Roughly 300 Houston-area K-8 students will have to be relocated to other campuses Friday when Victory Prep North, a Houston Independent School District (HISD) charter school, closes its doors.
Parents were reportedly given only a week’s notice, notified last Friday of the impending closure.
The announcement comes about halfway through the semester, via a letter sent home the students. Parents are expressing outrage over the decision, forcing students to acclimate to a whole new campus mid-curriculum.
“If they had come to us when school was out for the winter break, I could have went to another school and she could have started fresh at the semester break,” said Gregory Lamb, who’s daughter attends 7th grade at Victory Prep, in an interview.
“We’ve got three months left in school, and you’re going to make a change like this? Move a child and expect them to get acclimated? I feel like my daughter is either going to get ate up or caught up,” he added.
Rev. Lisa Berry-Dockery, Victory Prep’s executive director, says the closure was brought on by low enrollment, which in turn meant less revenue for the school, after Hurricane Harvey.
“We had students who simply did not return or did not enroll,” Berry-Dockery said, stating that usually “around Labor Day we see a huge boost in enrollment, and we did not receive that because of the hurricane.”
According to HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, the decision to close the school was made by the charter, not the district.
Nonetheless, district officials say HISD staff will be on site all week to help students relocate to other HISD charters or campuses with available space.
HISD recently announced a plan to convert several of its campuses into charters, a number of which received “improvement required” scores from the state. The district will hold a community meeting regarding its charters this Friday.
The school is closing despite assistance from the district that allowed it to make extra space for more students and take on additional enrollment last year, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Charter officials planned to take enrollment to 500 students this year, but the projected number of students never came after Harvey.