What is the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School?
Founded in 2006, the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School (LPPACS) is a brick-and-mortar charter school located within the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center along Midland Avenue in Midland. It stands in the exact same location as fabled Midland High School, at the bottom of Midland’s Lincoln Park.
LPPACS is tuition-free charter school, meaning families do not have to pay expenses for their child to attend the school. Instead, the school district in which the student resides must pay LPPACS tuition based on what it costs to educate the student in their home school district. This is the basic funding model that exists in all of Pennsylvania’s charter and cyber charter schools.
Students from over 50 school districts are bussed to and from LPPACS each and every day. Some students even travel over an hour and half one way to get to school. LPPACS has a comprehensive transportation plan which is free and available to every student. Students whose home school district is within a 10-mile radius of LPPACS are bussed to LPPACS by their district, free of charge.
For those students who live outside the 10-mile radius, LPPACS contracts with Rhodes Transit, a private company, to provide free bus service to and from school. Parents are responsible for transporting the students to and from one of several hubs each day. Rhodes Transit will pick students up at these hubs and drop them off there after school.
LPPACS is one of three charter schools that exist in Beaver County. The others are the lesser-known Beaver Area Academic Charter School located in Beaver, and the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, also based in Midland.
What programs does Lincoln Park offer to its students?
LPPACS offers world-class training for Pennsylvania students in music, theater, dance, creative writing, media arts, and health science and the arts, along with a flexible and challenging academic program. All of these opportunities are provided in a working performing arts center, equipped with numerous amenities.
Students concentrate in one of these disciplines for their elective classes, while also taking the require core or academic courses. Lincoln Park utilizes block scheduling, so classes are usually around 80 minutes in length. This allows students to have a new set of classes once the first semester ends in January.
In terms of test scores, LPPACS ranks among the highest achieving schools in Beaver County. In addition, through innovative partnerships with such institutions as the Berklee College of Music, Kent State University, and the Community College of Beaver County, LPPACS students can receive college-level arts and academic instruction at no cost while still in high school.
Grade 9 through 12 enrollment is close to 600 students.
In recent years, LPPACS has expanded to include students from 7th and 8th grade. 7th and 8th graders have their academic classes and lunch periods as a group, separate from the rest of the school population.
Can Anyone Attend Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School?
The answer to this questions is yes, anyone can attend. However there is a three-step enrollment process students must undergo.
First, they visit the school with their families at an enrollment seminar. They must choose an arts major – Music, Theatre, Media Arts, Literary Arts, Dance or Health Science and the Arts. Finally, they are evaluated in that major to gain admission to the school.
This process usually takes place during the second semester of the school year, to prepare for the fall semester at LPPACS.
One of the most popular extracurricular activities students can participate in at Lincoln Park is athletics. LPPACS offers students the opportunity to participate in four inter-scholastic sports: boys’ and girls’ basketball, girls’ volleyball, and boys’ golf.
Lincoln Park has gained a ton of notoriety over the past several years for its highly successful basketball program. The Leopards (yes, they use the old Midland nickname) are a two-time WPIAL champion, and captured the 2014 PIAA Class A championship.
Beaver County: The Cradle of Educational Innovation
Dr. Nick Trombetta is kind of like Beaver County’s version of Walt Disney, minus the whole theme parks and hotels. By that I mean he was a visionary, ahead of his time when it came to educational movements and trends.
In 2000, he founded the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, now one of the largest online K-12 schools in the United States, with a current enrollment hovering between 10,000 and 11,000. He chose a location in the borough where he worked and formerly coached – Midland.
Trombetta was the superintendent of the Midland Borough School District, and was one of the school’s last football coaches before Midland High closed for good in 1986. A town founded on steel would now experience a renaissance based in education.
In addition to that, he is the founding father of the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS) based in Rochester. NNDS is a non-profit corporation that develops curriculum for schools across the country, and the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is its largest client. In 2006, he founded the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School.
Through a public-private partnership, the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center unveiled a state-of-the-art facility unlike anything seen in quite some time in western Pennsylvania, let alone Beaver County, at a cost of around $23 million. Its tenant, LPPACS, opened that year with an enrollment of approximately 250.
The three organizations – PA Cyber, NNDS, and LPPACS – now employ over 1,000 people, making Trombetta one of the single most impactful people in Beaver County’s long educational history.
For more information, please visit their website – www.lppacs.org