Changes Announced for Universal Bluford and Universal Daroff Charter Schools for 2022-2023 School Year
Daroff Charter School to immediately and permanently close, Bluford Charter School postpones start date for students
PHILADELPHIA— During a special meeting this morning, the School District of Philadelphia’s Board of Education approved a Release and Settlement Agreement with the Combined Board of Trustees of Universal Bluford Charter School and Universal Daroff Charter School that impacts both Bluford and Daroff students and families.
Daroff has agreed to immediately and permanently close, and has surrendered and forfeited its charter. Students should not report to the Daroff building at any time.
Bluford will be delaying its first day of school and will open no sooner than September 6, 2022, allowing Bluford time to work on building conditions and fill staff vacancies before welcoming students on the first day of school. Until then, Bluford students should not report to the school building. Bluford will be open only for this school year, and will close permanently as of June 30, 2023.
“Since the relationship between the Combined Board of Trustees for Bluford and Daroff and the management company, Universal Companies, ended at the end of July, the Charter Schools Office of the School District has been in constant communication with Bluford and Daroff representatives so students and families who are currently enrolled at both schools have access to safe and welcoming learning environments for the 2022-2023 school year. We remain committed to engaging in thoughtful and intentional discussions for a smooth transition in the best interest of students,” said Board of Education President Joyce S. Wilkerson.
The first day of school for District-operated schools is Monday, August 29, 2022. Bluford and Daroff families who wish to enroll their children in one of the District-operated schools that have seats available for the current 2022-2023 school year can complete an online application. They can also stop by Haverford Library (5543 Haverford Ave.), which serves as a temporary District enrollment site, on Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday, August 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., and Monday through Friday next week during their normal business hours. The library’s hours of operation and information about the District’s online enrollment process and options are available atphilasd.org/cso/bluford and philasd.org/cso/daroff.
Bluford will communicate with its families directly regarding a school start date.
Daroff families will be able to apply for a limited number of open seats at Bluford. For more information about Bluford and about the option for Daroff families to apply for seats at Bluford, families can reach out to Bluford directly.
“With collaborative efforts, the Board of Daroff and Philadelphia School District Charter Office will ensure that scholars and parents are supported during this challenging time. To accommodate the move as well as address other challenges inherited from the previous school year, the new school year will begin on September 6, 2022 at Bluford Charter School,” said Dr. Deshawnda Williams, Board Chair for Bluford-Daroff. “There will be assistance provided to facilitate this adjustment for school administrators, staff, teachers, parents and children. We have been working tirelessly to determine a preemptive solution and feel confident that this collaborative effort will be achieved between the Board of Trustees of Daroff and Bluford and the Philadelphia School District Charter Office.”
In addition, the District has partnered with the City of Philadelphia to make grab-n-go meals available for Bluford and Daroff students until Bluford opens or they are fully enrolled in other District or charter schools. Starting on Monday, August 29, students and families can visit the Shepard Recreation Center (5700 Haverford Ave.) to pick up enough meals to last the week. Should the start date for Bluford be postponed past September 6, we will provide additional updates to families.
For more information about the transition, please visit the Bluford School Transition page. Bluford and Daroff families who have additional questions related to the District can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the District’s Call Center at 215-400-4000, which operates 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bluford and Daroff families can also contact Bluford directly by calling 610-840-4422 or emailing email@example.com.
About Charter Schools in Philadelphia
Charter schools in Philadelphia are independently operated public schools which are authorized by the Board of Education. The Board of Education is committed to providing a high-quality public education to all students in Philadelphia. The Board recognizes that charter schools are an important part of that commitment, and the Board is committed to quality charter school authorizing. The Board holds charter schools accountable for meeting high and measurable academic, operational, and financial standards within established accountability systems and for providing access to all students in accordance with applicable laws. The Board has authorized the Charter Schools Office as the office at the District to monitor charter schools to support the Board’s charter authorizing responsibilities and duties effectively and efficiently.