Superintendent Watlington Announces Reorganization of the Division of Academics Services
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Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
Today, I am announcing the reorganization of the Division of Academic Services. This reorganization will further support the District’s efforts to achieve the Board’s Goals and Guardrails and become the fastest improving, large urban school district in the country.
Through the reorganization, the Associate and Assistant Superintendent roles will change to Associate and Assistant Superintendent of School Performance to ensure schools are the units of change and to drive improved student performance. The new structure will include the addition of a third Associate Superintendent for K through grade 8, an Assistant Superintendent for Dropout Prevention, a Special Assistant of Academic Finance Operations and a Special Assistant of Academic Services, while eliminating other vacant positions. Additional changes include the District transitioning translation services and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) from the Office of Student Support Services to report to the Office of Special Education and Diverse Learners. Lastly, Professional Learning Specialists will no longer report to Learning Networks, and instead will report to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and/or the Office of Professional Learning (with the exception of MTSS, Acceleration, Innovation & Opportunity). This will allow the District to better support teachers.
This reorganization centers schools as the unit of change and will support the District in accelerating student academic achievement, which will be measured by National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, graduation rate, and the dropout rate. With the increased focus on schools, the District has identified five levers to accelerate academic achievement, each accompanied by a strategic action from the District’s new strategic plan–Accelerate Philly, to help bolster each lever. These levers listed below:
- Highly qualified, well-supported, stable teachers over time.
- Highly qualified, well-supported, stable principals over time.
- High-quality, standards-aligned, and culturally appropriate curriculum (both academic & SEL).
- Adequate time on task (regular teacher and student attendance) and rigorous core instruction.
- Schools engage parents and guardians as partners.
These personnel changes are budget-neutral due to the elimination or repurposing of a number of vacant positions. The District will conduct a national search for the role of Associate Superintendent of School Performance. I invite you to learn more about the District’s strategic plan, as we continue to Accelerate Philly, by visiting philasd.org/strategicplan.
Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to prepare our students to imagine and realize any future they desire.
Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia