Barbara Dowdall SRC testimony – April 28, 2016

Barbara Dowdall pic 4-28-16
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Educational Opportunities

Small class sizes. Safe, clean and attractive physical plants. Trips to

museums, concerts and the theatre. Regular recess and/or physical

education. Properly apportioned counselors. Reading specialists.

Fully-resourced library with librarian and library aide.

I am beginning to doubt your commitment to restoration of school libraries in:

my neighborhood school, John B. Kelly

my own elementary school, now academics plus, Edwin H. Fitler

my own junior high, Theodore Roosevelt

my own academic, college prep high school, Girls

schools where I taught: Vaux Junior High, Germantown High, William Penn High School. Oh, sorry. They’re gone.

Lankenau Motivation High School (Now Environmental)

Murell Dobbins and A. Philip Randolph Technical High Schools

my great nieces’ and goddaughter’s school, C. W. Henry

and the rest of the 95% of Philadelphia public schools lacking a fully-functioning library, as cited by Free Library of Philadelphia Director Siobhan Reardon in a fundraising letter.

Provide these for the public schools that the governance entity you now serve on or serve was gifted to Philadelphia in 2001. Including Mitchell, Rhodes, Roosevelt (already mentioned) and Munoz Marin.

Relieve your overburdened charter office of any additional responsibilities, including Cooke, Huey and Wister.

Promise today that you are done with handing over and turning around and are moving forward to build up with love and dedication every school within your circle of care. Study and ponder the offerings (attached) of the nearby Jenkintown School District, to which you have lost two more students*, come September.

Barbara McDowell Dowdall

English/Academic Department Head (Retired)

A Philip Randolph Technical High School

Member, Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS)

*Children of a Philadelphia public school graduate who entrusted them to the SRC’s care for their combined school life of 9 years, beginning with kindergarten.

Jenkintown Schools foster academic, social, and emotional growth of all students within a small, nurturing community grounded in tradition. We cultivate character, encourage participation, celebrate learning, and inspire minds to achieve personal excellence through effort and creative exploration. Our students will thrive in an academically challenging environment that values diversity, respect and responsibility. Our students will become lifelong learners, creative problem solvers, critical thinkers, and effective communicators.

In 2015 the School District of Jenkintown is a place where personal relationships provided by the small setting encourage a cooperative spirit, shared respect and responsibility, support for each other and a commitment to education that enables students to meet the challenging expectations of our global community.  The district is creatively proactive and responds to the changing demands in education and society.

Authentic, relevant and exciting standards-based learning permeates each classroom. Diverse learning takes place through a variety of experiences that includes community service, participation in global research projects, fine and applied arts, self-directed learning, expanded partnerships with businesses, colleges and universities, all of which is facilitated by the teacher.  High expectations for students exceed those expressed by state and national standards.

Technology is completely infused into the learning process.  Students learn through synchronous and asynchronous activities.  Through technology, cultural sensitivity and expanded world language skills, students are problem solving and discussing issues with the global community.  Parents have access to current and accurate records of standards-based student data and curriculum, providing parents with real-time information about their child’s development.

The School District of Jenkintown is the educational, cultural and recreational center of our area.  Within this community of care, we all take pride in our overall wellness, sustainable environment, and celebrate the accomplishments of our peers.  Pride in ones school color continues to be a source of excitement, spirit and identity with the past, present and future.

Our Philosophy

The School District of Jenkintown strives to provide all children with an education appropriate to their needs, interests, and abilities. Characteristics of the Jenkintown program are close relationships between students and staff, and many opportunities for student participation.

In an effort to educate the whole person, the curricular and co-curricular activities focus on computation and communication skills, the use of modern technology, democratic values, and the foundations to create not only independent and critical thinkers, but also cooperative members of a team; and the formation of responsible citizenship in a changing society.

Essential to the achievement of these goals are structures to ensure a highly competent administration, a well trained and caring faculty and staff, and responsible school board members. Of equal importance are the students, their supportive parents, and an informed community.

It is our endeavor to create an educational climate in which students experience both success and challenge. We hope to instill the realization that learning is integral to growth and extend beyond the scope of the school district’s program.

We believe:

all students can learn

our school community should promote many co-curricular activities that give students a variety of experiences promoting self-confidence and competence

in cultural experiences that foster students’ ability to set, revise and achieve their educational goals resulting in the creation of productive citizens

in the importance of the community which include interactions of teachers, staff, parents, students, residents and business

learning should provide the skills necessary for continued growth and success in the future through educational experiences that are challenging, exciting, and diverse

in the importance of inspired teaching

the school experience exposes students to the academic, vocational, emotional, physical, and social opportunities, that result in a worthwhile and rewarding life

effective communication is essential

small class size can enhance and foster the education of students because of the positive effect on learning

the arts are a critical component of our comprehensive educational experience

in an inclusive environment to meet the needs of all students

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Return to the APPS SRC testimony videos.