Oxford Preparatory Academy

Making Changes for Continued Student Success

Oxford Preparatory Academy is proud of the students and families that have been able to find a safe and successful educational program at our school. We strive to continue to excel at allowing students to recognize their unique and gifted talents as they develop skills to become life-long learners in an environment where students are challenged, scholarship is expected, and differences are valued.

Our organization is dedicated to learning, reflection, and correction to continue to support our community, families, and most importantly the more than 2,500 students who honor the schools and staff with their attendance each year. As part of this reflection and a number of external reviews, our board and staff have gone through a significant transition to strive for the same excellence in our operations as we work to provide every day in the classroom.

Dedicated to 2,500 Students, Their Families, and Our Communities

Our New Team is Committed to High Standards

OPA has welcomed an entirely new Board, an entirely new organizational leadership team, and an entirely new business office team all to ensure that any perceived or real concerns surrounding OPA’s governance, fiscal controls policies, and procedures match the high standards we expect of our instructional program. The new Oxford Prep Board of Directors and administrative team have developed and implemented a comprehensive set of immediate actions to address issues raised in internal reviews and by our authorizing school districts. We have also adopted numerous new policies and procedures to ensure that the immediate actions taken provide the checks and balances necessary for good governance and stewardship of public dollars.

The new Oxford Prep Board and administration, along with staff and parent community, are fully committed to:

  • restoring integrity and trust throughout the Oxford organization;
  • operating in compliance with District policy and state law;
  • placing controls to ensure that irregularities never occur again;
  • cooperating with efforts to hold those involved in any misconduct responsible; and
  • demonstrating and exercising the fiduciary responsibilities of the Oxford Prep Board of Directors over the management and operation of the schools.

Making changes for the success of our Champions!

Based on issues identified in recent state and internal audits, our school has made significant changes, some of which are outlined below.

Executive Administration

Complete transition of organizational leadership

Board of Directors

Replaced the entire Board of Directors with individuals who do not have a history or relationship with previous, current employees, or former CMO

Business Office

Complete transition of Business Office

  • Hired New Coordinator of Business Services
  • Contracted out all back-office services to Charter Impact, an independent firm who specializes in charter schools
  • Coordinator of Administrative Services position vacated
  • Chief Financial Officer position vacated

Relationship Changes

  • Considering changing independent auditor
  • Considering consolidating legal representation

Transparency

  • Creating Fundraising Policy to ensure that all monies raised are properly tracked and used
  • Creating Academy Fund Committees to allow for site control and oversight
  • Conducting outreach meetings to provide transparency to our families
  • Providing information through multiple traditional and digital media outlets to allow transparency with all stakeholders
  • Posting Board Meeting audio recordings online

Conflict of Interest

  • Started the process for approving an Amended Conflict of Interest Code
  • Severed ties with former charter management organization
  • Reviewing all agreements with contractors to determine if there are self-
    dealing or other inappropriate relationships between vendors and OPA

Nepotism Policy

  • Approved new Nepotism Disclosure Policy to ensure any employee or vendor relationships defined as ‘nepotism’ is disclosed to the Board prior to entering into a contract or employment

Lack of Internal Controls

  • Conducted an internal forensic review of all financials dating back to 2012
  • Updated Business Expense Reimbursement Policy (Staff & Board)
  • Will conduct employee and Board member training on suspected fraud or abuse and conflict of interest and ethics
  • Forming an Audit Committee to oversee the annual and special audits during the 2016-17 year and thereafter

Failure to Disclose Related-Party Affiliates and Transactions

  • Requested that Oxford Prep’s auditor reissue annual audits due to hidden affiliated and/or related party organizations
  • Investigating a potential forensic review of public funds given to affiliated and/or related party organizations

Gift of Public Funds and Loans

  • Will conduct an independent full-scale forensic audit of all OPA accounts and transactions to provide recommendations for internal control improvement
  • Collaborating with legal representation to assess next steps in return of funds from Edlighten Learning Solutions to OPA

Diversion of Funds

  • Received initial reimbursement from Sue Roche and are in active mediation to determine future reimbursements
  • Eliminating practice of using SCRIP for any organizational use

Perceived Barriers for Families