District Recommends Closing Levering Elementary
If the recommendation is passed, Levering would close sometime over the next two academic years.
The School District of Philadelphia has released a list of 31 recommendations that have to do with closing or downsizing schools throughout the district, and one of those recommendations would involve closing the William Levering School and moving the students to Cook-Wissahickon.
The recommendations, if approved, will be implemented over the next two academic years. They're being announced at a School Reform Commission meeting Wednesday.
It's important to note that the recommendations are not final—the district will hold 17 community meetings throughout the city over the next four months to gauge resident opinion on the matter.
The first meeting will take place at Roxborough High School on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. The only other meeting in Northwest Philadelphia will happen at Martin Luther King High School (6100 Stenton Ave.) on Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.
At the meetings, the district said in a news release, "attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the proposed changes, comment on proposed policies to guide right-sizing of schools and the District, see the framework for decision-making in future phases and learn how to access school-specific data."
Levering would close to make room for AMY Northwest, which is for students in grades 6-8 that is currently located in Mt. Airy. Its students would receive offers to be reassigned to one of four schools—James Dobson Elementary School, Cook-Wissahickon School, Thomas Mifflin School (in East Falls) and AMY Northwest (which would only be available to Levering students in grades 6-8).
A confidential document published by the Philadelphia Public School Notebook in June had indicated that the Mt. Airy school could be moved into a closed Levering building. That document has also indicated that Parkway Northwest High School For Peace and Social Justice could potentially moved to the current Levering School building in Roxborough if that school were to be closed, but Parkway Northwest's name wasn't mentioned in the district's list of recommendations Wednesday.
According to the confidential document, the district currently pays $200,000 annually to rent the St. Therese property where the Mt. Airy school is housed.
The SRC will vote on the recommendations some time in the spring, according to the school district.
They are ultimately part of a district effort to reduce its excess capacity. Its goal is to utilize 85 percent of its space.
"The district’s excess capacity problem did not occur overnight. It was due to over 10 years of inaction," a news release said. "The proposals introduced are intended to be a starting point of action."
Other recommendations include closing five other schools outright. In some cases, grades would be phased out from certain schools in order to allow them to no longer exist after all students currently enrolled there have graduated.
For the full list of recommendations from the district, click here.
What do you think of the potential changes? Tell us in the comments.