Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS)

27 Feb, 2015


Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) is located in Philadelphia, PA. It opened in 2007 and serves just over 470 students. In 2012, 85% of students qualified for free and reduced meals.  FACTS serves students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. At FACTS, 70% of students are Asian while 19% are African American, 6% are multi-racial, 3% are Latino, and 2% are white.  FACTS' mission is to provide children with an education which has high academic standards, is truly community based, incorporates and respects the lives of students and their families, engages students in understanding their own cultures and communities, and engages students in understanding their role as active participants in working for a just society.  FACTS offers a curriculum that builds strong academic skills and emphasizes folk-arts, languages, and histories of many cultures.

Focus Area I:  Collaborative Partnership

Collaboration among teachers is what makes the FACTS ESL program unique. Each ESL teacher is assigned to work with a grade cluster (K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8). All content and ESL teachers at FACTS are required to meet weekly to plan for classroom instruction for one full prep period.  All teachers are language teachers, while the ESL teachers serve as language-leads.  Strong collaborative partnerships also enable FACTS to operate on a flexible program model where we determine the most appropriate teaching approaches, depending on the student’s language proficiency, age, topic, the nature of the task involved, etc. This video explores the FACTS EL instructional model which includes push-in, pull-out, co-teaching, and strategy groups.

Focus Area II: Reflective Practice

All instructional staff, including ESL teachers, develops a professional growth plan every year, which allows each of the teaching staff to explore an inquiry question to enhance their teaching practice.  In the 2013-14 school Year, three ESL teachers shared the same inquiry question on English language progress monitoring, using the updated WIDA ELD standards.  The ESL team also conducts an annual evaluation of the ESL program evaluation. The goals for the 2013-2014 year were to improve parental outreach, strengthen grammar instruction, revise systematic progress monitoring, and set intentional goal setting with ESL students.  This video explores how administrators and teachers use reflection to strengthen their instructional practice.

Focus Area III: Parental Outreach

FACTS believes that reaching out to parents and guardians of ESL students in ways that are both realistic and meaningful is essential for the success of their students both academically and non-academically.  The ESL team makes home visits to selected students every year, and hosts 2 ESOL Family Nights a year. One Family Night is designed to be an informational session where we provide ESL resources to parents, and address frequently asked questions about all things ESL.  The other Family Night focuses on community building, which is scheduled in May.  This event gives the families an opportunity to interact with the ESL teachers, as well as with other students and parents from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.  The ESL team conducts parent surveys and phone interviews to seek their input.  Parent contact logs are kept to document all communications with the students’ parents and families throughout the year.  This video explores how FACTS designs and implements a robust parent engagement program and its impact on student achievement.

For more information visit the school’s website at:


Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources
Collective Partnerships – CanDo Name Chart

This WIDA document provides an overview of the Can Do descriptors for grades Pre-K to 12..

Collective Partnerships – Collaboration Form

This document is used by teachers to clarify roles and responsibilities.  Questions include forms of communication, instructional responsibilities, protocol for meetings and purpose of collaboration.

Collective Partnerships – ESL PD WIDA in Action

This document provides the agenda used by ESL teachers to lead a training for all instructional staff. 

Collective Partnerships – ESOL Supports for Scaffolding and Differentiation

This document provides the strategies in sensory, graphic and interactive supports that teachers can use to support English learners.

Collective Partnerships – ESL Personal Narrative Rubric

This rubric provides categories and scale used to evaluate student writing.

Collective Partnerships – Co-Teaching Approaches This document provides a graphic of six co-teaching approaches that details the room arrangement and teacher position.
Collective Partnerships – Co-Teaching Tips This document provides co-teaching tips in communication and classroom instruction.
Collective Partnerships – Sample Schedule This document provides the sample schedule of the ESL Director of FACTS.
Parental Outreach – ESOL Info Family Night This presentation details the ESOL program for parents.  Presentation includes parental and students rights, basics of second language acquisition, monitoring, the instructional program and parent communication.
Parental Outreach – Grammar and Writing Web Resources This document includes resources for students and parents to be used at home.

Parental Outreach – Home Visit Reflection

This document provides an example of a home visit report. 
Parental Outreach – Parent Interview Questions This document provides a list of questions used during parent interviews and sample answers.
Parental Outreach – Parent Contact Log This document provides an example of a parent contact log.
Parental Outreach – Summer Resources This document provides a list of resources to support student learning during the summer break.
Reflective Practice – ESOL PD Session Feedback This document provides feedback from participants of the ESOL PD session.
Reflective Practice – ESL Program Evaluation This document outlines the evaluation process of the ESL program.
Reflective Practice – Interview Questions This document provides a list of questions used during parent interviews with sample answers.
Reflective Practice – Professional Growth Plan Template This template provides the sections of the professional growth plan includes methods/strategies, indicators of progress, and resources/support needed.
Reflective Practice – Sample Professional Growth Plan This sample plan provides a status update on the identified goal, “what does it look like to incorporate the WIDE English Language Development standards to weekly lesson planning in Readers and Writers Workshop.
Reflective Practice – WIDA Score Sheet for Students This document is used to share WIDA results with students in student friendly language.