Parents and students were left confused Wednesday as the Florida International Academy in Opa-Locka was in the process of being closed by the Florida Education Department.
Parents said they didn’t know what to think when told the Department of Education was shutting the school down by the first week of November.
“I was downtown when they talked about the school closing and different things like that, but until I hear from downtown or the principal or the head of the school discusses that with us; my child will remain here at FIE,” said parent Courtney Odom.
Neither the principal, nor someone from the administration was available Tuesday afternoon to answer questions from NBC 6’s Willard Shepard.
The school is just three years old. It opened to great fanfare with Governor Rick Scott in attendance as the doors opened. Since then, two “F” grades caused the Department of Education’s board on Monday to vote to close the school.
The school did make an attempt to keep the school open with a presentation to the Education Department, but the school’s grades mandated a closure unless a waiver was granted.
Parents and students came to the school’s defense as word of the closing began to make the rounds outside the school.
“It’s actually a very good school,” said parent Nicole Fernandez. “My son went from straight F’s for kindergarten to first and second grade and he was here for summer school and boom, he went to B’s and C’s and not one failing grade yet. Just by coming to this environment.”
“There are many teachers who are great and many who are hard-working and I feel sorry if they closedown because they have to go down and look for other jobs,” said student Justin Landa.
Miami-Dade County Schools issued a statement Tuesday evening about the school closing that read: “Miami-Dade County Public Schools is exploring options to provide the best solution for the students of this school. A decision will be announced soon to provide a transition that ensures minimal disruption to students’ education.”