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Middle School

NEWS
November 16, 2012 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
AN UNDERFUNDED New York City middle school is the main focus of "Brooklyn Castle," the uplifting documentary story of how a chess program transforms the lives of inner-city students. Director Katie Dellamaggiore profiles Intermediate School 318, where teacher Elizabeth Vicary's after-school chess program had such a powerful effect on children that it became part of the curriculum and produced national champions. What becomes of a program so demonstrably successful and obviously effective?
NEWS
November 16, 2012
"BROOKLYN CASTLE" director Katie Dellamaggiore says the public school chess prodigies in her documentary have gone on to be just as successful as the film promises. One of the movie's middle school stars, Rochelle Ballantyne, is now shopping for colleges as she bids to become the first female African-American chess Master. She has her sights set on Philadelphia. "She submitted an application to the University of Pennsylvania, and that's her first choice," said Dellamaggiore, who made Ballantyne one of the young subjects of the documentary, which chronicles the way a budget-strapped New York City public school produces scholastic chess champions annually.
NEWS
November 10, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The mood was tense, but the music was beautiful. Officials at GAMP - Girard Academic Music Program, the city's elite public magnet school for gifted musicians - have been notified that they will lose the yellow school buses that transport middle school students from points around Philadelphia to the school at 22d and Ritner Streets. So on Thursday night, dozens gathered in the GAMP auditorium for a concert and rally to voice their displeasure to the Philadelphia School District.
NEWS
October 10, 2012
I WAS NEVER a fan of the whole anti-bullying hysteria that has whipped so many adults into a frenzy over the past couple of years. I say "hysteria" because it sometimes seemed that even garden-variety mean-spiritedness along the lines of "I know you are, but what am I?" was being turned into a hate crime. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule in the social-media maze of tweeting, Facebook-ing and YouTube-ing. And yes, some of what passes for juvenile joking is much more sinister, especially in the Lord of the Flies group- thuggery scenario common to middle school.
NEWS
October 6, 2012 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A North Philadelphia charter high school is set to add a 635-pupil middle school to its burgeoning population by next year, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Philadelphia School Partnership. Esperanza Academy, founded in 2000, already serves 750 students in North Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood. About 17 percent of the majority-Hispanic student body speaks English as a second language, and while anyone in the city can apply to attend Esperanza, the school largely serves lower-income students in and around Hunting Park.
NEWS
September 26, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Powel Elementary, a tiny K-4 public school in West Philadelphia, has long been regarded as an oasis in its neighborhood - a safe and strong school where children achieve. But parents often worry: With a dearth of good post-Powel options, what happens after children finish fourth grade? They got a boost Monday when the Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) awarded Powel a grant to plan to add a fifth grade and develop a brand-new middle school modeled after Science Leadership Academy (SLA)
NEWS
September 25, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Powel Elementary, a tiny K-4 public school in West Philadelphia, has long been regarded as an oasis in its neighborhood - a safe and strong school where children achieve. But parents often worry: With a dearth of good post-Powel options, what happens after children finish fourth grade? They got a boost Monday when the Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) awarded Powel a grant to plan to add a fifth grade and develop a brand-new middle school modeled after Science Leadership Academy (SLA)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2012
DEAR READERS: Involvement in after-school enrichment is making a positive impact on the lives of many Philadelphia children, and they are eager to show the way to others. Senior Mohamed Marzouk, an enthusiastic debater at Science Leadership Academy, will put his debate knowledge to good use. He plans to volunteer as an assistant coach at a middle-school debate program to pay it forward. "I wanted to help kids because I was never given the chance to debate when I was in middle school," he said.
NEWS
September 7, 2012 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer
THE NUMBER of "persistently dangerous" schools in the Philadelphia School District has dropped for the second year in a row, according to statistics released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. The city's persistently dangerous schools have dwindled from 10 last year to six this year: Beeber Middle School, in Overbrook; Douglas High School, in Port Richmond; Frankford High School; Kensington Business High School; Lincoln High School, in Mayfair; and Strawberry Mansion High School.
NEWS
July 19, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When New Jersey approved nine new charter schools on Monday, it also announced a new accountability system aimed at setting uniform standards to evaluate the success of charters over time. The annual "Performance Framework" will examine academic achievement, financial performance, and governance in the state's 86 charter schools. Schools will do a self-review, evaluated by the state. Previously, the state simply relied on each school's initial application plan to hold the schools accountable, said Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.
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