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Their schooling must go on

Officials say students of shuttered Armenian private school need to continue elsewhere for the time being.

September 08, 2010|By Max Zimbert

Families who enrolled their children at the private Armenian school that was shut down by a temporary court order last week must immediately switch schools, officials said.

Scholars Academic Foundation, a K-12 campus in La Crescenta, was forbidden from holding any classes at its site on Foothill Boulevard after city officials said it failed to obtain the required building and safety permits to operate a school there.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order that closed the school Sept. 1, and state education law requires families switch schools whenever a campus is closed.

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The temporary injunction that closed the Foothill Boulevard campus is scheduled to be revisited at a court hearing Sept. 17, but even in the interim, state law is clear that students must be enrolled in an instructional program, said officials in Glendale and Burbank school districts who oversee attendance, transfers and academic records.

“The bottom line is parents must enroll their children immediately in a full-time public school program upon closure of [or] removal from a private school,” Margo Minecki, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, said in an e-mail. “There’s no waiting period.”

The school owner and operator, Anahit Grigoryan, said parents at her school were informed that they were free to enroll elsewhere, but she said she was confident they would return when a new school opens in Glendale or another city with the proper paperwork and permits.

“We don’t have any problems with education, the problem was with the building,” she said. “I’m pretty sure that because our school is very, very good, with high [academic] standards, that’s why our parents are very loyal.”

She said the school would open with the same name, but declined to discuss potential locations.

“We didn’t stop anything. We are just moving our school to another city, to another very proper place,” she said.

A closed school is legally bound to inform parents they must enroll elsewhere, according to state law and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. But state law puts the legal onus on parents to ensure their children are enrolled appropriately, officials said.

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