With the sudden closure of private Arlington Country Day School Friday, some 300 to 400 students ranging from Pre-K through 12th grade are scrambling to find new schools.
Dominique Fairley said she was shocked after she got an email from Arlington Country Day over the weekend saying the school is closed, with no explanation why.
“Words don’t describe how I feel to be honest with you,” Fairley said. “It was just completely unprofessional and blindsiding. I really feel like if they were having problems with whatever, they should have let the parents know ahead of time because they knew before it got to the point that it got to.”
On Monday Fairley was at Arlington Community Academy, a private Christian school less than a half-mile from the now-closed school, enrolling Journee, who is Fairley’s 7-year-old daughter.
Arlington Community Academy head Lauren May said she held an emergency Sunday open house.
“Five [students] enrolled and, one enrolled today, and a few others are coming back on Wednesday or Thursday,” May said.
Community Academy serves students up to second grade, and May says the plan is to add a grade every year and eventually build a middle school. However, more grades may be added sooner than planned.
“We have offered that we can open a third or fourth grade for displaced families from Arlington Country Day School,” May said.
On Monday several displaced Arlington Country Day teachers were also getting fingerprinted for open teaching positions.
In addition, Duval County Public Schools sent a memo out Monday saying the district is providing special accommodations to enroll all displaced students.
Arlington Country Day School opened its doors more than 60 years ago. The school did not return calls before this story was posted.
As The Florida Times-Union first reported, there are two separate active lawsuits against the school filed last February. One alleges the school won’t refund nearly $60,000 paid in tuition for a potential foreign student who wasn’t approved for a Visa, and never attended the school.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.