On December 15, the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School took a major step in our quest to grow our school and to increase our services to immigrant and refugee English Learners in a welcoming school environment that brings together immigrants and non-immigrants and students of diverse races and ethnicities.
Amidst an impressive outpouring of support from the FACTS community and our allies, FACTS and the School District of Philadelphia agreed to collaborate to reach this shared goal. FACTS agreed to postpone a vote by the School Reform Commission on our charter application until February 16, 2017. This creates a timeframe for FACTS to work with the Charter School Office to come to an agreement so that FACTS can increase the number of students served, create a new middle school Newcomer Program serving beginning ESOL students, and utilize a weighted lottery to give some preference to students who need ESOL services.
FACTS appreciates the many people who came out to the SRC meeting to support our school: families and students, staff and allies, alumni, friends, and community partners. We give special thanks to Peter Gonzales and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians; Cathi Tillman and La Puerta Abierta/ The Open Door; Mabel Chan and the Chinatown Associations who joined her; and FACTS Alumna, Brenda, for speaking so eloquently in support of FACTS.
The work of enacting the change we seek has only just begun. We now enter a period of building a new program and serving new students while safeguarding FACTS’s quality and unique mission that we treasure so deeply. The challenges before us are many, but we are confident that our strong and passionate community will overcome any barriers that we confront along the way.
In the words of Principal Pheng, “Hope is visionary. FACTS will continue to work to support this beloved city by educating our youngest, by working and partnering with the School District of Philadelphia and other schools.”
Please consider joining our effort to bring top quality education to English Language Learners in our city by making a donation to FACTS today. https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=52-2457806