Oaks Academy expands, helps revitalize new community


A local school is making a move to not only serve more students, but also breathe new life into a wilting community.

The Oaks Academy in the Fall Creek neighborhood serves students in pre-K through eighth grade. But, the program is growing so fast and has such a long waiting list, it's moving its middle school grades six through eight to a new location.

Tuesday is moving day.

Head of School at The Oaks Academy, Andrew Hart, said the school launched in 1998 to provide a high quality education in an impoverished neighborhood.

"We're a faith-based school that does provide that quality education," Hart said. "We launched in 1998 with 53 students and we now have 660 students, and we provide this high quality to a very diverse population of families and students. Half of our students are low-income, and the other half are high- and middle-income.

"We're very proud that we've maintained that kind of split in our population. It's a very valuable part of our school and community."

Aster Bekele with the Felege Hiywot Gardening Program said the new middle school will be beautiful.

"They have done a wonderful job in the other community and we're really happy they're coming here because we are looking forward to working with them and their students," Bekele said. "We are really happy they are going to be our neighbors."

A school that started out with a mission to serve low-income students, is now also teaming up to help revitalize communities.