FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2016
George Jackson | 215.587.6750 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from PFT President Jerry Jordan on First Cohort
of Community Schools
The first cohort of community schools in Philadelphia will be: William Cramp Elementary School; Murrell Dobbins CTE High School; Edmonds Elementary School; Edward Gideon Elementary School; Kensington Health Sciences Academy; Logan Elementary School; Southwark Elementary School; South Philadelphia High School; and Tilden Middle School.
PHILADELPHIA–“After years of advocating for bringing the Community School model to Philadelphia, this is truly a great day for our schoolchildren.
“I want to thank our elected leaders for making this day happen. PFT members overwhelmingly endorsed Mayor Kenney’s bid for office, largely because of his support for community schools. Council President Clarke has been a stalwart supporter of community schools, and we thank him for convening the citywide community hearings and everything else he has done to get us to this point. Both of these leaders have walked the walk on this issue, including taking the time to visit a successful community school in Cincinnati.
“Children in a large urban school district like Philadelphia are racially, culturally and economically diverse. Providing our students with a quality public education is a unique challenge in our city, especially when factoring Philadelphia’s high poverty rate.
“The members of the PFT have long realized that poverty places formidable barriers between our children and the education that is so critically important to their future. Too many of our children come to school hungry, have special medical needs, or numerous other issues that prevent them from achieving at a high level. Community schools are designed to help children focus on learning by providing services that address their health, social and emotional needs.
“From providing vision care for students who have difficulty seeing their lessons, to free legal assistance for our children’s families, this model has the potential to transform schools into neighborhood hubs as they provide a great education for children.
“Too often, we have opted to close or give away our neighborhood schools instead of actively working to remove the obstacles that stand between our schoolchildren and academic success. From school and classroom supplies, to food and clothing, the teachers and staff in our schools have always worked and sacrificed to provide their students with what they need. We love and appreciate Philly’s educators for this. But it’s not a fair or sustainable way to address the needs of our children.
“Today’s announcement makes me optimistic that more support and better days await our schoolchildren, their families and educators.”