• Parents scrambling after Osceola County charter school announces closure


    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Hundreds of parents in Osceola County are scrambling to find a new school for their children after their school suddenly closed.

    Acclaim Academy Charter School in Kissimmee was ordered to shut down after earning its second consecutive F grade.

    Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez learned the school district is now having an emergency meeting to figure out what to do next.

    Due to the failing grades, everyone knew Acclaim Academy would be closing its doors, but it's how quickly that's happening that took parents and students by surprise.

    Photos: Acclaim Academy to close its doors after consecutive F grades

    Dianna Bingaman has two children at Acclaim.

    "I went, 'No, that can't be happening,'" she said. "I was upset. The kids were almost in tears."

    By state law, the district had to terminate its contract due to the consecutive F grades. The school board voted to allow the school to stay open until the end of the school year and while it filed an appeal with the state. When that appeal was denied, the school chose to close at the end of the month.

    Alvarez went to school for answers, but the principal told her to call a corporate office.

    "I have to do what's best for my students at the moment so I prefer no comment," the principal said.

    School board member Kelvin Soto said the district might take over the school and bring in its own staff to finish out the school year.

    "We never like to see any school fail. We're very supportive of our charter school and give them all the necessary resources so they can succeed," he said.

    The district has already spent $1.6 million funding Acclaim.

    "All they're doing is sending the message to students that if you don't like the outcome of something, just give up, and that's not what you should do," said Bingaman.

    In a statement, school officials said they're disappointed to be shutting down, but said, "We are committed to providing the same positive learning environment to the best of our ability as we work with the Osceola district in the upcoming transition."

    Acclaim Academy opened a school in Orange County this school year but there is no indication thus far of any problems there.

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