February 15, 2018. Our program featured Diane LaBella, Executive Director and CEO of The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (known as Charter Arts). The school provides a unique environment that fosters a creative academic approach to learning and a development of talent in the arts. Built upon passion, discipline and a commitment to excellence, this integrative educational experience inspires all students to believe in themselves and what they can accomplish.
Known originally as The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts, the school officially opened in September 2003 with 267 students studying dance, theatre, vocal and instrumental music. In 2004, the school expanded its curriculum and added two new majors, visual art and figure skating. By 2012, the student body had doubled to over 460 students. The school also began celebrating its ten-year anniversary and looking forward to the future, with a new name that would better reflect the current scope and future expansion of programs. The school became The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts). The school also began to outgrow the space at East Broad Street. That same year, the Charter Arts Foundation was formed and plans to build a new facility in the heart of South Bethlehem’s arts district began. In August 2015, Charter Arts moved into its new facility at 321 East 3rd Street.
Today Charter Arts has about 620 students coming from over 40 school districts. Although a majority of students come from the Lehigh Valley, many come from Bucks County to the south and from the Poconos to the north. A Literary Arts major has been added; and next year, with a new major in technology , the enrollment target is 650 students. The faculty and administration are especially proud of the school’s academic excellence, it’s 100% graduation rate, and the over 4 million dollars in scholarships awarded for college last year.