Dr. Thomas Lubben, who will chair the Board of Directors, announced this new elementary school during a July 22 news conference at the racquetball club. He was joined by other Directors, including business leaders like Lee Butz and Dennis Coffin, fitness consultant Cyndi Po, dance advocate Janet LaCava and educator Beth Peters.
With this elementary school, the Lehigh Valley now has arts schools from Kindergarten through high school. The Arts Academy Charter Middle School is located in Salisbury Township, and the Charter High School for the Performing Arts is located in Bethlehem. Though unaffiliated, it is expected that many who attend the Arts elementary school will wish to continue with the Arts Academy middle and high schools.
Beginning in September of 2014, as many 500 students in grades K-5 will trickle into what were once 16 racquetball courts. Those will be converted into 30 class rooms. Class sizes will be small. Kindergarten and First Grade will be about 15 students per class. Second through fifth grade will be approximately 20.
This school will mean 50 new jobs for fully certified teachers and other personnel. Applications are being taken now.
The charter will be sought from the Allentown School District, but students will be sought from surrounding school districts.
Calling the location "truly ideal," Dr. Lubben noted its location near the Baum School of Art, Allentown Museum, Community Music School and the Parkettes. In addition, a 75-space parking lot will make bus drop off and pick-up much easier than at other schools.
The school will lease, instead of owning the facility with a 30-year lease with rent starting at $400,000 per year and growing to $550,000.
In addition to their regular curriculum, arts academy students will have two hours instruction each week in dance, theatre, visual art, and both instrumental and vocal music. At least once a month, they'll also visit the Steel Ice Center for figure skating.
|Janet LaCava, Beth Peters, Lee Butz, Tom Lubben, Cyndi Po and Dennis Coffin|