“As an artist, to me, Arthur is colorful. That’s how I think of it and that’s how it makes me feel. It’s never dark inside, even if it’s raining or gloomy outside. I think that’s because everyone is accepting and no one judges you.”
— Aaliyah Barrett, Chester Arthur Eighth Grader


We are pleased to share FoCA’s 2016-2017 Annual Report with you, our friends and fellow Chester Arthur stakeholders. As this is our first Report as FoCA’s new co-presidents, it is only fitting that we begin by acknowledging and thanking FoCA’s founding president Ivy Olesh for her years of tireless leadership and advocacy on behalf of Chester Arthur. We are proud of what FoCA has accomplished this past year. Through your continued generosity, and at the strategic direction of Principal Newman and school leadership, FoCA’s impact at Arthur has increased in both depth and breadth. This year marked the completion of the Chester Arthur Schoolyard. Arthur students now have a safe, innovative and engaging place to learn and play outdoors. While inside the school, FoCA supported STEM curriculum development and professional development for teachers; technology upgrades in the classrooms, including iPads and Chromebooks; foreign language instruction for grades K-8; innovative programming, extracurriculars and clubs, including art, robotics, civil engineering, makerspace, dance instruction, drama and many others; Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports; and enrichment programming. Having successfully engaged more supporters and funders, FoCA raised over $224,000 last year, and Arthur students directly benefited from your increased support. Student attendance continues to improve, student enrollment continues to increase and students continue to self-report higher satisfaction with their educational experience at Arthur. Indeed, last year, Arthur was honored as the most improved K-8 school in the city of Philadelphia. Looking ahead, FoCA will continue to be a responsible steward of the investments you have made in Arthur and its students, and we will look to you, the Arthur Village, to maintain the momentum. We appreciate all that you do to help achieve our shared mission of securing a first-rate education for our neighborhood’s children.


Shannon Braden and Leigh Botwinik


Principal Kim Newman

It’s been a joy to work with FoCA for the past four years. Our partnership on exciting initiatives like the School Redesign, which has helped us implement an inquiry-driven, project-based approach to teaching and learning; the transformation of our schoolyard, which is now used for instruction as well as play; and the launch of our comprehensive after school programming featuring everything from drama to STEM, has helped create an enriching and well-rounded academic experience for all our students. With the community’s support and the hard work of our incredible staff, Arthur has reached new heights. I am so proud to be Principal of this amazing school and I look forward to another great year!

HSA President Elle Topche

The Home and School Association (HSA) is the direct link between Arthur families and student life at the Chester Arthur school. We work to connect and excite Chester Arthur families, teachers and staff about school activities occurring throughout the year! The HSA is also FoCA's partner within the school. Both organizations regularly interact to assist our amazing teachers and staff in their efforts to ensure a fun and safe educational experience for all Arthur students.