Twisted up in Blake Portees hand as he left his classroom Tuesday was a letter from school leaders explaining that soon he might need to find a new place to learn.
My teacher gave me this paper, the Imagine MASTer Academy fifth-grader said. She said it was very important that I give it to my parents.
Blake said he read the paper while in class and learned that the school hed attended for the past five years could be closing at the end of June.
Ball State University announced Thursday that three Fort Wayne charter schools – Imagine MASTer, Imagine Schools on Broadway and Timothy L. Johnson Academy – will not be renewed when their contracts expire June 30.
All three schools have the option to appeal Ball States decision or can seek a different charter sponsor. If the decision is reversed or another sponsor agrees to take over, the schools could remain open.
But that sense of unknown seemed to displease some parents Tuesday.
Im very disappointed, said Blakes father, Elmo Portee Sr. Were going to have to do some quick thinking for that next step. Well have to find somewhere else for him to go.
Portee said hed look into private schools or another charter school but would likely avoid the citys public schools.
Hes done well here, Portee said, glancing at his son. Weve been very satisfied with the education hes getting.
Stanley Gurnoe waited in his truck outside Timothy L. Johnson Academy as his 10-year-old grandson made his way to the vehicle after school Tuesday.
By 3 p.m., Gurnoe hadnt heard the news that his grandsons school could close.
Im so surprised, he said. We came for this Christmas program just a few weeks ago and they told us the (enrollment) was growing. We thought things were OK.
Gurnoe said his grandson, who is in fourth grade, has attended the academy for three years. His family made the decision to have him attend the academy primarily because it was close to home and seemed to be a better fit than the citys public schools, Gurnoe said.
Now, theyll need to spend some time thinking about whats next for him, he said.
Well have to send him to a private school, I think, Gurnoe said. It wont be a public school, I can tell you that.
Parents at Imagine Schools on Broadway and Imagine MASTer Academy received calls Tuesday informing them of Ball States decision, school officials said.