December 20, 2014 |
Even in a best-case scenario, the Philadelphia School District faces a $30 million deficit for next year. And that's with asking for $309 million in new money from the city and state, and not planning on any teacher raises over the next five years. Buffeted by years of brutal budgets, city school officials Thursday laid out a five-year financial plan that raised little hope the district would see many improvements. Without a significant course correction, officials said, the district will continue to simply limp along.
December 19, 2014 |
A BUCKS COUNTY town is embroiled in a sex-tape scandal involving middle-school pupils. Earlier this week, administrators at Franklin D. Roosevelt Middle School were notified that pupils were circulating a cellphone video depicting "sexual conduct" between two children, said Lt. John Godzieba, acting chief of Bristol Township Police. It was unclear last night if the kids depicted in the video are pupils at the school. As part of their inquiry, Godzieba said, investigators confiscated 10 cellphones from pupils at Roosevelt, on Veterans Highway near Winder Drive in Bristol.
December 11, 2014 |
The school counselor whose social-media accounts carried a threatening message addressed to "die-in" protesters outside Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues, the school district said. MaryKate Blankenburg, a guidance counselor at the Central Bucks School District, will be paid during the leave, said Melanie Sullivan, Central Bucks School District community relations coordinator. The post, appearing on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of MaryKate Blankenburg, addressed those who planned to protest after the Seattle Seahawks-Philadelphia Eagles game.
December 10, 2014 |
The Central Bucks School District and Montgomery County are investigating a threatening message, posted on social media, attributed to the accounts of a Central Bucks High School West employee. The post, appearing on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of MaryKate Blankenburg, a guidance counselor at the high school, addressed potential protesters at the Eagles game Sunday. "If my child cannot get to the Eagles game due to protesters, I will personally SHOOT every one of them. You've been warned idiots!
March 11, 2014 |
Scott Rucci was at the movies when he got word that his friend Dante DeSimone had been killed in an accident. When, the next morning, Rucci and many of his fellow Upper Darby High School classmates were summoned one by one to counselors' offices, he dreaded having to talk about the accident. But the counselor didn't push Rucci to talk about his feelings of loss and fear. She simply said, "If you want to talk, I'm here. " "It wasn't what I expected," Rucci, 17, said. "But it really helped.
October 28, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA With their guidance counselors laid off or overworked, city high school students on Saturday turned to workshops at universities and libraries for help with their college-entrance essays. They included Tyzhay Scott, a senior who watched the number of his school's counselors dwindle from three to one this year. "She tries her best to get to each individual student, but it's hard," Scott said of the only guidance counselor at the High School of Engineering and Science.
October 19, 2013 |
Inside School District headquarters, the School Reform Commission listened Thursday night to pleas to restore counselors to every public school. Outside, hundreds gathered to mourn the death of a sixth-grade girl last month after an asthma attack at Bryant School, which had no nurse on duty. Crises continue on nearly every front for the troubled Philadelphia School District, whose officials are even considering selling some of its valuable artwork to raise cash. About 60 of the district's 1,100 paintings, once hung in schools and for the last decade in storage, together could fetch $200,000 to $600,000, officials estimate.
September 12, 2013 |
Let me tell you about Peter Zadro's first day of school as an itinerant guidance counselor. Honest, that's his title in the continuing drama of the Philadelphia school crisis. On Monday, Zadro visited three of his schools. "I was just trying to meet the principals," he said. He spent a couple of hours at each location. On Tuesday, he traveled to another school for the first time. And he isn't done yet. Zadro, a guidance counselor for 25 years, has been assigned eight schools, at all grade levels, extending from South Philadelphia to Kensington.
September 2, 2013 |
A former Masterman School guidance counselor gained rock-star status Saturday when she was invited onto a Made in America festival stage to make a pitch for counselors laid off from the Philadelphia School District. Taking the mike from Flavor Flav, Heather Marcus urged the crowd watching Public Enemy to contact elected officials to tell them to "stop playing games and stand up for students. " "Do you think every child in Philadelphia deserves to have a certified school counselor?"