About Our School
Arts Academy Charter Middle School (AACMS) is an arts-focused public school of choice serving eastern Pennsylvania students in grades five through eight. Our student body of approximately 350 represents over twenty local school districts.  
We believe children who study the arts grow to become organized, resilient, and compassionate adults. That’s why our unique approach to public education balances academic study with artistic exploration—every day. Our highly-qualified teachers endeavor to create an inclusive community of student artists that celebrates each individual’s talents while striving for a shared goal of academic and artistic excellence. As such, we support the needs of all our students, including those with disabilities.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about our school to explore our website and contact us with any questions.  
Our Mission
The Arts Academy Charter Middle School provides opportunities for students to explore their artistic passions and talents in a supportive, challenging and rigorous academic and artistic environment.
Our Vision
The Arts Academy Charter Middle School is the signature model of success in combining arts-focused education through enriching the lives of students and inspiring them to greater achievement
Our Story
Opened in August 2012, Arts Academy Charter Middle School was created to serve the unique educational needs of Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania middle school students with a passion for and interest in the performing and visual arts. AACMS was originally conceived and founded by Dr. Thomas Lubben, who founded the school now known as the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (LVCA) in 2003.  

The process of opening AACMS began in 2010 with the establishment of a Founding Board and an initial search for the school’s location. A site in Salisbury Township was eventually identified, and the Salisbury Township School District’s Board of Directors approved the application for Arts Academy Charter School in February 2012. William Fitzpatrick and Jan Labellarte were named Executive Director and Principal, respectively, and the founding faculty members were interviewed and hired over the next several months. Many of the opening-day faculty and staff members remain with the school to this day, a testament to their belief in arts education and willingness to work for the best interest of our students.

AACMS opened its doors to students on August 28, 2012, after two years of planning and months of effort by its faculty and staff. We owe our existence today to the determination and will of the faculty, staff, students, and families who came together to lay the foundation for the unique form of public education our students still enjoy.  

AACMS has continued to evolve since its opening, though our core mission of providing a welcoming and rigorous educational environment has remained unchanged. The Salisbury Township School District Board of Directors has renewed the schools charter twice—in 2015 and 2020. AACMS achieved accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools in December 2017 after a year-long application, self-study and review process. William Cecchini succeeded Elaine Hersh as Principal in July, 2023.  In 2018, AACMS implemented a seventh art focus—Literary & Media Arts—in addition to opening a new Keyboard Studies concentration as part of the Instrumental Music department.  

View the AACMS Charter