CSPR Cycle 1, Study Area 1

The Comprehensive School Planning Review (CSPR) Office began holding meetings with committees in the late fall-early winter of 2019 to orient them to the process, to engage in collaborative research, and to collectively begin to identify issues.

This included three meetings with each of the Study Area Planning Committees, comprised of four individuals from each school in the Study Area (a school leader, teacher, parent, and community member), as well as three meetings with an Advisory Committee comprised of leaders from the School District’s central office.

These meetings allowed committee members more time to sit with data on their study areas, to revisit and refine issues previously identified, and to begin a discussion about solutions.

The Background on Study Area 1 (SA1)

Study Area 1 includes 10 elementary schools in the South Philadelphia area, most of which are PreK-8.

Once initial data was shared and discussed, we asked committee members from each study area to identify, discuss, and refine key issues, and then to begin to surface potential solutions.

The challenges presented in this Study Area include:

  • Imbalanced enrollment across SA1 schools (some are overenrolled, some are underutilized)
    • High utilization for schools East of Broad St. (and not enough space in facilities to accommodate)
    • Low utilization for schools West of Broad St., despite stable and growing student populations
  • Middle schools across SA1 lose students to other educational opportunities despite heavy demand for PreK and K-5

Additional considerations:

  • Impact of gentrification on school enrollments
  • Impact of immigration and student mobility on school enrollments
  • Perceptions of schools (quality, climate, safety, programs)

In considering these issues, breakout groups were asked to begin to surface solutions. That information was collected by the CSPR team, and shared at subsequent meetings to discuss as a part of a first set of potential options.

The Planning Committees of each study area were provided with a large amount of data and information to examine, with the support of FLO analytics, to use as an initial grounding for each study area. Data included population trends among other things.

Committee members were also asked to identify additional data or information they would like to see. Data packets continue to evolve with feedback; the most current one is here: Study Area 1 Data Packet

Once groups discussed and refined issues, they began to  consider potential solutions that could help our communities design schools that meet the educational needs of their changing student populations. See a list of potential solutions below that were shared with planning committee members as a starting point. This list was meant to support deliberation, but was not meant to be exhaustive. Planning committee members were asked to discuss these potential solutions and share any new ideas or feedback they had.

  1. Addition/New Construction:  The construction of a new or renovation of an existing building to meet future demand.
  2. Boundary Change: A realignment of boundaries to accommodate projected changes in populations and communities.
  3. Closing: The elimination of an academic program and/or school facility.
  4. Co-Location: Sharing underutilized space for appropriate educational or administrative functions.
  5. Consolidation: A realignment of student population in order to better serve the educational needs of students.
  6. Grade Change: The addition or reduction of grades.
  7. Policy changes: Changes to district policy and admin procedures.
  8. Relocation: Movement of an educational program to another facility.
  9. Replication: The replication of high quality academic programming.
  10. Transitions:  Creating thoughtful transitions for students at elementary and middle grades.

These possibilities were incorporated into discussions that led, as of the March 3rd Community Input Forums, to five possible solutions. This meeting summary lists those options.

Full summaries of what was discussed in these meetings are located here.

At the Community Input Forum on March 3, an overview of the data, a review of discussions to-date and several options will be presented to the community for discussion.

The objective of the Forum is to listen to community feedback on the data, the ideas, and the process, and to discuss the viability of the ideas presented, and collect other ideas families and community members might have.

A survey of the options presented, as well as a separate survey for feedback on the process, will be offered to attendees. You can always provide feedback on the CSPR by using our Feedback Form.

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