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Our coverage of the Renaissance Schools plan

The 4 schools

By Anonymous on Mar 30, 2012 04:34 PM

Here are details on the schools slated for conversion to Renaissance charters.

Grover Cleveland Elementary (K-8)
Neighborhood: Tioga
Enrollment: 637
School Performance Index: 9
(on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the best)
AYP status: School Improvement II

Students and others plead for charter renewals and expansions

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 29, 2012 08:20 PM

A parade of students and charter officials appeared before the School Reform Commission on Thursday advocating for the renewals or expansions of their schools.

Three schools – Hope Charter School, Arise Academy, and Truebright Science Academy Charter School – have been recommended for non-renewal by District staff.

Creighton parents opposed to Renaissance designation; rally, meeting set for today

By Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 13, 2012 01:38 PM

Parents at Creighton Elementary School, one of four schools slated to become a Renaissance Charter, plan a rally in opposition this afternoon. District officials will return to the school tonight for a second meeting to explain the decision to turn around the school.

A chorus of concern over Great Schools Compact

By Benjamin Herold on Mar 9, 2012 05:27 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook/WHYY’s NewsWorks 

The Notebook/NewsWorks' coverage of the Great Schools Compact continues
with a preview of Monday's SRC meeting. Last week, we took a look inside a
charter on the verge of expansion and talked to Mark
, the executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership.

Proponents of traditional public schools are expressing growing concern that the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact could end up favoring charters and being a raw deal for the School District.

On Monday, they’ll get the chance to voice their worries before the School Reform Commission, which plans to highlight the compact at its March strategy, policy, and planning meeting.

Veteran educator visits Mastery-Smedley; finds 'order,' smiles

By Guest blogger on Mar 8, 2012 06:08 PM

This guest blog post comes from Rich Migliore, a frequent Notebook commenter and veteran teacher and administrator.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Mastery-Smedley Elementary in Frankford. Brook Lenfest, a member of Mastery’s Board of Trustees, had invited me to visit a Mastery school to see for myself what it does for children.

There has been much heated debate lately about Mastery so I approached my visit as a learner. I wanted to see Mastery-Smedley through the eyes of an educator who has spent over 35 years in schools and in classrooms.

As Renaissance match process gets underway, intrigue begins

By Benjamin Herold on Mar 7, 2012 06:18 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks

In a new twist on the District’s process for converting low-performing schools to charters, six pre-approved turnaround teams have publicly declared at the outset of the Renaissance match process which schools they will – and will not – be competing to manage.

Two developments stand out:

  • Mastery Charter, the city’s largest charter operator, will put all of its considerable resources into competing for just one school, Cleveland Elementary.

New School Performance Index released

By Anonymous on Mar 1, 2012 09:15 PM

The District updated its website with 2011 School Performance Index rankings. It shows that two of the schools just named Renaissance charters increased their scores compared to last year. Creighton and H.R. Edmunds both improved to a score of 8, while Cleveland and Jones remained steady with scores of 9 and 10, respectively.

Year III Renaissance provider finalists

By Anonymous on Feb 29, 2012 05:05 PM

The District just released the names of finalists to become Renaissance Schools charter providers. New to the list are two providers that currently operate successful charter schools in Philadelphia. Finalists include:

Four new Renaissance Schools announced

By Benjamin Herold on Feb 29, 2012 01:49 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks

UPDATE 6 p.m. 

Buoyed by promising results from their initial group of turnaround schools and largely undeterred by the District’s ongoing fiscal uncertainty, officials announced Wednesday that four more low-performing traditional public schools will be converted to charters as part of the Renaissance Schools initiative.

“By continuing this initiative, the District underlines its commitment to the Philadelphia Great Schools Compact,” said a press release announcing the news.

The four new Renaissance charters – Grover Cleveland Elementary in Tioga, Thomas Creighton Elementary in the lower Northeast, Henry R. Edmunds Elementary in Frankford, and John Paul Jones Middle in Kensington – currently serve more than 3,000 students. Although the schools will be turned over to outside managers, they will remain neighborhood schools, joining the 13 existing Renaissance charters already serving roughly 9,400 students.

Renaissance charter operators respond about facilities costs

By Guest blogger on Feb 28, 2012 02:11 PM

This guest blog post comes from three Renaissance charter operators in response to a recent Notebook story reporting that the District is incurring significant facilities-related expenses at its Renaissance charter schools.

The article claiming that the District is “eating millions in facilities costs” at Renaissance Charters is misleading.

The facts are:

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