John Rex Charter Elementary School opened in August 2014. It utilizes the best elements of a public-private educational partnership to provide an exemplary learning environment for students. This unique charter school places students in the heart of the city for daily exposure to the culturally rich amenities only available in downtown Oklahoma City.

Expanded opportunities abound within walking distance of the school. Downtown neighbors include: many performing and visual arts organizations, civic and business groups, plus numerous cultural and sports-related resources. Access to these amenities provides a unique, hands-on experience for students.

As Oklahoma City’s first downtown charter school, located at 500 W. Sheridan Avenue, the school serves a diverse group of families seeking a well-rounded educational experience for their children. As many as 500 students could be enrolled when the school reaches capacity.

Unique features:

  • Oklahoma City Quality Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools formalized an agreement on Oct. 3, 2011 to create Oklahoma City’s first downtown tuition-free public charter school.
  • A 17-member Board of Directors governs and operates the school. The Board was created through a unique partnership between the Oklahoma City Public Schools and Oklahoma City Quality Schools, a non-profit organization. Six members were appointed by Oklahoma City Public Schools and six by Oklahoma City Quality Schools. The initial members selected and appointed three additional board members. Additionally, the University of Oklahoma, the charter sponsor, appointed two non-voting directors to serve on the board. The JRCES board is responsible for all aspects of planning, governance and operation of the school.
  • The school was constructed with funds available from the MAPS for KIDS program, other TIF funds, and private donations. The new JRECS school cost approximately $12 million.
  • Public funding for the operations and programs of the school will be the same as other public charter schools in the district. The school may participate in the district’s bond program for capital improvements as circumstances warrant. Additionally, Oklahoma City Quality Schools will help supplement public funds with private donations of at least $3.0 million over the first five years of the school’s existence.

Who is John W Rex?

The downtown charter elementary school is named in honor of John W. John W. Rex, a longtime civic leader who was known for his advocacy for children. Rex was president of American Fidelity Assurance Co. He was a key player in such initiatives as Success by Six and Smart Start of Central Oklahoma. He was involved with the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and the Governor’s Task Force for Child Development, among many others. Rex died in 2006 at the age of 72.

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