Operations News

The Operations Division oversees a wide variety of work to maintain and improve the 326 buildings that support the students and staff in our School District. Led by Chief Operating Officer, Reggie McNeil, the Operations team includes the Offices of Capital Programs, Environmental, Facilities & Maintenance, Food Services, and Transportation.

The collective work of these teams helps to ensure safe and healthy environments for our students, and contributes to the educational process, by providing healthy meals daily and coordinating the safe and efficient travel of students to and from school every day.

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Ops Opens the Command and Communications (C2) Center!

An Operations Division Command and Communications (C2) Center was established to support the opening of School Year 2022 – 2023. The C2 Center is designed to enhance situational awareness about operational issues, primarily in the areas of Facilities, Maintenance, Transportation Services, and Food Services, to bolster efficiencies in addressing and resolving issues throughout the District…

Happy Retirement, Leigh-Anne!

After 41 years of dedication and exemplary service, Leigh Clark will retire from her position as Operations Manager of Capital Programs. Leigh joined the District in 1981 and has made her mark as one of the most knowledgeable and impressionable members of the Office of Operations. She has worked tirelessly to be part of the…

Friends of Mifflin Raise More Than $45K

Amazing things happen when communities come together! The Friends of Mifflin ES successfully raised over $45k to partner with the School District of Philadelphia and built a playground at the school. They also volunteered to install the equipment under the direction of Andy Cush of General Recreation, Inc., who oversaw the process. The SDP staff…

Meet Our New Financial Manager

We have restructured our finance team to improve the Capital Programs Office of Financial Management. Surekha Ramanjul has joined our team as the new Financial Manager, and Craig Massenburger has been added to the team as our budget clerk. The new finance team members add more than 50 years of collective experience to our department….

Coming soon: Greenscapes Guide for Greening Schools

Nearly two dozen educators braved the July heat wave to learn more about the urban watershed and how to incorporate the Philadelphia water story curriculum into their classrooms. The Fairmount Water Works and District developed the curriculum and was supported by the Green City Clean Waters Initiative of the Philadelphia Water Department. The District’s Greenscapes…

EAC Puts Focus on Lead-Safe Program

What does it mean to be “Lead Safe?” That was the main topic of discussion at the July 25 meeting of the Environmental Advisory Council. Jen Donovan, who leads the District’s Lead Safe Program, offered an in-depth look at the Lead Safe Certification Program and its goal of reducing lead-based paint hazards by keeping classrooms…

Another Successful School Year!

The Facilities team supported the first full school year of returning to in-person learning. Beginning with their preparation during the summer of 2021, the team overcame the many challenges and provided an environment that allowed our students to return to their schools. Facilities worked through many difficulties this school year including: storms, frigid temperatures, snow…

Meet the Preventative Maintenance Crew

The Facilities PM crew is headed by Facilities Area Manager Derek Parker, including Ricky Davis, Dave McCall, Chris Sisto, Rick Mays, Ed Evans, and Joe Keepsey. The crew maintains all of the District’s vacant buildings and lots, ensuring that the grounds are maintained, graffiti is removed, the buildings are secured, and any hazards are attended…

Facilities Summer Plans!

This summer Facilities team will prepare roughly 9,500 classrooms and more than 3,100 spaces for the 2022-23 school year. In addition, they will service roughly 14,000 air purifiers before the return of students in the fall. In many buildings, this work will need to be accomplished in a very short period of time due to…

Site Specific Facility Management Plan 2.0

Facilities launched the Site-Specific Facility Management Plan (SSFMP) last year, in July 2021. This program has proven to be a valuable tool that enables us to standardize and identify the tasks needed to maintain our buildings, as well as various metrics to measure the quality of the services we provide. After a year in service,…

Summertime is the Busy Season!

Summertime for the Maintenance department is our busy season. Several projects are going on within the department, from routine maintenance to large-scale renovations and system improvements. The department continues to make headway on the A/C window unit and radiator cover installations and will continue to work throughout the summer to achieve our goals.

Maintenance Work Orders

Operations would like to send a big shout-out to the Maintenance team! Since returning to work in June 2020, the Maintenance department has successfully reduced the work order backlog by almost 6,100 work orders. That’s a 36% decline!

Meet the Facilities Team at Mitchell

The principal at Mitchell Elementary School reached out to the Operations team to give praise to her Facilities team. She said her team works on her building needs and does the job with pride and a smile! Principal Andrewlevich said, “I am grateful beyond words for them, all who support them and each person in…

Operations Takeover at Edison High School

In March 2022, the Office of Operations began working on gym upgrades at Edison High School. Since then, Facilities and Maintenance have replaced the gym floor and installed new LED lighting in the gym.  Still continuing to relight the atrium with LED lighting.  Since March 14th, we’ve completed 98 maintenance work requests in the system…

Happy Retirement, Wayne!

After 34 years of dedicated service to the School District of Philadelphia, Wayne Grasela, Senior Vice President, has earned a well-deserved retirement. In 1987, Wayne started his career with the School District of Philadelphia in the Department of Facilities Management & Services. During his tenure, he has held many roles in Facilities before navigating his…

Happy Retirement, Marty!

After 27 years of dedicated service to the School District of Philadelphia, Marshelle Fulton, Assistant to Field Supervisors, will enjoy her retirement traveling. In 1995, Marty joined the Division of Food Services as a Noon-Time Aid. Through the years, she has held many essential positions from Food Service Lead to a Worker 3. Her hard…

Happy Retirement, Jim!

After 20 years of dedicated service to the School District of Philadelphia, James Doosey, Chief Financial Officer, will be remembered for his hard work throughout the years. In 2001, Jim started his career with the School District of Philadelphia in the Department of Finance. Since then he has embraced many roles in support of Finance,…

Happy Retirement, Tom!

After 35 years of dedicated service to the School District of Philadelphia, Thomas May, Resource Scheduler, can enjoy a carefree and relaxing retirement. In 1986, Tom joined the Division of Food Services as a mechanic. Through the years he has worked on hundreds of equipment in all of our serviced schools. His experience and expertise…

Transportation Team Supports “Our Class, Our Future”

On Tuesday, May 24, at the Dell Music Center, the School District of Philadelphia held the “Our Class, Our Future” Celebration. This event provided an opportunity for District admin and staff to rally around our graduating seniors who have committed to a postsecondary pathway, whether that be attending a 2-4 year college, joining the military,…

Meet Our New Director of Garage Operations

Kevin Jordan has over thirty years of recognized transportation experience with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. He served as Transportation Manager, organizing daily scheduling of operators and managers. Control Center Manager, coordinating train movement of the Broad Street Subway/Elevated Trains. Surface Instructor, training adherence to federal/state laws. Certified State Examiner CDL – AM – PTNS….

Meet Our Bus Attendant Program Manager

Melanie has been with the School District of Philadelphia for 36 years and began her journey as a Bus Attendant. Throughout her career, she has held several positions such as Bus Attendant Coordinator, Supervisor and is presently a Program Manager. In her current role, she is responsible for ensuring the School District of Philadelphia’s most…

Meet Our New Project Manager

Wayne Howard has worked for the School District of Philadelphia for 27 years. Wayne started his career in the Office of Foods Services. He later completed the B.E.T. Program and became a Building Engineer. Through hard work and dedication, he advanced to become a Capital Building Construction Inspector. Wayne’s current duties include managing the construction…

Meet Our New Community Outreach and External Affairs Coordinator

Dar’Rel “Lucky” joined the team in January 2022 and quickly took the reins in her new role as the Community Outreach and External Affairs Coordinator. She has proven what a valuable asset she is to the division in a short time.  Lucky comes to us from the Communications team in the Superintendent’s Office. Before working…

Receiving National Recognition on 21st-Century Schools

Congrats to the Office of Capital Programs for receiving first place at the National Design Awards from the A4LE-Association for Learning Environments for the LEED Gold Registered Elementary School at S. Solis Cohen. Northeast Community Propel Academy has also been awarded for design at their NE Regional Conference in Washington, D.C. These schools are perfect…

Middle School Culinary Arts Suite at Wagner

The Office of Capital Programs recently completed an $867K culinary arts suite at Wagner Middle School. The renovations include state-of-the-art culinary teaching space, new lighting, new flooring, and top-tier cooking demonstration spaces. Digital learning screens, electric cooktops, and quality ventilation create the perfect 21st-century space for learning new techniques.

New Play-yard at Lowell Elementary

The Office of Capital Programs, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the 76ers Youth Foundation, completed a new play yard at James R. Lowell Elementary School. We are looking forward to showcasing this project to the community and media in early May. Over 15,000 people will be within a 10-minute walk of…

GreenFutures’ Earth Month Contest Helps Schools Find Ways to Reduce Litter

Litter has connections to many aspects of everyday life. It can cause pollution, spread disease, and harm wildlife. Litter in schools is also unsightly and can be demoralizing for students and staff and reflect poorly on the school’s quality and safety. That’s why the School District of Philadelphia’s Sustainability Program, GreenFutures, has teamed up with…

EAC Welcomes New Members

The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) welcomed four new members at its quarterly meeting on April 25. The Council brings together representatives from across the city to hear about the progress of the School District in maintaining environmental goals. Hydration stations and lead-in-water testing topped the agenda, and District Sustainability Manager Megan Garner provided a thorough…

Congrats to our Fire & Life-Safety Assistance Winners!

Building Engineers were asked to complete a walkthrough of their building, and check it for fire safety using a fire safety checklist. In addition, they were asked to complete a radiator cover survey, and write an essay as to why their school is fire-safe! After reviewing all of the entries, Mark DiGiambattista from the Academy…

Meet our Building Engineer

Andrew Bland has been a Building Engineer with the School District of Philadelphia since 1995.  During this time Mr. Bland has been assigned to numerous schools throughout the District. Andrew’s hard work, level of knowledge, and attention to detail have made him a go-to resource for his peers and managers. No matter the job, he…

Meet our General Cleaner

Jerrie Smith is a progress-driven and motivated General Cleaner at Benjamin B. Comegys School. Jerrie has an outstanding track record of dependability, collaborative cooperation, and exceptional customer service in her role as a general cleaner here at the School District of Philadelphia. Throughout her career, Jerrie has perfected skills in supporting others and communicating effectively….

Meet our Custodial Assistant

Dave McCall has been employed with the School District for nearly 34 years. During his tenure, Dave has held roles as a General Cleaner, Custodial Assistant, and Interim Building Engineer. These various experiences have taught him how to work with many different managers and management styles, communicate effectively, utilize his organizational skills and grow professionally….

Seasonal Plant Changeover

The Facilities Department will begin the process of switching mechanical plants from heating to cooling mode on Friday, April 15. Where redundancy and weather permit, the team will take boilers offline and begin the process of end-of-season maintenance. Building Engineers will also begin to prepare the central cooling plants to allow them to be operational…

Landscaping Management

As the weather warms and we enter into the spring months, landscaping will once again become a task for the Facilities Department. The landscaping management plan consists of removing weeds, cutting grass, trimming bushes, and other services performed by our onsite custodial staff, the District’s landscaping department, as well as supplemental services provided through contracted…

Preparing for Summer Programming

We are nearing the close of a very unique and challenging school year. In November of 2021, we held our summer programming opening discussion with academic leadership. The District will once again be offering summer credit recovery, Extended School Year (ESY) programs, COVID Compensatory, Summer Bridge, Newcomer programming, Summer Learning, Kindergarten, and Out of School…

Air Conditioner Installation

As temperatures began to rise, members of the Maintenance Department are currently installing window unit air conditioners in schools that have the electrical capacity to support the addition. The remaining schools will be evaluated in order to determine if additional electrical capacity can be added, or if an entire electrical system upgrade is necessary via…

Radiator Covers for Next School Year

The Maintenance Department is currently installing protective covers on all exposed radiators in all schools as part of a District-wide initiative to always put safety first. These protective covers are custom-made to the exact fit of the radiator and are installed to meet the District’s safety requirements to avoid burns or injury for our staff…

Electric Bus Press Event at Broad Street Garage

Yellow school buses are going green in Philly, and we are PROUD to start the trend in our city with electric buses that are the first of their kind in Pennsylvania. The Transportation Division unveiled five new electric vehicles at a press conference at the North Broad Street garage on February 18 and gave attendees…

Meet the Team Who Secured the Electric Buses

Michael McCusker (pictured below), Bill Rosetti, and Brian worked as a team to procure five electric buses for our District. Their efforts significantly contributed to the District’s distinction as the first school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to upgrade its fleet with electric school buses. Procurement of the electric buses despite vendor supply chain…

Meet The Shallcross and Passyunk Garage Fleet Maintenance Team

This month we are featuring two District bus garage fleet Maintenance teams! The Garage locations are responsible for dispatching school buses, fleet maintenance, driver training, and the District-wide mail delivery system. These fleet Maintenace teams are made up of individuals who maintain their professionalism and possess an outstanding work ethic. They give their best effort…

Meet the Executive Director

Teresa Fleming has been a member of Transportation Services since May 2016 and was recently promoted to the Executive Director role.  She brings over 20 years of multi-modal transportation and global logistics experience to her new position in Transportation Services. She has experience in supply chain and business analytics, ocean, trucking, rail cargo, and passenger…

Meet the Division’s Data Analyst

Renee joined the team four years ago and quickly demonstrated what a valuable asset she was to the Division. She was recently promoted to the Data Analyst position after showing her expertise in analytics. Renee’s experience and skillset will support growth and improvement, ultimately allowing us to better serve our students. As a proud parent…

Meet the Division’s Payroll Specialist

Tarah Gravlsande has been with the School District of Philadelphia since 2009 and has shared her compliance knowledge, payroll expertise, and positive energy with various departments during her tenure. Despite joining the Food Services team the week of the COVID-19 shutdown, Tarah took on the new challenges in stride and quickly acclimated to the new…

Meet the Menu Specialist

Karen Devito has been with the District for more than twelve years and brings with her a strong operations background. Her experience in the field as a Food Service Lead, and later as a Food Service Manager, serves her well in her current role as the Menu Specialist. Karen oversees the ordering and logistics involved…

Meet the Operations Data Analyst

Cuc Chim is the newest employee to join the team as the Operations Data Analyst. Cuc is no stranger to the District as a previous employee of Facilities, and a graduate of The Academy at Palumbo. In her new role as the Operations Data Analyst, Cuc is excited to bring a fresh set of eyes…

Eagles Hometown Grant at Hopkinson School

In partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles, the American Dairy Association recently awarded the Division of Food Services the “Hometown Grant.” The Philadelphia Eagles presented the award and hosted a virtual pep rally at Hopkinson School, where students received t-shirts and swag. Food Services was able to use the grant to purchase new refrigeration and breakfast…

Meet the Acting Director of Capital Programs

Nicole Ward joined the Office of Capital Programs in February 2016. She is currently the Acting Director of Capital Programs and the Manager of the Design Unit. Nicole lends her expertise and that of her team to many departments in the District. She has lengthy experience in mission-oriented public institutions as well as the private…

Meet the Design Project Manager

Gamil Hall joined the Office of Capital Programs in 2017 and has been successfully managing large projects in addition to special projects. She completed the Board of Education suite where she was able to reuse the original stained glass panels and doors that were salvaged from the old Board of Education building. Gamil is also…

Ethan Allen Major Renovation and Addition Update

The Ethan Allen Elementary School is undergoing a major renovation and is receiving a new LEED-certified, $19 million, 38,000 square foot addition. The addition has 13 classrooms, boys’ and girls’ restrooms, an elevator that provides accessibility to the entire building, an administration space with a secured entry, and a brand new gymnasium. The major renovation…

Early Literacy Classroom Improvements

The Office of Capital Programs, in conjunction with the Office of Early Childhood, sponsors the Early Literacy Classroom Improvement Program which provides schools with the necessary resources to implement center-based learning practices that focus on children learning at their level. The program was implemented in 2016 and targets classrooms for grades pre-k through 3, including…

EAC Begins Its Second Year

The School District of Philadelphia is making progress toward meeting and maintaining our environmental goals, and Steve Link, Director of Environmental Management & Services, shared an important update with the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) during its first quarterly meeting of 2022 on January 24. The goal of the EAC is to communicate with representatives from…

Applause for Auditorium Renovations

Our Environmental teams are making major improvements to the auditoriums in the William Dick School and Fox Chase Elementary. Thanks in part to funding from the University of Pennsylvania, we are able to engage in more “soup-to-nuts” construction projects and take advantage of necessary asbestos work to greatly improve the spaces for the school communities….

Congratulations Vernon Palmer!

Vernon Palmer joined the School District in 1997 and was recently promoted to Senior Regional Manager to serve the Southern half of Philadelphia. During his tenure, Vernon has served in many roles throughout our District. Most recently in his role as Interim Assistant Director of Operations, Vernon was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that…

Congratulations Kwame Grove!

Kwame has served the School District of Philadelphia for more than 15 years and was recently promoted to Senior Regional Manager for the northern half of Philadelphia. He began his career as a Per Diem School Police Officer and transitioned to the Office of Facilities and Maintenance as a Building Engineer. Kwame was later promoted…

Ventilation System Maintenance

Prior to, and over the winter break, facilities personnel performed quarterly filter changes and ventilation equipment preventive maintenance in our buildings. Filter changes ensure that we are delivering sufficient amounts of ventilation air into our classrooms as well as improving the indoor environmental quality. Preventative maintenance consists of an inspection of the components for proper…

January 3rd Cleaning Day

On Monday, January 3, custodial staff returned to work from the winter break. As this was a virtual professional development day for teaching staff, custodial staff was able to perform cleaning activities in our buildings including disinfection/sanitizing in classrooms and common areas.

Radiator Cover Survey

Facilities staff is completing a survey to ensure that radiator covers are provided for all radiators in all buildings to eliminate burn potentials. The Maintenance department is reviewing these surveys and is currently contracted with a vendor who will fabricate and install these covers. We anticipate these to be installed prior to the start of…

Congratulations John Parker!

Our Maintenance Resource Scheduler, John Parker, is one of few individuals in the City of Philadelphia to have their Fire Suppression Workers license with specialty, and a Masters Plumber’s license. The Division of Operation is PROUD to have him, and we send our congratulations on the achievement!

Meet the Division’s Resource Scheduler

Tom May joined the School District of Philadelphia in 1985 and has served in various capacities within the Division during his tenure. His experience as a mechanic and then as Operations Foreman served him well as he moved up to his current role as the Division’s Resource Scheduler. Tom leads a team of mechanics, utility…

Meet the Utility Drivers

The Division’s Utility Drivers are the behind-the-scenes logistics experts. This team knows how to get the job done, from moving equipment and supplies across the District to serving to-go meals to students under quarantine!   Top Right Picture: (from left to right): Eugene Ruff, Keith Knight; Bottom Right Picture (from left to right): Keith Knight,…

Meet the Sanitation Control Specialist

As the Division’s Sanitation Specialist, Patrick Arnold ensures optimal sanitation standards are maintained within our school kitchens. Patrick performs routine inspections of our kitchens and cafeterias and is always ready to respond to the various challenges that present themselves to the Division throughout the year.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

The Division recently hosted a pumpkin decorating contest, open to our full-service cafeteria locations. Pumpkins were shipped out to each school with hopes that the fun event would bring some positive energy to our team after a challenging school start-up. The contest was a success and revealed a lot of hidden talent out in the…

Meet the Financial Coordinator

Michael Prete is a graduate of Masterman High School. He joined the Department of Transportation Services in 2019 as a Financial Coordinator and has a B.A. in Accounting. Michael has been very successful with managing the Parental Reimbursement Program, a program that provides a monthly payment to eligible parents who choose to opt-out of District…

Support for Baldi Middle School

Due to the ongoing driver shortage and limited capacity delivering services on regular school days, SEPTA informed the District they would not be able to provide transportation services to Baldi Middle School to support the early dismissals planned for last week. Staff at Baldi Middle School and Central Office worked very closely together to quickly…

Meet the Facilities Accounts Payable Specialist

Gloria Phillips has served the School District of Philadelphia for many years as the Facilities Accounts Payable Specialist in the Office of Capital Programs. In this role, she is responsible for all of the capital needs associated with accounts payable. She assists with the day-to-day operations within the Finance Unit of Capital Programs, overseeing the…

Pratt Elementary Phase II Update

Anna B. Pratt Elementary School is receiving $14.7 million to fully renovate the existing building. Phase II of the project includes classroom improvements for 25 classrooms, including new finishes in selected common spaces, corridor auditorium, a renovated cafeteria with a new full kitchen and servery area, exterior masonry repairs, window replacement, door replacement, bathroom renovations,…

Anne Frank Major Renovation and Addition Update

Anne Frank Elementary School is undergoing major renovations to the existing building to include a new $19.5 million, 18,000 square foot addition. The new addition is a 2-story structure, designed to increase the school capacity by adding 12 classrooms, associated storage, and administrative spaces. The addition also includes a cafeteria expansion, a new Instructional Media…

OEMS Helps Out With MOJO

During the recent past, the Operations Work Order System has been the subject of interest for some of our external partners and the general public. The Environmental Office hired a first-ever dedicated person, Ananth “Sham” Vinjamuri, to track and manage environmental work orders. Under his charge, we successfully closed out/completed 2,547 work orders by identifying…

TEAMwork Makes The DREAM work!

During the collaboration efforts between Environmental and Facilities to re-activate mechanically inoperable House Fan Systems during the past winter. The Environmental team had to thoroughly inspect and, if needed, abate any environmental hazards in order for a house fan to be mechanically reactivated and function. During the recent summer construction season, the Environmental team supported…

Meet the Deputy COO

Oz Hill joined the Operations team just prior to the beginning of the 2021 school year, as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Oz is a product of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Florida. He is an executive-level operations, policy, and planning professional with more than 35 years of experience. Most of his career was…

Meet the Director of Communications

Chanice N. Savage joined the Operations Department as the Director of Communications in 2020. In this role, she participates in the development of media strategies designed to inform internal and external audiences about District Operations plans and initiatives. She is also responsible for the Operations newsletter you are reading right now. Prior to joining the…

Meet the Director of Maintenance

Paul Bonewicz joined the Operations Department as the Assistant Director of Maintenance in 2016. In this role, he helped pioneer the District’s Registered Apprenticeship program. Prior to becoming the Director of Maintenance in 2020, Paul also served as an Assistant Director of Operations in the Office of Environmental Management. A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Paul…

Meet the Director of Finance

Tejal Pandejee joined the School District of Philadelphia in 2009 and has served as the Finance Director of Facilities and Maintenance divisions since 2016. In this role, Tejal is responsible for managing and tracking the operating budget of the department. She oversees vendor payments, including utilities. Tejal has established policies and procedures that strengthen internal…

Meet the Program Manager

Crystal Lynch joined the District in September 2020 and serves as the HR/Operations Manager. She oversees Operations Payroll, the Use of Facilities function, and Staffing and Attendance Management. She also serves as an interdepartmental point of contact/liaison for Talent Support Service and Employee Relations, and as a resource for represented and non-represented Facilities staff. Crystal…

Meet the Warehouse Operations Foreman

Christ joined the District in 1991 and has served in various roles for the last 30 years. He spent his first 15 years with us in the Warehouse Furniture Department. In 2005, Chris was promoted the Warehouse & Receiving Foreman. In this role, Chris coordinates the daily receiving operations for the district headquarters. He also…

Meet the Warehouse Foreman

Joe Walker started working at the School District in August 2005 as a Stock Clerk 2. During that time, he worked in the warehouse and in schools moving furniture, decluttering, picking forms, and doing deliveries. In July 2019, Joe was promoted to Warehouse Foreman. In this position, he handles decluttering of schools which consists of…

Crafting an A/C Upgrade Plan

The Office of Facilities is in the process of developing a plan to upgrade the air conditioning status of our school buildings. This plan categorizes buildings as follows: Buildings that have sufficient electrical capacity to support the installation of additional window units Buildings that will require a full electrical service upgrade before additional window units…

Boiler Switch Over to Heating Season

As we move into the fall season, the Office of Facilities has been preparing for the upcoming heating season. All buildings are expected to have at least one boiler online by Monday, October 4, and a District-wide test on boilers will be conducted this week. Facilities will be prepared to provide heat to all schools…

Inclement Weather Plan for Snow

Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice could be upon us sooner than we would like to think! In preparation, The Office of Facilities has been evaluating the inclement weather procedures. One key change includes District personnel being dispatched earlier in the morning to survey the conditions of the streets and sidewalks to be able to…

The Clean-Up at Gompers

On September 16 Gompers Elementary School was the victim of a serious act of vandalism. Individuals gained access to the interior of the building overnight and carried out various acts of vandalism such as discharging fire extinguishers, breaking glass, and damaging exit signs. In addition hand sanitizer, floor tile mastic, and floor patching compound were…

Meet Vernon Palmer

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 1 Vernon joined the School District in 1997, and has served in many roles during his tenure. Currently he serves as Interim Assistant Director of Operations and oversees Network 1. Vernon is tasked with the responsibility of seeing that schools are operating in a manner which promotes cleanliness, safety, productivity and…

Meet Anthony Greene

Acting Facility Area Coordinator, Network 2 Anthony joined the District in January 1995, and has served for 27 years. He began his career as a Building Engineer Trainee. Earlier this year, Anthony was promoted to FAC. When asked about his work, he said, working in Philadelphia has been satisfying and challenging, especially, during the pandemic….

Meet Jason Rindone

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 3 Jason has been with the District for 20 years, and is a proud graduate of Saint John Neumann High School. He began his career as a Building Engineer Trainee, cleaning up and organizing boiler rooms, and learning as much as he could about all types of systems. During his years…

Meet Rick Kovacs

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 4 Rick has been with the District for 25 years. He graduated from Northeast High School, and enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He completed two tours in the Persian Gulf, where he became a Boiler Technician. This move led to his career as a Building Engineer. Rick received his Class…

Meet Ed Davis

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 5 Edmund has been with the District for nearly 30 years. He started his employment with the District in Transportation, but later transferred to the Facilities and Maintenance division. Ed joined the Fireman Trainee program and served as a Building Engineer for 21 years. Ed currently serves as a Facilities Area…

Meet Marcel Allen

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 6 Marcel has been with the District for 26 years. When hired, he was a Noontime Aide. Three years ago, in January 2018, Marcel was promoted to FAC. He said the various positions he held throughout the District have allowed him to come prepared with hands-on knowledge to engage with his…

Meet Kwame Grove

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 7 Kwame has served the District for more than 15 years. He began his career as a Per Diem School Police Officer, and transitioned to the Office of Facilities and Maintenance as a Building Engineer. In 2014, Kwame was promoted to Acting Facility Area Coordinator. Kwame is passionate about his work…

Meet Tom Sharer

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 8 Next month, Tom will have been with the District for 30. He began his career as a Fireman Trainee, which is now known as a Building Engineer Trainee. He was the Building Engineer in several schools throughout Southwest and West Philadelphia. In 1998, Tom transferred to the Maintenance Department as…

Meet Bill Savage

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 9 Bill Savage began his career with the District when he was twenty-years-old, as a Fireman Trainee in 1991. His first assignment was at a high school, where he was frequently mistaken for a student. He made sure to keep his employee ID card handy for this reason! Bill brings 30…

Meet Kevin Maguire

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 10 Kevin began his career with the District in 2008 as a General Cleaner. Two years later, he joined the Building Engineers Trainee Program. Once he finished the program, Kevin served as a Building Engineer for eight years before becoming a Steamfitter in the Maintenance department in 2016. Four years later,…

Meet Derek Parker

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 11 Derek joined the District 1988 as a Fireman Trainee and became an FAC in 2006. Throughout his three decades of work, he was the recipient of the Rose Lindenbaum Improvement of Education Award, and received the Perfect Attendance Award twice. Derek said he has been blessed to work with staff…

Meet Durrelle Holmes

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 12 Durrelle joined the District in May 1983, and  has worked here for 38 years. He was originally a Custodial Assistant, and later became a Building Engineer. In 2012, he was asked to serve as an Acting FAC, and was moved into a permanent FAC role in 2015. Durrelle believes in…

Meet Greg Gladden

Acting Facility Area Coordinator, Network 13 Greg Gladden served more than 28 years as a Building Engineer, two of which were a Relief Engineer in the Northwest region, operating and maintaining various types of mechanical systems, managing staff members and working alongside many different people. In addition, Greg has run special projects, steam trap jobs,…

Meet Dave Foster

Acting Facility Area Coordinator, Network 14 David has worked in the District for 26 years. Throughout his career, he served as a Part-Time Bus Driver, Building Engineer Trainee, Relief Building Engineer and was promoted this year to Acting Facilities Area Coordinator. David has been instrumental in managing various emergency tasks, maintaining closed buildings and repairing…

Meet Steve Manna

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 15 Steve started at the District in August 1990 as a Fireman Trainee, and later became a Licensed Building Engineer in July 1992. Steve was promoted to FAC in 1996. He served in that role for the Martin Luther King High School Cluster until July 2006 when he was promoted to…

Meet Jim Pizzo

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 16 James Pizzo has been with the District for 20 years. He began his career as a Building Engineer Trainee at Pepper in 2001. He moved on to Penrose School, where he served as a Building Engineer for 13 years. While at Penrose, James enrolled in school at the Community College…

Meet Keith Guess

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 17 Keith has served the District for 20 years. When he was first hired, he was a Fireman Trainee. In 2016, he was promoted to FAC. As a product of the School District of Philadelphia, Keith takes pride in providing services to the current students and staff of our public schools….

Meet Erica Hickey

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 18 Erica joined the District in January 1992, and has been with us for 29 years. During her employment, she has held several positions with increasing responsibility. Erica was a Bus Attendant from 1990 to 1999, and a Building Engineer Trainee for three years following that. The bulk of her career…

Meet Gus Lover III

Facility Area Coordinator, Network 19 Augustus S. Lover III became a District employee in June 1989, as a 5-hour Cleaner, and worked his way up to an FAC in April 2017. He regularly mentored Building Engineers and Custodial Staff members to produce an excellent workplace and learning environment. Augustus served in the United States Marine…

Meet the Director of Vendor Management

Teresa Fleming was hired in May 2016 as a Data Analyst in Transportation Services and promoted to Director of Vendor Management in May 2017. Teresa oversees the contracts to and from school transportation that operates approximately 1,110 bus and non-bus routes. She manages nearly 20 approved contracted transportation companies. Teresa leads the Vendor Management team…

Meet the Director of Scheduling and Routing

Doug was hired in November of 2019 as Transportation Director of Routing & Scheduling, and brought 25+ years of K-12 student transportation experience with him to the position. Doug has held numerous positions during his 25+ years in the industry such as Bus Driver, Dispatcher, Transportation Coordinator, Routing & Planning Manager, Transportation IT Specialist, Terminal…

Meet the Director of Finance

Maureen Edozie joined the School District in 2013 as the Director of Fiscal Services in the Office of Grant Compliance and Fiscal Services. In this position, she was responsible for overseeing financial management and reporting. She provided guidance to grant program personnel and schools in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. After nearly two years…

SEPTA Key Cards Replace Weekly Transpasses

SEPTA is phasing out the weekly Transpass and replacing it with a SEPTA Student Fare Card for all eligible students. The new card is a reusable chipped card used by students to board a SEPTA trolley, bus, or subway. Unlike the disposable weekly Transpass, students will be able to use the SEPTA Student Fare Card…

Meet the Training Manager

Jarred has worked in the food industry since the age of 14, and his interest in food led him to attend Jules E. Mastbaum. After graduation he attended the Culinary Institute of America. Since graduation, Jarred has worked in various settings including restaurants, campus dining, catering and the retail food market. Jarred’s journey came full…

Meet the Training Instructor

Jennifer Albert has worked in the food service industry for over 25 years and held many positions. She started with the School District in 2014 as a Food Service Assistant, and in early 2016 was promoted to an Acting Utility Worker and an Acting Manager for full-service and satellite schools. She then became a PFT…

Meet the Training Instructor

Kimberly Davis began her career with the School District in 2006 as a Food Service Worker II. She remained in that position until 2016 when she became a Food Service Worker III, which transitioned into a Food Service Manager II position at Philadelphia High School for Girls. In 2019, she became one of the first…

Culinary Training Sessions for School Food Service Personnel

The Food Services Division partners with such entities as The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) through Penn State (Project PA) to offer hands-on culinary training sessions to full-service managers from various locations. The training is led by a certified chef and the recipes prepared are from other Food Service divisions in Districts around the state….

ServSafe Certified Instructors & Registered Training Proctors

The entire training department has recently completed certification training to instruct and proctor exams of the ServSafe Food Safety Certification course. The Certification verifies that a manager or person-in-charge has sufficient food safety knowledge to protect the public from foodborne illness. ServSafe training and certification is recognized by more Federal, state, and local jurisdictions than…

Cornerstone Super-Users

Cornerstone is the District’s cloud-based staff development software provider. Cornerstone helps the Food Service department engage, develop, and manage our staff. Cornerstone also minimizes business risk through targeted learning focused on compliance requirements. A super-user has the ability to upload content, schedule training for staff and run progress reports for the division. Jarred (mentioned earlier)…

New Technology in Food Services!

At the start of the pandemic, it was the Training department’s idea (and subsequently executed plan) that took the Food Service Division to the next level by introducing virtual training and installing 250 webcams and speakers in all school kitchens. The Training Department was able to continually meet with and train our employees on COVID…

Meet the Sustainability Management Program Manager

Megan is the District’s Sustainability Manager. She has been working with the School District of Philadelphia in the Office of Environmental Management Services since 2008. She began her career as an Environmental Scientist, in 2014, she transitioned her focus to develop and manage the District’s Sustainability Program. Megan also manages the Lead in Drinking Water…

Stormwater Pioneer Award

The School District established a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) maintenance program three years ago with support from the William Penn Foundation. Through this program, there are 38 stormwater mitigation sites being maintained on District properties. These systems include rain gardens, green roofs, cisterns, and porous pavements. The School District recognizes the footprint our buildings, lots…

Meet the Acting Construction Manager

Damon joined the School District in September 1990, and altogether has served the District for almost 31 years. He is a proud District alumni who graduated from Mastbaum Vocational Technology High School in 1988. Two years later, he began his career with the District as a Trades Apprentice Carpenter. He has worked in the Office…

Northeast Community Propel Academy Update

The surrounding community held a School Naming meeting, and after voting, the New School on Ryan Avenue was officially named Northeast Community Propel Academy. As parents and the surrounding community said, to ”propel” is “to drive or cause to move forward or onward”. This new 180,000 square foot K-8 school is nestled in a unique…

Anne Frank Major Renovation and Addition Update

Construction Budget: $28.3 million Anne Frank Elementary School is undergoing major renovations to the existing building. An additional new 20,000 square foot structure is currently in construction as well. The new addition is a 2-story structure, designed to increase the school capacity with additional classrooms and student gathering spaces. The new addition is scheduled to…

Coming Soon: Capital Dashboard!

The Office of Capital Programs will be releasing their new dashboard later this month! This high-level project resource page will illustrate the number and types of projects in their various stages of completion. The site will be updated on a monthly basis to provide timely project information. Users will be able to sort through categories…

Facilities Work Update

The Facilities team supported four successful phases of school re-openings during the pandemic, allowing for students to safely return to in-person learning. This team worked alongside the Maintenance and Environmental Offices to repair and recommission ventilation systems and installed approximately six thousand air purifier units. In a collaborative effort with the Office of Academics, the…

Site Specific Facility Management Plan

The Operations division completed and will implement the Site-Specific Facility Management Plan (SSFMP) for each building. The SSFMP standardizes and identifies the tasks needed to maintain our buildings, as well as various metrics to measure the quality of the services we provide. The SSFMP will provide for more equitable and consistent services amongst our buildings…

Meet the Operations Trainee

C’Essence Palmer joined the School District in May 2019 as an Operations Intern in the Facilities and Maintenance department. She is currently working for the District full-time, as an Operations Trainee, while also attending school full-time at Temple University. In her role at the District, she is responsible for Use of Facilities and specializes in…

Completed Work Orders

Since returning to work last June, the Maintenance department has completed 32,204 work orders. In addition, the work order backlog was significantly reduced by 32% from 17,174 to 11,622. This summer, the maintenance team will continue to support the improvement of ventilation in schools, by completing ventilation-related projects in 33 schools. Overall, the Department plans…

Meet the Interim Facilities Training Manager

Sheerita Wilson has been with the School District for 17 years. During her tenure, she has served in many capacities. She previously worked for the Office of Transportation, and spent eight years as a building engineer in Facilities and Maintenance, while attending undergraduate school at the University of Phoenix. Most recently, Sheerita served as a…

Meet the Acting Training Instructor

In early 1997, Getnet Getnet began his journey with the School District of Philadelphia as a general cleaner. He quickly joined the Building Engineer in Training (BET) Program, while attending the Community College of Philadelphia where he earned his Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. Upon completion of his BET, he started working as a…

Meet the Locksmith

Eric “Rick” Zeoli has been with the School District of Philadelphia for 36 years as a Certified Registered Institutional Locksmith. For the first few years, he was a Field locksmith working in all of the schools throughout the city. Since then, he has become the Lead Locksmith working with both locksmiths and carpenters on lock…

Meet the Broad Street Garage Supervisor

Nadine Miller has been with the District a little over 11 years. She started out as a bus attendant and continually moved up the department ladder to later become a driver, and then a dispatcher. Currently, she serves as Supervisor at the Broad Street Garage location. Being centrally located, her small fleet of 100 buses…

Meet the Passyunk Garage Supervisor

Freda Grant has been with the School District of Philadelphia for 16 years. She started out as a part-time bus driver and later became an acting dispatcher. After completing her duties as a dispatcher, she was promoted to be an acting street supervisor. Freda says working for the District, and raising three of her children…

Meet the Shallcross Garage Supervisor

Krystal Wright-Copper has been with the School District of Philadelphia for 11 years. She started out as a driver, and continued her career to become a dispatcher. She currently serves as the Shallcross Garage Supervisor, where she oversees nearly 85 drivers who transport Philadelphia children to and from school everyday. Krystal’s tasks include communicating with…

We’re Hiring Bus Drivers!

The Garage Operations team is actively recruiting bus chauffeurs and is hosting in-person job fairs on three upcoming Wednesdays, May 26, June 9, and June 16, 2021. They are also hosting a virtual information session on Tuesday, June 1. Applicants will receive informative information about the processes to become a bus chauffeur, and the free…

SEPTA Fare Card

Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, School District of Philadelphia students will no longer use weekly Transpasses. Students in grades 5 through 12 who are eligible to board a SEPTA trolley, bus, or subway will use the new, contact-free chipped SEPTA Student Fare Card. The Student Fare Card can be used throughout the school year,…

Meet the Field Coordinator

Eileen joined the School District of Philadelphia in 1998, and has served in various capacities within the Division during her tenure. Her experience, institutional knowledge, and leadership have supported growth and improvement over the years, allowing the Division to better serve students. Eileen leads a team of eleven Field Supervisors, and together, they bring over…

Meet the Field Supervisors

The Food Service Field Supervisors play an integral role in the successful operation of the Division. Their oversight and leadership evolve central office thoughts and ideas into everyday practice in the field. In addition, these supervisors have helped take the Division to the next level throughout their years of service, embracing change and supporting growth…

From Tickets and Clickers to Technology!

Student meal tickets and clickers became obsolete after 2005 when the Division rolled out a Point of Sale Accounting/Inventory System. Pin pads and scanners helped speed up the flow of students in the cafeteria, and made meal claiming a more straightforward process. Although the enormous shift in operations took time, energy, and patience at all…

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and Meal Requirement Changes

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act introduced several new guidelines to assist school children in obtaining the nutrition they needed for healthy growth and development. Offering wholesome meals to the students wasn’t new to the Division, but meeting the regulations included with the improved nutrition standards was no easy feat. For the first time in more…

Community Eligibility Provision

Implementation of the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) in the 2014-15 SY allowed all students in Philadelphia to receive breakfast, lunch, and after-school meals at no charge, regardless of family income. This welcome change not only ensured all students had access to healthy meals, but also eliminated the administrative burden of collecting paper applications and money…

Meet the Capital Management Team!

The Office of Capital Programs works in support of Guardrail 1: Every school will be a safe, welcoming and healthy place where our students, staff and community want to be and learn each day. Working under the direction of Ahmed Sultan who was highlighted in January, the Capital Management Team includes Jesse Jones, the Contracts…

Hamilton Major Renovation Update

The Hamilton school, built in 1968, underwent a major transformation last year that addressed major systems like heating, cooling, electrical upgrades, window and door replacement, masonry repairs, bathroom upgrades, and schoolyard improvements. All classrooms were modernized with new flooring, fresh paint, window shades, lighting, electrical and data outlets to meet modern technology needs, and new…

Richmond Addition and Major Renovation

The original Richmond School building, built in 1929, is undergoing major renovations and is receiving a new addition to increase classroom space, and includes a brand new cafeteria. The addition will be ADA-compliant, and  LEED (Lead in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified with high-efficiency mechanical and lighting systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce…

Alternative and Clean Energy Grant

The Office of Capital Programs applied for, and received, an Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) grant in the amount of $651,868 from the Pennsylvania Department of Community Development for the Richmond School renovation and addition. The ACE grant funding will provide for sustainable design upgrades to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification.

Meet the A-Team!

The A-Team Supervisor was introduced in our last article, and this new organization style is already paying dividends. The A-Team has one point of contact; John is able to organize and schedule each member of the team and efficiently report their progress out to others from a centralized hub. The A-Team is working in our…

City Funding & Hydration Stations

We are working with the City of Philadelphia on a $95,000 grant to purchase hydration stations for our schools. This equates to approximately 80 new hydration stations. We will install the hydration stations in schools that are in need based on a variety of factors to include, The City of Philadelphia published blood lead levels,…

DoneSafe

Donesafe, our new database program, is in the development stage.  We have been uploading our various google sheets, flushing out each module with real-world applications, and performing site visits to gain an understanding of how each module is interconnected to other departments.  We are anticipating an internal test phase to begin next month. We are…

Environmental Advisory Council

The Environmental Advisory Council’s (EAC) inaugural meeting was held on January 26, 2021. Information about that meeting can be found here. Discussion topics included: the purpose of the EAC, how each committee member was selected, an overview of the Environmental Department, roles and responsibilities, and future reporting of projects and activities of OEMS. In an attempt…

Meet Ralph Carp, Executive Director

Ralph Carp joined the School District in August of 2019 as Executive Director of Operations. He has worked in facility and equipment maintenance for his entire professional career. His work has been built on jobs in facilities and maintenance, starting with an apprenticeship as a machinist for a printing company. Throughout his career, he has…

Facilities Work

The Facilities Department was busy during the pandemic, working to support the Maintenance and Capital Departments throughout the shutdown period. Focus was on building cleanliness, ventilation improvements, and modernization of facilities. Tasks were varied, but included coordinating building access, deep cleaning, equipment repair, air balancing, and the installation of air purifiers. Preventative maintenance schedules for…

Maintenance Work

Since returning to work on June 15, 2020 the Maintenance department has completed 22,664 work orders. In support of improving ventilation in our schools, the department has also measured outside air flow in every classroom (pictured above) and provided certified air balancing reports for every school. Also, in that time frame, Facilities and Maintenance has…

Paint and Plaster

The Operations team has completed 25 full stabilization projects since the start of quarantine, and made an additional 8 lead-safe. In full stabilization projects, entire school buildings are painted top to bottom, including every hallway, restroom, common area, classroom, office etc. regardless of whether or not the surfaces tested positive for lead-based paints.  In lead-safe stabilization projects, our painters spot…

Air Purifiers in Schools

Unlike conventional filtration-based air purifiers, these purifiers work immediately and do not require capture or exposure time. They work by rapidly and continuously filling a room with virus-neutralizing particles to instantly break viruses down to their component parts, eliminating them on contact. The technology was originally developed by NASA for use in the International Space…

Meet Vernon Palmer, Interim Assistant Director

Vernon joined the School District in 1997, and has served in many roles during his tenure. Currently in his role as Interim Assistant Director of Operations, Vernon is tasked with the responsibility of seeing that schools are operating in a manner which promotes cleanliness, safety, productivity and comfort. He works alongside his team of Facilities…

Meet Jeff Scott, Interim Assistant Director

Jeff has served the District for more than two decades, starting  in 2000, when he entered our Building Engineer in training (BET) program. Since then, he has served 10 years as a Foreman in the Maintenance department, six years as a Facilities Training Manager and is currently our Interim Assistant Director of Operations. As Interim…

Meet the Senior Vice President, Wayne Grasela

Wayne joined the School District of Philadelphia in 1987 and has served as the Senior Vice President for the Division for 18 years. In this role, Wayne leads a team of professionals with a broad range of specialties, including registered dietitians, logistics, compliance, operations, mechanics, and training professionals. Through menu planning, food purchasing, food delivery,…

The Leadership Team’s Pandemic Pivots

Amy Virus (far right), Manager of Administrative and Support Services, quickly shifted her team’s focus to sourcing and planning grab and go meals over the course of a weekend. Lisa Norton (far left), Manager of Operations, took the training department to the next level by introducing virtual training and installing 250 webcams and speakers in…

Grab-and-Go Meal Box Evolution

Last March, Food Service operations transitioned from in school meal service to grab-and-go meal sites over the course of a weekend. The drastic shift was an enormous feat to overcome and required tremendous teamwork behind the scenes. Cold storage in all school kitchens was stocked full of food that couldn’t be used and needed to…

COVID-19 Grant Awards and Donations

Fewer meals served, coupled with increased cost for meal packaging, cold storage equipment, and PPE have resulted in substantial financial setbacks for the Division. In an effort to lessen the financial burden, Food Services has sought out grant opportunities for additional funding. In October, the Division was awarded funds from Truist Bank to support the…

Meet the General Manager, Danielle Floyd

Danielle joined the School District of Philadelphia in 2002. She has served in many capacities during her tenure. As General Manager she leads the team responsible for the safe transport of students to and from school.

SDP is Going Electric!

Under the Driving PA Forward Program, Transportation Services has been issued a rebate voucher of $468,000 by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Onroad Rebate Program, to be used to purchase three electric buses. The electric buses will replace three older diesel buses which will be decommissioned and scrapped.

Where’s The Bus? App

The Department of Transportation Services is excited to announce our free new WheresTheBus application. Our GPS equipped school buses now have technology that will allow you to know the location of your student’s bus during morning and afternoon service, providing up-to-the-minute arrival time information. We encourage you to try this exciting new technology, as we continually…

Student Fare Card

The Department of Transportation Services is preparing to launch a new SEPTA Student Fare Card program for the 2021/22 school year.  The Student Fare Card will replace the traditional weekly Transpass. In order to launch the program, we have partnered with 9 schools to help us conduct a pilot program to gather data for the new Student…

New Director of Garage Operations

Stevie Everson was recently hired to oversee Garage Operations. His team is fully committed to providing safe and efficient transportation to our students in Philadelphia. Garage locations are responsible for dispatching school buses, responding to questions regarding operational issues, fleet maintenance, driver training, and the District-wide mail delivery system. The ability to serve our student…

Operations “Get Ready” Facts

Fact #1: The District has purchased about 3,000 fans that are manufactured to generate at least 270 cubic feet of fresh air per minute. That’s enough fresh air flow to support 18 people in the room before applying social distancing requirements. It’s also enough fans to have extras in case we need to replace any…

OEMS New Hires

In an effort for OEMS to be more proactive, OEMS has invested in people as well as processes. New key positions were added to the team. Kevin M. (top middle) was hired as the Environmental Response Manager, Gaeton T. (front row) serves as the Environmental Compliance Manager, and John M. (top left) was promoted to…

Asbestos Removal During Quarantine

While all District schools remained closed as part of the response efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, OEMS was able to remove asbestos containing materials (ACM) that were found in District schools. OEMS completed asbestos abatement, remediation or repair projects at 183 schools. More than 229,000 square feet (five acres) and 77,000 linear feet…

$100 Million University of Pennsylvania Donation

In November 2020, the University of Pennsylvania committed to donate $100 million, over ten years, to the School District of Philadelphia. These amounts will be used to support the District’s efforts to address  environmental conditions including asbestos and lead, in our public school buildings. The impact of this funding will supplement the ongoing efforts of…

Meet Stephen Link, Director of Environmental Management & Services

Stephen was promoted to the Director of Environmental Management & Services (OEMS) in 2020, and in this position, oversees the environmental regulatory compliance services for all departments of the School District.   The Environmental team conducts environmental site assessments, designs and monitors environmental abatement and remediation projects, manages the District’s AHERA (the US Environmental Protection…

New Co-Location Construction: Powel Elementary & SLA Middle School

Powel/SLAMS is a new K-8 school building that co-locates 2 programs: Powel Elementary School and Science Leadership Academy Middle School (SLAMS), serving a total of 600 students. The existing Powel School was vacated and remains empty at this time. There are three classrooms per grade, for a total of 21 general education classrooms, two special…

New Construction: T. M. Peirce

The new Pierce School in North Philadelphia will serve 650 students K-8. The new school will replace the existing, but soon-to-be demolished, Pierce School. The school will have a total of 21 standard classrooms (three per grade) and include a modern music classroom, art room, small group classrooms, special education rooms, as well as integrated…

Major Renovation: Hamilton

In July 2019, a $9.4 million investment and construction project launched at Andrew Hamilton Elementary School in West Philadelphia. The school received comprehensive upgrades and improvements to the entire interior and some of the exterior of the school building. Twenty-six (26) classrooms received upgrades to finishes, electrical infrastructure and technology to support literacy and center-based…

Meet Ahmed Sultan, Director of Capital Programs

Ahmed joined the School District of Philadelphia in 2019 to serve as the Director of Capital Programs. In this role, Ahmed leads a team of more than 30 people consisting of project and design professionals who manage complex building and renovation projects from the design phase, through construction, all the way to “handing back the…

Story Ideas

If you would like to submit story ideas for the Operations Update, please send an email to Chanice N. Savage, Operations Director of Communications at cnsavage@philasd.org.