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State Charter School Board Reverses Closure Decision For Southwest Utah Charter School

Photo of a room full of people raising their hands in a sign meaning "love" in American Sign Language.
David Fuchs
Hundreds of students, faculty and community members gathered at Saint George Academy for a Town Hall on Monday night. The school prides itself on its academic performance and inclusive culture.

WASHINGTON, Utah — The Utah State Charter School Board voted unanimously on Thursday not to close Saint George Academy.

The board last month issued the Washington County charter school a notice of proposed termination. Its decision to reverse course, which comes after the school submitted a plan to reduce costs and increase enrollment, means the academy’s doors will stay open for at least one more year.

During that time, the state charter school board has placed the school on a “probationary” status. 

The terms of that probation will focus primarily on the school’s financial viability, enrollment and retention — and will serve as what the board referred to as “checkpoints” to ensure that school is on track to address its concerns. 

“I just want to congratulate Saint George Academy,” said board member Cynthia Phillips, praising the support the school has received from its community members and creditors. “It’s rare that a school is recommended for closure and that is rescinded by the board.” 

The board president of Saint George Academy Neil Walter welcomed the news.

"We are excited for the decision of the State Charter School Board to rescind the proposed closure of Saint George Academy,” he said. “We are anxious to continue the work of delivering exceptional academic results, an inclusive environment and a proprietary Pre-ACT program for grades 8-12 students in Southern Utah."

The state charter school board will hold a hearing on Dec. 9 to discuss the notice of proposed termination given to Weber County’s Capstone Classical Academy, the only other charter school issued such a notice this year.

David Fuchs is a Report for America corps member who reports from KUER's Southwest Bureau in St. George.

David is a reporter and producer working on Sent Away, an investigative podcast series from KUER, The Salt Lake Tribune and APM Reports.
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