SALINAS, Calif.-- Oasis Charter School in Salinas may be closing its doors. The school is scaling back its elementary school. The charter school has a long-standing reputation as a school the provides education in an intimate setting. It recently expanded from a K-6 to a K-8 program just four years ago. According to the principal, Juanita Pera, a year ago she noticed the school is not functioning the way it should. Now they want to move back to a K-6 cirriculum.
However, some parents who say they were surprised and upset to hear they will have to move their kid to another school right before high school are trying to find a solution to keep the school a K-8 system.
"There are lots of schools, but its hard to find a good school," said Ehab Ali, a concerned parent that wants his sixth-grade son to finish his education through eighth-grade.
Ehab Ali, said the school has not answered his questions like, why is this being brought up now, and why didn't they know about all these problems beforehand?
The principal told parents at a meeting in December that they didn't have the teachers that were qualified enough to teach seventh and eighth grade.
"At the seventh and eighth grade level, they need specialty teachers, a wide variety of friends, and space to start transitioning from classroom to classroom to prepare them for high school, and we don't have that here," said Pear, "and we are spreading ourselves thin by trying to cover seventh and ninth grade".
Oasis only has two classrooms, and two teachers for the over 60 kids in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. They are all learning the same curriculum. In other words, a sixth grader, and an 8th grader are essentially getting the same lessons even though they might be at different learning levels.
Pera says a school district could give the kids the education they need because "if the students are in their school district of residence that school district has so much more to offer, and to give, because developmentally they have a plan for that age group."
Juanita knows this is an inconvenience for parents to change the school system so suddenly, but the transition to a new school can be done.
"The most successful children are the ones who have the most involved parents regardless of where they go," said Pera.
However, parents like Ali can't figure out why a program was started that couldn't sustain itself in the first place, and why he never heard of all these shortfalls before.
Parents are proposing to at least let the charter school permit that the school is on possession of run out in 2015-2016 before changing the system, but the school says waiting any longer will hurt the students because seventh and eighth graders at the age should be transitioning classrooms, and having specialty teachers for each subject.