Local News

Wake County Private School Closes Due To Low Enrollment

Posted March 3, 2003

— Parents whose children attended a private Wake County School are upset that it shut down without notice - causing a whirl of controversy.

Paideia Academy rented space in a strip mall on Jones Franklin Road. The school taught grades K through 8 and had an enrollment of 70. The school abruptly shut its doors Friday.

Parents said the kids were getting a great education. What they don't understand is why the school closed with no warning.

As the kids were picked up Friday, the school handed parents a letter stating that lack of enrollment for next year and lack of money had forced the school to close. It was the first time parents or teachers had been told that news.

There was no information about how the students can get enrolled into another school.

Carol Sabin lost not only her second-grade teaching job but also lost a school for her two children.

"I feel shock more than anything," Sabin said. "I'm scared for the future.

"To continue the children's education, where do we go from here?"

Later, other teachers and parents gathered to express their concerns in a parking lot-style PTA meeting.

"I worked for two weeks and did not get paid," Regina Johnston said, "and I'm told that I have no place to put my children in school on Monday."

The school's phone has been disconnected, and officials were not available for comment on Saturday.

Volunteers helped empty the building as another parent, Jon Spencer, worked to reason with the group gathered in the parking lot.

"I know two weeks may be a problem," Spencer told Johnston. "But let's get you an income next week. Let's get the kids in school next week.

"That's really what I would like to focus on. And if we have anger toward anybody, we need to deal with that outside, really, what we are doing right now."

Spencer is donating a spare room at his Apex Book Store for school space. But it's only large enough to accommodate a couple of classes.

Sunday afternoon, parents must return textbooks to the school. In return for the books, the school will turn over the child's records.

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