Mission & History
The mission of EastSide Charter School is to educate children in a safe, caring and nurturing environment so that they can excel academically and socially. We believe that all children are capable of mastering content standards and meeting social expectations when they have thorough understanding, adequate time and appropriate support. Students are viewed as individuals and every effort is made to accommodate each child’s unique gifts and talents.
The vision of EastSide Charter School is to develop and sustain an academic community in which every direct stakeholder - teachers and staff, students and their parents - consistently model lifelong learning, selflessness, and self-respect. Each of these stakeholders take full advantage of every learning opportunity and through this continual learning process, our teachers and students will learn more about themselves, improving upon and maximizing their knowledge, skills, and overall productivity and effect on the school community and our broader society.
By learning to work in collaboration with their teachers and peers, our students will develop a strong sense of self respect, self-reflection, sense of independence, and sense of right and wrong. Upon leaving the EastSide community our students will have the character, knowledge, skills and self- and societal awareness to determine their own personal and professional destiny.
- EastSide Charter School opened its doors in 1997 in a small, former community center leased from the Wilmington Housing Authority. In 2005, the City of Wilmington awarded EastSide the recently-vacated Martin Luther King Elementary School built in 1962. Relocation to the MLK site occurred prior to the 2005 school year.
- EastSide was the first charter school in the country to be founded in cooperation with a public housing authority, and located within its property; it was also the first elementary charter in Delaware.
- EastSide is located adjacent to the low income neighborhoods of East Lake and Riverside of northeast Wilmington. Approximately 87% of EastSide’s students qualify for federally-funded free or reduced cost meals while approximately 77% of our students have made sufficient academic growth according to Department of Education indicators.
- Since its opening in 1997, EastSide’s Board of Directors has had the vision of creating a full service community school – a community learning center whose programming would influence the lives not only of the students who attend the School but also all others living in the greatly underserved neighboring areas of East Lake and Riverside.
- The extensive facilities of the former MLK School, such as the gymnasium, auditorium/theatre, cafeteria and playing fields, can enable EastSide to become a foundation of enrichment within the community. The Board has named the entire facility “EastSide Learning Center,” an important change that more accurately reflects the founders’ original concept for the School. At the same time we established an affiliated 501(c)(3) foundation, East Side Community Learning Center Foundation, to own our land and buildings, to manage our extra-curricular community activities and to conduct supporting fund raising.
- A central goal of the School is to educate children in a safe, nurturing environment that enables every student to excel both academically and socially. To ensure success, EastSide is focusing on structure, consistency, and academically rigorous programming toward developing students’ determination, a passion for learning, and an appreciation of personal skills and effort.
- EastSide initially served grades K-4 but has since expanded to grades Pre-K-8, educating over 400 students per year in recent years.