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La Mesa school reaches agreement with school district to stay open

Posted at 11:19 PM, Jun 11, 2024

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — It has been an emotionally turbulent few months for families, teachers and staff members at Sparrow Academy. The charter school was in jeopardy of being shut down due to several violations.

However, after reaching a new agreement with the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, the school will continue operating.

The violations included facilities not being fully accessible to students with disabilities and insufficient space for the number of students. There were also concerns with the school’s finances.

More than 300 students currently attend Sparrow Academy, which shares a campus with a church. After months of ongoing discussion, the school and district have agreed on a plan to make the necessary modifications.

Part of that agreement includes moving to a new location, St. Luke's Lutheran Church on Wilson Avenue, and in doing so, eliminating their middle school programs.

"That will address a lot of the facilities concerns that the district had. Unfortunately, because the permit for that site only allows for 150 students, we did have to eliminate our 6th, 7th and 8th grade for next year," said Michelle D’Augusta, Executive Director, Sparrow Academy.

D'Augusta said they have been working closely with all of their middle school families to help them transition to other schools. They hope to eventually bring those grades back.

ABC 10News spoke with a mother, hopeful for the same thing.

"It's a very special community, very welcoming," said Sophie Bengtsson, a mother of two.

Bengtsson shared that the changes mean her fifth-grade son will be relocating to a new school in Kearny Mesa next year, although she's confident both her kids will remain close to the tight-knit Sparrow Academy community.

“Although my children will not continue to be a part of that, I still feel like the years that we have had, [the] year have been really amazing."