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Meetings with turnaround teams start Tuesday

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

School Advisory Councils and community members at six schools designated for outside management as part of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s Renaissance Schools turnaround initiative will have the chance to meet with prospective providers starting tomorrow.

A series of forums at the six "Renaissance Match" schools starts with Olney East High School tomorrow night and concludes Wednesday, March 9 at Birney Elementary.

Seven organizations were qualified this year to compete for schools, including three that are in the mix for the first time.

Four of the six schools targeted for charter conversion or outside management are high schools and two are elementaries.

District spokeswoman Elizabeth Childs said that the provider organizations decided where to make presentations. The District did not require them to go to schools in which they might not be interested, as happened during the first round of Renaissance matching last year.

Johns Hopkins UniversityTalent Development Diplomas Now, which works on strategies for dropout prevention, will present at all four high schools.

Mastery Charter will compete for Gratz High and one of its feeders, Clymer Elementary

"The amount of organizational preparation to turn around a large comprehensive high school is huge," said Scott Gordon, Mastery CEO. "It takes all our capacity. So we had to start early, learn everything about a school, and behave as if we would be selected. We made a bet."

He said Mastery "couldn’t afford to run after multiple schools and pull it off with quality." Clymer feeds into Gratz, so that was also a natural, he said.

Universal Companies is also interested in Gratz and Clymer.

Foundations, Inc., is interested in all the schools except Gratz and Clymer. Mosaica Turnaround Teams, a new player this year and the only for-profit company in the mix, is competing for all the schools.

ASPIRA and Nueva Esperanza are both interested in the two Olneys and Birney Elementary.

The schedule of meetings follows, all of which will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1
Olney East High School, 100 E. Duncannon Avenue
The turnaround teams presenting are ASPIRA of PA, Inc., Nueva Esperanza, Inc., Foundations, Inc., Johns Hopkins University/TD Diplomas Now, and Mosaica Turnaround Teams.

Wednesday, March 2
Olney West High School, 100 E. Duncannon Avenue
The turnaround teams presenting are ASPIRA of PA, Inc., Nueva Esperanza, Inc., Foundations, Inc., Johns Hopkins University/TD Diplomas Now, and Mosaica Turnaround Teams.

Thursday, March 3
Gratz High School, 1798 W. Hunting Park Avenue
The turnaround teams presenting are Johns Hopkins University/TD Diplomas Now, Mastery Charter Schools, Mosaica Turnaround Teams and Universal Companies, Inc.

Monday, March 7
Clymer Elementary School, 1201 W. Rush Street
The turnaround teams presenting are Mastery Charter Schools, Mosaica Turnaround Teams and Universal Companies, Inc.

Tuesday, March 8
King High School, 6100 Stenton Avenue
The turnaround teams presenting are Foundations, Inc., Johns Hopkins University /TD Diplomas Now, and Mosaica Turnaround Teams.

Wednesday, March 9
Birney Elementary School, 900 W. Lindley Avenue
The turnaround teams presenting are ASPIRA of PA, Inc., Nueva Esperanza, Inc., Foundations, Inc., and Mosaica Turnaround Teams.

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