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Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014
Education

Seffner charter school poised to close

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Published:   |   Updated: June 9, 2014 at 06:52 PM

A Hillsborough County charter school that serves children in migrant families will close at the end of the month after two years in operation.

Officials from Phillips Learning Academy in Seffner say they have decided to close the school’s doors on June 30 because of low enrollment. At the beginning of the year, about 45 students attended the school.

The school board is expected to terminate the district’s contract with the school during a meeting Tuesday.

“Due to low enrollment, it has been quite a challenge in meeting the needs of our students,” Elizabeth Chavez, chairwoman of the school’s board of directors, wrote in a letter to district charter school director Jenna Hodgens. “To lessen the probability of these challenges continuing into the next school year, it is in the best interest of our students and their families to terminate the school’s charter.”

Charter schools receive public money but are privately run and governed by their own boards of directors.

Phillips, which opened in 2012, is one of 42 Hillsborough charter schools, with six more slated to open in the fall. The school caters to migrant students, whose families follow crop seasons throughout Florida and into other states.

School district spokesman Stephen Hegarty said Phillips students can attend the traditional public schools for which they are residentially zoned.

Chavez said school officials will do what they can to help families with making the transition to another school.

“It has been our pleasure to employ great and talented educators, dedicated staff and exceptional parent volunteers who believe in our students and remained determined to provide them with the best education possible,” she wrote.

The school board meeting begins at 3 p.m. in the board room at district headquarters, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd.

ekourkounis@tampatrib.com

(813)259-7999

Twitter: @ErinKTBO

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