Dozens of students and parents protested Friday morning outside a campus of a Gaston County charter school that reportedly plans to eliminate its high school classes next academic year.
The protest took place outside the secondary school campus of Piedmont Community Charter School, on South New Hope Road in Gastonia. WSOC-TV aired live coverage of students chanting and marching at the campus.
According to a letter sent to parents from board members of the school, Piedmont Community Charter School will eliminate its high school classes in the 2015-16 academic year. The school will continue to operate with K-8 classes, according to the letter, which was provided to the Observer by parents.
In the letter, board members said they “have not been able to sustain the right number of (high school) students to offer the advanced courses, expanded elective offerings and requested extra-curricular activities to properly fulfill our mission.”
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Board members said that “with the low high school enrollment and no waiting list for those grades,” the school will not offer high school classes next year.
In the letter, the board said many students enrolled in the K-8 grades at Piedmont Community Charter have chosen to switch to other high schools in the area.
There was no immediate comment from the school.
As a charter school, Piedmont Community is able to make decisions on school hours and calendars, curriculum, and in other areas. Such schools receive state funding but not for construction of facilities.