The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Communications
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 102~Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015~(215)400-4040
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Fernando A. Gallard
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA RELEASES REORGANIZATION PLAN FOR SCHOOLS
PHILADELPHIA – Today, Superintendent Dr. William
R. Hite released a plan for The School District of Philadelphia that aims to
improve academic outcomes and ensure financial sustainability.
The plan outlines the next phase of the Facilities Master Plan process, which began in 2010 and seeks to enhance the efficiency of school facilities and align resources towards the greatest benefit for students.
The plan improves the building utilization rate from 68 percent on average to nearly 80 percent. Under the proposal, 37 school buildings would be closed and grade configurations in 18 schools would be changed. At the same time, the District plans to invest millions of dollars towards academic program enhancements and renovations in receiving schools and expand turnaround initiatives to improve performance in chronically low-performing schools.
“As we navigate this journey, we are guided by the belief that all students in The School District of Philadelphia can and will be successful, and that public education is an institution worth saving,” said Dr. Hite. “For years, the number of buildings that we maintain has not reflected our enrollment. In this harsh financial climate, we must use our resources wisely to provide students with quality academic programs, increased access to opportunities and more chances to learn and thrive in safe, modernized schools.”
The plan calls for the closure of 22 elementary schools buildings, 4 middle schools buildings and 11 high schools buildings. Three schools – AMY at James Martin, and Parkway Northwest and Lankenau high schools – are recommended for co-locations at other District buildings. The administration, staff and students in those schools would move to the new locations. In addition, the following programs would be merged or relocated:
- The Philadelphia Military Academies at Leeds and Elverson would merge into one high school.
- Motivation High School would move to Turner Middle School, but retain its special admissions status.
- Communications Technology and Robeson high schools would relocate to Bartram and Sayre high schools, respectively, as citywide admissions academies.
The plan also includes eliminating sixth grade at several elementary schools and expanding the grade configurations at others to kindergarten through eighth grade. Dr. Hite also announced that the District plans to consider more schools as candidates for turnaround through the Renaissance School and Promise Academy initiatives.
“As an educator and parent, I realize these recommendations will be shocking, painful and disruptive for many communities, not least of all our students, staff and families. However, we believe that at the end of this process, our school system will be better run, safer and higher performing,” said Dr. Hite. “Ultimately, this is an opportunity for us to evaluate the overall state of public education in Philadelphia. It is a chance for us to consider the kind of school district that we want not only for our current students, but those to come.”
Four citywide meetings will be held over the next week to provide an opportunity to learn more about the recommendations and Dr. Hite’s vision for the District. The meeting dates are as follows:
Saturday, Dec. 15 – South Philadelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad St.
10 a.m. to Noon
Monday, Dec. 17 – Sayre High School, 5800 Walnut St.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 18 – Edison High School, 151 W. Luzerne St.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Martin Luther King High School, 6100 Stenton Ave.
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In January and February, the District will host 16 community forums to discuss school-specific recommendations and transition plans in more detail. For a complete schedule, visit www.philasd.org/fmp.