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Upper Room Christian Academy closes high school, middle school

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Rodney Purvis will play basketball this season but his former high school won't.

Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh is eliminating its high school and middle school grades, the school's executive director John Amanchukwu said Tuesday.

The preschool and elementary school remain open, and "thriving," Amanchukwu said, but a lack of funding caused the school to shut down its high school and middle school classes.

Purvis starred at Upper Room for four years and made the McDonald's All-American team last March. Purvis earned a scholarship to N.C. State, where he's expected to start at guard for the Wolfpack this season.

Purvis was initially declared ineligible in August by the NCAA while URCA was under "extended review" by the NCAA.

As a member of the first graduating class at Upper Class, Purvis was the first student to go through the NCAA eligibility process. Purvis won his appeal with the NCAA on Sept. 17, after providing details for four years worth of course work.

Amanchukwu said the issue with the NCAA and Purvis is not why the school is downsizing.

"There's no link to the situation with the NCAA," Amanchukwu said. "That had nothing to do with our decision."

Upper Room will still have about 240 students, Amanchukwu said, enrolled in preschool and through the fifth grade. The decision to eliminate the middle and high school grades will affect 38 students, Amanchukwu said.

Upper Room opened in southeast Raleigh in 2001 and Purvis' class, which included three other students, was the first to graduate from the school in 2012.

During the NCAA review, Amanchukwu cringed at the characterization as Upper Room as a "diploma mill" for basketball recruits.

"Let's be clear, our record showed that we were far from a factory," Amanchukwu said. "We had two Division I athletes. The rest of our students were in a different category."

Upper Room finished the 2011-12 season with a 24-16 record and won the Great Carolina HIgh School Athletic Association title.

Purvis averaged 26.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for coach Avie Lester's team. Forward Tyrek Coger is also considered a Division I prospect. Coger, who's in the class of 2013, initially committed to Missouri but has since backed off. Coger transferred to Quality Edcucation Academy in Winston-Salem during the summer.

Upper Room fielded varsity teams in boys and girls basketball and volleyball last year.


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$$$$$$$$ Lets get serious


Lets get serious here. 

I would say a cultural adjustment is in order. Red, Blue, Pink, or Orange. 


Shouldn't this be posted under StateNOW, just sayin. ;-)


Not sure why this was posted at all. Unless of course you buy into the fiction that the middle and high school existed only to benefit Rodney Purvis and closed because its mission is now complete. I bet Gatr has a conspirancy theory to cover that angle.

No conspiracy

The NCAA shut the school down. That's a given considerIng what the African fellow said. You just have to be able to read b/tn the lines. They shut the school down bc they couldn't receive any endowments from the sports side of UR. In other words the NCAA said going forward no kid will play a collegiate sport that 'graduated' from UR. So that means no more Rodney Purvis type kids going to UR which means no more people giving lots of money to UR. School closed. Just like that.

Ultimately - all these kind of new schools are sports driven. Period. They simply mask themselves in education. Otherwise, UR would still be open come Nov 1st, 2012.


It ought to be posted under DanKaneNOW.

... Yea, right!

Will Wooden take to the Airwaves on this Topic???

Let me get this straight.  There are a grand total of 38 students in middle AND high school?  Now I'm not a graduate of the esteemed Upper Room Christian Academy, but my math tells me this is an average of less than 6 students per class. I'm all for smaller classroom sizes, but this wreaks of a school that has a poor academic structure.  And for those who may disagree with this assessment, ask yourself why there is a "lack of funding" as stated by Mr. Amanchukwu?  A lack of funding means that they could not enroll enough students to sustain the school financially.  If the academics were more reputable, perhaps more families would have enrolled their children.

And 240 students in preschool and elementary school is hardly what I would characterize as "thriving".  If you consider there are likely 150 children (at least) who are enrolled in preschool (this takes into consideration that children begin attending as early as 2 years old and continue there for 3 years in preschool, with at least 2 classes for each age level at about 20-25 children per class).  This leaves 90 students in the grades of K-5 - about 15 students per class.  Well, on second thought when compared with the dismal high school numbers I guess this could be considered as "thriving".

Make no mistake about this post.  It is not an attack on the wonderful teachers that I am sure work at the Upper Room.  And it is certainly not an attack on the beautiful children that attend.  But it is most certainly a direct affront to Patrick Wooden, who is over the school.  I wonder if he will take to the airwaves to let everyone know about the tremendous disservice he has done to these "38" students who now have to find other schools to attend.  Not to mention all of the money that has been spent for this private school education that apparently was not up to par.  Since Patrick Wooden is so concerned about the well-being of others, let's see if he will hold him self up to the same standard as he has chosen to hold President Obama up to.  I doubt it though.  Those who think they are mightier than thou, seldom shine the light on their own mistakes and flaws.  They can do no wrong because they have been blessed and highly favored.  It's too bad that these poor students don't have the same blessings and favor.  They now have to move on to some other school that will hopefully fulfill its promise to them.

nothing to see here....

move along in an orderly fashion...nothing fishy at all about the only player ever to graduate from a high school being a star player graduating in 3 years then the school shuts down...must focus on outrage here...there word is good...move along

re: Nothing to see here

"There's no link to the situation with the NCAA," Amanchukwu said. "That had nothing to do with our decision."

{cough} {cough} B.S.{cough} {cough}

First....RP is not the "only

First....RP is not the "only player ever" to graduate. He was in the first graduating class with at least 3 other students.  Second...the school has NOT shut down but rather has decided for economic reasons that it is not feasible to continue middle and high school classes (affecting a total of 38 students). Third...the NCAA has already reviewed his academics and cleared RP.   Surely you're not insinuating the situation with RP is even remotely close to the seriousness of the UNC situation(s).  By the's "their" not "there."


+1 for you, sir or ma'am.

Though, as a caution, I wouldn't bother with rationale or facts on these boards. Those types of things are not well received. 

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.