District Schools Mark Three Consecutive Years of Improvement Citywide on School Progress Report

Posted on January 30, 2019
Categories: News from SDP

Principal Jason Lytle receives an award for Hartranft School showing three consecutive years of improvement on their overall SPR scores.

PHILADELPHIA – The School District of Philadelphia celebrated three consecutive years of improvement among both District-led and charter schools. Results released today from the 2017-2018 School Progress Report (SPR) show that the average Overall SPR score for citywide schools increased nine points from 33 percent in 2014-2015 to 42 percent in 2017-2018.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite visited John F. Hartranft School in north Philadelphia to celebrate the achievement with Hartranft Principal Jason Lytle, City Council President Darrell Clarke, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Board of Education members, students, parents, staff and principals from schools around Philadelphia.

In addition, 44 schools were honored for significant and multi-year progress on the latest SPR. Some highlights are:

  • 33 schools, including District-led and charter, have shown three consecutive years of improvement on their Overall SPR scores from 2014-2015 to 2017-2018;
  • 11 schools improved two Tiers in their Overall SPR scores during this time, moving into either the “Reinforce” or “Model” tier;
  • five schools demonstrated both three consecutive years of improvement on their Overall SPR scores while also moving up two Tiers in their Overall scores; and
  • five top-scoring schools on the 2017-2018 SPR were honored.

“The data from our SPR reports confirm what we have known for some time — that our schools across the city are improving in the areas that matter most to student success,” said Dr. Hite. “Today, we recognize the hard work of our students, teachers, principals, families and community partners who have made this progress possible. The possibilities for all of our students are limitless when we work together to make our schools safe, engaging places for students to learn and grow. There is more work to be done, and I am grateful to be part of this community that is committed to our students’ continued growth and success.”

The SPR is the District’s primary tool to measure progress towards the Action Plan 3.0 anchor goals on grade-level literacy and college and career readiness. Now in its sixth year, the SPR evaluates schools in multiple areas, including student achievement, student progress, school climate, and for high schools, college and career readiness. The SPR speaks to the District’s belief in school autonomy, paired with support and accountability, and is a transparent, actionable way to gauge the progress and achievement of a school.

“I’m very proud of our public schools’ steady improvements, and the hard-working principals, teachers, staff, and volunteers driving that progress,” said Mayor Kenney. “Nothing is more important for the future of our city than the success of our students and the quality of our school system. The new SPR scores prove yet again that our efforts, partnerships, and strategic investments are making a difference. I know our city cares deeply about education, and I encourage all Philadelphians to find a way to get involved and support the District’s momentum.”

Schools across the city also made improvements in the individual domains used to calculate SPR scores. Since the District launched Action Plan 3.0 in 2014-2015, the following percentage of schools have increased in each domain: 53 percent, in Achievement; 63 percent, in Progress; 69 percent, in Climate; and 63 percent in schools serving grades nine through 12, in College and Career Readiness.

In addition, several other measures for student success have improved since 2014-2015, including:

  • 92 percent of students have zero out-of-school suspensions, up three points;
  • 46 percent of students are attending 95 percent of days or more, up seven points;
  • 36 percent of both third graders, and fourth through eighth graders, are scoring “Proficient” or “Advanced” in literacy on the PSSA since 2014-2015, up three and four points, respectively; and
  • 69 percent of students in District-led and alternative schools are graduating, up four points.

Hartranft, which hosted today’s celebration, is a school that has increased its Overall SPR score every year for the past three years. Starting at seven percent in 2014-2015, its Overall score jumped to 47 percent in 2017-2018. Its individual domain scores have also made impressive jumps, especially in Progress and Climate, where scores over three years have risen 75 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Hartranft was designated as a focus school as part of the District’s Systems of Great Schools initiative in 2016-2017. At that time, Hartranft created and implemented its own academic improvement plan, which consisted of accelerating student achievement through the consistent use of small group instruction, reduced class sizes, and dedicated staff focused on increasing attendance and better supporting bilingual families.

“I am delighted to receive this recognition on behalf of the students, staff, and families of John F. Hartranft Elementary,” said Principal Lytle. “Three consecutive years of growth were not happenstance or coincidental. Our students have worked tirelessly to enhance their minds, lives and futures, and our teachers and staff teach with knowledge, love, and most of all, expectations of greatness for each child in their classroom. We believe that all of our children can succeed and we know that this is just the beginning for Hartranft.”

Dr. Hite also invited the greater Philadelphia community, including businesses, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and interested volunteers, to be part of the progress made in schools.

“While we celebrate, knowing our investments are paying off, we also prepare for the work that is yet to come,” said Dr. Hite. “We know that each school, no matter its score, has room for improvement, and we will continue to work to ensure that each student has the best possible academic and social-emotional experience when in our schools.”

SPR scores for all schools can be found online at philasd.org/spr.