Phila. SRC names 9 schools targeted for closure
SPRING GARDEN - November 2, 2011 (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Wednesday named nine city schools that will be targeted for closure.
The plan has been over a year in the making, and recommendations include the closure of nine schools, most of them elementary schools.
Those schools are:
- William Levering School at 6000 Ridge Ave.
- William Harrison School at 1012 W. Thompson St.
- Isaac A. Sheppard School at 120 W. Cambria St.
- Charles Drew School at 3724 Warren St.
- Edwin M. Stanton School at 1700 Christian St.
- Philadelphia High School for Business at 540 N. 13th St.
- Thomas Fitzsimons High School at 2601 W. Cumberland St.
The elementary schools would close after this school year, and the middle and high schools would be phased out as the students advance.
Before anything happens, however, the public will have a say in this plan. A series of public hearings will be held before anything is voted on, and that vote won't take place until sometime early next year.
Still, closings are all but inevitable. The district is facing a $39 million deficit with 70,000 empty seats - meaning the building are at 67 percent capacity, well below the national average of 85 percent.
Acting School Superintendent Leroy Nunery wants to make it clear that the plan should not be a cause for panic for parents.
"We want to make sure we clearly communicate that a facility's master plan does not directly equate to closing schools," he said.
The plan also calls for grade changes at twelve elementary schools and three middle schools, making the elementary schools K-5, instead of K-6, and adding an extra year to the middle schools.
Program manager Danielle Floyd explains, "We want students to have three years of preparation in the middle grades before they get to high school."
Even with the nine closures outlined in the plan, the district will lose only about 14,000 empty seats. That means more closures down the road, and they will target high schools, which have most of the empty seats.
Those recommendations are due over the next few months.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, spring garden, school, local/state
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