Board Priorities

Purpose: We have spent the Spring and Summer listening and learning. The following document lays out the priorities we will use to guide our work based on all that we have heard. Under each priority is a series of specific action steps we will prioritize this fall.

First and foremost, all work of the Board will be guided by the nonnegotiable principle:

“The interests of our students come first.”

Student Achievement Our students’ potential is limitless. The achievement and safety of our students will drive all of our decisions and we will invest in programs and initiatives that are proven to support all students in reaching their potential.

Action Steps:

a. Adopt a set of key indicators of student performance and create a schedule for monitoring these indicators.

b. Promote student achievement by investing in strategies that create safe, welcoming, and trauma-informed learning environments in every school.

c. Adopt an effective facilities maintenance program that ensures timely capital investments in order to promote the health and safety of students and staff and to support academic programming.

d. Attract and retain highly qualified, talented, and passionate staff by implementing policies that build both strong leadership pipelines and capacity within the District.

Transparency and Accessibility Effective school governance requires the intentional inclusion of diverse populations and viewpoints in order to support and strengthen decision making. All voices matter.

Action Steps:

a. Establish a committee structure to promote transparency in Board decision-making and create opportunities for public engagement on District matters.

b. Develop a communication strategy that is transparent about Board actions and welcomes all stakeholders to participate in the Board’s decision making process.

c. Establish a greater Board presence outside of District headquarters and in school communities.

d. Explain the processes by which decisions are made, when they are made, who made them, how public input was used, who is responsible for executing the decisions and how success is measured and evaluated.

One System of Quality Schools All of our students deserve access to quality schools. While the School Board oversees district schools and charter schools differently, both types of schools exist to provide quality educational opportunities to all Philadelphia students. We will work to make sure that all children attending public schools- regardless of life circumstances, zip code, behavioral challenges, or disability- have access to great schools.

Action Steps:
a. Set and communicate clear standards for a quality education and hold both District schools and charter schools responsible for meeting these standards.

b. Invest in strategies and policies that grow the ability of all Philadelphia students to access quality schools. Hold schools accountable for practices that impede access.

c. Advocate for funding and a funding formula that invests in Philadelphia public schools and alleviates inequities between district and charter schools.

Financial Stability In the end, none of our goals will be possible without balancing the ability to make additional investments while maintaining our financial stability. We will manage our financial resources prudently and seek to secure additional sustainable funding.

Action Steps:
a. Adopt a long-term strategy that will allow us to continue to stabilize our finances and make investments in support of teaching and learning.

b. Educate the public on our financial realities and build a broad base of support for public education that will create a sense of pride in the district and lead to investments in our schools.

c. Adopt an effective facilities maintenance program that ensures timely capital investments in order to promote the health and safety of students and staff and to support academic programming.

d. Ensure that all decision-making and investments reflect our beliefs and are in the best interest of Philadelphia’s students. Collaborate with stakeholders across the City and Commonwealth around school funding needs.