After countless failed attempts to obtain financing Julie Stapleton Carroll from the Wissachickon Charter School (WCS) finally found an answer. “No one even knew what a charter school was in those days, TRF actually returned my call and knew what I was talking about” she says with great relief. Julie is the chief administrations officer for the school. “No lender had any interest in a fledgling organization that did not own the property to invest money in capital improvements without any fiscal background whatsoever. TRF took the time to get to know us, and after having done so, took the chance to invest in us. They worked ‘out of the box’ with us. I'm not sure we would exist without TRF's support.”
WCS was granted their charter in 2001, and opened its doors to 250 students in September of 2002. The school holds an environmental focus that allows children to discover the world they live in and it emphasizes the importance of parental involvement. The school also offers a variety of after school programs that range from math tutoring to art mural paintings.
Recently WCS has made plans to expand so that they can include the floor above where they are now and add five more classrooms, a gymnasium, locker rooms and an internal staircase to connect floors. TRF has arranged a loan for them that will cover 90% of the total costs of the addition. "Without TRF, I couldn't even imagine the facility we would have been in," exclaims Julie.
The students of WCS Charter are benefiting from TRF’s support. According to state standardized testing the overall school performed above the 50th percentile, soaring from 22% to 37% proficiency in reading and from 18% to 52% in math, with which the school, parents, and students are extremely pleased.