Concordia Charter School, Inc., founded in 2004, was established as a K-8 public charter school to provide parents in disadvantaged communities with the choice of a high quality education for their children in a small, safe and nurturing environment.
The school operates on the campuses of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in the CANDO neighborhood of northwest Mesa, Arizona, and on the Navajo Indian Reservation at Rock. The school uses the highly acclaimed Core Knowledge curriculum to provide a high expectations, high performance academic environment for its students. 98% of the school's students qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch, a nationally recognized poverty indicator. The school has a minority rate in excess of 90% with over 65% of the children classified as English Language Learners (ELL). Despite its challenges, 51% of the ELL students passed to English proficiency by the end of the first year (compared to state assumptions of 13% annual passage in other public schools).
While every effort is made to create an effective and efficient classroom learning experience for the children during the school day, children who live in economically challenged environments require more time to catch up culturally and academically with children who do not face the same challenges. This is why having a well-developed extra-curricular activities program that includes tutoring, academic clubs, arts practice, and performance, organized recreational activities, field trips, etc., is so important to this population of students.
To provide educational excellence and equity to the most vulnerable children in Arizona.
In order to carry out its mission Concordia Charter School, Inc. will:
- Develop and operate a K-8 charter school program in Mesa, Arizona.
- Educate children, regardless of ethnic, cultural, or social-economic class, to become fully literate, productive citizens of our society.
- Offer children opportunities to excel beyond the guidelines outlined in the Arizona State Educational Standards.
- Create and nurture meaningful relationships with parents so they can be partners in their child's education.
- Create and promote a safe, harmonious, disciplined, and tobacco-, alcohol-, and drug-free environment.
- Adhere to all Arizona State requirements including mandated testing (e.g. AIMS) and a 45-day screening for all incoming students. The 45-day screening provides information that may indicate a student's need for further testing by our Special Education Department. All referrals are kept confidential and parents are notified.
- Recognize and encourage parent involvement and participation.
- Require mastery in all core academic subjects required by the Arizona Department of Education. Concordia sets mastery level at 80% for a passing ("C") grade.
- Stress the importance of character development in students to successfully participate in school.
- Collaborate as staff, teachers, volunteers, and community leaders to utilize the talents and creativity of all persons.