The International School of Columbus will permanently close its doors on Friday. School officials voted to close during a special board meeting Wednesday evening.
Rich Wagner, Chair of the ISC School Board, thanked the board members, school staff, students and parents before fighting back tears while reading the charter’s dissolution. Ball State University holds ISC’s charter.
ISC planned to move into a new location, but the school was denied permit of occupancy earlier this year because it could pay for the necessary renovations. School officials say because the school couldn’t move they couldn’t expand their student body. In fact, the school lost nearly 50 students this year, which cost the school state funding.
The school could have taken out a loan for the $250,000 it would need to stay open.
But board members agreed they did not want to be on the hook for a loan they might not be able to pay back.
Plans for new school are already in the works.
Head of School Jonah Sims had planned to retire on November 15, and Kim Sutton, the school’s special education teacher, has met with a person who was going to take over the school then. She says they brainstormed ideas for a new school in Columbus similar to the International School of Columbus, with smaller class sizes and a welcoming environment.
“It may not be a charter school, it may be a private school – right now everything is just starting from square one.” Sutton says. “We don’t even know if it will happen, but we’re gonna try.”
Sutton says that many parents have expressed interest in the new school and that the next step is to garner more support. They would then need to seek a charter authorizer who would approve the school.
For now, students will be absorbed in seven other schools, mostly in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation.