Reporting Ron Jones
ROCKLIN (CBS13) – A summer surprise has many parents fuming. They’re just now learning that their children are being moved to a new campus 15 miles away.
The relocation impacts K-8 grade charter school students at the Accelerated Learning Academy. The old campus is located in Rocklin, but the school is moving its K-8 classes to Carmichael.
“Initial thought was kind of a gut punch,” one mother said.
Many parents whose children attend Horizon Charter School’s Accelerated Learning Academy are shaken.
“It was just unbelief,” another mom said.
With the new school year starting Monday, parents say they were blindsided by the school district. Many have already registered their kids and can’t dream of making such a long commute.
“There’s just no way that we can afford to drive to Carmichael,” Kerri Capo said.
The accerated program boasts of giving gifted students an academic edge compared to their public school counterparts.
“Accelerated Learning will give her an opportunity to learn more at a faster rate and get her ready for college,” Kerri said of her young daughter Riley.
Kerrie had already registered little Riley in May. She lives down the street from the Rocklin location. When she got the news, she says she felt abandoned and betrayed.
Parents are letting their frustrations be known on Horizon’s Facebook page, leaving scathing messages about their disappointments.
But school administrators say the last-minute move is a business decision. They were flooded with new students this summer after the closing of a private school. They say they needed a bigger and better facility that would give students a healthier learning environment.
And they believe Carmichael is the perfect fit.
“We believe we came up with a good location,” Horizon CEO Craig Heimbichner said.
Heimbichner says many parents welcomed the move.
“We heard from a lot of parents,” he said. “A lot of positive responses came to me directly.”
Kerri wasn’t one of them.
“I don’t know where to send her,” she said. “I don’t have many options.”
What about a nearby public school?
“The public schools don’t have enough help. They don’t have a teacher-child ratio like charter schools have, they don’t have teacher’s aides anymore, they’ve cut out a lot of music programs and art programs,” she said.
Heimbichner did say the final decision hadn’t been made and that he may have some good news for parents later this week.