June 13, 2014 |
DURING ASHNA Blackston's sophomore year at Martin Luther King High in East Germantown, she got out of school later than her peers at other schools. For many teenagers, it would've been a nuisance, but the extra time allowed Blackston to get tutoring, dig into her studies and develop a closer relationship with her teachers. "You could learn more in the classes. We had more time for the teachers to work with us one-on-one," recalled Blackston, now a senior. "It was helpful. " King was part of the second set of Promise Academies - the district's turnaround model ushered in under the late Arlene Ackerman's Renaissance Schools Initiative to turn around failing schools.
May 23, 2014 |
A 7-year-old student died suddenly after becoming ill at a city public school on Wednesday. The child, a first grader at Jackson School in South Philadelphia, experienced a medical emergency and appeared to stop breathing. Classroom staff administered CPR and called 911, and the child was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was pronounced dead. "It's shocking, and it's tragic, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family," said School District spokesman Fernando Gallard.
May 15, 2014 |
On Saturday morning, teenagers around the region will be sleeping in, working out, heading to a job, hitting the mall - all the weekend things teenagers do. But not Cherry Hill's seniors. At 8 a.m. Saturday, they'll be at school. And believe it or not, it was the students' decision. To satisfy the state's requirement of a 180-day school year, and to avoid the logistical nightmare of rescheduling graduation, the district opted for Saturday school to let seniors make up some of the year's snow days.
May 9, 2014 |
MULLICA HILL Following what could have been the start of her last days cleaning the halls of the Pioneers, Lina Scarpaci wore a bright yellow sweater. "I try to be positive," the 50-year-old custodial worker at Clearview Regional High School said Wednesday night of her cheerful attire. "That's all I can do. " Scarpaci, who has been in her position for 25 years, was one of 14 custodial workers at the district's middle and high school whose jobs remained in limbo until Wednesday night, as school officials mulled privatizing the work to help balance a $37.8 million budget.
March 26, 2014 |
A staffer assigned to quell violence at a Philadelphia high school was knocked unconscious in what one union official called the worst assault since a Germantown High School teacher's neck was broken in 2007 by a student. Alphonso Stevens, known as a conflict-resolution specialist, suffered a fractured skull, concussion, and other injuries. The incident happened Friday when students were changing classes at Bartram High School. A 17-year-old student got into a verbal exchange with Stevens then grabbed him by the arm "and pushed him into the wall," said Raven Hill, a district spokeswoman.
March 12, 2014 |
TWO NORTH Philadelphia schools that were awarded grants last year to create their own turnaround models are revealing their plans to the community. James G. Blaine Elementary and William D. Kelley Elementary will become district-run turnaround schools in September. The schools will keep their principals, unlike Promise Academies - another district-run turnaround model - but teachers must reapply for their positions, with no more than half being brought back. After receiving additional students due to nearby school closings, both schools won a $1.5 million grant in July from the Philadelphia School Partnership, a controversial nonprofit group that funnels philanthropic dollars to schools.
March 11, 2014 |
Dontaye is a happy, affectionate 13-year-old who smiles a lot, has abundant energy, and loves to explore his surroundings, typically at a run. He is socially engaged, and enjoys playing with other children his age and going out to eat during trips with them and the staff of his foster-care facility. His favorite activity is playing with wagons and cars that make sounds. He also likes arts and crafts, and dancing. Dontaye is nonverbal but has various ways of making himself understood and communicating his needs.
March 8, 2014
Raising all boats One implication of the decline of Philadelphia's middle class is that changes must be made to encourage middle-income people to remain in the city ("Philadelphia needs to stop loss of middle class," March 2). Another is that we must address the conditions that increased poverty - not just as a moral imperative, but as a necessity for the city's well-being. The recently formed Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity is crucial to meeting this goal. Attracting jobs is a prerequisite, but not enough.
March 3, 2014 |
The call went out two Thursdays ago, tweeting its way around the hallways of Moorestown High School: Everyone download Yik Yak. The reference was to a new social-media application growing in popularity elsewhere in the country but still largely unknown here. Its allure? For one thing, it's anonymous. On Friday, posts started flying. It got ugly. Hurtful, even hateful, comments were made about specific students and faculty. Content included sexual references and crude remarks.
February 21, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. wants $320 million in new money annually to begin to execute his ambitious blueprint for Philadelphia schools, and fully carrying it out could double that amount, he said Wednesday. That request for the 2014-15 school year is above and beyond $120 million the system is banking on - but has not yet gotten - from an extension of an extra 1 percent city sales tax. For a district that practically scraped together spare change to open schools last fall, those numbers are stunning.