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Parents still struggling with closing of Springfield school

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

State education leaders confirmed the fears of parents at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield Thursday.

The school will close on June 30 of this school year.

Several parents met with the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Tuesday where it was confirmed the charter will not be renewed.

Now the students will have to return to their original schools next fall, and many parents are worried about what that means.

"How is that better for my daughter going from a classroom size of very small to 30 to 35 children?" asked parent Anita Tirkot.

She is just one of the parents of the more than 500 students who are now wondering exactly where their kids will be going to school in the fall.

Tuesday night, dozens met with school officials to learn what more can be done, but as of June 30, the school's charter will officially be over, sending the hundreds of students back to the city's public schools.

It's a thought that terrifies Tirkot because of the reasons she pulled her sixth-grade daughter from the school in the first place.

"She'll be going to the school where the bullies that bullied her through elementary school will then be there," Tirkot said.

But New Leadership School officials say they'll continue working to see what options they may have to stay open.

"Because our parents are interested in taking charge and moving forward, we have to respect their wishes," said Principal Dr. Trevor Christopher.

At Tuesday night's meeting, parents said they want to see laws enacted that would require a charter school on probation like New Leadership to notify the parents and staff immediately.

"Finding out overnight that my child will no longer have a school to go to in September is heartbreaking," Tirkot said.

As of now, Tirkot's daughter is scheduled to go to Kiley Middle School. But she says if parents had been given notification, they would have fought harder to keep new leadership open.

"It's a very emotional time for the children, very emotional for the parents. Had we known about the situation then we would've had more power to make things happen," Tirkot said.

Parents are meeting again Wednesday night to see what more they can do to keep the school open.

They will meet at 5 p.m. at the Rebecca Johnson school on Catharine Street.

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