Weeks before new year, Detroit charter high school closes its doors

A Detroit high school shuts its doors just weeks before the start of a new school year.

- A Detroit High School shuts its doors just weeks before the start of a new school year.

The surprise decision has students and parents, scrambling to find a new school in time.

The University Yes Academy, a K through 12 charter school of about 800 students on Detroit's Westside has a slogan that says "Your child's journey to college begins here."

"They put the students on a college path," said Robin Davis, a parent of a high school student.

But now, with just a few weeks before school is to start, the Yes academy is saying no, closing its entire high school.

"I feel like (they) don't care about the child," said Davis. "I believe it's just a dollar you were concerned about. That's why you took the kids last year."

FOX 2: "A lot of people invested a lot of time in seeing their kids eventually going on to college. But no high school?"

"Right," said Ralph Bland, CEO Paradigm for Education which manages Yes Academy.

In order to operate a charter school in Detroit, there must be an authorizing school, usually a college. When there are problems, that charter school could be closed down.

The Bay Mills Community College authorizes the Yes Academy.  But in May of this year, it sent a notice saying to correct several violations of the contract or it could be closed down.

FOX 2: "What violations were there?"

"I am not abreast of all the violations," Bland said. "But I know there was a plan of action put into place."

And a plan of action likely could be closing the high school.

FOX 2: "Do you feel like you are on your way to college?"

"Not with being on top of everybody," said Charney Hawkins, a sophomore at Yes Academy. "There's not enough room."

FOX 2: "Too many kids in the school?"

"Yes," she said.

FOX 2: What do you say to those parents who are upset. They thought they were going here for high school now, who knows where they are going."

"Right," Bland said. "Our top priority is making sure those families are in good locations, quality locations and we plan to have a high school fair for those families, so we can find a good match for those families."
 


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