World Communications Charter School (WCCS) is one of the oldest charter schools within the city of Philadelphia, having received its charter on September 11, 1997. Upon our first renewal, the charter was granted expansion and began adding grades 6-8, thus adding a middle school to complement the high school. The school’s original mission was to offer a college preparatory program to students in grades 6-12. The mission of the charter remains the same to this day.
During the past 15 years, WCCS has achieved AYP status and witnessed dramatic changes in our student population and teaching staff. We transitioned from a small, insular, family-based model—in which many of our students were either related or maintained relationships outside of WCCS—to a more traditional school environment, where students hail from all corners of Philadelphia and her suburbs, traveling to our Broad Street location in pursuit of a unique education.
As the number of citywide charter schools increased, WCCS realized that students required more than was being offered by our program, and competition for great teachers was becoming fierce. This forced the WCCS leadership to change its philosophy and further integrate technology in order to accommodate the varied learning styles of new students and the expectations of staff and parents.
Beyond AYP and academics, our longevity can be attributed in part to the sense of community and safety that comes with a feeling of belonging. We believe this is why charter schools do so well in Philadelphia. Students benefit when they are educated by instructors who genuinely care about them and their success. Maintaining this legacy will take work, but it is work that a new administrative and teaching staff are determined to do as we embark on a new era for WCCS.
Moving forward, with the addition of a new Board of Trustees, CEO, principal, and assistant principals, WCCS is creating a data-driven five-year plan that encompasses all academic and operational facets of charter management. Our goal is for 100% of our students to be proficient or advanced by current NCLB measures through targeted interventions in key areas that as identified in the School District of Philadelphia’s Charter School Office renewal report.