August 25 — 3:08 pm, 2010

Montessori charter renewed, Childs closed

The School Reform Commission today put two once-controversial issues to rest. After a year in which its future was in limbo, the Philadelphia Montessori Charter School won a renewal of its charter through June 2014, subject to meeting several conditions. And SRC approved the closing of the George W. Childs Elementary School building in South Philadelphia, relocating that school to nearby Barratt Middle School.

Barratt will no longer have a population of its own after this year, due to changes in feeder patterns, and so the SRC also approved the closing of Barratt effective June 2011.

When relocation of the 600-student Childs School was first proposed last spring, it met with vocal criticism from some Childs parents, but there was no public opposition to today’s SRC vote. District officials say they have worked hard to ensure a smooth move and close coordination with the Barratt community.

On the other issue, the city’s only public Montessori school underwent restructuring during the past year with support from Foundations Inc., and met its adequate yearly progress targets this year. Last year the SRC and District staff had expressed concern about low student achievement at the school and given the school one year to improve.

Congratulating the school on working with the District to address the conditions for its charter renewal, Commissioner David Girard-DiCarlo added, "We want to make sure we’re continuing a rigorous evaluation on an ongoing basis."

the notebook

Our news is free to read, but not to report.

support local journalism