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Pa. districts and community groups get $23 million to support at-risk youth

By David Limm on Sep 29, 2014 06:13 PM

The Pennsylvania recipients of a major federal grant program aimed at supporting at-risk youth were announced today by Gov. Corbett and his wife, Susan.

Sixty-four school districts and community-based organizations across the state will receive $23 million in three-year 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants. The grants will help support out-of-school time programs that give academic support to students from underperfoming schools and high-poverty areas, who are at risk of dropping out or disengaging from school. 

More than a third of that money will go to 23 grantees based in Philadelphia, a mix of community organizations and charter schools. (See the list of Philadelphia grantees below.)

Two former principals charged in state cheating investigation

By David Limm on Sep 25, 2014 03:09 PM

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed criminal charges against two more former Philadelphia principals.

Barbara McCreery, 61, former principal of Communications Technology High School, and Arthur "Larry" Melton, 70, former principal of Bok Technical High School, were arrested Thursday as part of the state's ongoing investigation into adult cheating on standardized tests.

They were taken into custody and charged with crimes of "tampering with public records or information, forgery, and tampering with records or identification," according the attorney general's office.       

5 things to know about the District's decision to open schools on time

By Paul Socolar on Aug 15, 2014 11:43 AM

Flanked by four members of the School Reform Commission, Superintendent William Hite announced Friday morning that Philadelphia schools would open on time Sept. 8, but that another round of "difficult and hopefully temporary" cuts would be made to narrow the District's $81 million deficit.

Here are five key points about the School District's latest plan for dealing with its budget gap.

1. Temporary cuts and budget adjustments totaling $32 million were announced. These include discontinuing TransPasses for 7,500 high school students who live less than two miles from school, eliminating 300 slots in alternative programs for students at risk of dropping out, making 27 more elementary schools share police officers, reducing school cleaning and repairs, cutting extra professional development time at the District's Promise Academies, and eliminating some administrative positions. "These are cuts we want to treat as temporary," Hite said. "We want to restore them."

MLK High conflict-resolution staff seek facetime with incoming freshmen

By Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks on Aug 12, 2014 12:07 PM

Do the right thing.

Since the beginning of summer, Kim Ivery has relayed the simple — but heartfelt — wish countless times to her daughter Lexus, a rising freshman.

She desperately wants her youngest to start fresh after a rocky middle school experience.

"You're going to high school now," she's told her. "You're becoming a young lady. All that fighting and stuff, you have to leave it behind."

Youth United for Change finds new leader

By Marilyn Vaccaro on Aug 11, 2014 12:07 PM
Rapheal Randall was named executive director of Youth United for Change.

The application process was intensive, but Youth United for Change has selected Rapheal Randall as its new executive director.

Randall, 33, replaces longtime leader Andi Perez, who recently stepped down after 16 years with the organization. YUC made the announcement last week and plans to introduce the new leader to supporters and the broader community very soon.

Randall was chosen from more than 50 applicants by a search committee made up of YUC staff, board members, and alumni, according to a YUC news release.

National survey shows increase in summer program participation

By Hina Fathima on Aug 8, 2014 03:03 PM

Summer learning programs are showing growing popularity among families, according to a national survey conducted by the Afterschool Alliance, an organization that advocates for afterschool programs.

The survey, which collected data from nearly 14,000 U.S. households, indicates that 33 percent of parents nationwide sent at least one child to a summer learning program in 2013, compared to 25 percent in 2009. About 51 percent of parents surveyed said that they wanted their child to participate in such programs if a high-quality option was made available.

District launches annual registration service for immigrant families

By Cathy Quero on Aug 8, 2014 10:12 AM

Students new to the city who speak a language other than English need not worry about figuring out how to register for school. Once again, the District has launched its annual Special Registration and Assessment service for these students and their parents, giving them an opportunity to receive help with the enrollment process.

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