The Kokomo Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship, which offered an academic education to students who struggled in a traditional school environment, has closed due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The school announced Friday that the outbreak has had a “massively negative effect on our economy, and the Crossing has not been spared from the difficulties associated with this pandemic.”

Kokomo Crossing CEO Rob Staley said the school recently closed all three of its local career pathway programs due to the damaging effects that the virus-related economic shutdowns had on its business partnerships.

“We had hoped to weather this storm and resume programs in the near future, but we simply do not have the financial resources to do so,” Staley said in an open letter.

The Crossing has locations around Indiana and provides state-accredited academic education by maintaining a balance of certified teachers and professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

The school started in 2010 in Kokomo, and was open to grades 9-12 and beyond from all of Howard County’s five school districts. It typically enrolled around 60-80 students per school year.

For most of its existence, the school was housed in the old Columbian Elementary School building on North Courtland Avenue, but last year moved to a new location at 1805 E. Vaile St.

Staley said all current students are invited to transfer to the schools’ other campuses in Frankfort, Noblesville or Argos, but the school will not be able to offer transportation to these locations.

“We understand that many of our students will remain in Kokomo to complete their high school experience,” he said. “Kokomo is a great community that cares about students and we trust that our students will find local programs that will meet their needs.”

The school had a total of six educators, including four teachers and two job training instructors. Last year, a job team worked with Community Howard Regional Health, as well as DC Coaters in Tipton. The school had hoped to partner with Syndicate Sales last fall.

The Crossing had a student-run business called Spark Candle, which created candles from scratch and sold them in the community. The school had also partnered with SHAK Makerspace to create pallet shelving and tables for the Kokomo Farmer’s Market downtown store.

Staley said the school had been a “special place” for students since its inception in 2010. He said the programs helped struggling students to become contributing members of the community through academics, job training and faith-based character education.

“The Crossing staff has considered it an honor to work with your child,” Staley wrote in the letter. “We thank you for the privilege it has been to be a part of your child’s life and the lives of our students over the past decade.”

“The impact on the community, and more importantly, each child, has been vast and it has been an honor to partner with you and your community in this mission,” he said.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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