ARDEN-ARCADE– Despite the signs outside Paramount Collegiate Academy Friday, the charter school was shut down for two days.
Founder, CEO and Principal Dawn Contreras-Douglas was doing damage control, answering to frustrated parents and teachers.
“I feel more sad for the children than anyone else,” said parent Natalie White.
“It’s frustrating, I didn’t just work here I also had four of my children were students here,” said Jed Christian, a parent and teacher at the school.
Parents began looking for transcripts and were trying to get their kids transferred to new schools. Teachers were waiting for stipends and belongings from their classrooms.
While reading a prepared statement, Contreras-Douglas got emotional. She insisted staff was aware of the school’s low enrollment and financial troubles before shutting down Wednesday.
“Several meetings with teaching staff were conducted to specifically address this issue throughout the school year,” Contreras-Douglas said.
But teachers say they didn’t have any idea the school was closing until it happened.
“We were always given the impression everything was OK, and it was going to be fine and there was no problem,” said teacher Neva Holladay.
“A closure was never hinted at, not once,” Christian said.
Contreras-Douglas would not clarify or answer any questions. FOX40 asked when she told the teachers and she said “no more questions.”
Christian said he still had not been allowed back in to clear out his classroom.
“I was told if I didn’t have an appointment and I came back the police would be called,” Christian said.
He was unemployed and his children were among the roughly 60 students forced to find a new place to learn.
The school has been open and funded by the State Department of Education since 2015.
Contreras-Douglas said she coordinated with the state as she met with families to withdraw students from school and help them transfer. She said all students would be placed in new schools by the end of the day Friday.