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2 Philly public schools to split $3 million in grants

Wednesday, July 31, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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By Martha Woodall, Inquirer staff writer | July 31, 2013


Two Philadelphia School District elementary schools will receive grants totaling $3 million to upgrade their academics as they absorb students from nearby schools that have closed.

The Philadelphia School Partnership announced Wednesday that William D. Kelley in Brewerytown and James G. Blaine in Strawberry Mansion would each receive a $1.5 million grant over several years to develop academic turnaround plans.

The schools were among several that applied to the partnership's Great Schools Fund for assistance.

"At Blaine and Kelley, we have found dynamic school principals who are laser-focused on improving instruction and who have worked relentlessly to ensure that every student under their care learns and succeeds," Mark Gleason, the partnership's executive director, said in a statement. "Most important, they are committed to the comprehensive transformation strategies that turning around high-poverty urban schools requires."

Kelley is expecting 170 additional students as a result of the closing of John F. Reynolds School. Blaine anticipates admitting 160 students from L.P. Hill School, which closed last month.

Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. described the awards as "a double win" for Philadelphia. "First," he said, "these two schools are driving toward dramatically better student outcomes, and second, we want to direct as many resources as possible to students impacted by school closings."

During the first year, principals will consult experts to assess the current academic programs at their schools and develop plans to boost them.

Last week, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey announced that it was giving the district $50,000 to help smooth the transition for students who are shifting to 40 new schools in September as a result of the closing of 23 schools.


Contact Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or