Parents and students at a private school in northeast Calgary want answers about why it is closing. 

The Alberta government is shutting down the International School of Excellence after a review of its governance and finances.

International School of Excellence

Alberta Education has told the board of directors of a northeast Calgary private school that they will not be able to operate next fall. The decision was made after hiring accounting firm KPMG to look into the finances and governing of The International School of Excellence. (CBC)

The students were told about the closure Tuesday and a letter was sent home to parents.

Grade 11 student Mohamed Afrah says his class was told during the last period yesterday.

"I think that it's a big tragedy for a lot of us because we really like the school and really like the people we met at the school," he said. 

"As students we don't really understand why it's getting shutdown, it was kind of a big surprise to all of us. So I think we would like an explanation from the teachers, or anybody, just to go over why it is happening."

Police, CRA investigations urged

The school is not allowed to operate past the end of June.

Sandra Exume has three kids in the school — her oldest has been enrolled for the last five years.

"I'm just going to look for another school for them, but I hope everything can keep going because it's a good school."

Inside the school this morning, offices of the founder, the principal and secretary were all empty. Teachers also wouldn't comment about the school's financial affairs.

Alberta Education is also recommending the Calgary police and the Canada Revenue Agency investigate the school after the audit raised questions about a BMW and a large home purchased for the school's founder.

There were also concerns about student achievement, teaching and safety. 

About 70 per cent of the school's costs — about $800,000 a year — have been supported by taxpayers. The province says it plans to help parents find new schools for their children by next fall.

The International School of Excellence opened in fall of 2003 and has 170 registered students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

With files from The Canadian Press