Posted: 12:23 pm Friday, November 30th, 2012

Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba charter school will have to move, again 

By Allison Ross

The Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba charter school is about to become a nomad again.

Quida Littles comforts 5-year-old Napolean Hobbs on Hobbs' first day of school at Joseph Littles/Nguzo Saba. Photo taken when the school first opened in January 1999. Palm Beach Post file photo.

The K-8 Afrocentric charter school — one of the oldest charter schools in Palm Beach County — will have to find new housing at the end of this school year.

For the last year and a half, the charter school has rented space from the Palm Beach County School District at the Roosevelt Full Service Center in West Palm Beach.

But its lease, which had already been extended for this school year, is up in June 2013.

And the school district wants the Roosevelt facility back, so it can house a new, all-boys leadership choice academy there beginning next fall. (I wrote about this new choice academy, called the Roosevelt Leadership Academy for Young Men, in a story on single-gender classes that ran last week.)

Joseph Lee, the district’s assistant superintendent of safety and learning environment, said the district sent the charter school a letter in October reminding them of the end of the contract.

It’s unclear whether Joseph Littles-Nguzo Saba has found a new place for itself.

The school’s principal, Helen Byrd, did not return repeated phone calls over the course of multiple weeks. However, a secretary answering the phone at the school expressed surprise that the school will have to move. A phone number for the school’s founder, Amefika Geuka, appeared to be disconnected.

This move will be the latest in a string of facility shuffles for the 160-student school.

When Joseph Littles first opened in 1999 with about 20 students, it had no facility, and temporarily set up space in the Urban League offices.

It soon found another temporary facility, in three portables on the property of Redemptive Life Church. For a while, its kindergartners were housed at a separate facility at Trinity United Methodist Church because of space issues.

The school has had a number of other moves over the years, including a space at a strip mall on Forest Hill Boulevard and a short stint at the Roosevelt Full Service Center in 2000.

In 2001, the school had to temporarily house its students at various public libraries while it dealt with safety and health issues at its facility on Corporate Way.

And before it moved into the Roosevelt Full Service Center again in June 2011, it had spent time at the old Inlet Grove High School in Riviera Beach, another district-owned facility.

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