Charter Schools USA has named Amber Jensen the new principal of Gateway Charter High School and Angela Carter as the K-8 principal. Carter is taking over both Gateway Charter Intermediate School as well as Gateway Charter Elementary School.

They replace Sara Abraham who had been the principal of the high school for 7 years, and the K-8 principal for 9 years.

The move comes after years of declining school grades from the Florida Department of Education.

In 2012 all three Gateway Charter schools had “A” grades. However in 2017, the high school and elementary school were given a “C” grade while the middle school was given a “B” grade.

Hopefully Jensen and Carter can get the charter schools back to the “A” level soon.

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If you’re a long-time reader of this publication you probably know that my kids used to attend the Gateway Charter schools. And you probably also know I’m not a fan of their organization.

But I’m a big fan of this move.

As you can see by their plummeting school grades over the past 5 years, having one principal for all three schools simply hasn’t worked out.

If you’re new to Gateway and you’re wondering where you should send your kids to school, you’re totally fine sending your kids to the elementary school. I always felt good about the faculty, amenities and over-all experience at Gateway Charter Elementary.

It’s the high school and middle school you should run away from. Those two schools are in the same building at the corner of Gateway Boulevard and Daniels Parkway. There’s no sports field, no auditorium, and … this is true … no library.

(At least there wasn’t when my kids went there a year ago.)

Now… this publication went all-in to make sure the LCSD awarded Gateway a public high school, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the charter schools to thrive. So my main hope is that Jensen didn’t accept the promotion just so she could move up the CSUSA ladder. Hopefully she convinced CSUSA to agree to improvements to the high school before accepting the job.

Time will tell if things improve at Gateway Charter. But this leadership shake-up is a step in the right direction.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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