Parents from Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts, and Sciences were notified Wednesday that Einstein will surrender its charters from the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District and shutter its campuses.
The letter from Einstein CEO Maggie Ford acknowledged a number of issues that contributed to the decision, including declining enrollment and financial constraints.
“While I was hopeful that a financial partner could be established and a plan could be developed to sustain operations next year it became clear last week that this would be an insurmountable feat. With this in mind, the AEALAS board voted last Thursday to surrender all charters to the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District effective June 30, 2018. AEA and AADUSD will continue to work together to allow the students to complete the year in the current schools and then transition for their new school in the coming year.”
Additionally, the Einstein STEAM Academy charter petition that was submitted to the William S. Hart Union School District last month has been withdrawn and will not be on this week’s Hart District board agenda, according to the notice.
Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts, and Sciences is a nonprofit, co-educational, open-enrollment, public charter school organization, serving students in kindergarten through grade 12. AEALAS Inc. currently operates three school campuses with a total enrollment of approximately 1,000 students. The campuses are located in Santa Clarita (Newhall), Beverly Hills and Agua Dulce.
AEALAS has faced years of scrutiny and concerns for its handling of the school’s finances, notably from the Newhall and Saugus Union school districts, both of which declined the Academy’s charter petitions.
“I cannot promise you that there will be no further challenges this year; there will be,” Ford said in the letter. “I can promise you that your children will continue to be at the center of everything that we do.”
Larry King, superintendent of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, issued a statement on the heels of Ford’s announcement.
”It‘s unfortunate that the governing body of three charter schools affiliated with our school district have found it necessary to cease operations at the end of this school term,” the statement read. “These schools offered choices and unique options for the families of our community. Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District is working closely with district and site administrators to facilitate the transition of AEA students and families back into their home schools.”
A parents’ information meeting has been scheduled for April 30 at 8 a.m. at the Agua Dulce campus to discuss concerns about the transition. There will also be a meeting for STEAM families on April 30 at 4 p.m at the STEAM campus in Newhall.
“We want to ensure that these students continue to receive a high-quality educational experience in a positive, welcoming learning environment,” King said in the statement. “Their continued progress in school is our highest priority.”