The Ark Community Charter School is a natural development of the Ark, a highly successful after school educational program on-site at the Taylor Apartments, a federal housing project in south central Troy, New York. Because of the expressed needs of the community, the Ark expanded its program to include a school.
The Ark's name is incorporated into the name of the charter school as an indication that the school is envisioned as an extension of that community based, grassroots organization. The Ark's core values of respect and personalization hold true at the Ark Community Charter School.
Traditionally, the Ark signifies a vehicle of safety from the storm to a haven from surrounding dangers. The Ark evolved at the Taylor Apartments as that kind of a safe place from the dangers of hopelessness and failure, a haven that encourages and supports children and young adults as they discover and celebrate strengths they have and become part of an educational and arts community.
The Ark's experience has been that an early intervention program can ensure that a child's first experience of education is one of success; this is the belief of the Ark Community Charter School as well.
The initial founding team, Jay Murnane from Troy, NY and Taeko Onishi and Mary Theresa Streck began planning the school in the fall of 1999 in anticipation that the charter school law would be passed in New York State. In 2015, Steven Axelrod, joined the founding team and worked with the initial team to develop our revised charter. Steve helped to organize our Board of Trustees and served as the first chair of this board.
In March 2015 the Charter School Institute, one of New York State's chartering entities, granted us a five-year charter. Our continual planning went into high gear. We hired and started meeting regularly with our staff. Over the summer renovations were done to our school building. Our doors opened for students on September 4th, 2015.