District will hear Germantown Community Charter School Coalition’s pitch on Monday

 During a May open house at the shuttered Germantown High School building, visitors needed mobile-phone lights to navigate. (NewsWorks, file art)

During a May open house at the shuttered Germantown High School building, visitors needed mobile-phone lights to navigate. (NewsWorks, file art)

It’s all come down to a pair of hearings.

On Monday, members of the Germantown Community Charter School Coalition will head to North Broad Street to publicly present details of the group’s application for a new independent charter school in the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood.

They’ll return in January to field questions from the School Reform Commission and make a final statement.

The timeline ahead

All 40 applicants were required to address the school’s academic program, organizational compliance, finance, facilities and community involvement and support.

If approved by the SRC, the school could open inside the former home of Germantown High School in September.

Under state law, the body must reach a decision within 75 days of the first hearing.

The coalition hopes to serve 1,050 neighborhood students in grades six through 12.

According to its 96-page application, students would be taught traditional subjects, but also learn skills aimed at job-readiness. All classes would be held in “small learning environments.”

Down the road, the coalition hopes to co-locate with a boutique hotel and a restaurant. Both would be folded into the school’s curriculum in some way.

The back story

The hearings come after more than a year of community meetings, planning sessions and email exchanges.

It also comes as the school district prepares to start negotiations with The Concordia Group, which has bid $6.8 million for a portfolio of shuttered schools, including GHS and nearby Robert Fulton Elementary.

As of mid-November, the Maryland-based company had not started its mandatory due diligence. It did, however, send a letter supporting the coalition’s plans.

On Monday, neighborhood supporters plan to board buses in Germantown and head downtown to offer visible backing for the proposal. NewsWorks will cover Monday’s events in their entirety.

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