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Oakside Prep Academy Opens Its New High School

Oakside Prep Academy, a Waterford-area public charter school managed by National Heritage Academies (NHA), opened its new high school and welcomed its inaugural class of freshman on Aug. 30. Oakside added to its kindergarten through eighth-grade facility with a newly renovated space for high school students.

Starting with the freshman class of 115, Oakside Prep will add grades 10 through 12 over the next three years. The school’s location had plenty of room to expand and build the high school within the current space. In total, Oakside Prep has 940 students and is still growing.
 Oakside Prep high school opening

A ribbon cutting celebration was held Aug. 26. It included remarks from Amy Tansel, principal, and Amy Ebling, director of school quality. Several board members were also in attendance. An all-school open house took place immediately following the ribbon cutting. People could then tour the building and students in all grades could see their teachers.
“It was an amazing event,” says Principal Tansel. “Parents and students were so happy and excited to see all our teachers. It was amazing to see the students having fun outside and enjoying their time at the school.”
 Amy Tansel and Oakside staff

On Aug. 30, freshman students got to experience a new aspect of high school life during the first week of school, which was named “Flight School.” On the first day, students spent time building communities with their advisory groups through teambuilding activities, question and answer small groups, get-to-know-you activities, and some practice with their locker combinations. The students had a special assembly to meet the principal and their dean, Mr. Holtzclaw. They set the tone for the purpose and goal for the year. The first day was finished with some fun team games.
 Oakside Prep staff member

On the second day, students continued to build relationships with their advisory groups. They got a preview of what a normal day would look like with a condensed trial run of their schedules featuring 20-minute classes and teacher introductions. Students finished the day with more fun team games as they wrapped up the Flight School orientation and were crowned the inaugural Flight School Champions. Sept. 1 and 2 were regular days for students as they experienced their full schedules.
 Amy Tansel and Oakside board
The completed high school facility features 32 classrooms, including two art rooms, one music room, two fully equipped science rooms, and one large common area and cafeteria space. Construction for the new gymnasium starts soon.