On May 6, 2014, the governing authority that oversees both Believe to Achieve Academy – Cleveland and Believe to Achieve Academy – Canton voted to close the schools effective June 30, 2014, due to student enrollment that was consistently less than initial targets and therefore “adversely impacted the fiscal sustainability” of the schools.
The decision to close the schools was a difficult one, and based on several discussions, board meetings, and conversations with the sponsor, Ohio Council of Community Schools (OCCS), and management partner (GEMS Education). The governing authority has already sent out a notification to parents announcing the decision, and intends to work with families individually to support students’ transition to new schools. The closure will occur after the 2013-14 school year is complete.
OCCS Associate Executive Director, Lenny Schafer, said of the closure, “As a sponsor we take our responsibility to provide quality oversight very seriously. In partnership with the governing authority of Believe to Achieve Academy – Cleveland and Believe to Achieve Academy – Canton, our goal is to minimize disruption to students and help them find a high-quality option that fits. Students come first, and we’re pleased to collaborate with GEMS Education, the governing authority, and the Transformation Alliance (in Cleveland) to ensure smooth student transfers.”
All parties involved will be abiding by statutory requirements outlined by the Ohio Department of Education, “Closing Assurances,” to ensure that students’ interests remain a top priority. OCCS will also be following best practices laid out by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).