WHAT MAKES ELM SPECIAL:
Founded in 2018, Elm Community Charter School is an independent, public charter school located in NYC's most overcrowded school district, District 24. Elm is one of only five public charter schools in District 24 that parents can choose to send their children to, and the only elementary charter school in the entire district.
Elm's Founder and Principal, Priscilla Walton, is a District 24 native who grew up in the public school system of Queens and spent over a dozen years teaching and leading schools across New York City. Principal Walton had the dream of creating an innovative school model for her neighborhood that cultivates students’ capacity to form their own identity, seize any opportunity, and shape the world around them. And after a four year collaboration with members of the Elmhurst community, Elm Community Charter School was born!
-237 students (K-3), growing to 450 (K-5) by fall 2022
-100% students of color
-79% qualify for free or reduced lunch
-31% are English Bilingual Learners
-14% are classified as having special educational needs
HOW COVID-19 HAS IMPACTED US:
While Elm Community Charter School is establishing itself as a pillar of the Elmhurst community, Elm is still a very young school and needs your support! Elm runs solely on public dollars (just like a traditional public school) and receives zero institutional philanthropy - that means we are required to keep a tight budget. Despite massive budget cuts this year, Elm has already taken on over $85,000 in unforeseen costs to ensure our kids and teachers are safe - for ventilation system renovations, PPE/cleaning supplies, and additional staffing support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Elm needs to take on an additional $100,000+ to ensure every student can take home a laptop and Elm can perform in-school COVID testing.
Remote learning has been particularly challenging for our school community members who do not have stable internet or access to a designated student device. Elm initially purchased basic tablets to lend to students who did not have access to a device. Unfortunately, these devices haven't been able to support our full virtual academic program. To ensure student & educator safety, 47% of Elm’s students are participating in remote-only instruction for the remainder of the year, and we must invest in a 1:1 student Chromebook program in order to ensure a high quality academic experience for all Elm learners.
At a cost of ~$300/device, it will cost Elm roughly $53,100 to purchase the 177 devices needed to have 1:1 student Chromebooks.
In-School COVID Testing:
While Elm is a free, open enrollment, public school, we do not have access to all of the resources provided to the Department of Education (DOE) public schools. Elm is state mandated to test 20% of in person staff/students each week, but has not been given access to the rapid testing sites the city created for DOE public schools. Instead, public charters are expected to contract with a private lab and absorb the cost of administering and processing the tests. Right now, Elm students and staff have been waiting outside in multi-hour long lines at public testing sites when required to get tested, so Elm is raising funds needed to provide this service in-school via a private provider.
At a cost of ~$50/test, it will cost Elm roughly $50,000 to administer and process these tests for the remainder of the year.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
All contributions will directly support the Elm Community and no contribution is too small to make a difference for our Elm learners! If you are in a position to make a more significant donation, please consider the following:
$50 = 1 student COVID test
$300 = 1 student Chromebook
$2,000 = 1 week of COVID tests
$4,500 = Chromebooks for an entire class
$18,000 = Chromebooks for an entire grade
- Avi Goldstein
- Rebecca Pham
- Anne-Stuart Darrell
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