, a study will be conducted to look at the geographic areas where students live and potentially set up a “depot” style pick up and drop off.

Q: What sports will you have?
Our first year we will survey accepted students and offer the sports in which our students have an interest. Students who are in a charter school like DHA are also allowed to continue to play sports for their zoned school if the charter school does not offer that sport. We are currently reviewing options for sports facilities. The DHS board is also collaborating with district and community stakeholders regarding available sports venues should the school’s needs extend beyond the main campus.

Q: Where will the school be located?
Destin High School will be located in Destin with a goal of opening in August 2020. We have signed a purchase agreement for the nearly nine acre campus of Destin United Methodist Church at 200 Beach Drive in Destin.

Q: Does Okaloosa County School District have to approve the school?
Yes. In Florida, charter schools are public schools and are authorized/approved by the school district. The charter application was turned in February 1, 2019, and the Okaloosa school district approved the application. Our contract was finalized with the school district on October 28, 2019. You can view these documents under “Charter.”

Q: Can be become a public school after starting as a charter?
Charter schools are public schools. They have the same requirements as a traditional public school, but are governed by an independent governing board and, as a result, have more flexibility.

Q: Is it free?
Yes. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. Florida is second in the country for the number of charter schools (behind California) with more than 750 charter schools in 62 school districts.

Q: What are the Curriculum goals?
In addition to offering state mandated core curriculum as a base, Destin High School strives to meet the diverse needs of our local community by providing specialized programs and career-themed courses in areas such as:

  • Marine Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Cybersecurity/AI
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Construction (i.e., Carpentry; Electrical; HVAC; Masonry; Plumbing; Construction Technology)

Our educational program will offer unique hands-on learning opportunities through project-based learning (PBL) in preparation for students’ real-world and postsecondary success beyond high school. Through PBL and the school’s programming, students will learn and apply leadership skills, and engage in mentoring opportunities to enhance the school community and students’ future successes.

Q: What role will education consultants play?
Collaborative Educational Network, Inc. (CEN), has been working with the DHS Governing Board. CEN will gradually release support until the governing board and staff are effectively operating the school independently. They developed our charter school application and facilitated its submission, review, and approval process, as well as our federal Charter School Program Grant (CSP). CEN will be conducting an executive search for a principal during December and January and guide the governing board with all other required activities to successfully open the school.

Q: How will DHS staff be hired?
The Governing Board and CEN consultants (as well as former and current educators) will help recruit an experienced, dynamic, and innovative principal with charter school start-up and curriculum experience. The new principal will then recruit and hire all teachers and school staff.

Enrollment FAQ

Q: Once I submit an application am I obligated to attend DHS?  Will it affect my enrollment at Fort Walton Beach or Niceville High School?
Submitting an application to DHS does NOT obligate you to attend DHS. It is merely a submission of your interest and the securing of a your spot should you decide to attend. As such, we encourage you to submit an application even if you are undecided. The DHS system and the Okaloosa County School District system are not connected and do not know who has registered for the other. They are independent and registering or applying for one does not affect your application/enrollment at the other.

Q: When do I have to decide whether I will attend?
Our initial application period will close on February 15, 2020. At that time, students who have applied will receive notification of their acceptance if we have not reached capacity. They will have seven days to accept their spot. Another application period will open within a few weeks if there are available seats remaining.  If, on February 15th, DHS has received applications exceeding capacity, a lottery will held to determine who will be accepted.

Q: Is my child guaranteed a seat if I donate? 
No. As a recipient of the CSP grant, the following Enrollment Preferences will be utilized, as permitted, for the period of time that DHS is a recipient:

  • currently enrolled students;
  • students who are siblings of a student enrolled in DHS;
  • students who are the children of a member of the governing board of the charter school;
  • students who are the children of an employee of the charter school.

Information extracted from the school’s Enrollment & Admissions Policy will be made available on the DHS website, which includes details related to processes for conducting a lottery.

Q: Do you have to re-apply every year?
No. Once you are accepted, you do not have to re-apply.

Q: Why only grades nine and ten to start?
The DHS governing board is committed to offering quality educational programming to a smaller student body and school community. Typically, it is difficult to attract juniors and seniors to a new high school, as they have established peer groups, often are involved in sports and other extracurricular activities, and want to graduate with their friends. Additionally, it is difficult to offer all of the courses needed for four grade levels in the first and second years when the overall enrollment is lower.