LaMensa Academy Next Generation Charter School

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Brand-new textbooks sit stacked on desks in the brightly lit classrooms at LaMensa Academy Next Generation Charter School. Most have never been opened. And most of the small blue and red chairs have never been occupied by students.

The new Palm Beach Gardens charter school's enrollment has fallen well below its expected 100 students this fall. As of Wednesday, it had only 13 children registered.

Now LaMensa's founder and administrators are scrambling to boost enrollment by Friday, when the state will do a student count to determine how much money each school or district will receive.

If LaMensa doesn't reach that goal, the school must come up with a plan to avoid being closed.

"We're looking to get to at least 100 in a week," said Pamela Patterson, its principal. "That's a pretty big goal, but that doesn't mean it can't be accomplished."

Enrollment is already up from the first few weeks of school, when LaMensa's student body stood at five. The school urged their parents to talk to people about the K-3 charter and persuade them to enroll their children...

"We're letting people know there's another school, another option out there," Patterson said. " I believe in miracles."

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