GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Top Stories

January 9, 2013

Update: Charter abruptly shuts down after midday dismissal

The Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, expected to continue operations through Friday, instead closed its doors for good today after a “going away” party for students, the few remaining teachers and parents, and a 12:45 early dismissal.

Board of Trustees Chairman James Caviston told the Times that a final vote by the Board of Trustees on a shutdown of the school won’t come until the trustees meet tonight, but acknowledged that today marked the public, independent school’s final session. With a continued declining enrollment, the school is essentially insolvent and cannot meet payroll or cover any more days’ pay for staff, several sources told the Times this morning.

The school’s Board of Trustees last week had already voted to already prematurely close the school at the end of classes this Friday. But trustees sent two emails to parents last night, according to a number of parents. One parent said the first letter suggested the parents find spots for their children to start attending public schools or state approved schools as of Thursday. The next email said the school would have to close its doors today with the early dismissal after an 11:30 a.m. party for students.

At least one teacher was laid off as recently as yesterday and several others were let go as of Sunday amid the school’s financial collapse, sources told the Times. A few teachers, some of the trustees and Head of School Beth Delforge were at the school today.

Even in surrendering the school’s charter under pressure last month, the GCACS trustees had expected to keep the school open through the end of its third school year, as part of bargain reached with the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. But enrollment further declined in December and last week, resulting in a reduced money flow to the school from the state, which provides fjunding to charter schools based on a per-pupil basis. On top of that, a lower line of credit from outside lenders prevented the school from gathering enough funds to remain open through June, according to school trustees.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating