Despite the school's mission, its lender, called the Q Mortgage Corp., apparently viewed the school as a bad financial bet. It has reportedly allowed the school to rescue its supplies. Moving trucks ferried desks and chairs from the Hallandale school to the North Lauderdale campus, where community demand has been greater.
At the North Lauderdale school, with the Rolls glimmering in the sun across from the school's tinted windows, about 110 kids packed into the open floor-plan school. One administrator says it is based on the Montessori method, which stresses self-directed activity and clinical observation.
But decade-old Macintosh computers serve more as props than computing devices. There is no yard, no playground, no sandbox. But the teachers try to cheer the place up with hand-crafted banners.
"This is unbelievably traumatic," said William Bainbridge, an education expert and CEO of the Ohio-based SchoolMatch Institute, education consultants. "Those elementary school youngsters, they're used to an environment, they expect their environment and their teachers to be there. And suddenly they're chased out; it's not much different from becoming homeless."
He estimated that foreclosure has struck about 50 U.S. schools in the past decade, most of them charter schools, although he could not say whether there has been a recent increase.