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Rally to keep Monarch Academy open

Low test scores, special ed. concerns among issues
Posted at 11:24 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 23:25:37-05

Tuesday, parents teachers and students rallied to try to save a Baltimore charter school in danger of closing.

Monarch Academy Baltimore prides itself on providing a unique learning environment for its students but the school board says there's several reasons it wants to close the school.

Low test scores and special education concerns are among the reasons Monarch Academy may close.

"Her development was a little slow but then as time went on, her development has increased dramatically," said parent, Tracey Brooks.

Brooks is talking about her special needs daughter.  She said Monarch Academy has made all the difference for her.

"They offer art, music drama.  Many schools don't offer that.  Those things are important to a child's development."

But the board says it hasn't seen that type of academic performance.  Monarch, which services grades K-8 is just one of five schools the board may vote to close next year.  

"It brings a very special way of educating kids, especially kids coming from underprivileged areas Monarch is able to reach these kids," said educator, Willard Saunders.

And that's why parents like Onika Moore are worried that the school might close.

"The other zone schools, they're not up to par, there's already not enough resources for single moms but this school makes it easier," Moore told WMAR 2 News.

Low test scores and issues with special education instruction are two of the main reasons the board recommended not to renew the school's charter.  But parents at Tuesday's public hearing see the opposite.

"I have a special education child, she went from making D's and F's to now making A's and B's and she's making major progress.  You're using test scores that should not be used to base someone's education on," said Brooks.

Advocates for the school tell WMAR 2 News, it offers something unique.

"For certain children and certain people there's a different or alternative way for things to occur and education to take place and Monarch is just that," Saunders said.

Another public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.  The board is set to vote January 8.