‘It’s devastating’: Mother upset Greensboro middle school could possibly close

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Twelve-year-old Isabel Nazario loves going to school.

She's a sixth grader at High School Ahead Academy, a small, non-traditional school with only 98 students.

"I think my biggest class size is 13,” Nazario said.

She's on the honor roll and her parents say she's a lot more confident.

"Last year, it was a struggle every day to get her to go to school," said Christine Nazario, Isabel’s mother.

The small classes work well for Isabel, who has anxiety issues and gets overwhelmed in large classes.

"This is the best she's done socially,” Christine said. “And, it's going to be snatched away."

On April 4, Christine got a phone call from Guilford County Schools saying the middle school might close for the 2017-2018 school year.

"This is heartbreaking,” Christine said. “It's devastating."

Christine tried charter and magnet schools, but it was too late and their deadlines passed in February.

"Two months left of school, I still have no idea where she's going to be going next year," the mother said.

The nearest middle school has more than 1,000 students.

"That's going to be a shock,” Christine said. “Literally going from 100 kids to over 1,000 kids."

High School Ahead Academy is the only Guilford County school that may close under the superintendent's recommended budget.

High School Ahead offers an accelerated program to allow students, who for whatever reason are a year or more behind others their age, to catch up to their peers by the time they enroll in high school, according to a Guilford County Schools spokesperson.

The school district says the closure would save $1.2 million.

Under the superintendent’s recommended budget, that money would be used for a credit recovery program for students in grades 6-12. It is anticipated that program would serve up to 500 students.

The school district sent a statement to FOX8:

We understand the disappointment and frustration parents and students are feeling. Unfortunately, after eight years of budget cuts, we are at the point where all choices are difficult. We need to put the limited resources we have where we need them the most and where they will serve the most students.” -- Dr. Nora K. Carr, Chief of Staff

Christine says finding out in April that the school will possibly close wasn't enough notice.

"If we had the time to prepare, it would make all the difference in the world," she said.

A final decision about whether the school will close or not will be made on May 9.

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