Who we are

La Academia Partnership Charter School

Founded in 1998 as a community-centered choice public charter school, La Academia Partnership Charter School is a small and safe learning environment where we build community through a project-based curriculum, cultural learning, and dual language focus (English and Spanish). There are up to 225 scholars enrolled in our school, and we keep class sizes small by diversifying our course options. Over 95% of our population identifies as black or Hispanic.

We serve the local Lancaster County community as the only brick-and-mortar choice school. Our greatest strength comes from our close-knit community which allows us to expand upon traditional public education choices by going beyond the content to help our scholars build essential skills such as critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication.

We provide 100% free lunch to our scholars and operate as a Title 1 school.


Painting on wall
  • 1998 – La Academia Partnership Charter School opens. One of the first charter schools in PA. The following community–based agencies worked together in the design of the school: The Spanish American Civic Association, Neighborhood Services, the Urban League, Crispus Attucks, and Community Action Programs.

  • 1999 – Continues as an educational alternative with a guiding vision of a school where each child will attain success regardless of socioeconomic and educational background.

  • 2003 – The new focus is the Early College High School Program. LAPCS is one of 12 schools in the country selected for this honor.

  • 2004 – New policies, procedures, middle school/high school curriculum, and materials are adopted as part of a comprehensive school reform.

Teens shoveling dirt
  • 2007 – New adjacent building opens with gym, cafeteria, and library.

  • 2008 – A revised middle/high school curriculum is developed.

  • 2010 –  School makes Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) through “Safe Harbor”.

  • 2011 – A new Principal is hired.  Many updates to both processes and the facility take place and LAPCS  receives a Title I School Improvement Grant for 3 years.

  • 2012 – The school received 21st Century Grant 6A(Before/After School) for 3 years to increase the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) focus in the Middle school grades, develop a credit recovery program for our high school scholars, and have ESL/GED classes for our parents. High School scholars can now take AP (Advanced Placement US History, and continue dual enrollment with HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College), New Assistant Principal is hired and an additional support class in special education is added.

Basketball team with medals
  • 2012 – School makes Annual Yearly Progress  (AYP) and now is in “Making Progress.”

  • 2013– The School District of Lancaster renews our 5-year charter on April 9, 2013. La Academia now heads to its 20th Anniversary in 2018.

  • 2013 – During the summer of 2013 many renovations took place to the main building to enhance the learning environment for our scholars.  The school welcomes a familiar face as the new Chief Academic Officer/Principal – Mr. Guillermo Barroso.

  • 2018 – La Academia’s 20th Anniversary.

  • 2020 – Lancaster’s own, Jerry Johnson coaches La Academia’s first PIAA basketball team which went on to be District champs in their first season!

  • 2021 – Colleen Wagner assumes the role of President of the Board and Amy Ferg assumes the role of Principal/CEO.

  • 2022 – Jasson Read-Jean assumes the role of CFO and Mark Simms assumes the role of CEO.

  • 2023 – The School District of Lancaster renews our 5-year charter on April 18, 2023. Elizabeth Landis assumes the role of Principal.

  • 2024 – Kendra Melendez assumes the role of Director of Scholar Services.


Our scholars will GO BEYOND by demonstrating commitment to their communities, and are recognized by their leadership, collaboration, and innovation.


La Academia Partnership Charter School transforms today's learners into tomorrow's leaders by applying Project Based Learning experiences beyond the classroom and into their communities, while utilizing scholar-centered supports to meet the social-emotional needs of all scholars.