Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the acquisition and renovation of a permanent facility for Great Oaks Charter School, which opened in Newark in 2011. The new facility will enable the high school program to grow to scale.
Great Oaks is the flagship school of the Great Oaks Foundation. Of the school’s nearly 500 students, 82% are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch, 12% are special education students, and 4% are English Language Learners.
Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the acquisition and renovation of Great Oaks’ urban campus in downtown Newark. With the help of New Markets Tax Credits, Great Oaks is able to improve its facility, including the renovation of a former carriage house into a multipurpose space, without increasing its rent. At the end of the seven-year New Markets Tax Credit compliance period, the school will be able to own the building.
Great Oaks is a member of the AmeriCorps National Service Network, employing members of its “Tutor Corps.” AmeriCorps members commit to a term of service both tutoring students at Great Oaks and helping them design and participate in service projects in their own communities.
School programming also includes at least 40 minutes of gym time a day before the beginning of school. These activities are geared especially toward students with ADHD. The gym is used for at least 90 minutes of daily practices after school by Great Oaks sports teams, including basketball and volleyball. Approximately two-thirds of the student population participates on a team.
Reinvestment Fund financing is supported by grant funds through the U.S. Department of Education Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. This allows us to offer flexible terms on our loan to Great Oaks, as our interest only loan has a higher than standard loan to value ratio.