PSP awards $3M in grants to two charter operators

Posted: June 20, 2014

THE PHILADELPHIA School Partnership will award $3 million in grants to two charter operators to support their expansion, the organization announced yesterday.

First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter will receive $2.1 million to expand a high school and an elementary school. Mastery Charter will get $855,000 to expand Hardy Williams Academy and Mastery Prep Middle School.

The grants come from PSP's Great Schools Fund, which invests in the creation and expansion of high-quality schools serving predominantly low-income students.

"We are investing in these schools because their leaders have a track record of success serving disadvantaged students and a commitment to ensuring all students can achieve at high levels," said Jessica Pena, director of the Great Schools Fund.

First Philadelphia Prep, operated by American Paradigm Schools, has three campuses, serving roughly 1,275 students. By 2016-17, it will expand to 1,880 students, all of whom will be at its Frankford campus.

"Winning this grant really has to do with increasing quality, and I think that every student and every family deserves a quality seat," American Paradigm CEO Jurate Krokys said. She said the money will be used to provide additional support for students, for teacher training and to improve safety and climate.

Mastery, which operates 15 schools representing 9,500 students across the city, will add 150 students in grades 11 and 12 at Hardy Williams Academy in Southwest Philadelphia by 2015-16. It will add 225 students in grades 6 to 8 at Prep Middle School in Nicetown over the next two years.

"We are very excited about this investment. The additional resources will allow us to provide a high quality education to even more students in Philadelphia," Mastery Charter CEO Scott Gordon said in an email.

The expansions have been approved by the Philadelphia School District.

Since 2011, PSP has invested $34.4 million in city schools, including $20 million in public charters, $11.4 million in district schools and $3 million in private schools.

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