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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 and moving the students to

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 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—, , 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 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?

Anastasia Writer November 03, 2011 at 10:58 AM
AMY NW should and needs to stay where it is! One of the reasons it is a great school is because it is located in Mt. Airy. A calm, quiet, green and friendly neighborhood! Children right out of elementary school in this area should not have to travel so far just to go to a good school! They already would have to do that for High School. Instead of closing & moving schools try making an actual effort at working with what you have instead of uprooting hundreds & hundreds of children. Try cutting the pay of the decision makers! Stop short-changing & harming the welfare of the children.
kidsfirst November 03, 2011 at 01:45 PM
I agree with the above post. Selling the Levering building would be the better option. Enough would be raised, and enough saved from not having to maintain the aging building and not having to transport the AMY students to surpass the $200,000.00 in lease expense. Surely the maintenance/heating costs of Levering now are more than $200,000.00.

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