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Low enrollment shutters Upland charter school

August 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Upland charter school closed its door just a week after class started due to low enrollment numbers, leaving parents scrambling for answers.

The start of the new school year at Mercury Online Academy of Southern California ended just as the classrooms were beginning to take shape.

Each student was even given a new laptop as part of the school's focus on technology. By the end of the week, students were told they wouldn't be coming back.

Jeanette Cervantes was getting her three girls settled into the charter school.

"Friday I went to pick up my children from school and they're in tears with a note in their hands saying, 'Mommy school is closed. We don't have a school to come to anymore,'" said Jeanette Cervantes, a parent of a fifth and third grader at the school.

School administrators warned two weeks ago that the school might not open due to low enrollment, but later said it would just days before classes were set to begin.

"We received an email saying the school would go forward and I went down to the campus and the teachers were excited and they said it was a go. So Monday morning we started school," Cervantes said.

Classrooms are now empty and parents say no one with the organization is returning their calls or emails.

Ken Becker leased the facility to the charter school and says the situation could have been avoided.

"It's a bit unfortunate because they were just starting to build themselves up with a good name and then to pull the plug without warning is disappointing a lot of people," Becker said.

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