Green Woods Charter School opened the doors of its new 60,000 square feet, $13 million facility on Monday.
“I’m a big fan of great schools; no matter who runs them,” said Lori Schorr, the City of Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer. “We passed charter legislation in this state so that every kid could have the opportunity to go to a school like this.”
Green Woods began construction of the new facility in the 400 block of Domino Lane in the fall of 2012 after they purchased the land from the owners of the Keenan Valley View Inn.
The facility was built to expand to 675 students from Kindergarten through eighth grade by 2017.
“One of the ideas behind the charter law was to create schools that could become incubators for new best practices in education,” said State Rep. Pam DeLissio. “We must try to use schools like Green Woods to facilitate innovations to other schools.”
Jean Wallace, the CEO of Green Woods Charter, called it a banner day for the school.
“It’s a banner day, and a major event,” Wallace said. “I couldn’t be more proud or more thankful.”
Wallace hoped that the school would mark a change in the conversation about charter schools in the city of Philadelphia.
“This new space for your kids represents the incredible changes that are taking place in public education,” Wallace said. “We’re hoping that this school changes the dialogue and landscape for public education in Philadelphia.
Still, both Schorr and DeLissio said that parents and students at Green Woods should be appreciative of the opportunity that they have.
“You got yours,” Schorr said. “Now it is up to you to stay involved so that every child in the city has the same opportunities as your child.”
DeLissio added, “The children of this school are blessed, but they must remain cognizant of other children who don’t have the same opportunity.”
“We are far from a solution for every child,” DeLissio said.