School History

The Chester County Family Academy - A Pennsylvania Charter School was founded by an educator (Lorraine Andersen), a businesswoman/lawyer (Evelyn Walker) and a social service/human service provider (Miriam Wheeler) for the benefit of children and to carry on the vision of Richard and Sheila Sanford: “to provide a private school to make a difference in the lives of children.” It is one of the first six charter schools in Pennsylvania and the first charter school to be renewed in the state. 


A Charter was granted by the West Chester Area School District in August of 1997 and the district has been a supportive partner since that time. More than 38 partners actively support the academy. Most students return to their local public schools and a few return to other charter schools, Catholic schools and private schools in the county.


The charter school uses a “North Star Educational Approach”. This model involves an experiential process of planning, producing, and pondering. It is an all inclusive hands-on, hearts-on, and heads-on program of action and discovery. CCFA is a science-based curriculum designed and delivered through the arts. 

Student lives can be changed by a caring community of adults who can make dreams a reality.