Parents scramble after charter school's sudden closure

PHILADELPHIA - October 14, 2013

It was Friday morning when the Solomon Charter School in Center City announced it would close its doors, effective immediately.

The move left parents scrambling.

"They had curriculum going on, different languages, things were different, out of the neighborhood. I never thought something like this would happen," said Nikki Jones of North Philadelphia.

However, there were multiple problems. Students were going to class in a building that also houses a clinic that treats sex offenders.

There were safety issues such as exposed wires and mold.

Meanwhile, a charter revocation hearing was set for next month stemming, in part, from questions as to whether Solomon was a cyber school as planned, or a brick-and-mortar school.

The principal, David Weathington, said it was a 'cyber-blended' classroom which, he maintains, was approved.

While the school fought to stay open, Weathington said too much money would have gone to legal fees. "Parents felt safe that their kids can be educated at home and also come to a traditional program, that's part of the cyber-blended program. Kids get both worlds, learn and feel safe. That's what parents have been crying about all weekend with me," Weathington said.

Weathington was brought in back in May to get the school in compliance with the state. Now, however, he's compiling a list of schools to help place more than 300 students elsewhere and ease the concern of parents.

"Every student has a placement. However, parents do have concerns about going to School District of Philadelphia schools,' said Weathington.

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