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Close Beeber? School's supporters to propose alternative plan

By David Limm on Mar 18, 2013 02:24 PM

The community meeting to discuss the planned closure of Beeber Middle School will be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow, March 19, at the school. The meeting was postponed from March 6 due to a forecast of inclement weather.

The District's revised Feb. 18 closure plan announced the proposed closing of Beeber, a school serving grades 6-8. The plan says: "Students will be offered reassignment at Overbrook High School. Overbrook will expand its grade organization to become a 7-12 middle secondary school."

As an alternative to the District's plan, members of a committee to save Beeber will present a proposal to repurpose and rebrand the school as The Arts and Academic Plus Academy@ Beeber. The plan would include applying for an incubation grant with the Philadelphia School Partnership, which would go toward funding a school-led turnaround process. Potential collaborators would include ArtsRising, Johns Hopkins University, Diplomas Now, and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Under the District's initial closing plan, Beeber was to expand to a K-8 school. The community, however, voiced concerns about sending younger students from Gompers and Overbrook elementaries, schools formerly designated for closure, to Beeber, a school that had been designated as "persistently dangerous" based on state criteria.

In February, the District reversed itself on the plans for Gompers and Overbrook and instead added Beeber, along with M. Hall Stanton School, to its revised closure list. Because there was not adequate time for community discussion about the two newly added schools, they were not included in the School Reform Commission's March 7 vote that resulted in 23 school closures. The SRC will vote later this spring on whether to close Beeber and Stanton.



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Comments (18)

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 18, 2013 9:36 pm
As I've said all along, Beeber is a fine school. It just happens to tell the truth, a no-no in today's environment. Incidents are ALL reported with nothing hidden. It plays no games with paperwork which most schools, of course, do. If they close Beeber, what little credibility the SRC has left, will be gone in a heartbeat.
Submitted by Aliza (not verified) on March 19, 2013 7:01 am
I hope the Save Beeber plan can go through. I don't know how sending students to a larger, less personalized environment like a 7-12 at Overbrook High is going to help reduce incidents.
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 19, 2013 11:47 am
How many plans have they had for Beeber in the last year? I think they wanted to add sixth graders, change it to a k-8, and now close it. The school and the community would have been better off if the PSD stuck to the first plan.
Submitted by J.K. (not verified) on March 19, 2013 4:31 pm
Yes, Beeber is a big enough school, of course, to expand ant this nonsense about many, many serious incidents is total crap. They simply report the truth, good and bad, a novel idea these days. Truth is Beeber is in good structural shape and in a prime location 2 blocks from City Line Ave. Can you say, CHARTER ??
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 9:21 am
I am dismayed at the lack of criticism the SRC has heard since their decision to put these two schools on the Hit List as an afterthought. The schools on the initial list had two months of meetings to attend at various locations; they also had the support of other schools facing the same fate. How can Beeber and Stanton present an alternative plan which will be seriously considered? Closing them IS the alternative to closing the schools taken off the list. I attended the meeting at Beeber on Tuesday. Once again, students and teachers had to act as supplicants before the powers that be and BEG for their school to stay open. They told of the family spirit, the great programs, their academic achievements--just as I had heard in community meetings throughout January and February. Once again, I heard Dr. Hite and his underlings THANK those who spoke and THANK them for coming out, which I find demeaning. The parents, teachers and students came out to save their school--not to have an audience with you. I do hope that more people from other parts of the city will come to the next meeting to support Beeber, especially those from the schools who were spared. Lisa Haver
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on March 21, 2013 12:31 pm
Lisa, Divide and conquer is one of their strategies. I agree, enough is enough. stop this charade.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 10:51 pm
It is a charade.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 1:07 pm
As far as we know, there will be no more meetings, another side of this which is insanely unfair.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 9:45 pm
I heard there would be at least one more, but I can't find the info on the SDP website. Can someone from Beeber give us the meeting info?
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 10:02 pm
Please know that the entire Stanton community, teachers, parents and community members have been mobilized to save our school. The M Hall Stanton school was targeted for closure by one individual Quibilia Devine who created a sham organization and submitted a proposal by the North Philadelphia Collaborative espousing support for the closure of our school and for Duckery to remain open. Quibila Devine listed various elected officials, organizations, and community members as supporters of her proposal to close Stanton without their knowledge of permission. She presented to the SRC this document fraudently stating she had the support of Sen. Shirley Kitchen, Rep Jose Miranda, Council President Darrell Clarke, Shariff Street, Temple University and numerous others all supporting the closure of M Hall Stanton. We have contacted these individuals and they all have stated that they did not give Quibila Devine permission to use their names in support of her proposal to close M Hall Stanton. There isn't a North Philadelphia Collaboration simply a woman named Quibila Devine who pulled the biggest fraud against the SRC. PLEASE NOTE & THIS TAKES THE CAKE--- QUIBILA DEVINE IS THE SISTER OF SYLVIA SIMS SRC MEMBER. This is corruption at the highest level and the people of Philadelphia need to rise up and protest this flim flam circus of the SRC & school closings.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 10:46 pm
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 21, 2013 10:36 pm
Lisa i can not thank you enough for that comment. I am someone who has a very vested interest in keeping stanton open next year. I can tell you that the staff, parents, community members and elected officials of stanton community have been working very hard together since stanton was unjustly nominated for closure. We have spent hours researching, data analyzing, reading proposals of the formerly nominated schools that was submitted to dr. Hite... we were more than hurt and saddened especially upon reading duckerys proposal. They individuals responsible for creating this document by referring to the stanton community as a "drug ridden crime infested area" several times. It claimed they were the better performing school and submitted documents showing that they havent made AYP in 10 years, they are listed as corrective action 2 school and they only met 8 out of 23 indicators. Stanton has made AYP 4 in the last 10 years, are only corrective action 1 and made 14 out of 23 indicators. Whats more they made blantant lies about the state of the facility that could have surely been proven wrong had ANY proper fact checks been involved in the decision to add stanton. ALSO interesting is the fact that a sister of a member of the src also submitted a proposal that stanton be closed instead of dukery. This document listed several elected officials as suppoters in favor of stanton closing. When we contacted them for verification they had NO IDEA their names were listed and were honestly quite shocked. Did dr. Hite read these unprofessional proposals, one of them from a SISTER of an src member and change his mind based on the lies and propoganda in them?. We have reached out to several local news stations, reporters including from the notebook, etc to bring attention to the concerns we have and hopefully will have a favorable response from them soon. M hall stanton supporters were scheduled to speak tonight at the src but respectfully withdrew on the grounds that we feel we deserve a specific school closure meetings as the other schools had. Tonight was just a general meeting. The whole process is beyond unfair, undemocratic, and clearly lacks the level of decision making process that should be involved when making a school closure reccomendation, ESPECIALLY an AMENDED school closure reccomendation.

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