This page is the place to keep up with the facilities master planning process that was launched by the School District in 2010 and continues still in 2013.
In its latest phase, the District is proposing to close or relocate as many as 44 schools in time for September 2013.
Since 2010, the District has been working on a facilities master plan designed to "right-size" its physical plant. Officials say the goal is to maximize educational availability, quality, and equity. The plan will involve closing, consolidating, and selling schools. The District has estimated that it has as many as 70,000 empty seats in school buildings and would like to reduce that number significantly.
Decisions on how to manage these changes call for wide community dialogue and close collaboration between the School District and city government. State law mandates public input on decisions to close schools, including a public announcement, a public hearing and a 90-day window for comment before schols can be closed. But past school closing decisions have not always been preceded by a robust public discussion.
In 2011-12, the Notebook partnered with PlanPhilly to cover this process and inform and help foster that dialogue. Articles on the facilities plan are found on both organizations' websites. In 2012-13, the Notebook has continued that coverage, as closings are proposed on an even wider scale.
The Notebook's coverage of school facilities and closings has been supported by grants from the William Penn Foundation for 2011-12 and the Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation for 2012. Neither foundation exercised control over the content of this coverage.
A grassroots group in Northwest Philadelphia says it will fight to bring education back to Germantown High School. But it may have to win over members of a Maryland-based development firm to do that.
The Concordia Group, a Maryland-based development firm, now has the opportunity to buy several Philadelphia School District properties, including the former homes of Germantown High School and nearby Robert Fulton Elementary.
On Thursday night, the School Reform Commission voted to allow Concordia and the District to begin the negotiation process for the sale of five shuttered school buildings.