Oasis Academy meets needs for additional students

Freshman at Oasis Academy settle into their second week of school in their college prep science class. Teacher assistants Jill Rosario, left, and Kathy Keitz engage the students to get them ready for the day.

Freshman at Oasis Academy settle into their second week of school in their college prep science class. Teacher assistants Jill Rosario, left, and Kathy Keitz engage the students to get them ready for the day.

Oasis Academy is off to a great start for the school year.

Not only did the school grow in the size of the student body, but it also expanded its walls and improved a few areas.

Principal Melissa Mackedon said the school has been very fortunate since it opened in 2011. She said Old Fallon LLC, which owns the building, the city of Fallon and parents have been extremely supportive.

She said the owners have provided the charter school with upgrades and expansions to the building in return of a long-term lease of 12 years.

“Our landlords have been extremely wonderful to us,” she said. “As well as our families and the city. Everyone has stepped up when we’ve needed help. We all have the best interest of the students at heart, and I think that’s why we have so much help.”

Mackedon said the school does not have one maintenance employee because of the volunteer effort put forth by parents and landlords.

Because of the the new high school, Oasis expanded once again. Mackedon said during the summer additional rooms were added to support the new students, carpet was laid in rooms that needed it and the front entrance was moved to the northeast side of the building off Campus Way. She said the landlord fronted the projects on the inside to the cost of almost $1 million.

The updated playground and fence, Mackedon said, was funded by fundraising efforts put forth by Friends of Oasis Academy, and it cost $80,000. She said anything more than that was handled by Old Fallon LLC.

“We’re in a really good place,” she said. “We’re going to continue to fundraise for a few other projects we’d like completed in the future. We’re not interested in expanding anymore than we already have. The school is small by design … small schools are more successful. We want to keep the personal touch in our school; we want to know all of the student’s names and their families. That’s just as important to us as their education.”

Oasis currently has 500 students enrolled in grades K-10 and also the Jump Start program at Western Nevada College. Oasis is currently at its maximum for grades K-9 but still has a few spots open for 10th grade and the Jump Start program that starts Monday. The deadline for applying for the Jump Start program is Thursday.

Mackedon said a new law starting in the 2016-2017 school year will require parents who have children on the waiting list to register their children every year. When spots open at the academy, students on the waiting list are drawn from a lottery; however, she said siblings have priority over other applicants.

“We currently have students who have been on the waiting list for two years,” she said.

The city of Fallon also put in several crosswalks and a sidewalk for the students who participate in the Jump Start program.

Mackedon said so far the high-school students have adjusted well. She said they have been encouraged to wear shirts from prospective colleges in which they are interested.

“We want the students to be positive and know that they can make it to college,” she said. “We all believe in them here and know they have the potential to make it to college and succeed. We’ll make that they have what they need to succeed available to them.”

Mackedon said the charter school hopes that students enrolled in the high school will move to the Jump Start program. She said all students that apply to the Jump Start program are accepted. She added the Jump Start program is free of charge to the students and a teacher’s assistant was hired as a liaison to monitor the students.

“WNC actually hired the teacher’s assistant for the students,” she said. “We want to make sure the are succeeding so we have extra eyes on them. We also have the high school teachers available to the students for tutoring. Again, we really want them to have every opportunity to succeed.”


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