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Emily Osborne, Oxford Prep Senior, Receives NC Teaching Fellows Award

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Emily Osborne, a senior at Oxford Preparatory School, has received the North Carolina Teaching Fellows award to attend Meredith College.

Emily Osborne, a senior at Oxford Preparatory School, has received the North Carolina Teaching Fellows award to attend Meredith College. (Photo courtesy OPS)

Emily, the daughter of Kevin and Christy Osborne of Henderson, NC, will enter Meredith in the fall of 2021 where she intends to pursue a teaching degree with a focus on Exceptional Children. During her time at Oxford Prep, Emily has been named to the Directors’ list each semester, earned Beta Club recognition, and has been a key member of Interact.

As a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, Emily will receive up to $8,250 per year in a forgivable loan if she commits to teach in a STEM or a special education area. The program is specifically designed to attract high-quality teachers to low-performing schools by offering an accelerated loan forgiveness schedule for Teaching Fellows who agree to teach in a low-performing school in North Carolina.

To be eligible for a teaching fellows award, each high school student must first meet a strict level of high academic performance including:

  • a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 and have scored at least a 24 on the ACT or a 1,170 on the SAT if the student has fewer than 24 college credit hours or,
  • a minimum of a 2.7 cumulative GPA if they have more than 24 college credit hours.

In addition to the stringent GPA and standardized test score requirements, applicants were also evaluated on leadership and experience, a written essay and mission statement, and for those moved forward as a semi-finalist, an in-person interview.

Only those chosen for the final interviews held in late February were eligible to be chosen to receive a teaching fellows scholarship.

Ey’Mania Alston Receives Full Academic Scholarship for UNC Honors College

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Ey’Mania Alston, a senior at Oxford Preparatory School, has been accepted into the Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a full scholarship.

Ey’Mania Alston, a senior at Oxford Preparatory School, has been accepted into the Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a full scholarship. (OPS photo)

Ey’Mania is the daughter of Shareena Alston and is from Henderson, NC. She plans to major in biology while at Carolina.

During her time at Oxford Prep, Ey’Mania has earned a number of academic distinctions including being named marshal and a Director’s List recipient every quarter. She is currently the president of Interact. Over the past years, Ey’Mania has partnered with her peers to lead many Interact service projects to benefit the community including blood drives and sponsoring roadside clean-up activities.

Ey’Mania is also a member of the OPS Chik-fil-A Leader Academy and a senior peer advisor for the Order of the Griffins.

Granville County Public Schools

Granville County BOE Continues Negotiation to Lease JTOH

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

At a special called work session held at West Oxford Elementary School on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the Granville County Board of Education voted unanimously to express its concern regarding the suitability of the former Joe Toler-Oak Hill building for use by Oxford Preparatory charter school. In a motion passed unanimously by the Board, the Board cited, “serious reservations regarding the suitability of the facility for children without making significant upgrades and renovations”.

In the fall of 2019, Oxford Preparatory School (OPS) requested to lease the now vacant school property beginning in June of 2020. The district declined their offer as it intends to sell the property in order to eliminate the liability of owning the aged facility and recover much-needed funding for other critical facility needs across the district. The poor condition of the facility was a major contributing factor in the Board’s original decision to close the school in January of 2019.

According to the district’s Master Facility Plan, which evaluates maintenance and capital improvement needs for all of its facilities, the campus had a five-year projection cost of $2.3+ million. At the time, the Board had been in the process of declaring it surplus property and subsequently offering it first to the County Commissioners as required by state law. The Board, therefore, responded to Oxford Prep and declined its request to lease the property for a future school year, because the Board intended to sell it as soon as possible.

Correspondence occurred between the two parties throughout November and December during which time the two parties debated the legal issues surrounding the lease request. In December, the Board did, however, provide OPS access to the building and allow their team of building inspectors to evaluate the condition of the facility.

Then, at the January 6, 2020, County Commissioners meeting, commissioners declined the first right of purchase of the school property and directed the School Board to enter negotiations with Oxford Prep to attempt to reach terms of a lease agreement that would be “practically and financially feasible.” The commissioners also permitted the Board to proceed with the sale of the property.

Following that directive, the Board then entered good faith negotiations and has held multiple meetings with OPS Executive Director Andrew Swanner and his attorney, David Hostetler of Durham. As of January 21, the parties had reached agreement on some terms, but significant areas of disagreement remain, including the necessity of certain immediate repairs and a fair rent for the building.

Throughout these discussions, Board of Education members have expressed concern about the ability of the JTOH building to house the number of students proposed by OPS. OPS has reported its intention to house three hundred or more students in the building, a student population far greater than the building has held in recent memory.

In the past 11 years, the school’s reported enrollment did not exceed 229 students, and at the time of its closing JTOH enrolled approximately 180 students. Even with those lower numbers, the school’s well could not always supply sufficient water to serve the school for a full school week, and the Board was forced to purchase and truck in additional water for students and staff. Other wells on the property have run dry. Board members and staff also expressed concerns about the ability of the septic system to serve that many students.

Third-party assessments show the school buildings are in need of roof replacements, major renovations to the heating system, as well as AC system upgrades. Without these critical repairs, replacements and upgrades, the district fears that the building might suffer from water damage and significant air quality concerns, which in turn could create potential safety concerns for those in the building. Mold had been detected in the school in 2018, and the district spent significant funds to remediate and address the cause of the contamination at that time. The private inspectors commissioned by Oxford Preparatory did not inspect the building’s roof or air handling/ventilation system.

Despite these serious reservations as expressed in its vote Tuesday evening, the Board of Education intends to continue its dialogue with Oxford Prep regarding the facility and what repairs would be necessary to bring it to a condition appropriate for housing such a large number of students and staff. The County Commissioners have indicated their intent to call a meeting on January 29 at 4 p.m. for an update on this matter.

In the meantime, the Board is in the process of listing the property with a commercial real estate agency. The 30-acre site and campus facilities are now officially for sale. The property has an appraised value of $450,000. Interested buyers may contact the Granville County School Board offices located at 101 Delacroix St., Oxford, NC (919) 693-4613 for additional details.

Oxford Prep School

Oxford Prep. Hopes for Resolution to Outstanding JTOH Lease Request

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School has made three different offers to Granville County Public Schools in the past three weeks to lease the closed Joe Toler-Oak Hill building in order to accommodate Oxford Prep’s upcoming K – 4 expansion.

The Granville County Commissioners held a meeting on January 6, 2020, during which an appeal hearing was conducted on Oxford Prep’s request to lease the closed Joe Toler-Oak Hill building. The Granville County Commissioners determined that pursuant to NC General Statute § 115C-218.35 the building was “available” and directed the GCPS School Board to enter negotiations with Oxford Prep.

In the past two weeks, on two occasions representatives from Oxford Prep met with representatives from GCPS. After each meeting and upon reflecting on GCPS’s concerns, Oxford Prep modified the offer in an attempt to better address perceived impediments that had been discussed.

The Oxford Prep team, accompanied by GCPS representatives, completed an on-site inspection of JTOH. They were pleased to see the condition of the JTOH building. It was obvious that the maintenance staff from GCPS has taken a great deal of pride in and care of the building. In addition, an inspection by an outside firm was completed of the building for suitability, economic viability, and safety. Both inspections were done w/ GCPS personnel present. At no time were any safety concerns raised.

Oxford Prep is well aware of the deferred maintenance that has been suggested by GCPS. As a result of both inspections, Oxford Prep has a clear understanding of what facility improvements are needed and continues to believe the property is well-suited for the safe, short-term occupancy requested.

After the last negotiation meeting, Oxford Prep reworked its lease offer so that the lease agreement might be an economically and practically feasible one. The lease offer includes the following terms:

– $100,000 in total lease payments (including a $10,000 security deposit) to occupy the building from June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021 (equal to 22% of the appraised market value of the building)

– Take on 100% of GCPS’s upkeep costs once a lease agreement is executed until Oxford Prep vacates the building on May 31, 2021 (GCPS currently spends over $100,000 a year)

– Complete building repairs to include (drainage evaluation and remediation, septic and well repairs, boiler system repair, and repair sections of the roof as needed)

– Complete quarterly air quality testing and complete remediation as needed

The Oxford Prep leadership team and Board of Directors are optimistic that the Granville County Public School System will enter into the generous proposed lease terms, that serves the interests of GCPS, Oxford Preparatory School, and the citizens of Granville County.

For additional comment, please contact Andrew Swanner, executive director of Oxford Preparatory School at swannerab@oxfordprep.org or (919) 690-0360.

Oxford Prep School Announces Homecoming Representatives

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School celebrated Homecoming on Friday, January 10, 2020. The newly selected 2019-2020 OPS Homecoming King and Queen, chosen from members of the senior class by their peers, is Ridge Huff and Sophia Metcalf.

Oxford Preparatory School celebrated Homecoming on Friday, January 10, 2020. The newly selected 2019-2020 OPS Homecoming King and Queen, chosen from members of the senior class by their peers, is Ridge Huff and Sophia Metcalf. (OPS photo)

Quincy Burreal, the 2018-2019 OPS Homecoming King, crowned the newly elected King and Queen. Quincy was joined by Ey’mania Alston, President of OPS Interact, Hailee Bissett, Interact Vice President and Avery Thomas, Interact Secretary.

The OPS Senior Homecoming Court representatives were Catherine Slack, daughter of Penny Slack; Ridge Huff, son of Sandy and Randall Huff; Sophia Metcalf, daughter of Mary and Ken Metcalf and Alexander Slack, son of Penny Slack and Bob Slack.

Catherine Slack is already a successful college student in the CCP program, an honors scholar and a key OPS leader on the cross-country trail and on the basketball court. With a consistently positive attitude, others often look to Catherine for her leadership and support.

She plans to attend Montreat College with a running scholarship so that she can pursue a career as a Physical Therapist.

Also an honors scholar, Ridge Huff has earned a large number of college credit hours while also being a standout athlete on the soccer field and on the basketball court. Ridge is a leader in academics, in athletics and in serving others through school and with his church. His peers look to Ridge to see the positive in every situation.

Ridge will be attending NC State and majoring in Biomedical Engineering and will pursue a career as a dentist.

Sophia Metcalf is an honors scholar who has already earned 24 college credit hours. She is a highly talented musician, a skilled artist and a nationally decorated equestrian. Sophia is the founder of the OPS Equestrian Club. As a leader, Sophia works to make certain that others feel valued and included.

She will be attending either NC State or Averett University to pursue a career in Biology.

OPS Senior Homecoming Court representatives Catherine Slack and Alexander Slack are pictured above. (OPS photo)

Alex Slack has also maintained status as an honors scholar while successfully earning college credits. He is an extremely skilled musician and a key contributor to the OPS strings with not only his talent but also the kind manner in which he urges others to try harder and to reach higher, along with the spark of humor he adds to each endeavor.

Alex will attend UNCG to major in Psychology and to pursue a career as a Therapist.

The 7th-grade homecoming court representatives were Emily Wilkinson, daughter of Nancy and Chance Wilkinson and Davis Faulkner, son of Marian and Starr Faulkner.

8th-grade representative Janari Johnson, daughter of Tasha Blackwell and Jerry Johnson was escorted by 8th-grade representative Jonathan Gouldman, son of Shannon Wilkerson.

9th-grade was represented by Reese Newton, daughter of Mary and Chad Newton. She was escorted by Zack Crosby, the son of Alwason and Robert Crosby.

10th-grade representatives were Zoe Holland, daughter of Tracy and Christopher Holland and Lucas Juntunen, son of Tammy and Jon Juntunen.

11th-grade representatives were Rachel Daniel, daughter of Cindy Woodard and the late Gerald Daniel and Bryce Garrett, son of Shelby and Todd Garrett.

Oxford Prep School

Oxford Preparatory School’s Open Enrollment Begins Dec. 2

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Open Enrollment for Oxford Preparatory School’s (OPS) 2020 – 2021 school year begins on Monday, December 2, 2019. Applications for new Kindergarten – 12th-grade students will be available at oxfordprep.org at that time.

OPS is an independent and tuition-free public charter school that is designed to mold students into future leaders through the completion of a rigorous curriculum while focusing on community service and developing an appreciation of the arts. OPS offers a college preparatory curriculum, a variety of competitive middle school and varsity athletic teams, and has a main campus located at 6041 Landis Rd. in Oxford.

OPS invites families of prospective students to learn more about the unique offerings of the school. All prospective families are invited to the school’s first Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 6041 Landis Rd. in Oxford. The event will provide interested families a glimpse into the curriculum and vision of the Lower School while offering children a variety of fun activities coordinated by the school’s Interact Club.

The first information session for families of rising K – 6th-grade students will be held on Tuesday, December 10 at 6 p.m. Afterwards, tours will be conducted that will allow the opportunity to meet faculty.

In addition, prospective students are invited to spend time visiting the school on three Shadow Days so they can experience our unique school program firsthand. Visiting students accompany OPS student guides through their classes during a four-hour visit. It’s a chance to meet the staff and the students and to get a snapshot view of our engaging college preparatory classes. Information about all of these events is posted on the school’s website (OxfordPrep.org).

The school currently operates in a permanent Upper School Building (Grades 7 – 12) and a temporary Lower School Building (Grades 5 & 6) on the main campus. The school is in the final stages of USDA loan approval for a new permanent lower school facility (K – 6th-grade) that will be constructed on the main campus on Landis Rd.

In the interim, Oxford Preparatory School has submitted a request to Granville County Public Schools to operate K – 4th-grade at the former Joe-Toler Oak Hill Elementary School site (8176 NC-96, Oxford, NC 27565), to which shuttle busing will be provided from the main campus on Landis Rd.

This potential agreement, governed by NC law (§ 115C-218.35. ) would benefit GCPS by reducing their operating costs for a closed school building and provide OPS the additional space for the increased enrollment that was approved by the NC State Board of Education in February.

To be considered for a potential lottery, all applications must be submitted online by Friday, February 28, 2020. If more applications are received than available seats in any grade, a blind public lottery will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020. All students choosing to attend OPS will need to confirm enrollment by completing and sending in an enrollment packet by Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

After February 28, applications received will be placed at the end of the waiting list as determined by the lottery.

For additional comments, please contact Andrew Swanner – Oxford Preparatory School – Executive Director – (swannerab@oxfordprep.org) (919) 690-0360.

Oxford Prep PTO to Hold 4th Annual Holiday Bazaar Sat., Nov. 16

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-Information courtesy Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School, 6041 Landis Rd., will hold its 4th Annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 16, 2019. The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. inside the school’s gym.

Crafts, wreaths, jewelry, candles, honey, food, clothing, art, makeup, homemade items and much more will be on sale.

The bazaar is hosted by the Oxford Prep PTO.

Oxford Prep School

Oxford Preparatory Lower School Announces First Quarter Honor Roll

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-Information courtesy Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory Lower School held its first-quarter award ceremony during the last week of October. This year the school is serving students in 5th and 6th grades.

During the award ceremonies, students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements, as well as for excellence in the arts and music. In addition, four students – Hailey Crowder, Cesar Castillo-Azuara, Zander Boone and Cameron Fauntleroy were recognized as “Rising Griffins,” demonstrating strong leadership and personal responsibility in their daily activities.

The Lower School at Oxford Prep is proud to announce the following students to the honor roll for the 1st Quarter:

5th Grade

A Honor Roll

Tanner Abbott, Grace Allred, Sage Beck, Bristol Bowen, Olivia Burrows, Michael Cox, Lilly Hicks, Allison Martinez-Ramirez, Palynn Nelms, Kaylee Overby, Heidi Strickland, Abagail WIlliamson, Kevin Williford, Parker Wright

A/B Honor Roll

Haroon Alashmaly, Mckenzie Bartlett, Ronald Batchelor, Cason Bedwell, Trinity Blom, Zander Boone, Gracie Brooks, Emma Daniel, Bobby Downey, Katherine Ellis, Ethan Englebright, Alaina Garrett, Jesus Gutierrez-Duran, Piper Hicks, Addison Hoyle, Will Jeffries, Lily Juntunen, Aaron King, Kateyn Lyon, Kylie Marsalone, Abrieanna Peoples, Ayden Pernell, Bryson Preddy, Gabrielle Pugh, Madelyn Reese, Christian Smith, Ashlyn Sturgeon, Landon Tabor, Lila Watkins, Jackson West, Keats Westbrook, Magnus Williford, Bryson Woodlief

6th Grade

A Honor Roll

Hailey Crowder, Kianna Evans, Addyson Faucette, Kaylin Gooch, Elijah Moss, Valentina Ortega-Mora, Tabitha Parker, Bre’Niyah Purnell, Emily Stevens, Susie Stock, Miley Thompson, Hailey Woodlief

A/B Honor Roll

Cesar Castillo-Azuara, Caleb Critcher, Lillian Dingfeld, Jayce Elliott, Anahi Escobar Castaneda, Rileigh Forbes, Abbe Hernandez, Alaina Lovings, Jenna Overby, Solomon Parker, Divya Patel, Dylan Pitcher, Sara Roberson, Harley Jo Stainback, Madison Thomerson, Carley Walthall, Zoey Webber, Alexandria White, Novina Williford

Two Oxford Prep Fifth Graders Selected for NC Elementary Honors Chorus

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-Information courtesy Oxford Preparatory School

Congratulations to Oxford Preparatory Lower School fifth-graders Abagail Williamson and Lilly Hicks, for being selected as members of the 2019 NC Elementary Honors Chorus. Over 600 fourth – sixth-grade students from across the state auditioned; only 200 were chosen for this auspicious honor.

After four weeks of preparation, Abby and Lilly will travel with their music teacher, Cindy Clark, on November 9 to Winston-Salem to join the other 198 top elementary singers for a day of rehearsal with renowned composer, music educator and choral conductor, Dr. Andrea Ramsey.

On Sunday, November 10, as part of NC Music Educators’ State Conference, the 2019 Elementary Honors Chorus will present a noon concert in Stevens Auditorium of the NC School of the Arts.

Oxford Preparatory Lower School fifth-graders Abagail Williamson and Lilly Hicks were recently selected as members of the 2019 NC Elementary Honors Chorus. (Photo courtesy OPS)

Oxford Prep School

Oxford Prep Readies for K-4 Expansion, 2020/2021 Open Enrollment

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-Press Release, Oxford Preparatory School

Applications for new Kindergarten – 12th-grade student enrollments for Oxford Preparatory School’s (OPS) 2020 – 2021 school year will be available at oxfordprep.org when Open Enrollment begins on December 2, 2019.

OPS is an independent and tuition-free public charter school that is designed to mold students into future leaders through the completion of a rigorous curriculum while focusing on community service and developing an appreciation of the arts.

To be considered for a potential lottery, all applications must be submitted online by Friday, February 28, 2020. If more applications are received than available seats in any grade, a blind public lottery will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

All students choosing to attend OPS will need to confirm enrollment by completing and sending in an enrollment packet by Wednesday, April 1, 2020. After February 28, applications received will be placed at the end of the waiting list as determined by the lottery.

OPS offers a college preparatory curriculum, a variety of competitive middle school and varsity athletic teams, and has a main campus located at 6041 Landis Rd. in Oxford. The school currently operates in a permanent Upper School Building (Grades 7 – 12) and a temporary Lower School Building (Grades 5 & 6) on the main campus.

The school is in the final stages of USDA loan approval for a new permanent lower school facility (K – 6) that will be constructed on the main campus on Landis Rd. in Oxford. However, in the interim, OPS has submitted a request to Granville County Public Schools to operate K – 4  at the former Joe-Toler Oak Hill Elementary School site (8176 NC-96, Oxford, NC 27565), to which shuttle busing will be provided from the main campus on Landis Rd.

This potential agreement, governed by NC Law (§ 115C-218.35. ) would benefit Granville County Public Schools by reducing their operating costs for a closed school building and provide OPS the additional space for the increased enrollment that was approved by the NC State Board of Education in February.

OPS invites families of prospective students to learn more about the unique offerings of the school. All prospective families are invited to the school’s first Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will provide interested families a glimpse into the curriculum and vision of the Lower School while offering children a variety of fun activities coordinated by the school’s Interact Club.

The first information session for families of rising K – 6 students will be held on Tuesday, December 10 at 6 p.m. Afterwards, tours will be conducted that will allow the opportunity to meet faculty.

In addition, prospective students are invited to spend time visiting the school on three Shadow Days so they can experience our unique school program firsthand. Visiting students accompany OPS student guides through their classes during a four-hour visit. It’s a chance to meet the staff and the students and to get a snapshot view of our engaging college preparatory classes. Information about all of these events will be posted on the school’s website – OxfordPrep.org.