Arlington Country Day School Closure: State Records Show Lax Recordkeeping

Jan 30, 2018

The reason why a more than 60-year-old Jacksonville private school shut down over the weekend could be due, in part, to lax recordkeeping.

Arlington Country Day School parents, like Dominique Fairley, were stunned to learn in an email over the weekend their children’s school would no longer be open come Monday.

“They didn’t give us any explanation, they didn’t give us any time to figure anything out,” Fairley said on Monday. “It was just closed.”

RELATED: Arlington Country Day Parents, Teachers Scrambling For Other Options After Abrupt Closure

But as our partner News4Jax reports, it could be because the state suspended the school’s eligibility in several scholarship programs, which many students used to cover their tuition. Those include state-issued Gardiner Scholarships for students with special needs, Florida Tax Credit Scholarships for students from low-income families, and John M. McKay Scholarships for students with disabilities.

According to state documents, during a site visit in October, Arlington Country Day couldn’t produce several records, including some students’ birth certificates or proof of scoliosis screenings. By January, the school still hadn’t produced the documentation.

Some former Country Day students are enrolling in Arlington Community Academy, another private school within walking distance of their closed campus.

Community Academy head Lauren May says most of her students also receive state scholarships, and taking in the new kids isn’t a problem.

“We just have to go onto the online system and click a button, and it can be transferred,” she said.

Arlington Country Day School administrators have not responded to an interview request.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.