After a month-long discussion, the ACE board has decided that ACE Academy Charter School for Architecture, Construction and Engineering will be closing at the end of the school year.
According to Superintendent Sam Breyer, only 14 Centennial students attended ACE this year but the district paid for 37 positions at the school. Although Centennial pays less for the empty slots, there is still a lot of money going into this underutilized resource.
Along with being underutilized, ACE’s lease with the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute is up, and their business is growing so they needed more space. ACE had been trying to find a new building to operate in. They had looked into Mount Hood Community College, but it would have cost over $200,000 to get up to code.
The seniors at ACE are going to graduate as usual, but things are not going as planned for many of the juniors. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) credit that ACE offered may only be partial, but students can finish at Centennial. Counselor Sally Menolascina and School-to-Work Coordinator Jeff Stanek met with the juniors last week regarding their options. “It looks like we will be able to facilitate all their needs,” said Stanek.
ACE juniors have plenty of options for their senior year. CAL is accepting applications, Centennial has an option called Pathways on Wednesday mornings before school, and Centennial is willing to send some students to Mount Hood Community College to take some classes for free. For more information on these options, students should see their counselor.
As for the ACE staff, they are all looking for new employment opportunities. Check chstalon.com tomorrow for an updated story with an interview with Mark Clifford, the director at ACE.
The Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) filled all the slots Centennial paid for this year, but four years ago, ACE and CAL both were lacking in students to teach. The district is not sure why CAL has done so well while ACE has struggled.