Oxford Prep draws significantly from Henderson
OXFORD — About 70 ninth-graders and four teachers made history Monday at Oxford Preparatory High School’s first day.
Oxford’s new charter school is situated temporarily in a mobile unit with one grade and four classrooms, but the school’s executive director has plans to relocate students to a bigger structure when there are more grade levels to accommodate.
Executive Director Andrew Swanner said the school received about 120 applications after the charter school was approved in March but they didn’t accept all who applied.
“We wanted to start fresh with only ninth-graders,” Swanner said Monday. “It was important for us to establish a culture and curriculum.”
Swanner said about 40 percent of students live in Oxford, another 40 percent are from Henderson and the remaining come from Creedmoor, Franklinton or Warren County.
The school’s main hallway is adorned with pennants from colleges and universities across the country. The pennants represent part of the school’s larger mission to prepare students for college and attain 100 percent college attendance.
Swanner implemented his own take on honors classes with the scholars program, which requires students to take at least five advanced placement classes throughout four years at Oxford Prep.
In his AP Government class on Monday, Swanner told his students that introductory government classes in college are usually huge and impersonal. In those entry level classes, professors try to “weed out” students who aren’t serious, Swanner explained.
“I’m not going to treat this class that way,” Swanner said. “My goal is for you to do well in this class and do well on the AP test so you can get college credit and avoid taking the intro class in college.”
Tracey Greenway, a Henderson resident, said she wanted to send her son to Oxford Prep because of the focus on getting students college ready.
She said her son is in the scholars program, and will take advanced English and Biology classes this year.
Greenway said she was also drawn to the school’s community service element.
The school requires parents to volunteer a certain number of hours per semester, she said.
Students must also complete mandatory community service every year, and a seminar class helps them achieve those hours.
“Vance County Schools wasn’t an option,” Greenway said. “I definitely think this school will give him an advantage to get into a good college.”
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.