Dear Carolina STEM families,
The journey to realize the dream of a public charter high school like Carolina STEM Academy is long and hard and has required a leap of faith from each of you. We value that trust, and have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to share our long-anticipated property closing, followed by a celebratory opening on September 8th. Unfortunately, we are disappointed to share that, due to enrollment and continued difficulties with closing, Carolina STEM will be unable to open this year.
Since our open enrollment period, Carolina STEM received over 170 applicants. However, in response to all of our reminder emails over the last few months, we received more withdrawals than anticipated. Therefore, over the past few weeks, we began a pressing campaign of reaching all remaining families via phone, email or both. Ultimately, only 66 have confirmed their enrollment.
This brought Carolina STEM to a critical juncture. Even under multiple budget scenarios, we could not open doors without another 40-60 students. Additionally, for reasons beyond our control, the property closing date continues to be delayed, jeopardizing our ability to begin and complete construction in time for a fall opening.
We are devastated to share this difficult decision, but most importantly, our Board determined that we must act decisively to do what is right for all concerned, including school families, who deserve the appropriate time toexercise their back-up plans and/or search for alternatives, as well as potential staff, who need to know a position would be secure. After three separate meetings this past week, we decided that, although we are receiving new inquiries and applicants weekly, the numbers still would not reach critical mass by opening day, nor would our property be ready.
Our Board was also resolute that we must determine the likelihood of a successful opening, before receiving any public tax dollars. To date, no taxpayer funds have been received or utilized by Carolina STEM; all expenditures for marketing, open houses, etc., have been funded through the generosity of our Board.
At this time, no decisions have been made on the possible future of Carolina STEM for another school year or location. Our ribbon-cutting, which we had hoped to hold this coming Saturday, July 19, is cancelled. Nonetheless, we are very grateful to all our friends who have supported our 4-year journey, and wish each of your students the very best.
The Founding Board of Directors
Carolina STEM Academy admits students of any race, color, gender, creed, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin. A student's disabilities or handicaps will not be used as a basis for admission.