We believe that curiosity and the desire to learn is a defined characteristic of all human beings and that learning needs to be nurtured, supported, and guided toward independent thinking and self-motivation. Our educators empower our students through a comprehensive program encompassing active learning and attention to the individual. The schools we manage have active programs to aggressively encourage and foster parent involvement.
As a result of CSMI’s trailblazing approach, Chester Community Charter School has become one of Pennsylvania’s great educational success stories. The school began with 97 students in 1998 and has steadily increased to more than 3,200 in nine newly constructed, state-of-the-art buildings, in only 14 years. The school is a true community success story that has transformed the lives of thousands of students and their families.
The school’s success is particularly inspiring because of the circumstances in which it was established. Chester-Upland school district has perennially been ranked at the very bottom of approximately 500 school districts in Pennsylvania. Chester was once a vibrant, middle-class community. When the big manufacturing plants left, and taking with them thousands of jobs, the community began a downhill slide. Chester became a community besieged by poverty, violent crime, and drug use; declines in population, home values and median income. The effect on the education system was devastating: approximately half of all eighth grade students were not graduating from high school.
In this setting CSMI partnered with the Chester Community Charter School to establish a safe and secure learning environment, thus breathing life back into the community and giving hope to its children. By undertaking the management functions on behalf of and under the ultimate oversight of the school’s Board of Trustees, CSMI enabled Chester Community Charter to create a “Private, Public School” culture, in which its campuses, facilities and first-class, certified teaching staff resemble that of a private institution. The school boasts a 10-to-1, adult-to-child ratio; advanced academic programs, which include partnerships with many of the region’s best colleges and universities; uniform attire/dress; an effective “no-tolerance” policy that, in more than 10 years of action, has resulted in the expulsion of only one student; extracurricular activities, intra-scholastic sports, state-of-the-art equipment and computer labs.
The success of CSMI’s approach is manifested in student outcomes. More than 50 percent of Chester Community Charter’s 2012 graduates were accepted to attend private, charter or out-of-district public high schools, including: Episcopal Academy; Ursuline Academy; Tatnall School; Wilmington Friends School; Neumann & Goretti; St, Marks High School; St. Joseph’s Preparatory School; Cardinal O’Hara High School; Milton Hershey School; Hallahan Catholic Girls High School; and The School of Science and Discovery, Chester, PA; New Beginnings Academy Concord Christian Academy; Delaware Valley High School; Charter High School for Art & Design; World Communications Charter School. Indeed, 23 percent of the class earned academic scholarships.
The many non-academic functions and management services that CSMI provides can be seen on our services page.