LANHAM — The Turning Point Academy Public Charter School’s Governing Board of Directors held a board meeting to vote on whether to change the location of the school on April 11 but ended up not voting on the matter.
The Board of Directors intended to meet on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in the choir room of the school to make the vote on whether to move the school from the current location, at 7800 Good Luck Road sharing a building with Trinity Assembly of God Church, to a new location in Middleton Valley near Camp Springs, Maryland.
About eight parents gathered in the choir room as well, eager to find out whether the school will be making the change so that they can prepare and make whatever necessary arrangements they need to make as the school year draws to a close.
However, the Board of Directors was unable to vote because not enough members were in attendance. They require five members present at the meeting to vote, but only four were there. One member was allegedly running late coming from work.
Vice Chairperson Lisa Cash apologized to the parents for having them come out unnecessarily, and the Board of Directors opened the floor for questions. However, the parents were more interested in finding out about the move. The Board could not give any definite answers without taking a vote.
Following the meeting, several of the parents left while others stayed at the school to attend the school’s Parent Discovery Night and Principal Chat and Chew.
There were mixed feelings among the parents about the possibility of a move. Disappointment in not being able to vote, worries about the distance they would have the travel if the school were to move and skepticism about whether changing the location of the school is a good idea at all filled their concerns.
“The move is going to be worse for everyone in the school in general. It’s going to be worse for the students because you’ve got kids that are just about to go into middle school and just going to get out and now they need to find an entirely different route for school,” said Shemar Cooke, a former Turning Point Academy student whose sister now attends the school.”
“You have parents that live somewhere who are like ‘this is so convenient, this is so close for me,’ and now they have to take almost an hour drive. Not to mention it makes it worse for the teachers too. You’ve got teachers that work here that have been here forever or teachers who just got here who just figured everything out, and now they’re like now I have to switch things up.”
Should the move be approved, the Board of Directors hopes they will be able to expand and take in more students and teachers, said Executive Director Paul Shackelford.
“This program being so successful, we’d love to bring it to every student in Prince George’s County,” he said.
The K-8 charter school opened its doors in 2006. With the small size of the building leaving students to be taught in confined classrooms and in classrooms that are outside in trailers, Board of Education Vice Chair Edward Burroughs commented in the past that “the current facility is unacceptable and they need to move.”
“Those staff and students in the school deserve a facility that is adequate,” he said.
The next Board of Directors meeting is on May 6 p.m.