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New arts charter school proposed for the city of Chester

Chester, PA (September 1, 2011) The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, a private foundation also known as The Chester Fund, announced today that it plans to apply to open a charter school in the Chester Upland School District, which includes the City of Chester, Chester Township and Upland Borough. In 2008, The Chester Fund (TCF) formed a partnership with the Chester school district to create the Chester Upland School of the Arts (CUSA), with TCF providing private funds for arts and technology programming as well as teaching assistants in every grade and an extended-day program for the older children. This year CUSA will serve 275 Chester children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The proposed charter school would ultimately serve students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, building on the successes of CUSA. This spring, CUSA achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Test (PSSA) for the second year in a row. Thanks to superlative teachers, the school’s 4th graders made a 20% gain in reading proficiency and 15% gain in math, improving on their results as 3rd graders last year. Unfortunately, over the summer CUSA was ravaged by massive reductions in the school district budget as a result of the state government’s cuts in education funding. In the wake of these events, CUSA’s educational programs have been compromised and all but two of...

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Annual Chester Clean Up is set

The Mayor’s 10th Annual Citywide Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10th (rain date: Sept. 17) from 9 A.M.-1 P.M. and the city is inviting block captains to partner with the Mayor’s Office and spearhead cleanups in their neighborhoods with fellow residents. Block captains and volunteers will be given trash bags, gloves, safety vests, brooms, shovels and rakes. Other equipment, such as gas blowers, lawn mowers and pruning shears, are also available for use that day. Hundreds of volunteers will disburse throughout the city, focusing on vacant lots, playgrounds and neighborhood streets; picking up debris and cutting grass and high weeds. “Our goal is to promote a better quality of life as we help clean and beautify the city,” said Chester Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. “This is a citywide event and we encourage all residents to come out and participate in making Chester a cleaner place.” To become a block captain, residents can call Donna D. Davis, special events coordinator, at 610-447-7724. Registration for the cleanup begins at 8:30 A.M. at Chester City Hall, 1 Fourth St., Chester, with welcoming remarks from the mayor. Following registration, volunteers will pick up materials and go to different cleanup sites around the city. At the conclusion of the cleanup, volunteers will meet back at the City Hall parking lot at 12:30 P.M. for lunch, provided by the Mayor’s Office. The event...

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Stetser Elementary kids set to eat lunch from veggies they grew

[slideshow id=23] Students at Stetser Elementary School in the Chester Upland School District spent their summer recess supporting First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative by planting and maintaining two schoolyard vegetable gardens. Students grew two 4’ x 8’ raised garden beds featuring a variety of fresh vegetables including radishes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, string beans, zucchini and yellow squash, all of which will be incorporated into their school lunch program when they return to school next week. Students took ownership of the gardens and shared responsibility for all aspects of planting and maintenance, including constructing raised beds,...

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Aston Library hosts cultural story times

By LorettaRodgers The Aston Public Library recently held story times which successfully brought cultures from across the world to children of the area. Ben Belahbib, of Morocco, and Yosmar Salazar Marquez, of Venezuela, shared the culture of their native countries with children as part of the Aston Library’s “One World, Many Stories” summer program. The story times were organized by library storyteller Joanne Burns. Belahbib was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. He lived there for 45 years and was employed as a government budget controller. He retired in 2000 and relocated to the Unites States. He currently...

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New attendance and health policies pass first reading by Chi school board

By LorettaRodgers The Chichester Board of School Directors, last week, approved the first readings of the district’s attendance and communicable disease and immunization policies. The district requires that enrolled school age children attend school on a regular basis and only the following are acceptable for absence: sickness, quarantine, death of an immediate family member, weather so inclement as to endanger the health of the child or make roads impassable; observance of a major religious holiday, or any other exceptional reasons with the approval of the administration. Parents/guardians will be notified by telephone for the first and second unexcused absences and in writing for four unexcused absences. A conference will be requested in the case of five or more absences. If a student is absent three or more consecutive days, a physician’s note must… For the entire story pick up volume 2, issue 43 of the Community...

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