An Update on the Facilities Planning Process
November 18, 2022
Dear School District of Philadelphia Parents and Families,
I am writing to provide an update on the progress of the Facilities Planning Process (FPP). The FPP uses data and community input to produce a set of recommendations that will inform the District’s Facilities Master Plan and ultimately get us closer to realizing our vision for all children to have access to a great school.
Since the FPP launch this past spring, we have conducted intensive school-level assessments, led by industry experts, that have yielded valuable and extensive data on our facilities including their condition, capacity and educational suitability. In addition, this summer we facilitated nine community conversations where members of our school communities learned more about the FPP, got a look at the assessment data and provided input on what the District should take into consideration when making decisions about facilities.
Now we have reached a critical juncture. As part of my transition, I have committed to launching a new District-wide Strategic Plan in the spring of 2023 – the original timeframe for the Facilities Master Plan. Because the Facilities Master Plan will need to align with the District-wide Strategic Plan to ensure that schools and buildings best support the vision for academics and high-quality learning environments, we will pause the FPP until the new Strategic Plan is closer to completion.
I understand this may be disappointing to those who were expecting more detail about our facilities plan. However, I believe that we can all agree on the importance of getting this right, and getting it right requires a unified focus, thoughtful decision making, and a little bit more time.
I want to be clear that we will continue to move forward with the many capital improvement and environmental remediation projects that are currently underway or planned in buildings throughout the District. This temporary pause gives us an opportunity to ensure cohesive alignment between the District-wide Strategic Plan and the Facilities Master Plan.
We appreciate your understanding, patience and partnership around this complex initiative. You can follow progress and learn more about the FPP by visiting philasd.org/facilitiesplanning.
Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia