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3 schools named to receive redesign awards

Fox Chase, Hancock, and Penrose will undergo internal school-led transformations.

By Paul Socolar on Dec 4, 2015 10:30 AM
Photo: From the initiative's website

Three Philadelphia neighborhood schools have been named by the School District to make up the second cohort of the District's School Redesign Initiative and will start planning now for changes to be implemented next fall.

The schools, with the themes of their redesigns, are:

· Fox Chase Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia – Interdisciplinary, hands-on agriculture-based learning model;

· Penrose Elementary in Southwest Philadelphia – Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning model;

· John Hancock Demonstration Middle School-Gen. J. Harry LaBrum Campus in Northeast Philadelphia – Inquiry-driven, project-based learning model.

The awards are the result of a competitive application process.

“These school-led innovations will create dynamic academic concepts and practices that other schools can replicate," said Superintendent William Hite in a statement.

The initial cohort of redesigned schools – Tilden Middle School, J.S. Jenks Academy for the Arts & Sciences, and Arthur and Carnell Elementary Schools – launched their revamped programs in September.

Schools that are part of the initiative remain under District control, can maintain existing staff, and continue to serve all students from their catchment areas.

Each of the three schools will receive about $30,000 to support the redesign planning year and another $50,000 for implementation next fall. The schools receive no other additional funds.

The District's awards to the three schools are dwarfed by grants announced Wednesday from the privately funded nonprofit Philadelphia School Partnership to five startup charter schools. Those grant amounts ranged from $1.6 million to $3.3 million per school. In all, PSP made eight grants totaling $10.5 million to approved and proposed charters, with no District schools receiving funding.

 

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Comments (63)

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on December 4, 2015 9:45 am

No schools should be "turned over" to any privately owned entity such as Mastery or KIPP. The process used is riddled with impropriety and circumvention of the mandatory democratic process for school closings and starting new charter schools. In my legal opinion the process which is being used is Illegal.

The district should use the "independent school model" wherein district teachers run the schools along with parents and all teachers belong to the PFT. That model, found in the PA School Code is far superior to the charter school model as all schools then remain public. 

No charter school in Pennsylvania is a "public school" as they neither have elected school boards nor are their trustees appointed by publicly elected officials. 

It is time to stop the charade.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 4, 2015 3:37 pm

Rich,

 

  Did you work at CAPA years ago or serve an internship there? 

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on December 4, 2015 6:43 pm

Yes, I did my principal internship at CAPA. That was way back in the fall of 1997 I think. Ellen Savitz was the principal and Johnny Whaley was the assistant principal. They were great mentors. It was an awesome experience. What a wonderful school culture. It is just different in its artsy way. The voice of CAPA still resonates inside me today even though I was there for just a short while.

CAPA influenced me just like it influences every student who has the good fortune to attend that simply Amazing school.

What I still remember very clearly is a discussion with the founder of CAPA who still hung out there on occasion. I forgot his name now, but always remember what he said to me one day. He said to me in one of those little rooms near the office --

"Rich, the best advice I can give you is -- never give up what you believe in." 

 

 

  

Submitted by Annoy (not verified) on December 4, 2015 10:22 am

Thank you for stating the obvious - charters are getting millions while public schools get dribble.  How much more obvious does the inequity have to be?

Submitted by really? (not verified) on December 4, 2015 11:25 am
So the district is saying it is unable to run 3 more schools? What makes them able to run any schools at all? How can they just keep giving up on schools?
Submitted by Gtown_Teach (not verified) on December 4, 2015 12:49 pm

The PSP should be sued and dismantled. It's just a giant money funnel for private interests. It has nothing to do with serving the good of the students.

Submitted by StalMate (not verified) on December 5, 2015 11:30 am

The Superintendent should have a salary that is reflective of his performance. Turning schools over to private companies to run  means that his inability to oversee these schools should be scrutinized. For each school that Hite turns over to a chatrter or other district alternative he shold take a 12% cut in his salary. Had that been the case, the Superintendent would have found a way to help those schools turnaround with distrcit support, and if not, it means there should be a change in district leadership, starting with Hte himself!

Submitted by Lisa Haver on December 5, 2015 5:25 pm

Teachers should try that.  Go to your principal, tell her there are three students in your class  you are not able to teach because you have decided they are failing. Put out bids for someone else to take them off your hands.  Then have everyone congratulate you for making "difficult decisions".

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 6, 2015 12:11 am

i watched project based learning working.  then bush instituted nclb and teaching to the test became the norm. project based learning was shoved to the side. what a shame.

 

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Submitted by sdop_educator on December 6, 2015 8:05 am

"...can maintain existing staff.."   This is really double talk.  What they don't tell you, and what the staff at the first cohort of schools found out in the Spring of 2015, is that you can maintain SOME of the existing staff.  Existing staff must apply for the opportunity to stay at the school!

Submitted by Lisa Haver on December 6, 2015 11:04 am

If  a group of teachers and/or administrators at a school is submitting a redesign plan, does the entire staff have to be notified?  I don't understand what happened at Carnell and Tilden that they were able to force people out as a result of being redesigned.  That didn't happen at Arthur or Jenks.  

If anyone out there knows about this, could you email me at philaapps@gmail.com?  Thanks

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