Posted on October 21, 2022
Categories: 100 Days, News from SDP

October 21, 2022

Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, Transition Team Co-Chairs Andrea Custis and Dr. Guy Generals presented an overview of the final Transition Team report. I intentionally requested that my Transition Team be comprised of students, parents, teachers, principals, District leaders, union leaders, national educational leaders, city leaders, business leaders, non-profit leaders, grassroots leaders, and other SDP staff because I understand that it will take the entire Philadelphia community to ensure “our children are well”. Together, this team of talented individuals critically assessed five key areas of the District – Student Achievement, Operations, Anti-Racist District Culture, Community Engagement & Communications, and Enriching & Well-Rounded School Experiences. Their assessments have resulted in a list of 91 short- and long-term recommendations to drive improvements in those five areas. You can read the full report here.

I am deeply grateful to Co-Chairs Andrea Custis and Dr. Guy Generals and to all of the sub-committee members who invested their time and talents to create these incredibly comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations. As I shared when I began our journey together, nothing will be done to you without you. As we begin Phase 3 of our work – developing a strategic plan – we will prioritize many of the recommendations that have been provided to help us achieve the District’s Goals and Guardrails.

Without a doubt, we have hard work ahead of us. However, over the course of the past 6 months, one thing has become very apparent to me: our greatest asset is our people. I believe we can achieve better student outcomes, and we simultaneously can provide greater customer service to our staff and families. As we pursue ambitious goals and help our children pursue ambitious dreams, it will be important for us to communicate, collaborate, and hold ourselves accountable to being excellent as a standard.

In the coming weeks, I will share more details about the process we will follow to review the Transition Team’s 91 recommendations. I will also use insights from my 90-day listening and learning experience, and the experiences of our talented staff and national experts, to inform the District’s upcoming five-year strategic plan. Together we will build on what we are doing well, improve in areas where we need to grow, and deliver on our collective goal to make our School District one of the fastest improving large, urban school districts in the country. Thank you for being a member of the SDP team. We have the collective power to make our kids’ dreams a reality.