The School Reform Commission has held hearings on the proposed closing in June 2009 of two West Philadelphia middle schools, Turner and Sulzberger, with a final decision scheduled for June 18.
Also this June, the District proposes closing the deteriorating West Philadelphia building now housing the Parkway West and Middle Years Alternative (MYA) schools. Parkway is slated to move in the fall to the Sulzberger building and MYA to the currently unused Peirce School building at 24th and Christian St.
SRC Chair Sandra Dungee Glenn said none of these closings are motivated by cost-cutting. While acknowledging problems with past school closings, she added, "It's a process we've been working very hard to improve on."
Dungee Glenn said the District is engaged in "a very concerted effort to involve the neighborhoods being directly impacted" by the closings. For instance, community groups near Turner are working on a proposal for a new charter middle school to use the existing facility.
Enrollment at Sulzberger and Turner has plummeted as the District turned feeder elementary schools to K-8s. Both schools will have only an eighth grade operating in 2008-09.