Shirley Hooks transcript of her testimony at the SRC meeting May 24, 2018

SRC 5-24-18 Shirley Hooks

Click the picture and go to timestamp 23:55 to view Shirley Hooks testimony.

Good evening everyone. As of last SRC meeting Dr. Hite verbally stated that Strawberry Mansion will not be closing. As a stakeholder I am concerned about the future of the public school system. Currently our public schools attendance is declining.  So one of the recourses the SRC or School board will be taking is to turn Strawberry Mansion into a project based school. My question is would any of you SRC members send your kids to a school like that? I don’t think so. I’m sure none of your children even attended schools like that. Project based schools are run by outside vendors. This school needs dedicated teachers and staff whose main concerns are the children.

As a stakeholder and a community member, who has a vested interest to what happens in my community, we demand transparency and respect for our children that remain as students in Strawberry Mansion High School.  We demand that the programs that were once in the school be restored. You have heard the voices and concerns of the current students. Do something about it! We demand our 9thgrade students be allowed to return for 2018 or one better. If you don’t know the history of Strawberry Mansion it started out as a Junior High School.  Then the school became a junior and Senior High which filled the building and the classrooms.  The Junior High operated on the 4thand 5th   floors. If you bring those grades back you will no longer have a vacancy problem. We demand Strawberry Mansion remain a Comprehensive School and not a complex used to make a profit using outside vendors.

Attached is a spreadsheet which gives the district data for a few selected schools in the Philadelphia area. Included in the data are Martin Luther King, Bartram and South Philadelphia High School. The data provides how many are enrolled and the schools capacity. Strawberry Mansion is not the only school who has this issue as you can see. Closing/phasing out schools is not the answer to this problem. It’s much bigger than that! Inner city children are suffering due to lack of programs, attendance of an adequate staff and education. This needs to be addressed and fixed throughout the whole public school system.  In the words of a song composed by The Intruders “We’ve got to do something to save the children. Soon it will be their turn to try and save the world.”  Just something to consider when making budget decisions for Strawberry Mansion and other schools. The children are the ones who should reap the benefits!

SDP Data – Selected Schools
This is the spreadsheet Shirley shared with the SRC. Compiled by Catherine Blunt, a supporter of the Strawberry Mansion School-Community. The information was compiled from the SDP website: demographic and climate data is from 2017-2018, and Keystone scores, grad, and 1st year college data is from 2016-2017.