Community Schools: Philly neighborhoods reveal different priorities
After lots of data collection, teams are working to tailor each community school's services to address the needs of its students and residents.
The notebook by Dale Mezzacappa February 13, 2017 — 12:21pm
It was the week before Christmas, and Edwin Rodriguez had just heard Mayor Kenney talk about how the city would be investing new resources in Southwark Elementary School, where his daughter is a 5th grader. He watched as leaders of several organizations that run afterschool programs at Southwark received awards of appreciation. He listened proudly as his daughter, Siani, played in the school’s band. The occasion was to showcase Kenney’s signature effort in K-12 education – an initiative to create 25 “community schools” in the next five years. Southwark, ethnically diverse and in the heart of South Philadelphia, is in the pilot group of nine schools announced in July. Rodriguez, who said he and his family considered moving to South Jersey, but liked Southwark so much that they stayed, is excited about its designation as a community school. And yet, he said, “I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what it means.” The city is nearly a year into a comprehensive, multifaceted process to answer that question. Right now, the Mayor’s Office of Education is helping each of the nine schools and their neighborhoods determine their needs, priorities, and plans of action.
EITC/OSTC: OPED: Tax credit programs save money and help kids
Require bids on bus pacts
TIMES-TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 12, 2017
WHYY Newsworks BY AVI WOLFMAN-ARENT FEBRUARY 13, 2017
One of the first things you notice when you walk the halls of St. Gabriel school in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia is the sound. Or rather the absence of it. A lone teacher's voice drifting out an open door. The sound of someone's shoes clacking along corridors. The still gaze of a religious statuette perched in the corner. Catholic schools tend to be quiet, orderly places. That's part of the appeal. But all that carefully orchestrated tranquility evaporated on a winter day in 2012. "I could just remember we heard shouts throughout the whole school," says long-time teacher Elaine Carboni. "I've never heard a shout as loud." About a month earlier, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a Blue Ribbon Commission report on Catholic education in the city that read more like a eulogy. It called for 48 area Catholic schools to close, among them 104-year-old St. Gabriel. It was a rock-bottom moment for Catholic education in the city. But it would birth one of Philadelphia's most interesting education experiments.
AFT Video Published on Dec 3, 2013 Runtime 5:00
Forum #2 – Harrisburg Area (Enola, PA) Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Capital Area Intermediate Unit – 55 Miller Street (Susquehanna Room), Enola, PA 17025
Forum #3 – Philadelphia Thursday, March 2, 2017 – Penn Center for Educational Leadership, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street (5th Floor), Philadelphia, PA 19104
Forum #4 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – 1011 South Drive (Stouffer Hall), Indiana, PA 15705
Forum #5 – Lehigh Valley Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21, 4210 Independence Drive, Schnecksville, PA 18078
Plan to join public education leaders for networking and learning at the 2017 NSBA Annual Conference, March 25-27 in Denver, CO. General registration is now open at https://www.nsba.org/conference/registration. A conference schedule, including pre-conference workshops, is available on the NSBA website.