Will Smith’s California Private Elementary School Closes

will smith school closed

New Village Leadership Academy in Calabasas, the private elementary school that actor Will Smith launched in 2008 with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, has shut down.

The Men in Black star founded the school to educate young children using the Study Tech curriculum method of teaching, which was devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The school caused a stir when it opened after campaigners claimed it was being used as a front for the teachings of the controversial Scientology organisation. The Smiths, whose two children Jaden and Willow used to attend the school, denied they were followers and insisted the academy had no religious affiliation.

However, it appears the celebrity ties were not enough to keep the school in business and the venue closed its doors for good on June 28.

A source told Star magazine, “Will and Jada put millions into it. But there’s a lot more to a school than money – if people don’t agree with the teaching material, then all the money in the world won’t save it.”

No official reason has been given for the academy’s closure and the Hollywood couple has yet to comment on the story.

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures)