Article from The Public School Notebook:

http://thenotebook.org/blog/125426/hite-releases-school-closing-plan

Superintendent William Hite early [Thursday] morning announced his school-closing plan in an email to District personnel.

The 12-page document identifies 44 schools that will be either closed or relocated to new buildings; 37 facilities will be shuttered. The document details the reassignment plan for students at each of the schools.  …

The final list of closing recommendations includes some schools that were not on a list obtained and published by some media outlets. [Italics are Mica’s]

The Facilities Master Plan document, linked above, includes recommended changes to over a dozen schools in the West and Southwest regions of the city, ultimately moving an estimated 17,000 students in the entire school district, or 10% of the school population (stated Superintendent Hite in Thursday’s press conference).  From the FMP document includes the following grade changes and school closures, effective at the end of the school year:

  The following schools will be recommended for grade reorganization beginning September 2013.

Grade Changes to K-5 Elementary Schools  

12)     Cassidy Elementary School (6523 Lansdowne Avenue, 19151): Currently a K-6 elementary school.  Students in grades 5 and 6 will transition to (new) Beeber Elementary School.

Planning Area: West

School Closures

19)     Wilson Elementary School (1300 S. 46th Street, 19143): Wilson is a K-6 Elementary School.  Students will reassigned to:

  1. Lea Elementary School

Planning Area: Southwest

20)     Gompers Elementary School (5701 Wynnefield Avenue, 19131): Gompers is a K-6 Elementary School.  Students will be reassigned to:

  1. New K-8 program at the Beeber Middle School building

Planning Area: West

21)     Overbrook Elementary School (2032 N. 62nd Street, 19151): Overbrook is a K-5 Elementary School.  Students will be reassigned to:

  1. New K-8 program at the Beeber Middle School building

Planning Area: West

22)     Leidy Elementary School (1301 Belmont Avenue, 19104): Leidy is a K-8 Elementary School.  Students will be offered the following reassignment options:

  1. Blankenburg Elementary School
  2. Heston Elementary School

Planning Area: West

23)     McMichael Elementary School (3543 Fairmount Avenue, 19104): McMichael is a K-8 Elementary School.  Students will be offered the following reassignment options:

  1. Martha Washington Elementary School
  2. Middle Years Alternative
  3. Locke Elementary School

Planning Area: West

Glossary of Terms

 Grade changes – Change to the current grade organization of a school.  For example: expanding the grade organization of a school from k-5 to a k-8.

School closure – Closure of a current school program that includes, in the majority of the cases, the closure of a building.

WePAC currently operates library and literacy programs at Gompers, Leidy and McMichael Schools, as well as schools listed as reassignment options: Blankenburg, Heston, and Lea.

The next steps in the process will be for the district to release dates for 4 citywide community meetings where the district will discuss how they arrived at these recommendations.  In January, 8 meetings will provide all of the information and data used in the decision-making process, and community thoughts and responses will be solicited and collected at these meetings.

In February, there will be 8 additional meetings where the district will respond to community comments, and in March, the School Reform Commission (SRC) will begin its process of deliberations and voting in favor or against the recommended school closings and changes.  Community members and visitors can register as speakers in advance of SRC meetings, and typically all speakers on the agenda will be heard before the meeting is adjourned.

For more news coverage, the Notebook’s daily coverage includes links to many media outlets covering the recommended changes.