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SRC plans hearings on closings Feb. 21-23; vote scheduled for March 7

By Paul Socolar on Jan 25, 2013 07:33 PM

The School Reform Commission has scheduled its decisive vote on school closings for Thursday, March 7. The commission will be considering the District's 44 proposed closings and relocations.

In advance of the vote, the five-member SRC has scheduled two-and-a-half days of hearings on the closings, starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, and continuing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. That leaves only about a half-hour average per school, but "every school community will have a chance to speak," said District spokesperson Fernando Gallard.

Last year, when the SRC held all-day hearings on 10 proposed school closings, a one-hour time block was provided for each school.

The District has scrapped plans for another round of neighborhood-wide community meetings on the closings in February, Gallard said. Instead, Superintendent William Hite and his staff will be scheduling individual meetings with most of the school communities affected by the plan. Gallard said the District aims to structure these meetings as "roundtable discussions" with members of each school community rather than the large auditorium-style forums that the superintendent has led over the last two months.

Finally, the District is cooperating with an independent process of school meetings on the closings plan being conducted by Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church at the schools affected. "Enon will be providing us with a report from that process before the Feb. 21 SRC hearings," Gallard said.

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Comments (16)

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on January 26, 2013 10:50 am

Clearly the District is scrapping its plans and revising the process because at every single meeting community stakeholders in the neighborhoods impacted by the closures have made clear their opposiiton.   The Districit wants a process they can manage that will exclude these voices.   

Submitted by Annoy (not verified) on January 26, 2013 11:50 am
This leaves the "discussions" to hand picked people from each school and the powers that be connected with Enon church. The rest of us are left to vent on this blog...
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on January 27, 2013 11:53 am
I'm confused by your post. Are you saying the district is considering the moratorium as a viable possibility?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 26, 2013 1:11 pm
The community meetings I saw were not being managed well. From the first night, there clearly needed to be a line for students having to speak before curfew and a line for everyone else with each line rotating and taking a turn. They never did that and to be "respectful of everyone's time" a whole lot of adults at the UCHS meeting never got to ask their questions - incredibly disrespectful of the district after they had waited in the one line so long. The socialists from out of town got to speak but not many of our own parents! More information needs to be provided about the format of these individual meetings. The inclusion of individual meetings is promising but it needs to be under the right format.
Submitted by reformer (not verified) on January 26, 2013 1:10 pm
the only meeting that was filled was the first one at dobbins. what struck me was there were more people there to complain about strawberry mansion' s closure than there are students at that school. far and away these were people sent by the pft. they were loud, but they hardly represent the majority. the majority wants more and better options for their children. hopefully, the closings are a step in that direction..
Submitted by car diagnostic tool (not verified) on January 27, 2013 10:08 pm
Instead director William Hite and his staff will be arranged separate meetings, with most schools in the communities affected by the project. Jared District is a member of the "round table discussion", rather than each School Community Auditorium-style forum, Dean, lead to organize these meetings in the past two months.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 27, 2013 10:06 pm
I don't understand this. Did the district give any explanation for canceling the February meetings? Are the round-table meetings open to the public? Is the district posting a schedule for them? What is the purpose of the Enon meetings? What kind of report are they making? How is the District cooperating? Are those meetings open to the public? Thank you, Lisa Haver
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 28, 2013 8:35 am
Thanks for raising these important questions Lisa. Who will answer them? Can the notebook editors assist in this? Will PCAPS ask these questions? Fernando Gallard? The public wants to know.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 30, 2013 10:23 pm
Out of Dr. Hite's mouth this evening - Wed. meeting at Northeast - "All meetings are open to the public.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 30, 2013 10:13 pm
When asked at the Wednesday Northeast meeting what would happen to the buildings of schools being closed, Ms. Lynch said they are drawing up plans with real estate interests. Of course!
Submitted by ANON 452 (not verified) on January 28, 2013 7:55 pm
I can't comment on all of this, but I can tell you that Pastor Waller of Enon is very interested in true public education. I have heard him speak on this before. He has volunteered for years at King. He has stated publicly that his church has no affiliations with private schools or charter schools because he believes that "the the neighborhood schools are our schools". I attended a meeting at Enon last Fall (I am an SDP teacher and not a member of Enon) and was very welcomed and impressed with with the organization. I believe Pastor Waller and his congregation have a true interest in Philly public education and just want to expand meetings to other venues so it is not always the SDP and SRC that has control of the process. Just my opinion and impression, but I think Enon is in this for the right reasons.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 28, 2013 2:26 pm
The Mayor just appointed Sylvia Simms to the SRC!?!?! Is this a joke? Do we remember her defending Ackerman until the day she left?
Submitted by JUDITH ROBINSON (not verified) on January 28, 2013 5:46 pm
Divide and Conquer !!! WE WANT the SAME EDUCATION the MAYOR's Daughter RECEIVES FOR OUR YOUTH in NORTH PHILLY !!! Run tell That - Fast Forward That .com!
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