September 5, 2014 |
Reported violence is down in city schools, and, for the first time since such records have been kept, none landed on the state's "persistently dangerous" list. The improvements, based on 2013-14 school-year data, come despite deep staffing cuts over the last several years, which have left fewer adults to monitor classrooms, hallways, and cafeterias. Philadelphia School District officials reported a 10 percent decline in violent incidents for the 2013-14 school year, to 2,485.
August 19, 2014
ANOTHER WEEK, another crisis at the Philadelphia School District. Last week, it was over whether the school year will begin on time. Superintendent William Hite wisely decided it would, despite the fact that the district still is $81 million short of the money it needs to operate all year. Still, Hite had to slash another $31 million from the budget. When they open on September 8, schools will be more dangerous and dirty - due to the cuts in the budgets for police officers and maintenance.
July 9, 2014 |
The struggling Chester Upland School District adopted a $118 million budget Monday that raises taxes by 3.4 percent, but a $12.3 million shortfall lingers, according to state-appointed receiver Joe Watkins. As the district continues to grapple with financial and academic problems, Watkins said he hoped to close the gap with help from the state. "We are in the process of righting this ship and are confident that we will succeed," he said, noting that the 3,000-student district shaved $6.2 million from the preliminary budget to narrow the spending gulf.
June 19, 2013 |
Violence remains a major problem in the Philadelphia public schools, and it's bound to get worse with the layoff of more than 1,200 aides who assist in the cafeterias, playgrounds, and other areas, says the union representing the workers. "Schoolchildren could face even greater danger this fall," Unite Here 634 said in a report issued Tuesday outlining incidents of violence and other incidents in the schools this year. On that point, the union and School District seem to agree. The 149,535-student district reported 2,672 violent incidents in 2012-13 through June 10, according to spokesman Fernando Gallard.
February 8, 2013 |
When Miguelina Rodriguez walks into an alternative school program at an East Camden church for the start of the semester Thursday, she will pick up books and return home. No teachers will be there to help with a math equation, or classmates to study with. The Community Education Resource Network (CERN) has shut its in-house alternative program at Bethel United Methodist Church for lack of funding. It will support home schooling, but even that is on the verge of extinction. Townsend Press in Berlin has donated take-home material, but CERN founder Angel Cordero said the core of the program depends on students receiving face-to-face instruction.
December 27, 2012
The school massacre in Newtown, Conn., has left the country searching for answers on how to make schools safer. A proposal by the National Rifle Association to put armed security guards in every school is not the solution. Neither are calls to arm classroom teachers. Adding firearms to any volatile situation is a recipe for a potential tragedy. Our schools should not look like armed camps or prisons. After a week of near-silence following the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six adults dead, the response last week from the NRA was predictable, but disappointing.
December 16, 2012 |
THERE ARE some tips for parents and guardians on addressing questions from their children and resources for more advice on talking about the Connecticut school massacre. 1. Be available: Let children know you are available to answer their questions, according to Children's National Medical Center. But it's OK to not have all the answers, or to tell your children you need to find out the answer to a question. 2. Be creative: If they're having trouble talking about school violence, consider having them use art or music to express their feelings, the medical center says.
December 15, 2012 |
Fourteen of the Philadelphia School District's most dangerous schools are among the 44 set to close or be relocated, according to an Inquirer analysis. That includes four neighborhood high schools - Strawberry Mansion, Germantown, Douglas, and Lamberton - that recorded at least five violent incidents per 100 students in 2011-12. But what impact closing the schools will have on overall safety in the 146,000-student district is uncertain, and some officials say there's the potential for things to get worse.
December 14, 2012 |
Fourteen of the Philadelphia School District's most dangerous schools are among the 44 set to close or be relocated, according to an Inquirer analysis. That includes four neighborhood high schools - Strawberry Mansion, Germantown, Douglas and Lamberton - all of which recorded at least five violent incidents per 100 students in 2011-12. Of the 14, Strawberry Mansion topped the list, with more than 10 violent incidents per 100 students in each of the past five years. Last school year, it was the second most violent school in the district.
October 18, 2012 |
Student bullying in New Jersey is concentrated in the middle-school grades, overwhelmingly verbal in nature, and not nearly as widespread on the Internet as some might think. That's the portrait that emerges from the state Department of Education's first in-depth examination of what is classified as "Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying," or HIB, in schools. But some education professionals question whether the statistics - contained in the department's annual report on school violence and vandalism, and reflecting a change in definition under the 2010 Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act - present a complete picture.