Whether the Circle of Seasons Charter School approved unanimously Wednesday night by the Northwestern Lehigh School Board is successful in educating its students remains to be seen, but it certainly could teach the youngsters a thing or two about persistence.
That persistence saw it face the pangs of rejection first by the Parkland School Board last winter and then the same Northwestern Lehigh School District board members in August that stamped their approval before a packed and jammed administration conference room that applauded and cheered the vote.
But like any good fighter who gets knocked around a bit, Circle of Seasons planner David Arnold proved he could take some jabs and keep standing. He resubmitted the school's proposal, met all the legal requirements and addressed concerns board members had last summer over curriculum, funds and tepid community involvement.
Before the vote, some board members explained their rationales for supporting it.
“The more I heard on this school the more I felt it was a vo-tech school,” said Vice President LeRoy Sorensen. “It’s something other than the traditional public school system that’s in place.”
“This board doesn’t take any vote lightly,” said president Darryl Schafer. “There are several important things a school board has to do. Hire a superintendent, our yearly budget and allowing a charter school is another one. The greatest experiment in the world is our great country, the United States of America. As school board members, optimism is always our goal, pessimism is our enemy…. With this vote I hope we are doing, in some way, what the Founding Fathers of our nation wished for. I encourage the representatives of Circle of Seasons to not just meet the requirements, but to exceed them.”
The school will implement what is called the Waldorf method of teaching, which places an emphasis on imagination in place of textbooks, computers and other standard learning tools.
After the vote Arnold was smiling and accepted some congratulations and handshakes of audience members.