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New Charter School to Cost Capo $1.1M Yearly

The school board approved Oxford Preparatory Academy Tuesday night.

Another charter school in the Capistrano Unified School District—set to open in September—was approved by the school board Tuesday night, with Trustee Gary Pritchard saying Oxford Preparatory Academy’s application “represents a wake-up call” to the district.

Oxford will teach kids in a variety of ways to appeal to their “multiple intelligences,” presenting competition to traditional public-school offerings, trustees said. 

The school district has estimated that the charter school will attract at least 500 students from Capo schools, and along with them, about $900,000 in revenue annually. In addition, there will be $200,000 in expenditures each year to support the school and a onetime expense of $500,000 for the physical needs of the school.

But Oxford met every requirement California's educational code requires of charter schools, so the trustees were legally bound to approve it, said Julie Hatchel, assistant superintendent of education services.

“The law is very friendly toward charters,” Superintendent Joseph Farley said. “We can all coexist in this region.”

Oxford's educational model is based on the theory by Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist at Harvard University, that children learn in eight different ways, although most traditional education focuses on only two: logical and linguistic.

Tuesday's approval did not include details about where the school will be located. Under state law, the location is handled in a separate item, but Oxford officials have already said they are in and around Aliso Viejo.

In approving the charter, Trustee Lynn Hatton said the district does provide some of the techniques Oxford offers but should do a better job in explaining that, she said.

“Marketing is about telling a story that resonates with people,” she said, reading from a prepared statement. “Obviously we haven’t done a good job in telling our story.”

Oxford opened a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade campus in Chino in September. Many of the trustees visited the campus before their unanimous vote to approve Oxford’s Capistrano application.

Hatton noted that the district expects results from Oxford. “We set the bar really high, and I look forward to your success and the competition that will ensue following this,” she said.

Penny Arévalo June 02, 2011 at 03:21 AM
To NCNF, apparently replies to original posts do not themselves have a reply button. And to SK, the lottery for enrollment has already taken place. With nearly 1,300 students interested and room for only 550, more than half walked away disappointed. (And, after all these years, I've developed a pretty tough hide, so let 'er rip!)
Pam Sunderman June 02, 2011 at 05:11 AM
You throw out your opinions as facts NCNF. And your political beliefs have nothing to do with what is happening in CUSD. The schools and the teachers are doing an exemplary job and there is no evidence to the contrary.
shelly June 02, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Capo Parent, There are many great teachers at private schools. There are many private school teachers who do not have a credential so many would not be hired unless they earned their credential. And how do you know that many have not applied to CUSD and were not hired? Yes, for most teachers it is about teaching. But teachers also need to survive and pay bills and if they are not compensated enough they will eventually move on or seek to bargain for better compensation collectively. OC Mom on another comment board, "Also, Capo Parent, I've spoken to the administrators of Oxford and there won't be any union teachers there. They will be getting paid about half of what the tenured teachers of Capo make. The union has always been part of the problem. Our schools could employ many energetic younger teachers for the price of the tenured veterans. Our State is cutting programs left and right due to the economy." Eventually these young teachers will be veterans and if you are only paying them half as much as others than why will they stay especially when the other public schools have the same working conditions and the same curriculum? Everyone here is talking about union or non-union but how does the curriculum and teaching methods actually differ from other CUSD schools?
smoothpuss2 June 02, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Jenna, we all know that Penny is an excellent reporter. Whenever Penny resolves the state's budget problems, do you think there is a chance that she could send her to our small town to help out on the budget problems here? (Yes, Jenna I am joking. Except for the reporter part, she really is good).
Jenna Chandler June 02, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Well, smoothpuss2, I had planned to single-handily solve all of the city's financial woes, but, you're right, I should enlist Penny's help!

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