Transition Academy to be moved, downsized

A school that caters to special needs students is about to be moved to into another high school's building. Some parents are upset because the move will also mean fewer teachers.

The Transition Academy caters to students with emotional problems. The special needs students will have to leave this school to be moved to the third floor of Ballou High School, staffers say. They currently have their school to themselves. At Ballou, they will be isolated from regular students

The move is caused much anxiety. "These kids already have problems, why create another problem?” asked Sonja Wynder.

Ronnie Baldwin, who attends the school, said, "I think it's wrong.” He didn’t want to “be locked up on no third floor at Ballou, and I actually like it here. I’ve been here since the 8th grade," he said.

Staff at the school say the plan presented to them also significantly downsizes Transition Academy. At its current location at the Shadd Buidling, the school has 119 students and 65 teachers and staff. At Ballou, it will have 70 students and 14 staffers.

School Chancellor Kaya Henderson wrote in a letter to the school that by transitioning to Ballou, students will receive a more robust educational experience.

Parent Franklin Moragane wasn’t so sure. “If it wasn't for these school and this team here the staff that's here …he wouldn’t have made it this far,” Moragane said. “You're afraid if he goes to Ballou, he's not going to make it at all."

"It's just going to get even worse, there's going to be fights nonstop,” student Christopher Garner said. “People gonna get suspended and here we don't' have that here."