Phoenix Academy cuts high school program

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Families of more than 900 students will have to rethink where they send their kids to high school.

Phoenix Academy, a charter school in High Point, put its high school on the chopping block on Wednesday.

Parents received the notice by email and automated phone message.

“To have a message like this, it’s challenging," said Tim Andrew, a Phoenix Academy parent. "It puts a lot of the parents in a very difficult situation.”

The board of directors voted to cut the high school program.

Right now, Phoenix Academy only goes up to ninth grade. Tim Andrew's son is part of that class.

“The draw for Phoenix Academy was the smaller class sizes," he said. "My son works better in a smaller school.”

Superintendent Kim Norcross said with a ninth-grade class of only 43 students, there wasn't enough interest to continue expanding the high school.

“I thought that there would have been enough students in the lower classes to support this ninth-grade class and have them go all the way through," Andrew said.

But Norcross said the high school also wasn't financially sustainable. She told us the school couldn't provide quality programs with such low numbers.

“Honestly, the extracurriculars were not the priority for my family," Andrew said. "Some of the other things that they marketed, the IB Program, that was what kept us there.”

Now, parents like Andrew are left scrambling to find an alternative. Friday is the deadline to apply for Guilford County magnet schools. Andrew says magnet programs are appealing for the same reasons as charters.

“It’s flexibility. Every child doesn’t learn the same way," he said.

Norcross said they'll reconsider expanding in the future if the numbers are there.

“I think that they have a great plan," Andrew said. "I just think that the execution of the plans has not gone as smoothly as they thought.”

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