Rocklin Charter School Abruptly Shutting Its Doors
ROCKLIN (CBS13) – Students at a Rocklin charter school are being kicked out of their own school, told that after Tuesday, they need to find a new place to learn.
Their parents are understandably angry and confused.
It may not look like your textbook school campus and that seems to be part of the problem at Horizon’s Accelerated Learning Academy charter school in Rocklin. Four hundreds students got to the school and many of them love it. Parents have seen great improvements in their education until now – when their future got a big fail.
“We signed a commitment to the school for a year,” parent Mary Abdullah said. “We haven’t even been 60 days and you’re pulling the rug from our feet?”
Teachers and volunteers have been in a rush to get everything out. Horizon has to be empty by Tuesday night.
Mary and her daughter Madison are among the 400 families feeling lost.
“What about the children?” Mary asked. “Our hearts have been broken. We are an emotional wreck.”
“It’s kind of scary,” Madison said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. Are they going to just close down school completely.”
Friday they got a letter that flipped Madison’s world upside down.
Horizon CEO Craig Heimbichner said he can’t keep classes going one more day because of the many near accidents he claims have happened between kids and cars.
“We didn’t have an immediate trigger other than the safety issue,” he said. “That’s what made us move.”
And of the short notice parents received, he said, “It’s horrible. I have six children myself.”
But many parents are not buying it all.
“I think this is very, very fishy,” she said.
She says the school got an eviction notice, but Heimbichner denies that.
“No, not at all,” he said if the move was because of finances. “Our payments are up to date. That’s not an issue. We just passed our audits.”
Heimbichner says they do have a permit issue with too many kids in an office space, but that’s not the reason for his urgent school shutdown.
“I have to respond to safety so we’re going to pull all our students out,” he said.
In August Horizon considered moving to Carmichael but parents were outraged, not wanting to make the commute. Now it seems they are being left with nothing other than the promise of independent study and virtual learning, something Mary says she didn’t sign up for.
“My daughter is my life and education is our number one priority in our life,” she said.
So what options do students have? We asked that question and we were told students can do this independent study where they’re learning from home and online and meeting with the teachers a couple of times a week at the library.
They can also look at other schools within Horizon but Heimbichner said there’s not many openings, especially not for all 400 kids.
There are other charter schools but many parents say they’ve checked and they all have long waiting lists.
They can always have their kids start in public schools, but this is the middle of the semester so it’s going to be difficult no matter how you look at it.