This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
In the face of its continuing budget crisis, the Philadelphia School District continues to show a willingness to invest in new options for its students.
Carver High School of Engineering & Science, a STEM-minded magnet school in North Philadelphia, plans to add 7th and 8th grades at the beginning of next year.
"The hope is really to create much more of a pipeline of STEM education in Philadelphia," said Carver principal Ted Domers.
The 120-student expansion is being supported by a $147,000 planning grant from the Philadelphia School Partnership.
The grant will allow the school to create a STEM coordinator position, give existing faculty the time and resources for additional professional development, and help facilitate partnerships with four district elementary schools: Chester A. Arthur, Southwark, Blaine, and W.D. Kelley.
The latter two schools are now undergoing "internal turnarounds" that are also facilitated, in part, by the Philadelphia School Partnership.
"It’s the opportunity to work with school leaders that I know are committed," said Domers of the elementary schools. "Their schools’ vision is to really drive STEM education."
He hopes to work with these neighborhood elementary schools "in a way that magnet schools have not traditionally done."