District Announces Comprehensive School Planning Review to Better Plan for, Design Neighborhood Schools Citywide
Multi-year initiative to analyze changing communities throughout city and solicit input about how to serve shifting school populations
PHILADELPHIA — In an effort to advance the School District of Philadelphia’s vision for all children to have a great school close to where they live, the District is announcing a multi-year Comprehensive School Planning Review (CSPR) that will take a system-wide look at how populations and communities across the city are projected to change in the coming years.
“Knowing how populations of families are expected to evolve in different neighborhoods over time will help the District better plan for and meet the educational needs of our students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, superintendent. “This forward-thinking approach will help us work with communities to determine the opportunities that are necessary for student success in all corners of the city.”
The District will begin the work in fall 2019, partnering with industry experts in planning and demography. Key goals of the CSPR, which focuses on neighborhood schools, include:
- Optimizing the use of school buildings city-wide;
- Investing limited capital dollars where they are needed most;
- Creating thoughtful transitions for students at elementary and middle grades;
- Maximizing the use of public (City/District) assets; and
- Better supporting academic programs that prepare our students for college and career success.
The review will be conducted in four cycles, and each will focus on a different area of the city. Schools in each cycle are grouped based on their location and proximity to each other, the existing awareness of fluctuations in enrollment, and existing plans for capital investment.
Data gathered during each review cycle will be used by planning committees, in conjunction with school performance and building quality data, to explore and ultimately recommend options to best meet the needs of students.
Public engagement will also be an integral part of the CSPR process. Parents will receive periodic communications from their schools about the work, and are eligible to serve on the planning committees. In addition, families and community members are encouraged to attend and participate in CSPR community meetings, and participate in the public comment period prior to final votes by the Board of Education.
“When I arrived at the District in 2012, we were not in a position to be able to do this kind of work,” said Dr. Hite. “Now, we are, thanks to the steady and significant progress our schools have made in recent years and our hard-fought fiscal stability. We want families in our city to want to attend our public schools, so we are excited about this work to help give our students the schools they deserve.”
More information about the CSPR, including the process, timeline, and groups of schools included in each cycle, can be found online at philasd.org/CSPR.