Girard College’s class of 2015 will get to graduate after all, according to the Board of City Trusts.
Following last week’s announcement by the board that it aims to temporarily discontinue its residential and high school programs, the board released a statement Thursday detailing a plan to allow the class of 2015 to secure their Girard College diplomas while earning accelerated college credits at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP).
Girard College teachers will teach high school classes in the morning, and students will take college classes at CCP in the afternoon.
The board will cover the cost of tuition and text books, and it will pay select Girard College high school teachers to teach for the year. Under the previous plan, all high school teachers would have been laid off.
The program is only available to the class of 2015, who just completed 10th grade. The two lower classes will still have to transfer to other schools. Previously, incoming seniors would have been the last to graduate from Girard, leaving juniors with the challenge of finding another school. Teachers at the school expressed concern that those students would have a difficult time doing so because they would be too old.
The board maintains that the decision is instrumental in saving the residuary fund that pays the school’s operating costs. At current operating costs, the board says the fund would last for another 20 to 25 years. Temporarily suspending the programs would allow the fund to replenish more quickly, and the school could return to being a K-12 boarding school, the statement said.
The board has yet to file a petition with the city orphan’s court to carry out the temporary suspension of the high school and residential programs. Parents are still fighting the decision, with many asking for enough time to allow all four grades to graduate.