Century Academy Closes Three Years After Opening

May 31, 2019

Century Academy has closed its doors three years after opening due to low enrollment.

“The administration and staff of Century Academy would like to express our appreciation to all our families for the support you have shown us these past 3 years,” Administrator Barbara Barber wrote in a letter to parents. “It is with a heavy heart that we will not be able to continue providing those services in the future. Due to the low enrollment at the school along with no indication of a future increase we find that we must close the Academy.”

Century Academy was a private, non-profit K-12 school that specialized in teaching children diagnosed with autism and other related learning disabilities. Century Academy was operated by East Hill Academy in Pensacola.Barber said they will assist parents with the transfer of students to other area schools, including East Hill Academy or their campus in Milton.

Century Academy was located in the former Carver/Century K-8 school on Hecker Road– an older building that was transformed with plenty of paint and decor into a world filled with rain forest and ocean scenes — designed to capture the attention and imagination of children with autism. It opened after winning a  $20,000 prize in a 2015 Studer Institute Century Business Challenge.

Century Academy had an official motto stenciled on a wall just inside the front door — “We are Century Academy. All of us are unique. And when we come together, The puzzle is complete.”

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


10 Responses to “Century Academy Closes Three Years After Opening”

  1. JussstGreat on June 2nd, 2019 7:54 am

    Thank you Old Puppy . I’m afraid people don’t see “K-12″ in the Article. So the children who are not elementary grade Level and have more than just mild autism leave the parents with the older students minimal choices.
    While the article speaks of how the school was started with funding from a ” monetary prize” as Chris so eloquently phrased it, the students all had tuition in order to attend the school for these services. Whether the parents paid their students tuition or the children were on scholarships.

  2. Old Puppy on June 1st, 2019 3:15 pm

    @parent. What about the students too old for Byrneville elementary? My daughter just graduated from this school but was failing at Northview

  3. Mom of 2 on June 1st, 2019 11:48 am

    To parent:
    Bratt is a great school as is Byrneville. Bratt is able to offer many more services to students with disabilities. IEP’s are written to make sure the student receives the services they need in order to be successful. Adjusting to new rules and environments can be overwhelming for students and parents but to say “too many school district rules on IEP’s” is not true. The IEP is just that, an individual education plan written for the specific child. Byrneville has to follow the same district rules as does Bratt. I hope parents of the students effected by this closure consider Bratt for their elementary age child.

  4. Rasheed Jackson on June 1st, 2019 8:31 am

    To Parent, Yes Byrneville Elementary is a great school but is it a special needs school? Children with special needs need an environment and teachers that are geared and equipped to handle these needs. Also Byrneville is already suffering from filled classrooms and not enough space, just ride past the school and you will see all the temporary buildings. Byrneville Elementary is a charter school and has very limited resources of which they use wisely and are having great results. I have no doubt that the teachers and staff if given the opportunity, resources, and space would create a learning environment for all that would be second to none.
    Maybe it is time we the citizens petition our school board to support a facility for our students at a location that is convenient and would not require a child to ride two hours a day on a school bus.

  5. Chris on June 1st, 2019 12:15 am

    School was “started” with a monetary prize. I guess it was not self sustaining.

  6. Parent on May 31st, 2019 11:19 am

    Century Academy parents — consider Byrneville Elementary! It’s a charter school that runs itself. It is FREE, just like a regular public school. No scholarship applications or anything, you just sign them up. Small environment, great teachers. My child had mild autism and fits in great a Byrneville! We tried him at Bratt and the environment was just too big and too many school district rules on IEPs. Go Byrneville Braves!

  7. JussstGreat on May 31st, 2019 11:14 am

    This is heartbreaking as a parent of a student that has been attending Century Academy . I found it disappointing not only for the students but for the families as well. We thought we found a school that not only understood our child but understood us, the parents. How quickly that turned with the idea that Ms. Barbara Barber and her “heavy heart” is so willing to assist with the transfer to other area schools or ” East Hill Academy or Milton Campus ” which is on the other end of the county and as a reminder we all have jobs to provide for our families too and when you have to provide transportation driving 200 miles round trip just isn’t gonna make it so easy but thanks for your “Heavy Heart” Barb that’s a Real comfort for the rest of us. Doesn’t seem that the heart was too heavy that this couldn’t have been brought to the attention of the parents or the community sooner? Come to think of it ,the only time I ever experienced seeing Ms. Barber was twice in two years that my child attended.Orientation and Open House .
    Fortunately the parents of the students are amazing and they know what to do because well as the parents of children with “Special Capabilities ” we are Groomed just for these kind of situations. The saddest part the adjustment period for the children , they don’t adjust they same way but they will and again another struggle another learning lesson for us all. The teachers were wonderful and I wish them all the Best. In fact the faculty at Century Academy deserved better.
    I only hope this has been a Learning Lesson for Ms. Barber ,her Heavy Heart and the rippling affects it has caused not just for the students but the their families because once again this could have BEEN BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION MONTHS AGO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tee bug on May 31st, 2019 9:16 am

    This is so sad sure hate to hear this and century sure needs good things like this I hate to hear anything that offers a benefit to this area leave so sad so very sad !

  9. Mother on May 31st, 2019 9:15 am

    I am one upset parent because I took my child out of school with the classmates he grew up with to go to this school for 3 years. Then with no warning we get a letter the this week telling us the school is closing. So now my child with Autism will have to change once again his routine.

  10. mq on May 31st, 2019 8:59 am

    This is sad to read. I thought there would be a greater need locally for this, and would help and work out for the area.

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