The imbalance of leveling. Notebook
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Millennials have been responsible for much of Philadelphia’s recent population growth. Tonight, Next City will hold a discussion on how the city can be improved for those already living here, while encouraging others to take up residence in the city.
The panel discussion is called “Making Philadelphia Family Friendly” and it is the first in a three-part series on topics chosen to help enhance Philadelphia’s future. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Moore College of Art & Design auditorium, 1916 Race St. An RSVP is required to attend.
By the middle of October in any given school year, students are situated into their routines, snug in their desks. They have finally committed their class schedules to memory. They know what their teachers expect of them. They have begun to know their classmates. Their notebooks are filled with notes.
This year, two weeks beyond the contracted deadline, the School District has used its leveling sledgehammer to collapse classes and smash to smithereens much of what students and teachers have worked so hard to accomplish. The schools become unhinged just as they were settling in. The cost is incalculable.
When leveling occurs, the District must reshuffle schools' staff to match their actual enrollments, and class rosters have to be remade. Children are often assigned to different teachers with different teaching styles or ones who are in a different place in the curriculum. Some subjects are eliminated, and the work done since September is lost.
In August, Youth United for Change members stood in protest when the School Reform Commission voted to approve changes to the student code of conduct. They were ultimately escorted from District headquarters for disrupting the meeting.
The group says that the new policy's changes to the severity of punishment for students who engage in the "inappropriate use of electronic devices" could lead to overdisciplining students for minor infractions and could push students out of school.
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Sparks flew at a meeting for parents on Monday night at Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter High School. The school's basement cafeteria became a battleground between the school's founder and a throng of incensed parents.
Many had learned only that morning that the high school program at the school's Tacony campus was permanently closing and that their children would have to find another school two months into the year.
"I'm frustrated with Walter Palmer. I'm frustrated with the District. I'm frustrated with everybody," said parent Courtney Dennis.
The Notebook has hired a new development director, Lauren Wiley.
Wiley’s responsibilities will include membership recruitment and management, as well as sponsorship and major donor solicitation. She will also manage special events, including the Notebook’s annual Turning the Page for Change celebration.
Wiley has more than 10 years of experience in fundraising, donor cultivation and management, and event planning. In her previous job, she was the first-ever development director at Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute, a professional laboratory science organization. While there, she instituted an event sponsorship program, secured new government grants, and began the first-ever recruitment of corporate sponsors for the institute’s conferences and educational seminars.
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The legal battle over whether the School Reform Commission can impose benefit changes on teachers has shifted to Commonwealth Court, which could hear arguments in the dispute as early as December.
On Monday, Common Pleas Court Judge Nina Wright Padilla made an injunction permanent that delays any benefit changes until the matter is resolved in court, and the District appealed that ruling to Commonwealth Court.
Both sides said they are pleased by the outcome of the latest legal maneuvers.
The District says that the legal proceedings will accelerate a final resolution in court of the extent of the SRC's powers. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says the ruling points the parties back to the bargaining table, a move that the District says it remains open to.
“I am a product of afterschool programs. They kept me out of trouble,” said Williams, who is a graphic designer and illustrator.
The program he attended included African dance lessons that were great fun and still memorable. “Those are the trouble hours, when school is out and your mom isn’t home yet,” he said.
More than 20 Germantown residents gathered Saturday at the Daniel E. Rumph II Recreation Center to learn more about the proposal to turn the now-empty Germantown High School site into a community charter school.
Julie Stapleton-Carroll, who would serve as Germantown Community Charter School principal should the idea gain Charter School Office approval, led the meeting.