1. What is a Charter School?
Charter schools are public schools, funded by tax dollars, that are mandated to be “innovative” in their approach to teaching and learning, yet also accountable to the local, state and federal governments. Charter schools must ensure that students are taught a standards-based curriculum by qualified teachers. Seven Generations had its charter approved, via an application process, by the East Penn School District Board of Directors. Like other charter schools, it is self-managed with its own Board of Directors, but it must function within the guidelines of Charter School Law established by the State of Pennsylvania.
The US Charter Schools site is a very user-friendly place to learn more.
View this chart for information on how charter schools are funded.
2. What is the Seven Generations Charter School?
Seven Generations is an environmental charter school in the East Penn School District that serves grades K-5. Seven Generations has three Kindergarten classes; three 1st grade classes; three 2nd grade classes; two 3rd grade classes; two 4th grade classes and two 5th grade classes. Grades K-3 are in the 154 E. Minor Street building and grades 4 and 5 are in the 33 E. Minor Street building.
3. What is the focus of Seven Generations Charter School?
Seven Generations Charter School uses an approach to learning known as “EIC” which stands for “using the Environment as an Integrated Context for learning.” We are the first school in Pennsylvania to be awarded EIC Model School status, by the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER). Our students spend a good deal of time outdoors in all kinds of weather, or on frequent field trips, immersed in learning experiences that expand their knowledge, and that have them actively observing, questioning, investigating and discovering how the natural and manmade world around them works. Ultimately, we are seeking to educate generations of students who are critical thinkers, adept problem-solvers, and passionate stewards of their community and the environment.
Would you like to learn more about environmental, place-based education? Watch this video produced by the non-profit No Child Left Inside organization:
4. What kind of student would enjoy learning at Seven Generations?
Seven Generations does not (and cannot) discriminate in our admissions policy. However, we do encourage families applying to the school to please consider the potential allergy triggers that exist when children are outdoors on a consistent basis, as well as considering how your child reacts to seasonal changes while being outdoors and when hiking. Our mission includes a goal of creating active young stewards of the community and natural world. Children who enjoy being outdoors and physically engaged in their learning thrive in a program like ours since we use the surrounding environment as a teaching tool.
5. Who can attend Seven Generations Charter School?
Read Seven Generations’ Admissions Policy.
6. Must my child (or grandchild) live in East Penn School district to attend Seven Generations Charter School?
No, however admission priority is given to students living in the East Penn district, to children (or grandchildren) of Founding Members, and siblings of students already enrolled in the school. If slots in the school open that cannot be filled by East Penn residents or children of Founding Members, students from outside districts will be eligible.
7. What does it cost to send my child to Seven Generations Charter School?
Nothing. Seven Generations Charter School is a public school, funded with tax dollars, just like any other publicly funded school.
8. Is transportation provided for students?
Students are eligible for bus transportation if they reside in a district whose borders are within ten miles of the Seven Generations School building. Presently, students are bused from the following districts: East Penn, Allentown, Bethlehem, Quakertown, Parkland, Upper Perkiomen, Southern Lehigh, Whitehall-Coplay and Salisbury. *NOTE: There may be additional districts within the ten-mile range that are not mentioned above.
9. Are there school uniforms?
Seven Generations does not have a school uniform. However, we do ask that students wear appropriate clothing and footwear for our frequent outdoor-oriented learning activities. Students are asked to keep a raincoat and rain pants at achool, along with a pair of rain boots. Snow pants and snow boots are highly recommended for winter-based outdoor activities.
10. Does Seven Generations provide breakfast and/or lunch?
At this time, Seven Generations does not serve breakfast or lunch, and students must pack lunch and a snack each day. There is an emergency pantry stocked with pre-packaged foods for when students forget their lunches. For more information, contact 610-421-8844.
11. What is the length of the school day?
Students may be dropped off starting at 8:15 a.m. School begins promptly at 8:40 a.m. (school doors open at both buildings at 8:25 a.m.) and ends at 3:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, the day begins at 8:40 a.m. and dismissal starts at 1:45.
12. Does Seven Generations provide Special Education services? If so, what services does it provide?
The purpose of the Special Education Department at Seven Generations Charter School is to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to students with disabilities. At Seven Generations, we endeavor to ensure that students with diabilities find success in a regular education setting. A student may receive additional services if that student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that related services are required for the student to make adequate academic progress in the general curriculum. These services include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and remedial reading and math supports.
13. What kinds of activities are available to students?
Seven Generations provides a full range of activities or “specials” incorporated into the school week or individual units of study, including: foreign language (Spanish) starting in kindergarten, library, music and instrumental lessons, fine arts, physical education and yoga, hiking, outdoor adventure and organic gardening. We also host myriad after-school activities and clubs such as art programs, Girls on Track, Ski and Snowboard Club, Astronomy Club, Yearbook, Lego Club, Chess Club and more