Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Last month the South Carolina Science Academy charter was removed, but now parents, staff and students hope to appeal the decision.
"This year I've really improved upon a lot of my grades. I'm making A's and B's so far this year. I've really been getting good at school," Grayson Neal said.
Neal is in the 9th grade and attends the South Carolina Science Academy.
He's faced many challenges in life, being legally blind, but he and his mother agree this school has helped him excel.
"The school, the students, they're really like a big family," Lisa Neal said. "Wanting your child to feel comfortable and fit in. It means a lot to a parent."
The school may be forced to close. It's charter was revoked in March by the SC Public Charter School District Board of Trustees.
The district declined to be interviewed, but sent News 19 this statement, "On March 8, 2018, after recommendations made by the SCPCSD staff, the SCPCSD Board of Trustees voted 6-1, with one board member abstaining, to revoke the charter of SC Science Academy as of June 30, 2018. The Board of Trustees determined that SC Science Academy failed to meet fiscal health requirements and academic standards, and were not in compliance with the goals stated in their charter. Per the South Carolina Charter Act, SC Science Academy has the right to a hearing, which is scheduled during the SCPCSD Board’s regularly scheduled board meeting for April 12, 2018. The SCPCSD Board of Trustees will then decide whether to proceed with the revocation."
"I'm not going to say that they are not telling the truth," Kim Lopez-Waymer said.
Lopez-Waymer is the Secretary of the Academy's Board of Directors.
She said they have a new board this year that is doing everything it can to right the ship.
"I do know that when we jumped into action we asked them to tell us what we could do to fix this. They gave us a list of things that we needed to do we responded to that list. I know they say there is an issue with test scores. We are not a one size fits all school. Our school enrollment here, some of our children are special needs. Our kids get here what they don't get anywhere else."
The Academy started in 2013 and roughly 150 students attend grades 6 through 12.
"I hope the school can get its charter back and continue improving and going forth from that," Grayson Neal said.
The school plans to appeal the decision on April 12 at the next SCPCSD board meeting.