We are pleased to announce that due to three very generous grants, we are close to meeting our funding goal for the construction of the John Mann High School Wing expansion. The six new classrooms, including new Science and Fashion Design labs, will address our biggest organizational challenge to physically grow the LFLA campus to better meet the needs of current students and to support future growth and planned expansion of the Academy.
As we end 2018, we now move into Phase III planning for a proposed Elementary School, a move that was approved by the State of Missouri and our Charter sponsor, Southeast Missouri State University, earlier this year. The desire to provide our students an LFLA experience beginning in kindergarten has long been a dream of many. Each year since we opened in 2000, 75% of incoming sixth graders arrive 1-3 grade levels behind their peers, requiring students to double up on their core subjects until they finally catch up to their peers their senior year. Imagine what we could accomplish—more importantly, what our students could accomplish—if they could start their formal education at LFLA beginning with kindergarten.
Creating an elementary school allows LFLA to reach students sooner, significantly improving outcomes for their success. The projected campaign goal is $7 million and soon we will begin to explore the feasibility of this project as we begin discussions with our key donors and supporters.