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Future of Kairos Academy uncertain ahead of school board meeting

(Mike DeBernardo, KSL TV)

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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WEST VALLEY CITY — For Melissa Espindola, her senior year of high school took a dramatic turn when she found out she was pregnant.

"I thought my life was going to turn upside down," Espindola said. "I had to (drop out) because no one could take care of the baby."

She said she found a place for her and her son at Kairos Academy in West Valley City.

"My son was only two months when we first started here," Espindola said.

Patrice Goins-Boyd helped start the school because she saw needs like Melissa's in the community.

"One-size-fits-all doesn't work in clothes, and it doesn't work in schools," she said.

Goins-Boyd is one of the founding board members and is now fighting to keep the school's state funding.

"They feel like we haven't met our goals," she said.

The school was put on probation two years ago by the State Charter School Board over concerns about enrollment, qualifications of staff and student achievement.

"These girls don't just get the reading and math you get from a traditional school; these girls are getting case management," Goins-Boyd said.

"The State Charter School Board has worked with Kairos Academy over multiple probations to help the school address the identified deficiencies and provide a good education for students," said Jennifer Lambert, executive director of the State Charter School Board, in a prepared statement.

A lot hangs in the balance for Espindola who now has a job in the school's daycare while she pursues her associate degree.

"It hurts me actually," she said.

Espindola is hoping the outcome is in their favor as she continues to pursue her dreams.

"I want to be in law enforcement and be a detective one day," she said.

The school currently has about 90 students, with some of those students moved over to Kairos after a similar school in the area closed down.


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