JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The principal of a Christian school in Arlington said financial issues due to low enrollment will force it to close its doors May 31 -- the end of the current school year.
Arlington Community Academy has been open for two years, opening as a kindergarten through third grade, and then adding a fourth grade this year.
For some parents, it's the only school their child has ever attended.
"I’m angry because I put a lot of trust into this school and they’re just shutting down from nowhere," said one parent who didn't want to be named. "They’re giving us no answer. I don’t understand that."
A letter was sent home to parents March 5 letting them know the school would close.
The addition of a new grade level last year led parents to believe the school was doing well. Some feel there must be more to why the school is closing.
"He made a commitment to us that he would keep this school open for the Arlington community and he’s not doing that," the unnamed parent said. "Within three years, he’s shutting down and he’s not telling us nothing."
This parent says she doesn't believe low enrollment is the problem, but the principal said in her letter that the school's closure is strictly a financial decision.
"Enrollment is critical to maintaining operations," Principal Gina Fafard wrote. "Despite our best efforts, enrollment has been significantly lower than expected, and we are not able to keep ACA operational beyond the end of the 2018-2019 school year."
Other parents are flustered because they feel they were notified too late. On the school's website, one parent wrote, "Wow. Why wait until School Choice applications are closed?"
School Choice is Duval County Public School's opportunity to select schools beyond their neighborhood school.
"It’s going to be very difficult to find a good private school for my son where they still have open enrollment and slots available," Teesha Bartley said.
The school plans to hold an information night later this spring for parents to get more information about other school options.