June 15, 2012 |
On the 2300 block of Third Street in South Philadelphia, rowhouse windows are decorated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel school spirit flags. Step into a house or local business in the area, and there will likely be a Mount Carmel graduate. "People don't talk about neighborhoods. Down here, people don't speak neighborhood, they speak parish. ‘What school did you go to?'?" said Keith Gilbert, who graduated from eighth grade at Mount Carmel school in 1985. Gilbert, 41, is the third of four generations of students at the Catholic school.
February 4, 2011
Sometimes you can't win for losing. That must be how Lancaster County school officials feel after being accused of racism for trying to bridge the achievement gap between black and white students. This isn't a problem limited to that Southeastern Pennsylvania community. Nationally, African American students have failed to perform at the same academic level as whites for decades, even among students with similar economic backgrounds. Confronted with test scores showing that only a third of its black students were proficient in reading, compared to 60 percent of white students, Lancaster County's McCaskey East High School decided to take a controversial step to reduce the gap. It separated three of its 19 homeroom classes from the rest and assigned only black girls to one homeroom and black boys to the other two. The children are in homeroom only six minutes a day and 20 minutes once every two weeks, but that's time the school thought it could use more wisely.
January 29, 2011 |
When Dominique Miller walked into his newly assigned homeroom at McCaskey East High School in Lancaster last month, his teacher asked if he and the other students noticed anything unusual. "No females in the class," one student said, while Miller, a 16-year-old junior, noticed something even more striking. "We're all African Americans," he said. Miller and the other boys were then directed to sit at desks with name tags such as "father," "doctor," "friend," or "lawyer. " The idea was simple - a homeroom mentoring program for underachieving African American students whose test scores were the lowest in the racially diverse school.
August 24, 2010
Many baseball fans are keeping a close watch on the Phillies' playoff race, but the deeper meaning of the game was on full display in Williamsport this weekend. That's where the dream of winning the Little League World Series came to an end for the Toms River National team. The kids from New Jersey were eliminated by Hawaii on Sunday. Toms River advanced to Williamsport after beating another local team, Council Rock Newtown, a week ago. But after getting knocked out of the tournament, the kids from Toms River remained mostly upbeat.
July 8, 2009 |
Classrooms are dusty and empty, halls silent. But reminders of student days at John Wanamaker Middle School at 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue are everywhere. Artwork on yellowing paper lines the walls of a dark auditorium. Smudged chalk notes cover blackboards. Gymnastic rings hang at the ready. Closed four years ago, the Wanamaker School in North Philadelphia is set to come back to life, but with an unusual new mix of uses - apartments for Temple University students, a charter school, a training center, a community hub for neighbors.
December 26, 2005 |
After the Thanksgiving turkey has been stripped and dumped, we're on to the next holiday - and the next controversy. Because when the air turns crisp and Christmas jingles jam the airwaves, one topic is practically guaranteed to begin rearing its monstrous head at PTA meetings and homeroom parties: religion. Not that religion is monstrous, mind you, but people can be - especially if they feel their religion is given short shrift at school. In typical fashion, one PTA member brings up the "holiday tree.
January 23, 2005 |
Kennett High School students took advantage of their traditional athletic rivalry with Oxford High School to raise money for tsunami victims. At the boys basketball game Tuesday, students were stationed outside the gym before the junior varsity and varsity games to collect donations from fans. (Kennett teams play at Kennett Middle School this season because of construction at the high school.) "Actually, we've been collecting money at all the home games," student council adviser Lisa Teixeira said.
May 16, 2004 |
Peace Week Bucks County, a series of events designed to prevent violence in schools and the community, will open Friday in a cafe setting at the Oxford Valley Mall in Middletown Township. Students can paint a peace mural, sign pledges, read poetry, or perform at the event, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Other activities during Peace Week, which concludes May 28, include showings of the movie Bowling for Columbine and a peace walk at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday at Core Creek Park in Middletown.
September 3, 2003 |
Buses were late, cafeteria lines were too long, schedules were bungled, and teachers struggled with names. But the entourage of administrators and school board members who assembled at the main entryway yesterday to welcome the first students at the new Seneca High School was different and special. "I'm like a kid at Christmas," principal John Furgione said as he waited for the first bus to arrive at 7:20 a.m. Students were more subdued. A few looked horrified or weirded out by their welcome mat as they made their way through the entrance of stainless steel and pristine stone and headed for homeroom.
February 5, 2003 |
We recently learned that my children's school, Glen Acres Elementary, may be part of a possible redistricting of the ever-expanding West Chester Area School District. For months, a parents' committee has worked very hard on ideas to relieve overcrowding in some schools and increase enrollment in others. The building of a new high school, the one to be named for activist Bayard Rustin, also plays a role in this process. More than 100 Glen Acres students could be shifted to other schools next year.