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Hearing scheduled on planned merger of two Kensington high schools

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

A decade after a student-powered campaign led to the splitting of Kensington High School into separate, small high schools, the School District will propose that two of the schools be merged.

On April 28, the School Reform Commission will hold a public hearing, where District officials will present a plan to close Kensington Urban Education Academy and merge the school with Kensington International Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship.

A notice of the hearing, posted in the legal notices section of Philly.com, says the meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Kensington Urban Education Academy High School, 2051 East Cumberland St.

Members of the public can register to speak at the hearing between the morning of April 23 and noon on April 28 by contacting the Office of Parent, Community & Family Engagement (215-400-4180).

There are now four small neighborhood high schools in Kensington. Besides Business and Urban, they are Kensington CAPA on Front Street and what is now Kensington Health Sciences Academy, formerly Kensington Culinary, which is located in the school’s former annex building.

Kensington Urban is the newest of the four. It was created after Kensington CAPA, which had shared the original Kensington High School building with Kensington Business, moved out into its new building.

Several members of Youth United for Change addressed the School Reform Commission last month to object to the plan, but a more recent planned SRC action was postponed. YUC was at the forefront of fighting for the small-schools plan. Kensington had one of the lowest graduation rates in the city before the breakup.

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