Curriculum of our Charter School will be developed in the next 10 months while this application is being reviewed and approved, according to the above outlined education plan. A team of 42 Master Educators will be formed for the seven subject studies and six grade levels in our Charter School. This team of Master Educators will assure that the developed curriculum and instruction can meet the basic requirement of the New York State Learning Standards, inclusive of the Common Core State Standards and the New York State Testing Program, particularly in the areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Detailed instruction strategies to assure the success of the curriculum are designed by each Master Educator accordingly. Due to the novelty of the education programs we are delivering, details of the curriculum and the most effective instruction methods shall be developed as the Charter School starts to operate and mature in the next five years.
D. Assessment System
Our Charter School will adopt the standard assessment systems commonly used in public school systems. However, the timely evaluation of the state of learning of our students will be carried out daily by Master Teachers of each subject to be recorded and reported to the education team on their weekly meetings carried out on Sundays. Any learning issues of any student in the Charter School will be managed immediately by each Master Teacher and solutions for such an issue shall be delivered immediately to avoid lagging behind. Standard tests will be given every month for each subject to assure the completion of the education mission of each stage. Major subject tests will be given in the middle and the final of the education program for each semester. A final grade will be given to each student for each subject according to the combined scores of two major tests and all average test scores of each month. Such a score will be displayed to all students and reported to the parents within a week of completion of the tests. Starting from the 3rd grade, students will take the New York State’s English Language Arts and Mathematics Exams annually; at the 4th grade, students will take also the New York State Science Exam; students will also take the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT).
E. Performance, Promotion, and Graduation Standards
The detailed strategies will be developed in the next 10 months after the team of Master Teachers is formed and their inputs are integrated. However, according to the research oft the lead applicant, a basic model can be adopted from the Charter School proposal of the Brilla College Preparatory Charter School, which outlined specific details nicely.
F. School Culture and Climate
Based upon the design and education philosophy of our Charter School, we are confident that our Charter School will have a school culture that is like a home, with everyone respect, trust and love each other. The details are already outlined in the first part of the application of this section. The safety and healthy school climate are assured by the unique education programs we have by integrating the wisdom teachings of the five thousands of years of traditional Chinese culture, which, at her peak time at the Tang Dynasty, people did not even have to lock their doors at night time, since everyone understand to rule their heart with high principles of human morality. At modern time, the reason that violence becomes a threat to the community safety, and even started to frequently appear in school campus, is primarily due to the lose of the precious traditional teachings; the practice of Falun Dafa by our students will assure that each student will have the Law of heart to guide their daily lives. By understanding the higher Truth of the universe, one knows every act of human being is followed by consequences. Thus, the Whole Elephant Charter School does not practice strict disciplinary policies but rely upon our education program to assure the safety and health of the school environment.
G. Special Student Populations and Related Services Students with special needs due to physical disabilities will be taken care of accordingly in our Charter School and be assured to be treated with respect, love and dignity, in compliance with all federal laws and regulations and consistent with the individualized education programs (IEPs) developed by the Committees on Special Education (CSE) of the students’ school districts of residence. III. ORGANIZATIONAL AND FISCAL PLAN
A. Applicant(s)/Founding Group Capacity
The applicant of the Whole Elephant Charter School is Dr. Lotus King Weiss, who is the founder of the Whole Elephant Institute. Dr. Lotus King Weiss is a persecuted scholar, due to her efforts in researching into the health phenomena associated with the practice of Falun Dafa. Below is a brief introduction of her as a persecuted scholar:
In 1992, an ancient practice called Falun Gong was first introduced to the Chinese public. Although China has five-thousands of years of civilization, the traditional culture of China was totally destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party. Falun Gong gained rapid popularity in China due to the amazing health benefits experienced by the practitioners. By 1999, 100 million Chinese people were practicing Falun Gong. The principles of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance taught by Falun Gong make a sharp contrast to the communist ideology of class struggle and killing (so-called revolution). The top-leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin, made a statement that Falun Gong has the potential to eliminate the Chinese Communist Party. Under such fear, he ordered nation-wide persecution towards Falun Gong practitioners on July 20, 1999. He planned to eliminate this practice from the land of China within three months. However, almost ten years later, Falun Gong not only is not eliminated, but now has been spread to every corner of the world. Under the most horrific persecution, Falun Gong continues to be spread inside of China. Falun Gong practitioners are like the plum blossoms which are most beautiful after a harsh winter. The wonder and beauty of Falun Gong will soon be recognized by the world. Falun Gong is already the most popular practice of mind-body-spirit.
The lead applicant of the Whole Elephant Charter School is Dr. Lotus King Weiss (former Chinese name: Dr. Tongwen Wang), a world renowned cancer researcher from Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General hospital who made cutting edge discoveries in the frontier field of life science. She started to practice Falun Gong in the Spring of year 2000 and immediately experienced amazing health benefits. Soon she collaborated with another scientist in the field of immunology in Baylor School of Medicine, Dr. Lili Feng, to study the impact of the practice of Falun Gong to the human immune system. Such efforts revealed the molecular manifestation of the broadly experienced health benefits of practicing Falun Gong and provided the scientific proof for the drastic cellular changes associated with a genuine practice of both mind and body. Based upon these observations, Dr. Weiss also made a leap in her scientific pursue for a cure of cancer. She became convinced that the ultimate solution of all human diseases, especially those which are called system diseases, such as cancer, cardiac vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and neurodegenerative diseases, will be from the work of one’s mind and heart. Falun Gong practitioners who used to be suffering from such system diseases, including terminal cancer, have recovered from these diseases, as long as they are genuine practitioners truly work on one’s mind and heart following the principals taught in the teaching of Falun Gong.
Between 2002 and 2005, Dr. Weiss presented her work in this area to the international scientific community and also wrote articles to educate the general public on this subject. The Chinese Central Government immediately placed her onto a blacklist for persecution. Her family was targeted by hate propaganda, which eventually led to her husband (a Jewish man) divorcing her and even took away her son. Soon afterwards, her research position was terminated by the Director of her workplace. Later she found out that the Director met with the former governor of Washington State, Gary Locke, who is heavily involved in trading with China, before he totally changed his attitude towards the research interests of Dr. Weiss in continuing the studies of Falun Dafa health benefits. A former assistant of Gary Locke revealed that Gary Locke used to receive phone calls directly from the Central Chinese Government on the issue of Falun Gong. Gary Locke also has a close association with the former Consul General (Peng Keyu) of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. Peng Keyu directly participated in defaming Falun Gong to the elected officials in Washington State, causing the former Mayor of Seattle (Paul Schell) to withdraw the proclamation he issued to Falun Gong practitioners in Seattle, in 1999.
In 2005, Dr. Weiss’ parents and brother, under the poisoning effects of the CCP’s hate propaganda towards Falun Gong, was convinced that the losses Dr. Wang experienced in her family life and career are due to her practicing Falun Gong, and started to assist the CCP to persecute Dr. Weiss. Through presenting a fake medical diagnosis to the court, Dr. Weiss’ brother labeled Dr. Weiss to be suffering from mental illness and eventually obtained guardianship over her. Subsequently, he took away all of her financial resources and attempted to lure her to return to China to “have a better future”. If Dr. Weiss followed this arrangement, she would be most likely another victim added onto the long list of Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death in mental hospitals, injected with nerve poisonous drugs. Despite of all these adversities, Dr. Weiss now lives a very productive life in Flushing, New York and continues to be out-spoken about the truth she is enlightened to. She is now running a non-profit organization, called the Whole Elephant Institute (www.thewholeelephant.info) with the mission to promote traditional Chinese culture and to explore a new field of the study of mind-body-spirit. A detailed account of her scientific achievements and her persecution experience is presented in the attached article “An Open Remark to the Legal Community”.
The current application has been written by Dr. Lotus King Weiss alone and will be delivered to all key members of the Officers and Members of the Executive Committee of the Whole Elephant Institute and the Korean Community Center of New York (KCCNY) to seek for review and support. The full application will be presented to the proposed Members of the Board of Trustees listed in the Intent Letter at a one-on-one fashion, to finalize their ability of commitment on this project. Most importantly, the full application will be translated into Chinese language and allow the Chinese Immigrant community to understand the opportunities this Charter School will bring to their children.
B. Board of Trustees and Governance
The proposed Board of Trustees includes the following members (copied from the Letter of Intent): Dr. Lotus King Weiss: Lead Applicant/Proposed Board Member Dr. Weiss was born in Mainland China in 1967; she had the opportunity to study at the best elementary school, middle school and medical schools in China prior to her admission with full scholarship and tuition waiver at the age of twenty-one, into the graduate school at the University of Florida where she obtained her Ph.D. degree four years later; she subsequently entered Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital where she first carried out her post-doctoral research and rapidly rose as a young star in the field of cancer research; her innovative research discoveries were frequently published in the top science journals such as “Science” and “Cell”; she was the first recipient of the Renowned Claflin Distinguished Scholarship which was awarded to outstanding female scientists who are also young mothers, at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital; she became a mother in 1995 when she also became a young faculty member at the Department of Genetics of Harvard Medical School; her academic teaching experiences started even when she was only a graduate student; after she became a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, she taught graduate students, postdoctoral fellows as well as research fellows in the field of pediatric surgery in the area of biology and research; in 1999, she was elected to be the top 100 oversea scientists by the Chinese Academy of Science and was invited to run a national laboratory in Mainland China; she accepted a large new start up fund from the Benaroya Research Institute at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1999 and started to build her new laboratory in the field of Cancer Immunology; however, she soon became a target of persecution by the Chinese Communist Government because of her research in validating the profound health benefits associated with the practice of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) (http://www.thewholeelephant.info/Save-Sentient-Beings.html ); Dr. Weiss was put through a major trial of life, which, for a strong soul, is always the best gift for spiritual maturity; in 2005, under extremely difficult and even life-threatening situation, Dr. Weiss founded the Whole Elephant Institute in New York State, and started to plunge herself into the local Flushing community to carry out humanitarian services of all types, using her talents and knowledge as a scientist; she soon won the heart of many mothers and grandmothers here in Flushing because of her loving heart towards new immigrants’ children; in the past seven years, she has opened up many community-based education sites in Flushing, Brooklyn, Manhattan Chinatown and recently in Staten Island and Long Island; she gave seminars at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools at Oceanside, Long Island in 2006; she ran community service centers in Flushing, working with an unique multicultural environment including ethnic groups such as the Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Indian, Jewish, Greek; Italian; Dominican; Afghanistan; she tried different education methods and spent a whole year living in her students’ homes to carry out research of critical factors that affect new immigrants children’ learning English; Dr. Weiss also actively participates in local civic groups’ activities and play an active role in keeping the Flushing Community safe and healthy;
Dr. John Li: Proposed Board Member and Advisor of Physics; Dr. Li is a talented scientist of Modern Physics, currently serving as a consultant for the Levitation Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology; Dr. Li has been working closely with Dr. Weiss on the platform of the Whole Elephant Institute in the area of education and research; Dr. Li obtained his Ph.D. degree from California Institute of Technology; as a father, he is very passionate in education and has been researching into innovative ways of education of physics; Dr. Li will serve as the advisor of Dr. Weiss in designing the research program of Physics at the Charter School and serves as the Liaison between the Charter School and the California Institute of Technology; Dr. Yunteng Lao: Proposed Board Member and Advisor of Civil Engineering; Dr. Lao is a well-accomplished scientist in the field of Civil Engineering at University of Washington in Seattle; Dr. Lao also works closely with Dr. Weiss on the platform of the Whole Elephant Institute, which holds a mission to promote the essence of five thousands of years of traditional Chinese culture and to pave up a holistic path of mind-body-spirit; Dr. Lao has his expertise in computer science and statistic analysis; he will play a key role in helping Dr. Weiss with the set up of computer laboratories and engineering science education aspect in the Charter School; he will serve as the Liaison of the Charter School and the University of Washington in Seattle; Dr. Zhi-Ping C. Kolouch: Proposed Board Member and Advisor in Chinese Medicine;
Dr. Koulouch is one of the best acupuncturists in the world and is a licensed practitioner in the field; she is also an author, a song writer and a musician of traditional Chinese instruments; her rich knowledge in the area of Chinese medicine as well as her expertise in music healing, the ancient Chinese science, culture and language will serve critical roles in assisting Dr. Weiss in the designing of a first-class Charter School that integrates the traditional cultures of both the East and the West;
Dr. Gillian Small: Proposed Board Member and Advisor; Dr. Small was the graduate thesis advisor of Dr. Lotus King Weiss and now is the vice Chancellor of the CUNY system; she has a heart of major interest in the area of Chinese Language and Culture Education; Dr. Small will serve as the liaison between the Charter School and the CUNY education and research system, which will be able to provide great resource of education and research to the Charter School; and conversely CUNY will greatly benefit from a close connection to the most vibrant and resourceful Chinese Community in New York; Dr. Patricia K. Donahoe: Proposed Board Member and Advisor; Dr. Patricia K. Donahoe was the Postdoctoral Fellowship Sponsor/Advisor of Dr. Lotus King Weiss at the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital; through her vision and efforts, the famous sex hormone, MIS (the Mullerian Inhibiting Substance) was identified at the molecular level; she was the editor of Dr. Lotus King Weiss’ earlier grant proposals and papers and exhibits profound passion for teaching English language; with the upcoming retirement of her from the previous demanding research work, Dr. Donahoe shall play a key role in helping Dr. Weiss to design the Biological Science Education Program as well as in serving as the liaison between the Charter School and Harvard University; Dr. Kelly Selman: Proposed Board Members and Advisors in Marine Biological Science:
Dr. Kelly Selman graduated from the Harvard Medical School before she became a faculty member at the Columbia University; she was the graduate coordinator who was responsible for the admission of Dr. Lotus King Weiss into the graduate program at the University of Florida in 1988, a critical step for Dr. Weiss to embark onto her path of scientific research here in America; she has been a dear friend for Dr. Lotus King Weiss ever since; her expertise in education, research, human resource management and her loving and caring heart will serve well in providing Dr. Weiss with timely advise in designing science education in the Charter School, particularly in the area of marine biological science, in which she and her husband Dr. Robin Wallace are both world renowned authority; Dr. Selman will also serve as the Liaison between the Charter School and the University of Florida at Gainesville;
Mr. Longfei Yang: Proposed Board Member and Adviser in Martial Art Education Mr. Yang is a world-renowned martial artist; he practiced and taught martial arts in Africa prior to his coming to the United States and has been making major leaps in his personal cultivation as a martial artist; as a loving and caring father, he has been devoting major efforts in finding the best education environments for his two daughters and is a long-time supporter and friend of Dr. Weiss in the area of education; he will serve as the adviser for Dr. Weiss to design the Martial Art Education Program of the Charter School; In addition, five parents here in Flushing whose genuine wish for receiving the best education for their beloved children has been the backbone of the initiatives here proposed for the Charter School: Mr. Yanming Si; Ms. Julie Zhu; Ms. Rongqing Gao; Ms. Chunming Song; Ms. Xuefang Jiang; Ms. Ling Lee; Ms. Tanya Yang
At this stage, all members were contacted through emails. Except two members, Dr. Kelly Selman and Dr. Gillian Small, no other members objected their roles on this project. Recognizing the fear of being also the target of persecution by the Chinese Communist Government due to their close association with Dr. Lotus King Weiss to be the cause of such objection, an active conversation has been carried out between Dr. Lotus King Weiss and these two members to encourage them to be a part of the team. Dr. Patricia K. Donahoe expressed her concern of being too busy to carry out the role, but expressed support to the project. Dr. Lotus King Weiss is planning to visit Dr. Donahoe in September to finalize her role. In her community outreach efforts recently, five more people from the local community have expressed interest in joining the Board of Trustees. Thus, it is expected that the Board of Trustee will mature into a final form in the next two months, after the submission of this full application.
The Governance of the Charter School, at the surface level, will be following the standard practice as shown in all other Charter Schools, and also follow the proposed Charter School By-laws, as shown in the attachment 5b. However, we believe that the success of the governance is fully dependent upon the ability of the founder of the Charter School to help the entire team of players to “dream the same dream”, that is, to be totally inspired and motivated by the mission of the Charter School, and therefore will work like a molecule in a healthy cell to play his or her unique roles in the Charter School. It is the vision of the founder to build the first and the best Charter School in America and to pave a path of education that will lead all future Charter Schools to deliver true knowledge and train true scholars of the world. Such a glorious vision will not be accomplished through an artificial governing method, but will require the direction and enforcement from the higher realm. Like all Americans pray, “God Bless America”, the founder also here states that the true Governance of the Whole Elephant Charter School will be following that of God, under whose guidance the entire team of the Whole Elephant Charter School will operate to accomplish the glorious mission bestowed by heaven.
C. Management and Staffing
Dr. Lotus King Weiss will serve as the founder of the Whole Elephant Charter School and start to bring on Board 42 Master Educators in the next six months, for the seven different subjects of studies in our Charter School. The Charter School will also be staffed with the following administrative team: the Principal, the Vice Principal, an Executive Secretary, a Treasurer, an Executive Director of Operation who will lead a term of Directors: Director of Transportation, Director for Food and Household, a Director for Dormitory Management, a Director for Health and Safety, a Director for Media, Advertisement and Community Outreach, a Director for Staff Straining and Recreation, a Director for Events and Workshop Management, a Director for Scholar Seminar Organization. The Board of Trustees of the Charter School will work closely with the Administrative Staffing team listed above to govern the Charter School; the Board of Trustees will be responsible for bringing both personnel and financial resources to the Charter School and do everything possible and necessary for accomplishing the proposed mission of the Charter School; the Administrative Staffing Team will be responsible for the successful and safe daily administrative operation of the Charter School; the teaching team of Master Educators will be focused upon the delivery of high-quality education to the students.
Details of hiring and Personnel Policies as well as the Procedures of the Charter School will mature as the operation of the Charter School progress in the next several years. However, a tentative file adopted from another applicant of the Brilla College Preparatory Charter School appears to touch many key relevant issues and is overall consistent with the Philosophy of our Charter School, so the lead applicant chose to use it as a potential reference for our team to consider (Attachment 8a). The resume of the Leader of the proposed Charter School, Dr. Lotus King Weiss, is presented in the attached file (Attachment 8b).