Durham's Kestrel Heights Charter School continues to battle woes

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- It was a packed meeting Wednesday night as parents and students at Kestrel Heights Charter School in Durham heard from school officials.

Kestrel Heights is under the microscope after finding out that 40 percent of graduates during eight years shouldn't have been given diplomas.

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School leaders and the board of directors led the first of a series of meetings Wednesday to discuss the status of the school's charter.

The North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board is recommending the Board of Education revoke the school's charter to teach high school.


The state says 160 students skipped one or more classes, including English and Math, but still were handed a diploma from 2008-2016.

School leaders say they plan to track down the affected graduates.

"If a student took a course and didn't pass it, there's credit recovery," Executive Director Dr. Mark Tracy said. "If they didn't take the course at all, but they took a similar course that was at a greater level at the university, then they can show demonstrated mastery. Or we can provide an online course for them to take so that they can get the credit that they were missing. So there is a variety of options."

There will be three additional meetings at the school over the next three Tuesdays to discuss the matter.

The State Board of Education will have the final say on Kestrel Heights High School's future. Members are expected to vote next month.

The NCSBOE is also calling for a criminal investigation.

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