The West Oak Lane Charter School : Philadelphia, PA

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Southern New Hampshire University
In June 1997, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed Act 22, which allowed for the creation of charter schools, an innovative educational alternative to public schools. Recognizing this opportunity to meet the concerns of its target community, the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) devoted all of its resources to develop the West Oak Lane Charter School. The primary outcome of this project was the opening of an elementary charter school on September 15, 1998. To make this project a reality, OARC sponsored the development of the school, which not only included the successful renovation of the school's facility, but also required staff to perform a host of administrative tasks that were not foreseen. This was a comprehensive project that required the collaboration of staff, board members, community activists, volunteers, and other stakeholders of the community. This document summarizes the process that OARC embarked upon to develop the school. It further highlights the major challenges, assumptions, outputs, and recommendations for other community development corporations to consider when sponsoring the development of a charter school. (Author abstract)