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Still time to apply for Renaissance councils

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

Tuesday, March 9 is the new deadline for applications for individuals who want to be part of the new School Advisory Councils at 14 Renaissance-eligible schools. The application is available here.

The councils are being formed on a tight timeline, and the District says they will be responsible for making a pivotal recommendation by the end of April – which "turnaround team" should be put in charge of the school next fall. They also have ongoing responsibility for monitoring provider performance. They are to include seven to 21 members, a majority of them parents. Teachers, students, and concerned community members are also invited to apply.

"We have a lot of applications already – about 170 applications," said Yvonne Soto, who is managing the process for the School District. While applicants average about 12 per school, at two of the schools, Mann and Harrity, there are not yet enough applications to fill the available slots.

The applicants to serve on councils will be screened by a team in the region of the school, including the regional superintendent, regional parent ombudsman, a member of the Renaissance School Advisory Board, and a representative from the District’s Office of Parent, Family, Community Engagement, & Faith-Based Partnerships.

The members of the councils will be named March 16, the same day that the District now plans to announce which of the 14 eligible schools are targeted to be Renaissance Schools. The District will hold an all-day, citywide training session for members of the councils March 20 at William Penn High School. (Update: On a timeline released March 5, the District says it will announce a final list of Renaissance Schools and designate schools as Promise Academies on March 26).

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