Wednesday’s deadline to sign up students for a possible charter school in Waldo is being extended at least a week.
The new school will be able to open if enrollment reaches 100. Right now, the city only has 88 students lined up.
“And we are going to have ball games in Waldo this weekend, so hopefully we will get people signed up that way, too,” city manager Kim Worley said. “But we encourage everybody in order to have this, I think it’s really our one shot deal to get this school going and to get a really good charter school.”
The Alachua County School District shut down Waldo Community School in 2015 due to low attendance.
The proposed K-5 charter school would be in the same building.
The school has been closed for a couple of years now, and locals want students to come back to Waldo. They also think that if the doors are opened to the school, then, maybe, it could be beneficial to the community.
Worley said when the school closed, Waldo lost the most important part of the community.
“That’s kind of the heartbeat of a small town. So it really hurt us, so by bringing the charter school back, we are bringing the hearbeat back, and hopefully good things will happen on that,” she said.
Richard Shaffer lives in Waldo and said he would consider bringing back his 8-year-old from Hampton Elementary in Bradford County.
“I would like it,” Shaffer said. “The area needs a good school.”
Others agree the community would benefit from a new school, even if limited to K-5.
“It would bring people back,” Lacy Aquilla Griggs said. “There ain’t many people around here no more. And they got sports they can play, got ball fields out there. That’s my opinion.”
The deadline is now April 26.