District Superintendent Hite announced last week the recommended closures, mergers and other potential changes for public schools across the city.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite. Jr. announced an unprecedented list of recommendations for school closures, grade changes, mergers, relocations and program co-locations.
Several of the schools on the list are in the River Wards, with three recommended for closure.
The plan could affect 17,000 students and 2,000 staffers, and could save the district about $28 million, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed closures in March following a series of public meetings and community forums.
Following the announcement Thursday, protests broke out around the city. One was organized by the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, or PCAPS.
Another, on Saturday, was organized by Philadelphians Allied for a Responsible Economy, or PhARE, outside district headquarters, 440 N. Broad St.
PCAPS said in a press release it has been urging district leadership and the School Reform Commission to adopt a moratorium on all school closings until full community-impact studies are conducted and released to the public.
“It is imperative that we fully understand the costs associated with maintaining suddenly vacant school buildings – such as upkeep, cleaning or security fees – and the impact these empty buildings will have on surrounding property values,” said Quanisha Smith, a PCAPS representative.
“It is essential that we vet the cost of transporting thousands of students to new schools, and determine whether these schools and neighborhoods will be able to effectively absorb an influx of new students.”
If approved by the School Reform Commission, the following changes will be effective June 30, 2013, according to the district’s Facilities Master Plan and Summary of Recommendations:
A.M.Y. (Alternative for Middle Years) at James Martin School, 3380 Richmond St., grades 6 through 8 — Recommended for co-location with Penn Treaty Middle School, 600 E. Thompson St. The school will retain its citywide admissions status.
Charles Carroll High School, 2700 E. Auburn St., grades 9 through 12 — Recommended to close. Students in grades 9 through 11 will be given the option to transfer to: Kensington Business; Kensington Urban Education Academy; Kensington Health Sciences; Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical School (students enrolled in the Accounting and Marketing Career and Technical Education programs will be reassigned to Kensington Business).
Stephan A. Douglas High, 2700 E. Huntington St., grades 9 through 12 — Recommended to close. Students in grades 9 through 11 will be given the option to transfer to: Kensington business; Kensington Urban Education Academy; Kensington Health Sciences (students enrolled in the Commercial Art Career and Technical Education program will go to Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical School; students enrolled in the Building Maintenance Career and Technical Education program will be offered reassignment into the Carpentry, Welding or Electrical CTE programs at Mastbaum.
Sheridan West School, 3701 Frankford Ave., grades 7 and 8 — Recommended to close. Initially approved for closure with intent to drop a grade each year. Now closure will be effective June 2013. Students will relocate to Penn Treaty Middle School.
Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School, 2161 E. York St., grades kindergarten through 6 — Recommended for grade reorganization in Sept. 2013. Students in grades 5 and 6 will transition to Penn Treaty Middle School.
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