FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions

The School District of Philadelphia has a clear vision: For all children to have access to a great school, close to where they live.

To achieve this vision, beginning in fall 2019, the District will partner with industry experts to lead a multi-year Comprehensive School Planning Review (CSPR) designed to take a strategic, system-wide look at how populations and communities across our city are projected to change in the coming years.


The Comprehensive School Planning Review (CSPR) is a collaborative process that will assess the District’s neighborhood enrollment, school facilities,  and educational program offerings, to help us plan for the future in a way that ensures our students have access to a great school close to where they live.

Our goal is to work collaboratively with local communities to design schools in every neighborhood that meet the educational needs of their changing student populations. We aim to do this the following ways:

  • Building Optimization: Optimizing utilization of our buildings to ensure students have access to a high-quality school close to where they live
  • Targeted Investments: Investing limited capital dollars where needed most
  • Thoughtful Transitions: Creating thoughtful transitions for students at elementary and middle grades
  • Maximizing Assets: Maximizing use of public (City/District) assets
  • Improved Academic Programming: Better supporting academic programs that prepare our students for college and career success

In addition to core goals, there are some key guiding principles we will use during this process. They include:

  • Make Pre-K available in as many elementary school locations as possible
  • Provide a clear PreK-12 continuum for families in their neighborhoods with preferred grade configurations: PreK-5, PreK-8, 6-8, 6-12, 9-12
  • Provide all children access to any needed educational programming (i.e. SPED, ESOL, gifted, PreK)
  • Direct resources in an equitable – not necessarily equal – way to meet the needs of neighborhoods

The CSPR Process will include all district-led neighborhood schools, and will be completed in cycles over the next four years. Cycle 1 is taking place in the current school year (2019-20). The list of schools by cycle can found on the CSPR website: www.philasd.org/schoolplanning/csprcycles

Review cycles will begin in the fall of each year. Special admission magnet schools, renaissance schools, and charter schools are not part of the review process.

All of our neighborhoods are important. We grouped schools and prioritized study areas using a series of considerations, including:

  • School locations and proximity to each other
  • Existing awareness of fluctuations in enrollment in certain neighborhoods
  • Existing plans for capital investment

The first cycle started in the fall of 2019 and is now underway. The 2019-20 school year will allow us to engage and deliberate about plans. The 2020 – 21 school year will allow us to use those decisions to make plans, and the 2021-22 school year is when we would expect to see some of these plans put into action.

Updated timeline info is here.

This type of planning takes time. We are committed to engaging school communities in important dialogue about the decisions impacting their schools and to ensure that parent and community voice is evident in the final recommendations.

With hundreds of schools across many neighborhoods, each with their own unique story and circumstance, we want to make sure we allow for the time needed to do this thoughtfully. We’ve placed schools into study areas across four cycles in order to give each grouping the individual attention it requires.

The District will consider all proposed options that help our communities design schools that meet the educational needs of their changing student populations. See a list of potential solutions below that has been shared with planning committee members as a starting point. This list is meant to support deliberation, but is not exhaustive.

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

There are a few important ways to make your voice heard throughout this process. Cycle 1 participants, visit this page for information on how you can get involved.

There are many solutions to choose from, depending on the need. For example, we might find that the best solution is to expand or reduce classes in certain grades, build additional spaces, invest in ways to use existing space more effectively, bring programs together to share resources, or move programs to more logical locations.

Changes to boundaries are sometimes necessary, but that’s only one of many options. See the previous question for a  list of potential solutions below that has been shared with planning committee members as a starting point. This list is meant to support deliberation, but is not exhaustive.

We are collaborating with community-based planning committees, district leaders, and national experts to consider data and identify options and recommendations. FLO Analytics has been hired to complete projections on the number of students the District expects to serve in each neighborhood over the next 10 years, and a local organization called BLOOM Planning has been brought into to help facilitate meetings in a way that moves us toward recommendations.

In addition to these core planning teams, there are many opportunities for the public to make their voice heard, and we will be engaging with local district and community leaders even further once recommendations begin to emerge.

Recommendations approved by the Board in the spring will take effect no sooner than the fall of the next calendar year. For example, recommendations approved in spring 2020, will be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year.

We’ve gathered all the information to-date about the CSPR, including the process and timelines, on our website www.philasd.org/schoolplanning. It will be updated regularly with meeting schedules and progress reports, as they become available. There is also an email form on the site, for you to submit any additional questions, at any time. A member of our team will reply in a timely manner.