If Zaida Govan's 10th-grader can no longer go to Springfield's New Leadership Charter School she's prepared to pay up for an alternative.
"If she doesn't go here, I'm going to put her in a private school and I'm going to pay for it, and I don't know how, but I'm going to get three or four jobs if that's what I have to do," Govan said.
She and dozens of other parents packed into the city's school committee meeting Thursday night.
They're trying to keep the doors of New Leadership open by changing it to an innovation school, meaning it would stay open and would run as a public school.
It's an option that sixth-grader Amoure Joseph is banking on.
"I'll cry a lot, I'll beg and I'll try to get myself back into Baystate, anything I can to be with my friends," she said at the meeting.
Parent Augustine Santiago says his seventh-grade son has focus issues at school, but since he has started at New Leadership, he's been improving.
"He said, 'Dad, I'm going to go to a different school, it's not going to be the same, I'm going to find it difficult, the teachers don't know me,'" Santiago said.
But it is a tough road ahead to make an innovation school happen.
The three-step process begins with a panel made up of a superintendent designee, a school committee member and a teacher's union member, who will get 30 days to review the application to become an innovation school.
If they approve it, a second committee will review the whole package, including the curriculum.
They must then push it forward and obtain a two-thirds majority vote of approval by teachers at the school before the school committee ultimately votes on it.
"It started late, it's a tough time frame, but we're going to work through the process in a very organized and legal manner," said Springfield Superintendent Daniel Warwick.
But Govan and fellow parents are still optimistic.
"I don't see how they can say no to it," Govan said.
If the vote gets approval, the school will be run just like any other public school in the city.
If not, the school will close on June 30 and students will be forced to seek alternatives.
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