June 9, 2014

Dear Prospective Parents, Friends and Supporters of Strong Foundations Charter School,

This morning, the SFCS Founding Coalition submitted to the Easton Area School District a revised application to establish the Strong Foundations Charter School. We remain deeply committed to our mission to create a better educational alternative for children in the Easton area and strongly believe that they deserve an intellectually challenging, college-preparatory education in a small, supportive environment.

While there are certainly positive aspects to the EASD, it is without question that many students are languishing here. EASD has repeatedly failed to meet the academic standards set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act, and, as a result, the entire district has been relegated to “Warning” status. In 2012, six of the ten schools within the District failed to meet the federally mandated NCLB standards and are in some level of remedial status, from Warning to Corrective Action II (6th Year).

For EASD students from economically disadvantaged and minority households, the educational outcomes are particularly dire. As an example, on the 2012 PSSAs, more than half of all Easton Area High School Latino, African American and economically disadvantaged students scored below proficiency in reading and more than 63% scored below proficiency in math. We can, and must, do better for our children!

SFCS seeks to improve the educational opportunities for our children by focusing on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics -- from kindergarten. This unique focus makes sense for our children but also our region given the Lehigh Valley’s large engineering and science-related employers (e.g., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Sodexo, B. Braun Medical, Lutron Electronics, Olympus, healthcare companies and universities). In many cases, these companies are forced to hire employees from outside our region and country because our local workforce does not have the adequate educational background needed for these STEM-related jobs. We want to inspire and empower all of our students to consider these career paths in hopes that it will also strengthen our community, region and country.

We believe that our proposed educational program is unique and different from EASD. Our program will offer:

  • Comprehensive science, technology, engineering and math curriculum
  • Focus on reading literacy
  • Fully compliant with PA state-mandated standards
  • Integration of arts education throughout curriculum
  • Small classroom size and low student/teacher ratio
  • Full-day kindergarten

We fully believe that we have sufficiently addressed all of the District’s concerns and that our application should be approved. Your continued support is greatly needed and very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jaime T. Mitchell, Chairperson

Strong Foundations Charter School Founding Coalition