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SALT LAKE CITY — Citing a lack of due process and a lack of sufficient training and mentoring by the Utah State Charter School Board staff, the leaders of Kairos Academy have appealed the state board's decision to revoke its charter.
In its request for an appeal to the elected Utah State Board of Education, Kairos Academy officials wrote that the July 19 informal hearing before the State Charter School Board should have been conducted by an impartial third-party hearing officer as prescribed in State School Board rules.
"As the governing board and interim director of the school, we fully appreciate that the school has operated under a strenuous scrutiny by the (Charter School Board) and charter section staff since opening in fall 2014. We understand some of it, but feel much of it could have been avoided had more been done to train and mentor the founding board and director," said a letter to state education officials signed by Julie Adamic, interim board chairwoman of Kairos Academy.
Kairos Academy, a charter school in West Valley City that serves teen mothers and pregnant teens, has been on probation for two years. On July 19, the Utah State Charter School board affirmed an earlier recommendation to terminate the school's charter. Probation was imposed over concerns about the school's academic performance, qualifications of teachers and enrollment. In its request for appeal, school officials said "probationary items changed frequently and created confusion."
The appeal will be conducted by a hearing officer and three to five members of the State Board of Education who have yet to be named.
The panel, in consultation with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson, will set a hearing date. Once the hearing is conducted, the panel will have up to 10 days to deliver written findings and recommendations to the full State Board of Education. The board will act on the findings at its next regularly scheduled board meeting.
The full board's decision on the matter will be considered final administrative action on the issue, although its actions are subject to judicial review.