A public hearing was held following the Oxford Area School District Board of Directors Work Session to discuss the application for a charter for the Dora Brown Intermediate Charter School.

The applicant, listed as Dr. Lynette Lee, currently heads the Erin Dudley Forbes Charter School, which houses grades kindergarten through sixth. If granted the charter, the school would house seventh and eighth grades. School directors must hold a public hearing within 45 days of receiving the charter application.

As opposed to adding the seventh and eighth grades to the existing charter school, Lee said the board of trustees for the middle school would be aimed at the middle school age bracket.

"We want to have two separate schools, a middle school and elementary school," Lee said. "We also wanted to have a different name, and in order to have a different name we have to have a new board. The intent is the persons who would run that school are concentrated on that age."

While reviewing the application, the Board of Directors had several concerns, ranging from a lack of information in some areas, to the absence of a signature on the application itself.

One of the major concerns was the lack of space at what would be the school's location at the old Barnsley School on Barnsley Road, in East Nottingham, which now houses the Erin Dudley Forbes Charter School.

"You list that the seventh and eighth grade will be housed at the same facility [as the elementary school], I don't see that building as adequate," School Board President Chauncey Boyd said.

According to Lee, as part of its plan, the school would secure a second opening in the basement of the building to add room, and further down the line, add modules to the approximate two acres of land the school sits on.

Boyd did not feel that the basement of the building would be a healthy educational location conducive to learning. At the present moment, the basement is unable to be used by any student or faculty member due to its conditions, as ordered by the department of health.

According to Howard Brown, attorney for the applicant, they are aware of the issues with the basement and will rectify any problems prior to its being put into use.

Another issue concerning the board is funding for the school. According to Lee, the school plans to use fundraisers and tuition to raise the money needed to fund the school. The school may also be eligible for start-up funding from the state, which the Erin Dudley Forbes School received during its first few years of existence.

Other issues concerning the board ranged from the performance of students on PSSA's at Erin Dudley Forbes, and the schools curriculum goals. Also, Lee had yet to attain insurance information for the proposed middle school.

The board will now have 45 days to consider the application for the charter and will address the application at a regular meeting after that time.

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