KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Some parents are expressing outrage after a Kissimmee private school shut down part of its program.
- First United Methodist School closing middle school program
- Parents received the letter a day before program closed
- School: Low enrollment, other factors behind closure
Elizabeth Fahey went to First United Methodist School as a child. Now all grown up, her two children were also attending First United until it was decided that the middle school portion would close.
Fahey was left scrambling to find not only a new school for her 7th grader, but also a new job, as she was a teacher aide at the school.
“I feel sad. I've done nothing but cry these past couple of days,” Fahey said. “I never thought I would have to be in this situation.”
Parents received a letter that read, “At present due to low enrollment challenges and other factors, it is in the best interest of our students, that FUMS no longer offer a middle school program.”
Another mother, Jenny Patterson, took her kid out before all of this happened. Patterson said her son’s 4th-grade teacher was not qualified to teach, and that when she brought it up the church’s new leadership, her remarks were ignored.
“It’s been a fabulous school; to see this rapid decline is sad,” Patterson said.
Fahey said they received the letter a day before the closure, without a warning. She wishes they would have given parents and teachers more time. Fahey fears the elementary and day care are also in danger of shutting down.
The pastor of the church, Jose Nieves, is the acting principal for the school.
"The church has found it necessary to close the middle school at this time," Nieves said. "We regret not being able to continue operating 3 grades of middle school for 15 students. We reached out to communicate directly with each of the families involved and we are keeping all the children and everyone affected by these circumstances in our prayers."