Bluford School Transition
Welcome! This webpage provides you with the most up-to-date information and resources related to the transition of Bluford Charter School into a School District of Philadelphia elementary school which will open in the same building for the 2023-2024 school year. While Bluford Charter School will continue to operate as a Renaissance charter school without disruption for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year, the District will be collaborating with the Bluford Charter School Board and Administrators to make this school transition as smooth as possible for students, parents/guardians, and staff. Throughout the entire transition process, authentic engagement and ongoing communication with Bluford students, families, and staff will be critical for success.
This webpage will be updated regularly so be sure to visit often. If you have general questions about the Bluford transition process, please email us at email@example.com.
Monthly Town Hall – Friday, March 31, 2023 at 1:00pm – Please visit the Community Engagement Tab for additional details.
On August 26, 2022, the combined Bluford and Daroff Board of Trustees entered into a settlement agreement with the School District of Philadelphia which resulted in the immediate closure of Daroff Charter School and the closure of Bluford Charter school at the end of the 2022-2023 school. The settlement agreement also allowed for an enrollment cap increase and grade expansion from K-6 to K-8 for Bluford for the 2022-2023 school year.
Bluford will continue to operate as a Renaissance charter school for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year. Bluford Charter School will close by June 30, 2022.
Effective for the 2023-24 school year, the District will be operating a school at the Bluford building at 5720 Media St. to be named Guion S. Bluford Elementary School (i.e., the school name prior to its conversion to Renaissance Charter).
The students currently enrolled at Bluford Charter School may continue to go to school in the same building at the school operated by the District for the 2023-2024 school year. The location and catchment for the school will not change.
The process to transition Bluford from charter to District-operated school will occur in two major phases:
Phase I – Transition Planning (Now – Feb.)
- In this phase, the District will work with the school communities at Bluford (i.e., administrators, staff, students, and families) to understand school strengths and opportunities for improvement, and identify any significant gaps or differences between Bluford programs, services, and staffing vs. the District’s standard model for schools of similar grade span, size, and student demographics. The goal here is to engage the school community to build consensus and a shared vision for a future school model that is grounded in District standards while also preserving some high-priority programs, services, or unique elements currently at Bluford.
- We will work quickly to identify/hire a capable school leader for Bluford so that he/she can be directly involved in the transition process.
- We will also assess the conditions of the Bluford school building and technology infrastructure in order to determine what remediation or repair work may be necessary prior to Fall 2023.
- The information derived from these efforts will help inform the school budget, the staffing model, and recruitment/hiring of staff.
- The District will provide supplemental funding for transitional supports and services in the first few years of the new District school in the Bluford building. This could include additional climate staff, teacher coaches and other resources.
Phase II – Transition Execution (Jan. – Sept.)
- In this phase, the District will execute a series of activities to prepare the new school at Bluford to be fully operational and to welcome students for the 2022-2023 school year, keeping the school communities engaged and informed along the way. This includes implementation of infrastructure projects, academic program design, student registration, employee transition/hiring, procurement (of materials, supplies, etc.), and other school readiness tasks leading up to school reopening.
- To help support our hiring efforts, all current Bluford staff will have the opportunity to apply for employment with the District. Those who become District employees will become members of the applicable union (e.g., PFT, CASA, etc.) with associated pay and benefits.
Throughout the entire school transition process, authentic engagement and ongoing communication with the Bluford community will be critical for success. Here are upcoming engagement opportunities:
On Friday, January 27, 2023 at 2:00 p.m at the School District of Philadelphia’s central office, the District provided a presentation entitled “Successfully Transitioning Bluford from Charter to District School.” Please click HERE to see the presentation from our meeting.
Bluford Charter School and School District of Philadelphia representatives provided an overview of the collaborative process to convert Bluford to a District-operated school for the 2023-2024 school year.
Our next monthly town hall will take place on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 1:00pm at Bluford Charter School located at 5720 Media Street. We encourage all who are interested to attend.
All current grade-eligible students at Bluford Charter School are welcomed and encouraged to remain at Bluford when it reopens as a District-operated school for the 2023-2024 school year. Online registration is now open for SY 2023-2024. To register, please visit www.philasd.org/studentplacement/registration/
The School District’s Enrollment and Placement team will be on site at Bluford Friday, March 24, 2023 from 1-4pm for assistance with registration.
Students and families who wish to explore enrollment in another District school can contact the Office of Student enrollment and placement via email at OSEP@philasd.org or visit their website by going to www.philasd.org/studentplacement/.
For more information about enrollment in another charter school, go to www.philasd.org/charterschools/application-enrollment-resources/.
All current Bluford Charter School staff will have the opportunity and are encouraged to apply for employment with the District for the 2023-2024 school year. Information sessions with the District’s Talent Office will be scheduled for Bluford teachers and staff to learn more about the hiring process and timeline. Those who become District employees will become members of the applicable union (e.g., PFT, CASA, etc.) with associated pay and benefits.
To learn more about teaching and school counselor opportunities and how to apply visit our Teach in Philly site HERE.
To learn more about school support staff roles inclusive of nurses, school climate staff, food services workers, bilingual counseling assistants and bus attendants and drivers, visit our Work in Philly site HERE.
TALENT INFORMATION SESSIONS:
Thank you to everyone who attended our talent information sessions on Thursday, January 19th. Please click HERE for a copy of the presentation.
TALENT OFFICE HOURS:
The Office of Talent Support Services hosts frequent office hours for candidates, employees, hiring managers, and anyone else who might have a question or need support filling a job, applying to a role, or getting started in a new position. Please join them from 1-2 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays using this link HERE.
When and where will the new school open?
The new school will open for the 2023-24 school year in the same school building at 5720 Media Street.
What will the school be called next year?
The school will revert to its legacy name, Guion S. Bluford Elementary School, starting in the 2023-2024 school year.
Will the catchment area for the school change?
No. The catchment area – meaning the defined neighborhoods that feed into the school – will not change. However, all current Bluford students will have the option to remain at the school next year even if they reside outside the catchment area.
Will my child continue to receive transportation to Bluford next school year?
If your child currently receives transportation to/from Bluford, it will continue to be provided if the child stays at Bluford.
Will the new school receive any special budget considerations?
Yes. The District will provide supplemental funding for transitional supports and services in the first few years of the new District-operated school. This could include funding for additional climate staff, teacher coaches and other resources.
Got Questions? If you have general questions about the Bluford transition process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will get back to you within a few business days, if possible, or as soon as an answer is available.
Last modified: March 24, 2023