Kestrel Heights to host community meeting

Kestrel Heights School will meet with parents and other interested members of the community Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m., to discuss plans to move the school forward.

The meeting will be held in the open space between Kestrel’s elementary and middle schools.

“This is an opportunity for us to sit down and talk with people in the community about Kestrel Heights and our future,” Kestrel’s Executive Director Mark Tracy said in a news release. “Regardless of what ultimately happens to our high school, we continue to serve more than 700 elementary and middle school students.”

The State Board of Education voted unanimously March 2 to order Kestrel to close its high school because the school awarded diplomas to students who didn’t meet state requirements for graduation.

An internal investigation found that 160 of Kestrel’s 399 graduates since 2008 didn’t meet the state’s requirements for a high school diploma.

Last week, the public charter school asked for a review of the SBE’s decision to close the high school.

Tracy said the school will provide an update on the review process and discuss the progress it has made resolving issues involving students who graduated without completing all required courses.

Under the rules, the SBE chairman may approve a review panel, which may review Kestrel’s appeal request with or without a formal hearing.

If the panel decides to conduct a formal hearing, it must be held within 30 days of receiving the request unless the SBE and the charter school agree to a different time frame.

Tracy said the uncertainty over the future of the high school has left many parents and students with questions about how to plan for the upcoming school year.

He said Kestrel is working closely with the families of individual high school students to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.

Tracy said Kestrel is also actively recruiting K-8 students for the upcoming school year.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645