‘We’re out of options’: Charlotte school abruptly closes, leaving parents, students in limbo

CHARLOTTE — Parents of about 200 students at Legacy Preparatory School in east Charlotte learned Friday the facility abruptly closed, and now, they are trying to find a new school for their children.

The school was located inside the Park Expo and Conference Center near Bojangles Coliseum.

[ALSO READ: Charlotte Learning Academy to close after state votes to not renew school’s charter]

Parents received the short notice Friday the school will not reopen next week.

Principal Stacey Rose said in an email to parents Friday: "It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Legacy Preparatory will have to close its doors and cease all operations immediately. As such, we will not reopen for classes on Jan. 7."

Rose told parents in the email the school’s main investor didn’t deliver on his promise to provide funding for scholarships, which left officials no choice but to close. Some parents said they want to know who the donor is.

Alexis Caldwell, an administrator with the school, told Channel 9 Monday that she understands why parents are upset.

She said the principal had tried everything she could to keep the school open after the investor didn't come through, even working without a salary and praying for a Christmas miracle that didn't happen.

“We were all standing on hope and praying that something would happen. Like we were praying that we would get another, that another investor would step up and give us the funds that we needed. So I don’t think it was really anyone’s fault,” Caldwell said.

It's the second time in less than a year that some of those students have had to deal with their school closing.

The state announced last spring it was revoking the charter for the Charlotte Learning Academy, a charter school that operated in the same building with the same principal.

The charter was taken away because of poor academic performance.

Parent Porsha Ransome wonders why parents didn’t get a notice further in advance.

“To suddenly just shut the school down, if they didn’t have the funding all of the sudden, that didn’t make sense. They knew that in advance, and they should have already prepped everyone or given them referrals to other schools," Ransome said.

On Monday, parents were seen coming to Legacy Prep to pick up their children’s transcripts and begin to figure out where they can turn from here.

Parents who spoke with Channel 9 said they had been calling around to various schools and still do not have an answer.

“A lot of charter schools that I called this morning, I’ve been calling since 7 a.m., are not taking any kids until the beginning of next year,” parent Shanta Johnson said. “So, we’re like, out of options. Like, we have no choice but to throw our kids into CMS, into their home school.”

The chairman of the board of Legacy Preparatory said Friday the school let parents know about challenges the school faced a while ago.

The chair said they couldn’t say more than what was in the principal’s email.

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