by Diane Payne
This Board meeting seems to have signaled a real change in direction by those in charge of the District. All new charter applications were denied, and Dr. Hite responded to concerns brought by teachers about oppressive administrative practices.
All nine members of the Board of Education were present as well as student representative Alfredo Pratico. (Student representative Julia Frank was absent.) All meeting agendas and materials can be viewed on the SDP website and videos of previous meetings can be viewed by scrolling down on the BOE home page and clicking on Watch Previous Board Meetings.
Five members of APPS testified in defense of Public Education. You can read APPS members’ testimony (and reports on Philly Public Education issues) on the APPS website. The room was filled to capacity; some members of the public had to sit in the lobby overflow area.
The meeting opened with a beautiful student performance by The Franklin Learning Center’s singing group The Bobtones, directed by Michelle Frank. These performances serve as a reminder of the importance of the Arts in our schools’ curricula. The Arts should never be considered an “extra.”
Reports from the Student Achievement (S.A.) and Finance and Facilities (F&F) committees were presented by Co-chairs Chris McGinley (S.A.) and Lee Huang (F&F). (See APPS’ reports of these committee meetings on our website.) Community Engagement Committee Co-chair Mallory Fix Lopez reported that the announcement on those selected (of 123 applicants) for the Parent Advisory Committee would be made next Thursday, March 7th. She also reported that the next Community Engagement meeting will be held at the Blackwell Community Center in West Philadelphia on March 21st. Information and a request for RSVP (not mandatory, just for planning purposes for food and childcare) can be found on the Board website. Policy Committee Co-chair Maria McColgan reported that nine policies have been on the agenda for review and will be voted on at the March Board Action Meeting: Policies 111, 123.3, 211, 217, 304, 617, 709, 804, and 805.