January 21, 2015

Two Indianapolis Charter Schools To Close

Two Indianapolis charter schools will close at the end of this school year due to academic failures, according to the schools' sponsor. 

The charters for Fall Creek Academy and University Heights Preparatory Academy will not be renewed by Ball State University in June when they were due to expire. 

Joan Todd, Ball State spokeswoman, said the decision was based on "chronic under-performance" at the schools. 

Both schools have struggled to show academic progress on the state’s A-F accountability system. Last year Fall Creek was rated its third consecutive F. University Heights has been graded a D for the past three years.

The schools have until Feb. 3 to appeal the decision to Ball State's Office of Charter Schools. But Wednesday they released a joint statement announcing both would close June 12.

“As soon as we were notified of Ball State’s decision, we immediately put a plan into action to notify those who would be affected,” Charlie Schlegel, superintendent of both schools, said in a statement. “While we are proud of the progress our students, faculty and staff made during our administration, in the end, progress did not occur quickly enough to keep the schools open.”

The non-renewals come on the heels of other Indianapolis charters closing.

In August, Archdiocese of Indianapolis said it would relinquish the charters of Padua Academy and Andrew Academy at end of the 2014-15 school year to the authorizer -- Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

Padua will be reopened as a Catholic school. Ballard’s office had said it would seek another operator to run the Andrew Academy

In September, Flanner House Elementary Charter School was closed after widespread cheating on standardized tests was found after an investigation by Ballard's Office of Education Innovation and the Indiana Department of Education.

In the next week, Fall Creek and University Heights will hold meetings about the closures for parents.

Previously, Fall Creek Academy was sponsored by the Indianapolis mayor's office and opereated by Geo Foundation. But in 2011 it sought a charter from Ball State following an evaluation that was critical of the school’s standards. The school was then run by the Community Charter Network with Ball State as its sponsor.


Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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