by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville charter school is closing its doors at the end of May.
Boys Prep opened in 2012 and almost from the beginning had its share of problems.
“I feel sad. I feel sad because I do feel like we let down the families and the students,” Chief Operating Officer Michelle Bouton said. “Board turnover was a big thing. Leadership turnover was another big thing. When you have that type of instability your foundation isn't strong.”
Last October NewsChannel 5 visited the charter after Metro Schools put them on probation, citing issues with academic, organizational and financial performance.
“Going all the way back to the approval process, they were denied three times until they got a good board together of people who understood what it took to run a good organization,” Alan Coverstone, Executive Director of Metro Schools Office of Innovation said. “But that board came apart almost as soon as they started.”
Despite the efforts and best intentions to get back on track, enrollment is below 100 students and it's become increasingly clear that closing is the only option.
“For me to be able to make ends meet and pay our bills, it's just getting really difficult,” Bouton explained.
“There's just a chasm between a great vision and a great need and the wherewithal financially to be able to carry it off,” Coverstone said. “It's unfortunate when that falls short but that's what's happened in this case.”
The transition is less jarring now that this school year is almost over. In the fall students and teachers will be able to have a fresh start.
The school will meet with parents on Tuesday to discuss what's next for students. It includes attending another charter school, an optional or zoned school. Metro Schools is also assisting families with the transition.