Horizon Charter Schools' Accelerated Learning Academy to close

K-2 option in Lincoln will be discontinued, as well
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Horizon Charter Schools announced Tuesday that it will close its Accelerated Learning Academy programs effective Dec. 21, the end of this semester.

This follows the site closure of the ALA and Rocklin Academy of Science and Engineering in October. On Oct. 11, parents received an email from Horizon CEO Craig Heimbichner informing them that, due to safety concerns regarding traffic and kids in the parking lot, the school would be closing in just a few days. The Technology Way site was home to 391 students in the third- through eighth-grade ALA and the Rocklin Academy of Science, Math and Engineering for ninth- through 12th-graders.

According to the terms of the business license issued for the Horizon Distance Resource Learning center in 2011, daily attendance is limited to 75 students at any one time and no more than 200 students on site throughout the day. Roseville attorney Glenn Peterson was hired by Horizon Charter Schools to investigate the terms of the lease for the site. Horizon subleased the site from GroupAccess, which controlled the lease for Horizon’s Technology Way site and other premises in Auburn and Elk Grove. GroupAccess has the master lease from the site's owner, Wells Fargo Bank, and Horizon subleased the site.

At the time of the closure, students and families were informed that education would continue via virtual learning online, and through one-on-one teacher-student interaction in public meeting places. In November, Heimbichner announced that the institution’s financial situation would not allow for a new school site at this time.

“The Horizon Administration has tried to sustain a commitment to this program while changing its service delivery model, watching enrollment trends and receiving feedback from the parent community and teachers,” reads a release from Horizon. “After recent ALA community messages were delivered to the administration and/or publicly posted, it became clear that the program in its current form is largely unwelcome to the community upon whose support the program itself depends.”

“Horizon’s administration has therefore reviewed all options and decided to discontinue the ALA program K-8, including all ALA classes, effective the end of this semester, Dec. 21, 2012. Parents that elect to keep their children with Horizon Charter Schools will still have available the Core Knowledge curriculum that is in use within the ALA program.”

Because ALA is a comprehensive program, the release added, the K-2 classes at the Lincoln Life Center will also be discontinued at the end of the semester.

“Parents will also have available other program options within Horizon as a whole,” the release added. “Horizon Charter Schools remains open and fully committed to the successful education of all students, combining academic excellence with personalized learning.”