Village Academy has closed after a nearly three-decade run in Powell.
A statement posted to the private, pre-K through 12th grade school’s website early last week said the school, 284 Liberty St., “will be closing its doors, effective Friday, July 19, 2019.”
“It is with a heavy heart (that we) announce that Village Academy Schools will not be able to have another academic year due to a decline in enrollment and withdrawal of contracts,” the statement at villageacademy.org reads.
The statement is signed “Village Academy Board of Trustees.”
According to the website, the school originally was part of the Learning International Schools system and opened its doors as Village Academy at its current location in 1990.
The Olentangy Local School District also issued a statement in response to the shuttering.
“We are sad to learn about the closing of Village Academy and we are here to support the school community in any way we can, including welcoming families who wish to enroll their students at Olentangy,” the statement reads. “As we learn more about the number of Village Academy students who are interested in joining our district, we will take the necessary steps to support the increased enrollment.”
Village Academy board members did not return messages left for comment about the closing.
ThisWeek Olentangy Valley News obtained emails sent by the school earlier this year.
An email sent to parents in late June stated the school would open Aug. 21 as planned.
“It has come to our attention that some rumors have arisen via emails and social media that we feel the need to address,” the email reads. “The school will open on August 21 and athletics will continue as planned. Some changes were made and we hope the following statement from the Board will help each of you understand and weed through the rumors.”
The statement reads:
“As members of the Village Academy Board of Trustees, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the School and the School must achieve a break-even budget. The inherited debt along with declining enrollment numbers has put us in a negative financial position and even though we have made great strides over the last two years, we were unable to meet our goals through development efforts, retention, and enrollment.
“Therefore, it was necessary for the Board to create a new model that offered modified faculty/staff/administration contracts, to reflect the sustainability of the budget. In addition, all service, maintenance and utility contracts were renegotiated. Specifically, the AVI contract, which will result in all students packing their own lunches this year.
In a June 27 email to teachers, signed by Tres Marangoni, head of school, teachers’ contract offers were rescinded for the coming school year:
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is with deep regret that effective immediately, Village Academy, because of unforeseen financial strictures necessitating personnel reorganization, must rescind your contract offer for a full-time/part-time/adjunct teaching position for the 2019-2020 academic year,” the email read.
An email to Village Academy families in early July invited them to a Town Hall meeting to “answer your questions about the upcoming school year.”
The meeting was set for July 9.