Equipment Removed, Records Retrieved from A.T. Jones Academy
Parents must find a new school for their students, according to Hillsborough school officials.
Hillsborough County trucks collected electronics, computers and whiteboards from A.T Jones Academy of Math, Science and Technology on Wednesday after it was determined that no one was running the charter school.
Parents hoping to retrieve their children's school records contacted the school district to say the school at 4903 Ehrlich Road was locked, and that people had come out of Bible-Based Fellowship Church on the school's campus to tell them to get off the property, said Linda Cobbe, Hillsborough schools spokeswoman.
"We went and retrieved student records, and when we were there, there was evidence that no person was running the school," said Cobbe. "It was considered abandoned. That's taxpayer money."
The Carrollwood charter school sparked controversy last week after it was revealed that teachers were paying for insurance they weren't receiving, the school had a financial deficit and members of the schools board had quit.
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A letter from Bob Morrison, the last member of the charter school's board of directors, was sent to parents on Wednesday saying the school would no longer be operating. About 200 students were enrolled, Cobbe said.
A recorded message will go out to charter school parents saying officials will contact them about the school choice application period that opens on Monday, said Cobbe. Principals of local schools will contact parents of A.T. Jones Academy students to offer them seats at their school, Cobbe said, since school starts on Aug. 21.
Despite the removal of equipment from the school, a formal hearing is still scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, July 30, at the Raymond O. Shelton School Administration Center. Members of the school board will present evidence about the school and vote on its fate.
"We still believe its necessary to hold that (hearing) because a single board member of a charter school can't make decisions on behalf of the entire board," Cobbe said. "Even though it appears they don't have any board members left."
What Carrollwood-area schools would you recommend for former A.T. Jones Academy students to attend? Tell us in the comments.