Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saving a School

Penny Hensley and her students.

One Delta Gamma’s Crusade to Keep the Door Open to a School She Adores

When I returned to my classroom after Thanksgiving break, I was met with the news that the school I love would close at the end of the year due to budget constraints.

I teach second grade at the Horizon Charter School’s Accelerated Learning Academy in Sacramento, California. The closing of a school would be bad enough, but the closing of THIS school is a catastrophe for some of my students.

Our curriculum is an accelerated, project-based program that allows students to be fully immersed in the subject matter. Despite being a second grade teacher, I do not teach much second grade material. These children are on a 3rd, 4th, and even 5th grade level. These students have been in traditional schools where they got in trouble because they were bored and not challenged. These children will go on to do great things. I refuse to let them go back to not being challenged in school. I will do whatever is needed to continue teaching these children; even if it means holding class in my home.

Since the news that our classrooms would close, I have rallied other teachers and parents. We are in constant contact with another charter school that is willing to take us under their wing until the end of this school year. We will know by tomorrow if this plan is approved. We are hopeful that we will remain open. We are devising a fundraising plan to pay for the remainder of the lease on our building.

I am meeting nightly with parents to keep our class together, with teachers to come up with our plan, with the parent group to finalize details of the move and praying that we will be able to remain open.

This has been total devastation to all involved but we have come together to save our school. When I became a Delta Gamma, I took on our motto “Do Good.” This is a time when I must “Do Good” to save this school for these children.

I urge you to be thankful for the stable education that you and your children have received and “Do Good” to keep supporting it.

Penny Lain Hensley, Gamma Alpha-Tennessee, currently lives in the Sacramento, California area and is active with the alumnae group there. Penny works as a second grade teacher and believes passionately in education. You can reach her at

For more information on Penny’s crusade to save her school: