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Collier County School Board and Mason Classical Academy Might Reach a Settlement after Mediation

Wednesday, August, 14, 2019

The ongoing dispute between Mason Classical Academy and the Collier County School Board could end up being settled soon through mediation. This was after the school district’s General Counsel determined that the year-long investigation into the matter was most suited for an out-of-court settlement.


According to district spokesman Chad Oliver, a state-appointed mediator named David Gunter held a mediation meeting that was attended by Mason’s attorney and district representatives. The school board voted unanimously last month for mediation with the charter school. It also determined that it wanted to defer consideration of any notice to invoke the school’s charter until after mediation was complete. As per the settlement agreement, the school district will not pursue termination of the charter.


A vote has been scheduled to address the proposed mediation settlement at the upcoming meeting. The agreement is not binding until it has been put up for a vote, but the parties agreed to recommend an affirmative vote be taken on both sides.


In addition to the general settlement, a corrective action plan for Mason Classical Academy is detailed in the plan. Furthermore, it describes how the charter school will form a school advisory council, a grievance committee, an audit committee and a finance committee by October 15, assuming the board votes to approve the proposed settlement agreement.


The school’s staff will be trained in August regarding public records law, the Sunshine Law, ethics, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. The board will increase in size from three to five members by that same October 15th deadline and staggered terms will be enacted.


Finally, an independent auditor will review compliance following the October deadline.