Frontier Virtual Charter High School

CAREY STONE is living Ferris Bueller's life - just the complete opposite of it, actually.

Every morning, the high-school senior calls her school's administrators, trying to find out where they are, wondering when they'll have classes for her to attend or let her hand in a report on "The Great Gatsby."

And every day, her calls go unanswered. "I feel like they're just brushing me off," she said. Carey, 18, and her sisters, Rachel, 15, and Harmony, 14, are enrolled at the Philadelphia-based Frontier Virtual Charter High School.

The school laid off its teachers and principal on March 8 and hasn't held any classes since...

...The state Department of Education is finishing an investigation into Frontier over numerous questions about financial and academic problems that were detailed last week by the Daily News...
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It all sounded so good on paper: a "global high school of the 21st century," a cyber school that would teach about 300 students two languages and keep them constantly engaged in learning.

That was how John Craig pitched the Frontier Virtual Charter High School to state education officials two years ago...

Frontier opened in the fall. It fell apart before the spring...

The cyber school seems to have serious money woes and other problems:

* Frontier - which is receiving $435,520 from the Philadelphia School District this year to educate 54 city students - didn't pay its teachers or principal in August, September and most of October, according to several sources who have direct knowledge of the school's troubles.

Since then, teachers had been paid only half of their $40,000 salaries.

* Craig said on Thursday that he was working on a plan to get the staff back pay and address other financial problems before the end of the school year. The following day, he laid off all the school's teachers and the principal. He later posted part-time teaching jobs on Craigslist.

* Craig, also an associate pastor at the Philadelphia Revival Temple Church, said that Frontier doesn't "have really any students that are truant" and that many "are doing fine" academically.

But records viewed by the Daily News show that numerous students are habitually truant or failing their classes - or both.

* Bills have gone unpaid, including some in excess of $80,000 for K12, the company that created Frontier's curriculum, sources said.

* Staffers raised repeated concerns about whether Craig and the school's board of trustees - which includes former Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore - had violated the state's Sunshine Law by making decisions in private, sources said...

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