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Helen Thackston students prepare for closing after school loses charter

YORK, Pa. -- The day after the Helen Thackston Charter School in York loses its charter, students and parents may be wondering what happens next.

Classes continue as usual for now.

Most students didn't appear to look upset about the decision to close the school, but consulting CEO Carlos Lopez said that doesn't mean they'not concerned.

"Our students are resilient. Hopefully we'll be here until the end of the 2018-19 school year," Lopez said.

That's pending the completion of financial audits for the last three years since the charter was renewed in 2014.

As part of a review of the school's operations, it needs to provide those independent audits to the School District for the City of York and the state by January 31st. Otherwise, if the school misses the deadline, Helen Thackston could close at the end of the current school year.

It gives students a lot to think about.

"The students will have at least a year and a half to determine what potential school district or what schools they'll be returning to, but then, one of the other choices that they have may be to attend other charter schools in the area," Lopez said.

Meanwhile, these kids aren't ready for classes to be dismissed just yet. Lopez shared letters that students drafted to send to the York City school board president. It's one last ditch effort for them to tell the district why they want to save their school.

"They believe that helen thackston is one, a better place for them because it's a lot smaller than the local high school, two that they believe that the teachers are more responsive to them," Lopez said.

Public hearings to save the school were scheduled this month, but canceled after administrators for the district and the charter school agreed to avoid a legal battle and close Helen Thackston.

"Instead of spending anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 to defend the continuation of our charter, it was their decision that that money would be better spent on our students," Lopez said.

York City's superintendent said the district has a duty to hold charter schools accountable as well as spend tax dollars wisely, and he says the agreement to close the school does both.