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Seven Oaks Charter School To Add 10th Grade As Enrollment Grows

Seven Oaks Classical School in Ellettsville (WFIU/WTIU News)

Seven Oaks Classical School leaders say the Ellettsville institution is the fastest-growing charter school in the state.

Seven Oaks opened in 2016, teaching students in kindergarten through eighth grade. School leaders hoped to add grade levels as students got older until they reached a full K-12 program.

Seven Oaks saw a 40 percent growth in enrollment this past school year.

Board Member Terry English says they expect that to continue, with up to 350 students enrolled for 2018-2019. That means hiring new teachers and potentially other big changes.

"If we continue to add enrollment as we have been doing, we’ll have to look at trying to renovate additional space to accommodate all the students," English says.

The school plans to add 10th grade instruction this year, and new classrooms at some existing grade levels.

"Where we’re growing exponentially is in the very lower grades, so that our greatest enrollment, as it has been in the last couple years, are in kindergarten and first grade," English says.

English says they took out a $2 million loan to renovate the school building before opening, and those mortgage payments are coming due.

"The more students we end up having enrolled as part of our program, the better off we are and more stable we’ll be financially," he says.

But there is a degree of uncertainty as the new school year approaches. The school is facing a lawsuit from a group of public education advocates.

The lawsuit alleges the charter’s authorization from Grace College violates laws that prevent religious institutions from exercising government functions.

English says he expects the lawsuit to conclude by the end of the year.

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