Girard College files with Orphans’ court to drop boarding and high school

     Students at last month's protest call to passing cars:

    Students at last month's protest call to passing cars: "Honk to save Girard." (Ann Marie Awad /for NewsWorks)

    The overseers of Girard College yesterday asked the city’s Orphans’ Court to approve its plan to discontinue grades 9 through 12 at the school and close the school’s boarding program.

    The plan was announced last month by the Board of Directors of City Trusts, which administers the school. The board said the school’s trust could only last for 25 more years at current operating costs. 

    The plan is a cost-saving measure, and the board has said the loss of the high school and boarding programs would be temporary, to be reinstated when the trust is more solvent.

    Since the use of the school’s trust is dictated by the will of founder Stephen Girard, who established the school originally as a home for orphans, the Board of Directors needs the Orphans’ Court’s permission to alter the terms of the will. 

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    The changes were originally planned for the end of the next year, meaning the class of 2014 would be the last to complete their high school education at Girard. 

    The school has since put together a plan to allow the class of 2015 to take classes at the Community College of Philadelphia and receive college credits along with a Girard College diploma. They won’t be be allowed to board at the school. 

    Many in the Girard College community have met the announcement with outrage. A protest staged in front of the school last month drew hundreds of students, alumni, parents and members of the community, who called for the board to stop the plan. 

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