The Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA) is a public non-profit charter school achieving remarkable results in one of the most under-resourced communities in the state of Pennsylvania.
2004Dr. John Alston, founder of the Chester Children’s Chorus, approached several supporters with a dream to found a school in Chester that would offer a rigorous academic and artistic program. This small group of dedicated members of the Swarthmore community founded a non-profit organization, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, to support this vision.
2005The Chester Fund began to research school models nationally to determine the viability and best approach to develop an arts-integrated school in Chester. The Chester Fund began discussions with the Chester Superintendent regarding a private-public partnership with the Chester Upland School District.
2008The Chester Fund and the Chester Upland School District launched the Chester Upland School of the Arts (CUSA), which opened in the 2008-2009 school year. CUSA made significant progress and quickly became the highest performing school in the district.
2011In the fall of 2011, the staff at CUSA was significantly restructured as a result of state education funding cuts. Seeking the autonomy to fulfill the mission to have an exceptional school, The Chester Fund submitted a charter school application to form the Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA).
2012CCSA opened in September 2012 at 200 Commerce Drive. Initially serving 325 students in grades K-6, the School has grown to serve almost 500 students in grades K-9 by 2016, and will grow to serve 650 students through 12th grade by 2018. The Chester Fund begins to function as the foundation for the school, supporting programming and capital needs through fundraising.
2016The Chester Fund purchased land at 1200 Highland Avenue in Chester and breaks ground to construct a new school campus for CCSA.