MARQUETTE - A Northern Michigan University charter school, Oasis Academy of Southfield, Mich., has unexpectedly closed. NMU officials were informed on Wednesday, Aug. 21, that the Oasis School Board had voted to close the academy on Aug. 13.

Northem's Board of Trustees met with representatives from Oasis Academy and A+ Educational Solutions, Inc., at its Aug. 8-9 meetings to address health, safety and administrative issues that had been brought to the NMU administration's attention.

"Northern was taken off guard by the closing because we had been in contact via fax and phone with Ms. Kotler, owner of A+ Educational Solutions and principal of Oasis, as well as the chair of the Oasis school board several times since the NMU Board of Trustees meetings, and not once in all those communications was it mentioned that the Oasis board had voted to close the school," said Fred Joyal, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Oasis Academy, which taught the Waldorf philosophy, had 459 enrollees last year.

In April 200 1, the NMU board approved a proposal that the university enter into a three-year contract with Oasis Academy. Oasis had previously chartered with Central Michigan University.

Since discovering the school closing, Joyal said Northern officials have been contacting the appropriate state education officials and calling school superintendents in the Detroit metropolitan area to alert them to the situation.

"Unfortunately, parents will need to quickly enroll their students in other schools and we wanted to give the area superintendents as much information as we have to help expedite this process," Joyal said. "We are also waiting to receive the parent contact list for A+ Solutions. When we do, we will be in direct contact with parents to answer questions and assist in whatever way we can.

Joyal added that the Michigan Department of Education has told Northern that there is adequate class space available in the area 's public schools to accept former Oasis students.

Northern has charter agreements with five other Michigan schools. They are: Bahweting Anishnabe Public School Academy in Sault Ste. Marie, Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy in Wilson, North Star Academy in Ishpeming, Burton Glen Charter Academy in Burton, and Walton.

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