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Board votes to revoke charter from Kairos Academy

Ferre Dollar, CNN

Board votes to revoke charter from Kairos Academy

By Marjorie Cortez | Posted - Jun. 20, 2017 at 4:14 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Charter School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to begin the process of revoking the charter of Kairos Academy, a West Valley City charter school that has primarily served teen mothers and pregnant teen girls.

This past school year, Kairos served about 90 students. The school, which opened in 2014, has been on probation since March 2015 over issues of low enrollment, academic performance and questions about the qualification of faculty members, said board member Bruce Davis.

Board member Michelle Smith said the charter was "not salvageable," noting that the school had actively resisted "lifeline after lifeline" of help.

The academy has up to 30 days to ask for a hearing on the process to revoke its charter, which the State Charter School Board granted in 2013. The charter board's decision can be appealed to the elected Utah State Board of Education.

Kevin Fenstermacher, the academy's director and board chairman, declined to comment on the board's decision but said the school is keeping its options open.

Kim Frank, executive director of the Utah Charter Network, spoke on behalf of the school prior to the board entering executive session, offering alternatives to terminating the school's charter, such as assigning a third-party mentor to work with the school or amending its charter to be an alternative school.

"In my opinion, if any school qualifies as alternative school this would be the school because of the circumstances of their students," Frank said.

There is not a process currently in State School Board policy to seek that designation, she said.

Jennifer Lambert, state charter schools executive director, said the elected Utah State Board of Education is implementing a new school accountability system, which would likely delay any such application.

Marjorie Cortez

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