Pueblo City Schools: Youth and Family Academy Charter School Will Stay Open

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The Board of Education for Pueblo City Schools voted during its regularly scheduled meeting on November 30 to not extend the contract for the Youth and Family Academy (YAFA) Charter School. But the district says the school will remain open.

In a statement Wednesday, the school district says the most recent contract with YAFA expired on June 30, 2010, and there had been four one-month extensions granted by the Board until last night.

Citing concerns over the lack of academic progress at the school and a resistance to embrace the assistance of an outside consultant, Global Partnerships Schools (GPS) via a $1.5 million federal intervention grant, a majority of the Board voted to no longer grant extensions to the YAFA contract.

This comes after many years of concern over student progress and financial issues at the school. YAFA was granted charter status by the district in 1997. By early 2000, concerns over the management practices and lack of student academic progress had risen to such a level with the Board of Education that they voted not to renew the charter for YAFA in February 2000. An appeal was made to the State Board of Education who recommended that issues try to be worked out at the local level.

After measures to tighten academic and financial accountability were included in a new charter contract, the Board of Education approved a new contract in May 2000.

The statement goes on to say; Several times since 2000, repeated issues of lack of student progress, truancy and financial disputes further frustrated the Board. Things came to a head on November 30 with the no-confidence vote in the management of YAFA due to poor student performance and lack of cooperation with Global Partnerships Schools.

Pueblo City Schools administration intends to continue the YAFA programs and services in the current configuration. “Our first priority is to the students and families at YAFA,” said Maggie Lopez, Superintendent of Pueblo City Schools. “We want to assure YAFA students and families that the school will remain open, and we encourage your continued attendance.”

Families with questions may call the Pueblo City Schools Communications Office at 549-7178.