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.