School shutdown leaves North County students scrambling


Oxford Preparatory Academy

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CARLSBAD, Calif. – Some 300 children in North County are scrambling to find new schools after their charter school closed.

Doug Gore’s son Dylan would have started his  8th-grade year at Oxford Preparatory Academy next week. The academy is a charter school for students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The school’s campus is at the New Venture Christian Fellowship Church at 4000 Mystra Way in Oceanside.

Gore and several other parents told FOX 5 they received a disturbing message Monday night.

“They’re shutting the school down,” said Gore. “It’s ridiculous. It just really angers me. So we don’t have a brick and mortar location to go to. So we’re all trying to figure out where to put our kids and what school?”

Gore said a week ago, parents were notified of issues and potential lawsuits involving the school.

“They said they might have to shut the school down, but that was not their intention,” said Gore.

FOX 5 reached out to OPA. Interim Director Barbara Black called the situation heartbreaking. She said OPA was notified by their chartering agency of Borrego Springs. A recent state court ruling is redefining how individualized programs are operated. The ruling challenges charter programs run outside a district’s jurisdiction.

Borrego Springs Unified School District felt it would be in the charter school’s best interest to comply with the ruling. As a result, OPA is relocating its home base back to Borrego Springs.

Black said parents were notified of the situation in a series of meetings starting in June.

“It’s just really sad this close to the beginning of a new school year, we were just notified of the final result two days ago,” said Marilynn Gallagher, a parent. “I just don’t feel like we’re getting the full story.”

“Three hundred kids from K-8th grade are scrambling to find a school at the last minute. It’s ridiculous. It just really angers me,” Gore said.

Black said OPA is not shutting down, but rather refocusing its program toward homeschooling.

Gore and other parents said homeschooling is not the type of education they signed up for.

“Not even close to being the same. Most of us are working full time, so how can we homeschool our kids? We can’t. It’s not fair to us, the kids,” Gore said.

“When we signed up for OPA we were promised a K-8 school. We had planned to go there for three years,” Gallagher said.

Seventh-grader Darby Gallagher was looking forward to sharing summer stories with friends. Instead, she’s now telling them goodbye.

“It was really sad finding out we couldn’t share the last few years of school together,” said Darby. “All my friends, they disbanded, and we’ll never get to see each other again.”

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