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Asking whether schools have all the basics

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

Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), a local child advocacy group, has developed a checklist to encourage community members to ask questions about how well schools in Philadelphia are providing essential educational resources for their students. The project is called "The Basics: What Every School Should Have."

"We are asking community members as well as teachers, principals and students to look at the city’s public schools to see how often they have the basic things that a school should have to effectively educate its students," said Brian Armstead, education coordinator at PCCY.

The simple yes-or-no checklist asks its users to determine whether a particular school has resources like a gym and library, a counselor for every 250 students, current textbooks, and music and art teachers.

PCCY is collecting completed checklists for schools across the city and will be compiling the information to identify both assets and areas where more resources are needed.

To download the checklist, go to www.pccy.org, or call 215-563-5848 ext. 12.