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School Reform Commission to reconvene today after summer break

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

Weeks before Philadelphia schools open — on time but with more budget cuts, a cigarette tax likely but still not enacted — the School Reform Commission will convene its inaugural meeting of the new school year today at 5:30 p.m.

On the agenda for the meeting are two District presentations, one on curriculum and instruction and the other on "serving students in care." A host of resolutions will also be voted on, including the adoption of a new student code of conduct and policies relating to the use of cell phones and other electronic devices in school.

Notably, also among the proposed resolutions:

  • A $550,000 grant acceptance from the Barra Foundation, which is funding the District’s community-led School Redesign Initiative. Officials said that it has received 27 letters of intent — and maybe more — that meet the initial criteria for moving forward with these teacher-led school transformations.
    The District’s also eyeing Strawberry Mansion High School to potentially become a community school. One resolution proposes renting the vacant space in the former L.P. Hill School building, which is connected to Strawberry Mansion, to Northeast Treatment Center, which will provide a range of child welfare, mental health and additional services.
    As part of the Pennsylvania’s Educator Effectiveness Project, the state’s new system for rating teachers, principals, and other employees, the District is proposing a $500,000 contract with Community Training and Assistance Center. The center will assist schools in developing Student Learning Objectives, the process used to measure and evaluate teachers based on student achievement.

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