Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.
The school is updating the parents of seventh- and eighth-grade students, who are now on a modified schedule.
Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School is holding a meeting for seventh- and eighth-grade parents Wednesday night to update them on school plans now that its expansion dispute won’t be resolved by month’s end.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of the school at 551 Thomas Street in Bethlehem.
The kindergarten-through-eighth-grade charter school wants to open a second middle school building in the former Seton Academy in West Bethlehem.
But its chartering district – Bethlehem Area -- has blocked its efforts saying state law only allows Philadelphia charter schools to operate multiple locations.
Meanwhile, the school has run out of room in its South Side Bethlehem building so seventh- and eighth-graders are on a modified schedule. They arrive by bus between 3 p.m. and 3:15 and eat in the cafeteria before attending class from 3:30 until 6:30.
When charter officials notified parents earlier this summer, they promised it would be temporary. They expected the state Charter Appeals Board to rehear the case by the end of September.
But the school was left off the September agenda as its legal battles continue to play out in the courts system. Bethlehem rejected the expansion bid in August of 2013 and the appeals board sided with the district, but the decision was overturned by a three-judge Commonwealth Court panel.
The school district’s appeal to re-argue its case before the full panel of all 11 Commonwealth Court judges was rejected last week. Bethlehem is considering appealing to the state Supreme Court.
Charter school Principal Lisa Pluchinsky said she doesn’t expect the appeal board to rehear their case until the legal issues are resolved. The school continues to ask Bethlehem Area to do what is best for the education of the students and approve the new building, said Brian Leinhauser, charter school attorney.
The charter school expected for the state Charter Appeals Board to rehear its case by the end of the month, where the school’s officials hoped to win approval. Meanwhile, the school has been urging Bethlehem to sign off on its second location.
The school district has scheduled a Sept. 29 hearing on the matter but then must allow for 20 days of public comment. Superintendent Joseph Roy has said that means the earliest the school board would vote is Nov. 17.