More than 550 people have signed an online petition to save Kestrel Heights’ high school.
The change.org petition will be delivered to State Board of Education Chairman William Cobey. The board plans to begin discussing the school’s charter and the future of its high school Wednesday afternoon. The board will likly take action Thursday.
The state Charter Schools Advisory Board has recommended the K-12 school close its high school this summer. The recommendation followed the discovery that 40 percent of Kestrel’s 399 graduates from 2008 to 2016 hadn’t completed the required credits.
Kestrel leaders, parents and students have defended the school, saying officials self-reported the problem which was linked to a guidence counselors and principals who no longer work there.
Students and parents say the like the small high school environment and don’t want to make the shift to a new school in the middle of their high school experience. The school has about 350 high school students and about 1,020 students total.
The petition states:
“We, the parents, staff, and students of Kestrel Heights School (Kestrel) are urging the North Carolina State Board of Education to renew Kestrel's charter for the entire school (K-12). The current administration is fully aware of the failures of the previous administrators in allowing students to graduate without the proper credentials.
“They have stepped forward, self-reported the findings, fully investigated the issues, provided options to assist the affected students, and have developed procedures for ensuring this issue is not repeated. We have every confidence in the current administration and are confident the procedures put in place will prevent the re-occurrence of these issues. As everyone from the previous administration is no longer at Kestrel any punishments will only hurt our students, their families and the current staff.
“We urge the Board of Education to put our students first and renew the charter for the entire school.”