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

    • What Makes Up Quality of Place?

      Economic development is a hot topic these days. With the economy continuing to chug along in robust fashion and unemployment approaching historic lows, communities are refining their objectives and priorities to eek every drop of benefit they can from these financially strong times. Nowhere is this focus greater than with “quality of place,” As cities and states think about how they can distinguish themselves from their peers, a common starting point is developing a...



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


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Computer Science, Gaming Collide With 'Hour of Code'

      Elementary school students in the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township in Indianapolis are getting an early lesson in coding through the international Hour of Code program. The initiative is designed to give people an introduction to computer science and coding, and Lynn Hodgkin, elementary media coordinator for the district, says it takes a game-centered approach to teaching coding to kids. The students are participating in the Hour of Code at the...

    • St. Vincent Names Manas Regional President

      Julie Manas has been selected to serve as regional president of the St. Vincent North Region, which includes St. Vincent Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Kokomo, Mercy, Randolph and Williamsport hospitals. She has more than 30 years of healthcare experience and most recently comes from Hospital Sisters Health System, Western Wisconsin Division, where she held the role of president and chief executive officer.

    • On-Air

      Find out when and where you can watch and listen to our reports.

    • First Internet Bank to Anchor Big Fishers Project

      Another major development is coming to Fishers. Indianapolis-based Browning Investments has announced plans for a $157 million project in the city's downtown that will include a boutique hotel, as well as residential, office and retail space. Fishers-based First Internet Bancorp (Nasdaq: INBK) will anchor the development by moving its headquarters to a six-story, 168,000-square-foot office building. The project will span the north and south sides of 116th Street and will be...

    • The Heritage Group Founder to be Remembered

      Services are set for noted businessman and philanthropist Fred Fehsenfeld, founder of Indianapolis-based The Heritage Group, who passed away last week at the age of 94. Fehsenfeld, a graduate of Purdue University and decorated World War II veteran, will be remembered Saturday during a Celebration of Life, at The Center on the northwest side of Indianapolis.