Private School Shatters Fundraising Goal, Ups Bar

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of The Oaks Academy.) (Image courtesy of The Oaks Academy.)

The chief executive officer of an Indianapolis urban private school network says an overachieving fundraising campaign will move growth plans to an "all together different trajectory." Andrew Hart says, with the help of an additional $2 million in donations The Oaks Academy is now seeking, it would add teachers, infrastructure and make facility improvements to boost enrollment from the current 815 to more than 1,200. The prekindergarten-8th grade network, which has three campuses in Indianapolis, exceeded its recent $4 million fundraising goal by $1.5 million.

The Oaks Academy's focus is to educate a "racially and socioeconomically-balanced student body in challenged neighborhoods," and Hart said the schools fill a major gap. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, he said "we're not the panacea for the woes of education and the woes of urban centers, but we feel like we're a part of the solution and we're bringing hope where hope is desperately needed."

The initial scope of its fundraising efforts was to boost enrollment to 870. Hart says with the $5.5 million raised and the $2 million more the academy hopes to raise, it will broaden its impact and hit its ramped-up enrollment targets by 2024. "Beyond that, hopefully we can launch other schools or have greater impact in neighborhoods, maybe in other cities," he told Multimedia Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman. "There's need for schools like this. There's tremendous need."

The school, founded in 1998 with a class of 54 students, has attracted attention for its academic success and focus on educating students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Eighty percent of the student body receives tuition assistance. In 2015 and 2017, ranked number one in the state for its ISTEP scores.

"The urban aspect of the Oaks -- that's part of the magic, because it gives students an opportunity to be in a relationship with children unlike themselves, both by class and by race," Hart says, "and that experience is so rare that we want to invest in that."

  • Perspectives

    • 2019 Economic Development Wishes For Indiana

      As we begin a new year, most Hoosiers are filled with hope and optimism for their families. Economic conditions continued to improve in 2018 and the outlook for 2019 is positive. There is much hard work ahead, but our state's leaders have proven that they can tackle major challenges and look to the future. Here are my top economic development wishes for Indiana as we begin a new year...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Hoosier Breweries Land Beer Festival Honors

      Four Indiana breweries have taken home top honors in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in Colorado. The three-day event awards medals for excellence in more than 100 beer style categories.

    • DOD Grant to Help Pilot Cybersecurity Project

      The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded nearly $2 million to the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. The funding will allow the two entities to continue work on their Principles-based Assessment for Cybersecurity Toolkit, or PACT.

    • Plans in Place For Long-Abandoned Indy Buildings

      The City-County Council in Indianapolis has unanimously approved $16.7 million in economic development tax increment revenue bonds for two high-rise redevelopment projects near the center of the city. Indianapolis-based Keystone Property Group is proposing to invest $80.4 million to transform the former AT&T Inc. building at Meridian and Ohio streets into a mixed-use property and $61.4 million to open an InterContinental brand hotel in the historic Illinois Building...

    • Indianapolis Marketing Firm Acquired

      Two marketing firms in Indianapolis are combining into one. Mortenson Kim, which has offices in Indy and Milwaukee, has acquired Raidious in a deal it says will create one of the largest marketing communication agencies in the state.

    • Thousands in Elkhart For Major Industry Showcase

      An annual event that attracts some 4,000 professionals in the recreational vehicle dealer industry is underway in Elkhart. The Elkhart RV Dealer Open House, which bills itself as the largest show of its kind in the world, runs through Thursday. Some 30 manufacturers will be showcasing their products at events in their own facilities or elsewhere throughout the area. During an interview last month on a special Elkhart-focused edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick...