Parents left scrambling after charter HS closes unexpectedly

- Two weeks before the new school year, the Yes Academy announced to families that their high school is shutting down. Left scrambling, students and parents sounded off at a meeting Tuesday night.

"This is ridiculous. All of our children are on the street now because of University Yes Academy," said Joyce Faunce, a parent.

Even though the University Yes Academy's board of directors voted in August to close the high school, the writing was on the wall about two months beforehand.

Contracts for the charter's high school teachers expired June 30, giving the school ample time to tell parents and students they may have to find a new school.

Instead they found out Monday, two weeks before class.

"This was a good school and now they're just snatching it away from us," said Phyllis Harris.

FOX 2: "Does it feel like they pulled the rug from underneath you?"

"Yes," said student Jaknyght Foster.

"I don't like to keep switching around high schools," said student Amir Thornton. "I wanted to stay here."

Now parents are scrambling to get their students placed in other schools. The window for some have already closed and that's not the only obstacle to consider.

"If they go to another school that's new uniforms," said parent Jerald Vickers. "What if the bus don't go to the high school they want to go to?"

"I can't believe that they just heard about this," said parent Kimberly Thornton. "I mean, there was no letter in regards to this could be a possibility or anything."

FOX 2: "Could parents have been notified sooner?"

"Well, parents, we're notifying them now," said Ralph Bland, the CEO for New Paradigm for Education, the company that manages and took operational control over the school in July.

He says it could not fit the nearly 200 high schoolers that used to roam these halls, alongside the 700 elementary and middle school students. So, the school is switching from a K-12 curriculum to just a K-8 curriculum for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. 

"High schoolers definitely need their own space and support in providing education at the high school level, that they have the proper accommodations and proper programming that they can get the quality they need," Bland said.

"I feel like they knew that in the beginning when they kept on adding grades and grades," Harris said.

The University Yes Academy says it is committed to making sure all of its former high school students are able to get into another high school in time for the 2016-2017 school year. A high school fair will be held Aug. 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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