Saturday, April 15, 2017

Charter School Builds Wall of Shame to Hide the Truth

Shame on American Prep Academy:
Shame on American Prep Academy
‘Shame’ Sign & ‘Spite’ Fence Mark Charter Debate in Utah

In an era of social media, charter school messaging went hard core 20th Century last week in Draper, Utah, about a half-hour south of Salt Lake City.
First, homeowners Josh and Emily Aune put a banner on their fence promoting a website critical of the American Preparatory Academy charter school, ShameOnAPA.org. Then, the school constructed a fence that the homeowners believe was put there to obstruct the view of the anti-charter school banner.
The Aune home is located next to the school’s driveway.
See the full story by the Salt Lake City Tribune.
H/T ChoiceMediaTV


SHAME ON AMERICAN PREP
Taking massive profits while abusing their neighbors. 

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Updated 04/12/2017, email working, updated articles.

ARTICLES

Here is a Salt Lake Tribute article that discusses some issues with charter schools and APA specifically: Analysis: Utah charter schools move millions of public dollars to the coffers of a few private companies. This is particularly relevant to APA as they are one of the handful of charters to utilize the split non-profit school entity/for-profit management company methodology, which hides the pay and expenses of all of the top individuals. There are other ways that copyright, trademark or other intellectual property protections can be established without a for-profit management company.
In 2011 80% of Michigan Charter Schools are For-Profits (forbes.com) and then in 2016 A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift (nytimes.com). Utah is on this path. See the awfully boring section Brief history of Charter schools in Utah for more details on how charter schools in Utah grew up, the laws that allow APA to treat it's neighbors this way, and what reforms are needed to keep charters healthy in the future. We need healthy charter schools, Utah can't afford to end up like Michigan.
All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again
--Battlestar Galactica


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KEY NEIGHBORHOOD ISSUES

American Preparatory Academy (APA) is our neighbor, we would like to welcome them to our Draper Utah community and believe a school is an excellent use for this property. Sadly APA did not do appropriate diligence prior to purchasing the land and constructing phase one, the elementary school. APA has created significant ongoing harm to our community for the past several years through the elementary alone, and now APA is building a high school expansion which will only increase the negative impacts to our community.
We request APA to work with us to put together an action plan for the items below, including: agreed upon success criteria, the plan for addressing each with time frame, and for long term items a self evaluation and reporting mechanism. A more detailed history of various issues can be found below.
  • Traffic Note: Phase2 as currently submitted to Draper City as public record
    will likely block access to the neighborhood for twice as long as Phase1
    alone currently blocks access.
  • Traffic Note: There is no substantiated evidence supporting the belief that
    11950S will affect traffic flow, the issue of fire access via 119500 S is
    independent of resolving traffic concerns.
  • Traffic Safety: How will traffic be kept out of the neighborhood, especially
    out of our driveways? Current attempts to talk to offenders have not worked.
    Causes for neighborhood driving include avoiding the no left turn rule, dropping
    off children in the neighborhood to avoid excessive traffic lines
  • Traffic Safety: How will traffic patters creating an extremely unsafe exit
    from the neighborhood be improved?
  • Traffic Safety: What policies will be put in place by fire, police and other
    emergency vehicles to ensure the safety of children in the Inauguration
    neighborhood when accessing the fire gate at the back of the subdivision.
  • Traffic Safety: How will the school ensure parents do not drop children off
    in the neighborhood to avoid the excessively long lines? Current policies have
    been ineffective. This must include license plate based identification.
  • Traffic Delays: How will traffic blocking access to/from the neighborhood be improved?
  • Privacy: APA has constructed their site with no regard to the privacy of
    the neighbors. Previously private back yards are now exposed and windows can
    easily be peered through as parents idle in the pickup/drop off queue. How
    will APA return privacy to the affected neighbors?
    • Yay! APA has promised to install an 8 ft vinyl fence along the length of the
      property and will discuss a grading plan with each of the property owners prior
      to starting construction. Time line is TBD but some time prior to Phase2 completion.
  • Nuisance Construction Noise: How will APA ensure their contractors obey noise ordinances?
    • Yay! After a few false starts, APA has limited their start time to 7AM for the last several days!
  • Nuisance Construction DustWe are happy to report that after
    several interactions, APA has started to follow required dust mitigation policies.
    We hope to be able to continue to report this positive improvement
  • Nuisance Ongoing: How will APA handle noise and light pollution related
    nuisance cases in the future? Of greatest concern is early morning and after
    hours activities, ambient safety light pollution and excessive noise on the
    entry/exit from teenage drivers.
  • Neighborhood Integrity: If APA fails to gain access to 11950 S, what is
    the maintenance plan that will be followed to ensure the destroyed home site
    does not become an eyesore and further detract from property values? What is
    the escalation path neighbors can utilize and what is the turn around
    time?
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INDEX OF ISSUE DETAILS

FAILURE TO PLAN FOR TRAFFIC IMPACT

TRAFFIC ACCESS IMPLICATIONS

The Phase1 traffic study indicated there would be little to no queuing on Loan Peak Parkway, but with just the elementary in operation there is 3,500 feet of on street queuing. Residents are often stuck inside the neighborhood for 10 minutes in the morning during a 30 minute window. APA claims that Phase2 will improve queuing but their traffic study is again likely deficient. Back logs of 3500 feet are frequently observed with the current phase1 traffic load. Phase2 will increase the total per minute traffic load as well as the active traffic time from 30 to 60 minutes. The added on site queuing is not sufficient to handle the current 3500 ft of on road queuing and thus It is highly likely the residents will be stuck inside their neighborhood from APA traffic for a full hour, rather than the half hour seen today.
To make matters worse, APA does not refresh their engineering traffic impact plans when they increase the school's headcount. APA told Draper City that Phase1 would consist of 960 students, after their plans were approved they requested and were approved by the state charter board an increase of funding to 1,100 students. APA has provided no indication that they investigated the impacts of this increase on the surrounding community, as is typically done via filings with the city planning department.
APA plans to use this tactic again. They already have on the agenda a request to increase the combined Phase1+Phase2 campus to from the engineered headcount of 1610 to somewhere over 1700.

TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPLICATIONS

There are currently ongoing traffic safety issues including in-neighborhood near misses of children, pet deaths and several car wrecks. Causes include unsafe entry and exit from the neighborhood; parents turning around in the neighborhood and using residents driveways, and parents dropping children off in the neighborhood. Phase2 will compound these issues with additional traffic, emergency services gate, and a large influx of young high school drivers. The Inauguration neighborhood's main roads were not designed with sufficient off street parking and the roads are often lined with cars, creating blind spots and one way choke points. The neighborhood also has many many families with small children playing outside. There was a recent 3 year old who died from a similar situation less than 2 miles away. This is a significant hazard on it's own for experienced drivers but the situation will become extremely dangerous with young inexperienced drivers in play.
The future fire access gate creates safety issues for the neighborhood. A fire truck or other emergency vehicles with their blinking lights will draw children out to see them, possibly appearing out from behind a parked car. We would like some special consideration applied by the emergency services when driving on the neighborhood's streets, and to try avoid using the access gate. Initially the gate had been left incomplete and walk able. During this time APA parents would drive to the back of the neighborhood and drop their children off to avoid waiting in the horrendous traffic created by the poorly designed facilities. This method of accessing the school has been expressly forbidden by Draper City's Planning Commission.
Inauguration residents are not the only ones sick of the traffic. APA parents are so desperate to bypass the excessive traffic lines that when there is a fence down, parents will drop their children off inside the neighborhood and have them tress pass through a homes back yard to avoid the traffic lines. Safety issues and property rights violations all on one!
Shame on American Prep Academy:

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