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Tapestry School’s Big Plans

Joy Pepper School Director of Tapestry Charter is excited about upcoming plans to build a new school on Great Arrow, allowing all of the K through 12 students to be under one roof.
“Presently, we have K-8 at Franklin and Linwood, while the high school is in St. Mary’s School for the Deaf on Main Street. We’ll be putting a 2-story, 90,000-square foot addition on an existing building at 65 Great Arrow to house K-12,” Pepper said. “In terms of culture, teachers and student mentoring, this is so exciting. We’ll be able to bring our school community together.”
When we spoke, the high school students were finishing up spring conditioning in the elementary school. That trek from St. Mary’s to the K-8 school will be remedied in this new building, that will incorporate a host of other amenities. “We’ll have the best state-of the-art technology we can afford along with science labs and arts studios including separate spaces for dance and music.”
In addition, Pepper said the high school students will–at long last–have a library and a college counselor on staff. “We’re a college preparatory high school, and we’re one of twenty Expeditionary Learning High Schools in the entire country, funded by the Gates Foundation.”
The students in this school of 520 are chosen strictly by lottery, and class sizes are small, with about 25 per classroom in the elementary division and 75 per class in the high school. “This is in keeping with our vision of a small environment where every child is well known. It can be hard to be responsive to every child–we want the ability to cater to everyone. Being small allows us to be close and devise creative programming,” Pepper said.
“The architect, Laura Goodwin of Achieve Architecture LLP, is a one-woman show, and she knows us, so was able to reflect our asthetics in her design,” according to Pepper. “We’re so excited. We’ll be bringing new energy into that area.” The building that will become the school is directly behind, and facing the back of, the Marshall’s Plaza on Delaware Avenue.
Next on the list of Pepper’s move toward the June construction date are some serious fundraising events that will also feature naming opportunities for those willing to invest in the school’s future.

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