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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

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A 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.

David Hardingham July 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I not at all surprised as every time public is privatized on the notion of cost saving and improved service and benefits it fails and this reminds me when social service was privatized to improve services and save money however more kids fall then the holes and cost have sky rocked in fact the only savings was for the company when they slashed pay and benefits when the hired up all the state workers who were laid off
Camille C. Spencer July 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
David: Thanks for your comment. I think some parents were preparing for the school to close, but are still worried about where to send their kids to school next month.
Melissa July 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM
My daughter attended Essrig and we loved it. I recently moved her to a charter school only because I was not thrilled about our neighborhood middle school and it's large size. I wanted a smaller setting for my children and many charter schools offer that.
Cookie July 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM
May I ask what Melissa what charter school your daughter attends. If my 6 yr old grandson can't get into another charter school in the area. My son and daugh-in-law is considering Essrig. They are waiting on the choice application to open Monday July 30,2012. But I too like charter schools due to the size

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