Pinellas votes to take over failed St. Petersburg charter school

University Preparatory Academy, a failed charter school in south St. Petersburg, will officially reopen as a district-run school called Midtown Academy this fall, sparing 400 students from having to relocate just two weeks before classes begin.

The Pinellas County School Board approved the move 6-1 Tuesday evening, also okaying the appointment of Portia Slaughter as the school’s new principal. Slaughter, previously an assistant principal at Tarpon Springs High, is 14-year veteran of the school district.

Superintendent Mike Grego, who approached the board at a workshop last week with a plan to take over the school, praised the board and district staff for their hustle in negotiating a lease and beginning the process of hiring staff within one week. Officials learned the charter school would face closure earlier this month after the school received its third consecutive F grade from the state.

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