SDP schools will now be open on April 15, 16, and 17 to make up for lost instructional days due to inclement weather #phled
— Philadelphia Schools (@PhillyEducation) February 14, 2014
To make up for the days lost due to snow this year, the School District announced today that three of those days will be recouped by cutting spring break.
The books at Roxborough High's library sit untouched and unread by students. Renovated at considerable expense in 2007, the library was closed three years ago when, due to budget cuts, it became too expensive to keep open. It’s used for meetings, presentations, and small assemblies now.
When I mentioned over the dinner table the fact that in Philadelphia, almost all public school libraries were closed, my 5-year-old granddaughter, who attends a suburban elementary school, almost fell off her chair. “What, no libraries? Library is fun!” Her father, a graduate of Central, was equally upset. He spent the bulk of his lunch periods in the library, either studying, reading magazines, or shooting the breeze with friends.
by Mary Wilson for NewsWorks
The string of winter storms this year has prompted school closures across Pennsylvania. While school districts won't see teaching time requirements relaxed, they will be able to apply for some wiggle room.
The state Department of Education is sending reminders to school districts that they are allowed some flexibility in meeting instructional time requirements under state law.
Bonner-Prendie High holds virtual school day. Daily News
Parents sick of snow days. NewsWorks
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
With yet another snowstorm set to barrel across the region and cancel school, parents are again scrambling to figure out how to balance their work lives with their kids' snow days.
Kate Kramer, the mother of two at West Philly's Penn Alexander Elementary, sums up the general consensus pretty well. "It's been a long January/February," she said.
District says: no school on Monday. Inquirer
Schools: Why the runaround on turnarounds? Daily News
SDP gets earful on Wilson School sale. University City Review
by NewsWorks staff
When Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett nominated Farah Jimenez to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission last month, she drew nearly universal praise.
Jimenez, the CEO of the People's Emergency Center in West Philadelphia, was confirmed by the state Senate last week. The Republican has been lauded for her work with homeless women and children, a credential that advocates feel will translate well to the board overseeing Philadelphia schools.
Farah Jimenez, newly confirmed member of the School Reform Commission, will be the first to concede that the SRC is not the answer to solving myriad problems that plague the District. And it may not ever be.
There are a lot of vehicles through which she could work to help Philadelphia kids achieve, Jimenez told me over a cup of coffee in West Philly last week. “It doesn’t have to be the SRC," she said. "But it is what it is, and it’s my pleasure to serve.”
By an overwhelming majority, the state Senate confirmed Jimenez, executive director of People’s Emergency Center, and City Councilman Bill Green to the five-member board last week. It was no secret that Jimenez, 45, was open to the idea of floating her name as a replacement for Joseph Dworetzky. She views her SRC involvement as “a calling.”
by Dan Hampton
Most students in the United States lack the essential reading skills needed to succeed in an increasingly competitive society, according to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The report is an update to the data reported in two earlier Casey Foundation studies – Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters and Early Warning Confirmed. Data in those documents indicated that children who read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are more likely to graduate high school and succeed as adults. The end of 3rd grade is about the time when children move from learning how to read to using reading to learn other subjects.
The Gov's Budget Plan: What does it all mean? Ed Voters PA
Snow days don’t hurt student achievement, study says. Answer Sheet
by Aurora Jensen
Instead of building more charter schools, State Rep. Curtis Thomas and organizers of the William Penn Development Coalition say, the School District should refit and reopen closed neighborhood schools to address growing educational inequality in Philadelphia.
“It is time to declare a moratorium on charter schools,” Thomas said in an interview last week. He said charter schools had not lived up to his office’s expectations for district-wide improvement in education.
by Sarah Burgess
I recently exchanged emails with a teacher, asking her to spread the word about the Teacher Action Group’s Inquiry to Action Groups, which are starting up this week. These are peer-led study groups that bring educators together to delve into topics relevant to our teaching practice. Small groups meet weekly (for six sessions, each two hours long, plus a kickoff event) between February and April to share experiences, respond to readings, exchange ideas, and develop plans of action.
More budget challenges ahead. Notebook
by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks
The former CEO of a Philadelphia charter school was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for stealing funds from the school.
Masai Skief, 32, pleaded guilty last year to embezzling $88,000 from the Harambee Institute of Science Technology Charter School and a related nonprofit, the Harambee Institute. After signing the plea agreement, prosecutors said, Skief kept stealing money from the Harambee Institute. In all, he took an extra $12,000, they said.
Gamechanger: Linda Cliatt-Wayman. CBS Philly
Doing nothing about schoolteacher cheating. Clinton Herald
Snow, ice disrupt school calendars. Inquirer
Pa., N.J. edge toward pension overhauls. NewsWorks
Do Parents Care Enough About School? NY Times