Philadelphia School Closings

After considering the increase or decrease in student population, conditions of the school facilities and costs of repair or renovation, the capacity of the buildings, and their academic program, the School Reform Commission (SRC) made the following decision on Philadelphia school closings or relocations in June of 2008. It was estimated the closings and relocations would save the school district approximately $25 million in a two-year period. Additional changes may be recommended by the year 2014.

  1. Mayer Sulzberger Middle School Closure. Originally there were four schools that fed into Sulzberger. Beginning in September 2008 there were no more schools feeding into Sulzberger School because the feeder schools had expanded from K-6 to K-8’s. Sulzberger School’s scheduled closing date was set for June 30, 2009. During the 2008-2009 school year no new students fed into Sulzberger and the remaining seventh grade class completed their 8thgrade educational course for the 2008-2009 school year. The school officially closed in June of 2009.
  2. JohnP. Turner Middle School Closure. Beginning in September 2008 no students were feeding into Turner because the three feeder schools were turning into K-8 schools from K-6. Turner also retained its 7thgrade students and they remained to complete the 8thgrade educational course for the 2008-2009 school year. The school officially closed in June of 2009.
  3. Relocation of Middle Years Alternative (MYA). The SRC decided to relocate the Middle Years Alternative (MYA) to Sulzberger in September of 2008. MYA was previously housed at West Catholic High School for fifteen years, but the building was in need of approximately $15 million in renovation and repairs.  In addition, the building needed repairs to the inside which were over and above the $15 million.
  4. Relocation of Parkway West High School. The SRC also decided to relocate Parkway West High School, which also held classes at West Catholic High School, to Sulzberger in September of 2008. During the summer of 2008, science labs and classrooms were upgraded to prepare Sulzberger for Parkway and MYA.
  5. Proposed Future Closures. As charter schools expand in Philadelphia and some of the district’s schools are turned over to outside management, the number of empty seats in the school district will only increase. As of April 11, 2011, the district reports no schools are set to close in September of 2011, but with the district’s rightsizing efforts, it is not known how many will close by 2014.
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