iGeneration Empowerment Academy opens doors, but students and parents are still concerned

Delayed start blamed on construction



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Parents and students continued to raise concerns about the iGeneration Empowerment Academy on Wednesday, hours after the charter school opened the doors of its newest campus in the 5800 block of Corporate Way.

The charter school, which left its Palm Beach Gardens campus earlier this year, is still under construction -- 16 days after the start of the school year.

"This morning, all of the kids were in one classroom," Kendal Missimer, a sophomore at the charter school said. "We did two assignments today. It's so disorganized."

Missimer said some students were shuttled to an office complex near Interstate 95 and 45th Street because the classroom exceeded capacity.

Owen Torres, a spokesperson for the School District of Palm Beach County, said the classroom could accommodate a maximum of 43 students.

Eighty-three students were reported to be in attendance on Wednesday, Torres said.

iGeneration and school district officials have not publicly said why the charter school abandoned its 1,200 square-foot campus in the 3900 block of RCA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens.

The campus opened one year ago, according the school district.

On Wednesday, John Seard, the chief of executive officer of Exceptional Schools Management Company, said the opening of the new campus had been delayed because of red tape.

"A lot of the issues dealt with, you know, understanding what the district needed in regards to what the building and the fire marshals needed to have happen," Seard said.

Students said as many as 40 students had been shuttled to the office complex on Wednesday -- and that there was not enough space to accommodate them there, either.

Some students had to stand while others sat on a couch, the students said.

Torres, the school district spokesperson, said the district was not aware that some students had been shuttled to the office complex.

The school district expected construction on the new campus would be completed "within weeks," Torres said.

Follow-up inquiries made to charter school officials were not returned on Wednesday.

Last week, the school district sent parents a recorded message that encouraged them to enroll their children in their nearest public school because officials had become concerned that students had missed too many days of school.

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