DENVER — Wyatt Academy will remain open, the school’s board of directors voted Tuesday morning, impacting about 200 students.
Board members voted 5-4 to try and keep Wyatt Academy’s doors open.
This decision comes after a weeks-long discussion about closing it. The board blamed low enrollment, declining birth rates and years of limited funding as the reason for even considering shutting it down.
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After the floor was opened up for discussion during Tuesday’s meeting, Wyatt Academy Principal Melody Means presented the problems with Wyatt Academy and possible solutions, including a budget for Academy that would provide the school a way forward.
It’s not necessary to close the school, despite board members continuing to ask questions on the viability of the school, Means said.
During Tuesday morning’s presentation, the board of directors discussed recruitment being one of the most important factors to drive Wyatt Academy’s longevity.
They laid out four main focus points for recruitment efforts:
- Partnership with Clara Brown Commons. 76 families live in the apartment building and encouraged to attend Wyatt Academy.
- Partnership with Vive school and migrant families to allow for Venezuelans to attend Wyatt Academy with the support of Venezuelan teachers who will be compensated by Vive-certified teachers.
- Collaboration with French-American schools to figure out a way to share teachers and space. This could yield up to $300,000 in yearly rent.
- Use the summer to distribute flyers and attend family events to promote Round 2 School Choice when Wyatt Academy has historically gained the most students.
“I’m doing the best I can to show that our options are not exhausted, that we still have things that can keep us running, if we have the right people at the table that are ready to work,” Means said.
The principal also laid out things she felt should be considered instead of. just closing down the school, including highly qualified teaching and programming.
“The budget allows for about a 13% raise to be competitive with DPS. This will allow for teachers to be competitively paid and highly qualified,” Means said.
She also pointed to how the budget allows to continue to build out Spanish programming for all students and one-day-a-week gifted and talented programming.
Means did, however, express frustration about only having three days to come up with the budget that shows where they’re at.
One person told Means they could offer possibly up to $500,000 if the school stays open.
There was a news conference scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday on the decision, Auon’tai Anderson said in a press release.
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