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Forum scheduled on high school reforms

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

An April 21 forum will bring together veteran School District teachers, members of student organizing groups, and former students to bring their collective knowledge about Philadelphia’s high schools to bear on the District’s current high school reform efforts.

Called "Envisioning high schools that work: Learning from experience," the forum will present information about the District’s past efforts at breaking up large high schools into smaller units and how the lessons from those efforts can be applied to the District’s current high school reforms.

Presenters will include high school teachers who came together in the mid-1980s through the Philadelphia Schools Collaborative, an organization devoted to advocating for and supporting the District’s efforts to break up high schools into small learning communities.

The teachers will be joined by graduates of successful small learning communities as well as current students who are members of local student organizing groups.

Attendees will work in small groups to discuss what teachers and students need for high schools to be effective places for teaching and learning, and what actions should be taken to get there.

"This is a unique effort to allow teachers, students, parents, and education activists to talk across boundaries and to bring multiple points of view to the table," remarked forum organizer Fran Sugarman.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, April 21 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the United Way Building, 17th and the Parkway.

It is sponsored by the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, the Philadelphia Writing Project, Philadelphia Student Union, and Youth United for Change.

For more information or to attend, contact Fran Sugarman at 215-991-6959 or at fsugar@dca.net.