The plan is a culmination of months of collaboration with District and community stakeholders, resulting in the identification of five priority areas with more than 60 strategies

PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Thursday, Superintendent Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D. presented the School District of Philadelphia’s new five-year strategic plan, Accelerate Philly, at the May 25 Board of Education Action Meeting. This plan marks the end of phase three of Superintendent Watlington’s three-phase approach to laying a strong foundation to improve outcomes for all students and achieve the Board’s Goals and Guardrails.

Over 200 members of the District community participated in three groups that contributed to the development of Accelerate Philly. These individuals represented a wide range of roles at schools and in District offices, as well as reflected the diversity of the District and every region of the city. These groups, in collaboration with Dr. Watlington and the Board of Education, engaged in a multi-stage process to develop Accelerate Philly:

  • Leadership Team: 25 school-based staff, school leaders, and central office leaders that served as the decision-making body for the strategic plan.
  • Steering Committee: 60 students, parents/guardians, school-based staff, and central office staff  from across Philadelphia that generated the content of the strategic plan, which was reviewed by the Leadership Team.
  • Advisory Groups: Groups of community members, including parents/guardians, principals, teachers, school support staff, students, union leadership, and central office staff, who provided critical insights and feedback as the strategic plan was developed.

The Strategic plan draws on the themes that emerged from the Listening and Learning Tour, the recommendations from the Transition Team Report, and the personal experiences of

the individuals who participated in the strategic planning process. Through that collaboration, the strategic plan identifies five priority areas and 63 strategic actions. Following the Board of Education’s approval of the plan, the District will align resources to these Priority Areas and Strategic Actions to raise student achievement and accelerate progress toward achieving the Goals and Guardrails.

“I’m proud of the hard work, dedication and collaboration that went into Accelerate Philly, which will impact what is on the horizon for our city as we work to become the fastest improving, large urban school district in the nation,” said Superintendent Watlington. “Our journey is just beginning and our best days are ahead. I look forward to our continued partnership in making this plan a reality and accelerating academic progress for all students.”

The plan includes the District’s new mission and vision statements and an updated set of core values that set the foundation for everything that follows. The Theory of Action which summarizes how the District will achieve the Board’s Goals and Guardrails and fulfill the strategies outlined in the plan, as well as the District’s Five Priority Areas.

“Ensuring that every student can access high quality learning opportunities is our shared responsibility and vital to our city’s success,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We look forward to working with Dr. Watlington, the Board of Education, and the School District of Philadelphia as they pursue this strategic plan in partnership with families and school communities. Together we will build on the progress we’ve made to support the wellbeing and achievement of all students in Philadelphia.”

Over the course of the next month, the District will critically assess the availability and allocation of District resources including people, funding, and time to help finalize the phased implementation of the strategic actions.

The goal is for the Board to vote to adopt Accelerate Philly on June 1, 2023. Then on July 1, the District will begin to launch and implement some of the research-based strategies outlined in the plan.

To read Accelerate Philly in its entirety, visit