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A disappointing morning after at Germantown High and Fulton Elementary

By the Notebook on Mar 8, 2013 03:05 PM

On Thursday, supporters of Germantown High School learned that their school would be closing.

by Neema Roshania

It was a solemn Friday morning in Northwest Philadelphia as students, parents and teachers tried to come to terms with the School Reform Commission's decision on Thursday night to shutter three neighborhood schools.

At a raucous meeting on North Broad Street, the SRC voted to close Germantown High School along with Fulton and Kinsey elementary schools, while sparing Roosevelt Middle School. All told, the SRC voted to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others.

Although the District confirmed Friday that "the SRC has asked staff to explore the possibility of adding grades 9 through 12 at Roosevelt," frustration lingered.

A top concern was how students, especially the youngest ones, will safely travel longer distances to get to school.

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Comments (28)

Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 8, 2013 9:47 pm
Closing Germantown HS is absolutely unconscionable. Especially with Germantown HS, the logistics of moving the students to Roosevelt just doesn't make sense. Are the Roosevelt students still going to Leeds? If the Roosevelt students aren't going to Leeds, then there won't be enough room in the Roosevelt building for Fulton, Roosevelt, and Germantown students. Also, does Roosevelt have the separate additions like GHS has so that the younger children can have a separate building/wing of the school? The Germantown community and others need to mobilize and provide good evidence to the District that the merger at Roosevelt won't work. The District was planning to use that building anyway for something so the question is, what building will they use instead? EGS
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2013 9:44 pm
You are absolutely correct!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2013 3:37 pm
I and many of my neighbors of Roxborough anxiously await the students from GHS! We look forward to higher crime rates, more traffic, and of course the obnoxious and disrespectfull students that will soon be invading our neighborhood in the fall!
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2013 6:10 pm
In theory, the plan was for GHS students to go to MLK HS. If the present GHS students opt to attend school outside of the Germantown neighborhood next school year, they can apply to go to other schools like other students in the District. What appalls me about your comment is your blanket statement about the nature of students from Germantown HS. There are "obnoxious and disrespectful" students at every high school in the city, not just Germantown HS. Your statement communicates such low expectations of Germantown HS students. You are stereotyping the students as criminals, obnoxious, and disrespectful. Would you say the same thing if the students coming to Roxborough were from the Far NE or Center City? Education Grad Student
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 8:02 am
As an educator at one of the large comprehensive high schools in Philadelphia, I am particularly offended by your comment that students from Germantown will bring with them a life of crime. I don't think that it is fair to relegate students from a particular zip code to a stereotype. There are students from many perceived "high crime" areas of the city attending schools ALL OVER the city and are not bringing crime to those neighborhoods. I understand wanting to take pride in your neighborhood and wanting to protect it from outsiders but don't blame these displaced young people because they didn't ask for this, blame the School District of Philadelphia. What you need to do is embrace these young people if they choose to attend Roxborough High School because it is THEIR education at stake NOT YOURS and this is not the time to be closed-minded.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 9:17 am
LMAO have you been in or near Roxborugh HS lately?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 7:24 pm
Here is a wake up call....RHS has disrespectful, unruly and loud students. All high schools in all neighborhoods have children who can be a bit much to deal with. You must be referring to the RHS of years past. Integrating GHS in the mix will not add that much nonsense. This is from someone who's very familiar with the students who attend RHS. Your school is no sanctuary. There is trickery and foolery in most comprehensive high schools. Please get your head out the sand.
Submitted by A 10th Grader From Germantown (not verified) on June 13, 2013 12:10 pm
I go to Germantown High School and I'm very offended by your comment. Not all the students from Germantown are bad. Not all students from Germantown are criminals. Not all of us are loud or ignorant or trouble makers. We have about 650 students in are school and only 115 of us got into Roxborough and they we're all honer roll students and very respectful. All the "criminals" of Germantown got sent to Martin Luther King High School due to bad grades and behavior problems. You really shouldn't judge us by what you hear about Germantown because not all of us are like that, we have some really good students in here.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 1:49 pm
If Germantown is moving to Roosevelt, then why did the SRC not vote to close the HIS building but keep Germantown open as a program as they did with other schools?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 4:51 pm
There 10 students that go to RHS from the neighborhood. It's easy to say embrace these kids when it's not your neighborhood that they are effecting. Your not sitting in the traffic picking up their trash, dealing with their attitudes, or having your cars broken in to. You don't see these delinquents everyday in your neighborhood but are quick to condem those who don't want them
Submitted by Anonymous Teacher (not verified) on March 11, 2013 11:13 pm
I see that you don't know how to spell that well. It's "affecting" and "You're" as well as "into". In addition to proofreading your comment, you should also learn how to think carefully about your judgement of others, especially since you seem to generalize a whole lot. As others have said-there are disrespectful children/teenagers as well as adults (!) everywhere. It's inappropriate to judge students you have not met just because of what neighborhood or school they're from. Plenty of affluent kids in wealthy neighborhoods are obnoxious, disrespectful, trashy, violent and criminal. Not all, but plenty.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 5:00 pm
There may be some good kids but they are outnumbered 10-1. RHS has very little neighborhood kids in it and its current students cause lots of problems in the neighborhood, and more problems are on their way
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 5:40 pm
The kids that do the serious damage, vandalism, destruction of property, for example, do so after all the RHS kids have gone home. These would be the neighborhood kids, here in the evening, late night, early morning hours when these events happen. The RHS kids are noisy, but aren't doing the serious damage. Be truthful now.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 6:09 pm
We don't have a vandalism problem. Go stand on ridge ave after school let's out. Go stand on gates street in the morning as the students and teachers fly down the street on their way to rhs. Walk in Wawa at 3pm. These students make our neighborhood less safe. That's not an opinion. That's a fact
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 11, 2013 7:26 pm
Who are "these" kids? Instead of beating around the bush, be clear about to whom you are referring.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 8:32 pm
The current students of Rhs. Adding more non neighborhood students is a BAD thing for me and my neighbors! How dare I tell the truth!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 9:28 pm
The kids are loud, boisterous, and act like they desperately need attention. It is annoying, but not any more dangerous than the trucks that go up and down Ridge (one of which hit an elderly person). I have not stood on Gates Street in the a.m., but did cross streets when we lived in University City with my child in a stroller to be nearly struck by "flying" U of Penn students in their cars that equalled mortgages, so I guess I can relate to that problem. Wawa may just have to limit the number of students that can come in at the same time. Riteaid and Acme had to do this with Levering students before AMY NW relocated here. Oh but yes this neighborhood has plenty of vandalism. Try the skateboarders who destroyed Journey's Way's porch, tore an entire tree from the former Levering's sidewalk; decimated the carefully planted planter plants on Ridge; left graffiti on the former Levering's walls, broke into Gabriel's... plenty of vandalism, and none of it, except possibly the skateboarders destroying the porch, done in broad daylight by students enroute to or from RHS. Kids are kids, no matter where they are from.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2013 10:32 pm
The RHS kids are not as bad as they have been in years past and that credit has to be given to the staff at RHS for keeping their student body in line. Granted every area has its own problems and isnt perfect but the kids are kids no matter where they are from argument is a load crap! Adding the students from GHS to RHS is not a blessing for RHS and the surrounding community. Give me a break!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 12:28 am
I'll take 30 minutes of noise over vandalism any day. The rest of the bad behavior, that is mobbing the stores, is no different than the local kids. What you don't want to say is the real truth, and that is Roxborough is a "closet racist" community. "Every area has its own problems"? Wow, you mean your vandalism, and misbehaving kids (how about the good Catholic school kids throwing rocks on tightly parked streets?) are o.k., but the "outside" misbehaving ones are not. Your break comes when those scary outsiders will leave you alone in your little closet - have fun.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 7:13 am
I have the perfect solution: We close RHS, because it has been losing enrollment and has such a small neighborhood attendance, and transfer the existing students to Germantown HS, which we keep open instead. That should solve the problem.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 8:23 am
Roxborough HS has less than 500 students - amazing low considering the size of the building. Why wasn't Lankanau - or another magnet - moved to the building? Germantown has about 600 students - not many more but the SRC/Hite/Khin can't use numbers are the excuse. Why weren't the military academies moved to Germantown?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 7:04 am
I agree!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 9:26 am
Funny how race is always brought up as either an excuse or a weapon. The color of ones skin matters little, while the culture in which the ones are raised and live does. Ill take a broken planter or rock throwing to bullets and flash mobs anyday of the week. Is saying such a thing racist? If so explain why
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 9:54 am
First you have to cite one incident of bullets or flash mobs related to the RHS students, then I'll decide. Racism shows in how you choose your reality, what you choose to look at and what you choose to ignore, and how you choose to distort. When you apply a different standard is not hard to see. When it is being used as a "card" is also easily seen. Equal standards. Noise and rowdiness does not equal bullets or flash mobs. Breaking into a business, disrespecting property that is not yours, disregarding living things (plants) or other people's hard work is more heinous than being loud and demonstrative.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 9:04 am
I don't know why RHS was kept open. Less than 10% of its student body is from the Roxborough area. Lankanau was kept open when those students could have been sent some where else and Greenwoods Charter which is buiding a brand new school could have used that space saving the taxpayers 15 million dollars. Dumb
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 9:09 am
It may be that the RHS building underwent renovations recently, and is in good shape. I'm sure the facility could fetch quite a bit for the SDP, as developers are pushing to build more housing in Roxborough. Not sure if the same is true of Germantown HS. The RHS neighborhood has abandoned their school far more than the Germantown HS neighborhood has abandoned theirs.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2013 10:51 am
I don't think that abandoned is the correct word. As the school district started failing to provide a quality educational experience our kids. it forced many of us to make sacrifices seek better educational opportunities for our children. I think that the Administration of RHS has done a great job with the limited resources they are provided. The kids of RHS are much more behaved then they have been in years past and have not caused as many problems as they have in years passed I live in the Wissahickon Hills section of Roxborough (which lies between Henry and Ridge). Adding 2-300 kids from other areas of the city is going to directly effect my neighborhood in many ways and we have every right to be concerned.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Oh, well, I suppose that means that you will have to move. Try the Northeast area around Lincoln High School. It's much better there, especially the students.

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