This story has been updated.
Staff at Capistrano Unified School District recommend bringing the charter school Oxford Preparatory Academy to Barcelona Hills Elementary, 23000 Via Santa Maria, this fall.
Oxford has agreed to bring fewer students to campus than they are allowed under their charter. The school had planned to teach 528 students on campus and another 100 through independent study.
CUSD staff estimates 359 students from the district will be enrolled at Oxford, said Spokesman Marcus Walton.
“Stunned, disbelief, anger, sadness, dismayed, slapped, wronged,” said parent Linda Shepard, reciting her litany of emotions at hearing the news. Shepard was one of the three parents who spoke out at an April 27 school board meeting.
Under staff's proposal, Oxford agrees to "waive any rights to challenge the District for not providing classrooms" for full approved attendance. It is unclear from the proposal how many students would be moved to Barcelona, but the move does allow Oxford's K-8 population to come to the campus.
Currently Barcelona serves students in grades K-5.
“Honestly it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said parent Kathleen Davies, who was surprised to learn that Oxford’s middle school will also be at Barcelona. “The thought that sixth- through eighth-graders will be at the same school as my first- and third-graders makes me a little nervous about next year.”
If staff's recommendation is approved, Oxford students will meet in classrooms 10-14, as well as portables 12-19 on the Barcelona campus.
The charter school would also have exclusive use of a conference room on the north side of the school. It would share the Barcelona multipurpose room and health office.
Furniture and equipment for the new school will cost the district an estimated $200,000. Oxford would pay the school district $29,500 for the facilities and another $25,000 for utilities under this proposal.
The proposal follows an April 17 announcement from CUSD Superintendent Joseph Farley, who then told parents of the proposal to move the charter school to Barcelona.
“As a parent, I feel as if my school, my child and all of the children of Barcelona Hills have been tossed aside to make room for a charter school that, according to Dr. Farley, the district ‘does not want,’ but ‘is required by law to make accommodations for,’ ” Shepard said, recounting words used at the April 17 PTA meeting.
Some Barcelona parents protested with hand-written signs outside the campus the Friday following Farley's announcement.
At that time CUSD Spokesman Marcus Walton said sharing the facility was "the best decision that can be made" given the state mandate to share facilities with charter schools.
The proposal will be voted on June 13 at 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.