Sunnyvale charter school to reopen after employee background checks

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (BCN) -- A Sunnyvale charter school that was temporarily closed after the arrest of an employee revealed that the school had failed to complete background checks and tuberculosis tests has been cleared to reopen, the Santa Clara County Office of Education said Thursday evening.

Spark Charter School was shut down at the end of the day last Friday after county education officials found the school could not confirm they had complied with all state procedures regarding employee background checks, TB clearances and teacher credentials.

The problems were discovered after the arrest of Jonathan Chow, an 18-year-old Cupertino resident, in the alleged sexual assault of a student on campus.

Chow, a part-time lunch monitor and extended-care teacher's assistant, was arrested at the school at 739 Morse Ave. around 5 p.m. on Sept. 15.

He was arraigned last Friday on one count each of sexual penetration with a child under the age of 10, possessing more than 600 images of child pornography, and inducing a minor's involvement in child pornography, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Jaron Shipp.

His next scheduled court appearance is on Oct. 16.

Spark Charter School opened on Aug. 18 with roughly 160 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, on the same campus as Columbia Middle School.

Office of Education officials visited the school after Chow's arrest and told officials to shut it down until deficiencies were corrected or face revocation of the school's charter. 

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