Calgary private school ordered to shut down

CALGARY- The province has ordered a Calgary private school to stop operating by the end of June, due to concerns about its finances.

The decision regarding the future of the International School of Excellence was made following a third-party inquiry into its governance and finances.

The inquiry was ordered in November 2013, following a Calgary Herald article reporting allegations of financial irregularities at the school. Those included the purchase of a BMW and Chevrolet, and a 2,800 square foot home not reported in financial statements.

“We will not allow this school to continue operating without the appropriate checks and balances in place,” said Minister of Education Jeff Johnson, in a statement. “Situations such as these will not be tolerated by our government.”

The findings are also being flagged to Calgary Police and the Canadian Revenue Agency, to decide if further investigation is needed.

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Johnson adds that staff from Alberta Education will work to ensure displaced students are enrolled in new schools for the 2014-2015 year. Parents were notified on Tuesday.

“To ensure minimal disruption to students and families, the school will be allowed to operate for the remainder of this school year, with Alberta Education supervising all financial transactions.”

The International School of Excellence, which operates out of the basement of a church in northeast Calgary, currently has 170 students from kindergarten to Grade 12. About 160 of the students are funded by the province, while money for the rest of the school’s operating costs came from fundraisers.