Posted on June 28, 2022
Categories: 100 Days, News from SDP

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June 28, 2022

Hello School District of Philadelphia Families,

I’m writing to update you on a key part of my 100-day priorities. Improving student outcomes and achieving the Board’s Goals & Guardrails, such that the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) is positioned to be one of the nation’s fastest improving urban districts, requires intentional and strategic actions. In addition to conducting extensive listening and learning sessions, I will be engaging a Transition Team to assist me with assessing and growing the capacity of our School District.

A Transition Team is an organized approach to helping an incoming superintendent comprehensively and quickly learn about the district. It comprises a group of local leaders and national experts who assemble in sub-committees to address specific educational challenges  and apply the latest research and best practices to provide short-term and long-term recommendations to help the district make progress in those areas.

Transition Team development is actively underway, co-led by Dr. Shawn Joseph (a former Met Life Principal of the Year in Maryland, former school superintendent in Tennessee and Delaware, and co-director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)/Howard University Urban Superintendent Academy) and Dr. Betty Morgan (an accomplished superintendent, former National Superintendent of the Year, and Chief Education Advisor to America’s Promise Alliance). Together, they have led six transition processes in recent years in large, urban school districts.

The Team will be co-chaired by two respected Philadelphia leaders and comprised of five subcommittees that are aligned to the areas I outlined in my 100-Day Priorities. Each sub-committee will be co-led by a School District leader and a non-SDP educational leader with expertise in that specific area. Together they will ensure that objective, unbiased recommendations are provided. Committee members will include School District staff as well as Philadelphia educational, city, business, non-profit and grassroots leaders. Their work will span several months, with each committee generating findings and recommendations that will be shared in a comprehensive report to the Board of Education this fall and will inform the development of a strategic plan in spring 2023.

I look forward to officially launching our Transition Team and sharing more information with you in the next few weeks. Until then, please take care and be safe this summer.

In partnership for children,

Watlington signature

Dr. Tony B. Watlington, Sr.