A letter to the community from Isaac Lassiter, Chair, Founding Board, Oakland Academy Charter School:
Community and OACS supporters,
It is with great reluctance that I write to our community with the news that the Oakland Academy Charter School (OACS) Founding Board has voted unanimously not to pursue the next steps of the charter petitioning process and to begin the work to wind down the operations of the organization.
The OACS board was united that we wanted to pursue new educational options for Gilmer County students, but given the current dynamic we believe that the chances for success are now slim.
The most prominent reason is the lack of a facility to locate OACS. It is difficult to understand why the Gilmer BOE would not accept our offer of a long-term lease of the Oakland Elementary School building while it continues to sit vacant and decaying in Cartecay.
Another key reason was the local school system's change to a "Charter System.” While OACS would have been a substantially different model with a community driven vision and true school-level control, the nuance between a “Start-Up Charter School” and a “Charter System” was not enough to sustain the needed community support for OACS.
The OACS board tried every possible route to approval since April of 2011 to no avail. We deeply regret that we could not bring our proposed innovations to the community in Gilmer.
I want to personally thank our board and supporters for your time and efforts in the face of work that yielded little personal reward and involved challenging situations.
We believe that good things are happening in the Gilmer County Schools, starting with Superintendent Jason Kouns. We hope that the hard work of many will pay off with improved opportunities for our students.
Chair, Founding Board
Oakland Academy Charter School