“ The only way we can build a school is if the entire community gives. Gives till it hurts a little bit. In time, money or both.”
In November of 2013, we submitted our original proposal to the Seaside School District. In February of 2014, the Seaside School Board made the decision not to sponsor our charter. We read through the feedback and addressed the concerns that were raised, resubmitting our charter proposal to the Seaside School District in May 2014. In June 2014, we received another denial. We then submitted to the State Department of Education in July 2014. We were set to have a hearing on October 24, 2014. However, we received word from the State Department of Education that the committee that reviewed our charter was going to recommend that they not sponsor The Cannon Beach Academy because we did not meet full criteria in the rubric under 5 sections.
The news was very disappointing, however, we rallied and pushed on because we know that bringing educational choice to our area and our community is important and worth the fight. So on October 23, 2014 the Board met, along with many members of our committees, to formulate a plan for addressing and correcting the 5 areas in our charter that the Oregon Department of Education Review Committee stated we did not meet criteria for. The Business, Building and Curriculum committees have been working closely with the board to revise and improve these areas in our charter. We will all meet again on Thursday December 11, 2014 to review our progress. We are confident that the corrections will strengthen our charter. Aside from the five areas that needed work, many positives were noted. The review and analysis pointed to many strengths, including the amount of support we have and the thoroughness of our charter.
Early in 2015 we plan to approach the Cannon Beach City Council regarding a temporary location for the school. Finding a temporary location that fits our budget and is out of the Tsunami Zone has been one of the most challenging aspects of this process. We remain confident that there is a solution and we look forward to working with our council to find it.
Lastly, we are excited to announce that in addition to receiving our official 501(c)3 status, The Cannon Beach Academy has opened a restricted escrow account at Columbia Bank. The restricted account is important because it will allow our donors who are ready to write checks now to do so knowing that their money will be secure and not used until we have an approved charter. Additionally, should the charter school not open, the money will be returned to the donors from this account. The board feels this will help us acquire start up funds in the bank, which will address a major concern that the ODE Review Committee expressed. Donors who wish to give money for us to use now may also make donations to our general fund. This money goes into another bank account we have at Columbia Bank and this money is used for any operating expenses we incur now while working on the charter.
It has been a long and hard road so far, but we are confident that every challenge we meet is helping us to create a strong foundation for our school. We want to do this right and right takes time. We are very appreciative of the hundreds of hours that our committee members and volunteers have donated, for the shops who keep our cash cans on their counters, and for everyone who has pledged, donated and supported us along the way.
Happy Holidays to you all.
The Cannon Beach Academy
Board of Directors