A local charter school has suddenly shut down, leaving a lot of students in the lurch less than two weeks before the school year starts.

The Student Athlete Headquarters Academy (SAHQ) was a new charter school that had just opened last year. It described itself as a sports-based school.

No one was at the school Thursday, which is located on the corner of Lead and Maple. However, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) sent out a public notice saying the school’s Governing Council voted last Friday to end the school’s charter and close down.

The notice says PED and the Public Education Commission (PEC) were notified Aug. 1 of its decision and agreed to it.

The school’s founder Charlotte Rode posted the reason why to the school’s Facebook page, stating it was “to unplug from the public school bureaucracy — an outlet that didn’t work and had no power. We have not abandoned the model, it just means we need to plug it into a functional outlet.”

Rode blames the state and says the people who founded the school were not allowed to run it. She says they had no choice but to close down.

About 80 students were enrolled and Rode says about a quarter of them were told about the closure in advance. However, she didn’t say how far in advance.

The school’s website says it’s a “sports-minded community with high academic standards, exceptional administrators and teachers.”

Public education commissioner Carmie Lynn Toulouse says the closure came as a surprise and communication was poor with school officials.

PED and PEC are working together to get rid of all school property and transfer student files.

Students who attended SAHQ were able to play on APS teams, while getting their schooling at the academy.