San Francisco parents wait for refund after nursery school abruptly closes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Several parents in San Francisco are waiting for a refund after the Happy Times Nursery School abruptly shut down.

"Up until now , it's been an incredibly great place," said parent Mitch Mitchell. "Education has been great, families have been warm."

Mitchell says he feels a close connection with Happy Times Nursery School. When he was a child, it's where he attended preschool. So naturally, Mitchell and his wife enrolled their daughter at the 57-year-old nursery school in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco.

This year, the Mitchells and about 50 other families had to scramble to find another preschool for their children. They say the staff informed them the school was closing three business days before September classes were set to begin. Mitchell and his wife paid $900 and they have not been refunded.

"It really is a tricky situation. we did pay for this semster and we haven't gotten our money back," he said.

In a letter to Happy Times Families, which a parent gave to ABC7 News, the head of the school apologized for the abrupt closure. Gayle Raymond wrote, "Unfortunately, in July and mid-August, I received resignations of two staff members. I went about the task of replacing those staff members. I was successful in ensuring there would be proper staffing at that time. I held a staff meeting on August 29th with the staff to determine how to best operate the school with the staff on hand. Regrettably, later that afternoon further resignations were rendered. At that time, it was clear that the level of staffing was inadequate. Therefore, the board of directors had no choice but to close the school."

This image taken Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 shows a letter sent from Happy Times Nursery School to parents in San Francisco.

This image taken Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 shows a letter sent from Happy Times Nursery School to parents in San Francisco.

Mitchell is disappointed. He says the teachers should not be blamed.

"They kind of put this on the teachers, which is absolutely not true," he said. "The teachers were incredibly warm."

Happy Times Nursery School is holding a school sale on Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All school supplies and goods will be sold. The flyer says the staff will kindly accept cash or check only.

The letter to parents also said at this point the assets appear to be less than $6,500, while the liabilities are in excess of $100,000.

The letter says please direct all inquiries about the closing to Phillip Cunningham Law Corporation which is based in Sacramento.

Phillip M Cunningham

A Law Corporation
712 12 Street
Sacramento CA 95814
Email is
Office number is 916 -446 -7941
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