Breaking down the Philly School District’s proposed closures and consolidations in NW Philly

After weeks of speculation, the School District of Philadelphia recommended on Thursday that 44 public schools close or relocate at the end of this academic year as part of its Facilities Master Plan, an effort, aimed in part, at addressing ongoing budget woes.

In Northwest Philadelphia, six schools could close, including Germantown High School, a nearly 100-year-old institution.

Theodore Roosevelt Middle School along with Robert Fulton, John F. McCloskey, John L. Kinsey and Jay Cooke elementaries are also the chopping block.

No programs in Mt. Airy or Roxborough are slated to close, but the district is recommending a series of relocations that involve schools in those neighborhoods.

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Parkway-Northwest, Leeds and James J. Elverson 

The district is recommending that Parkway-Northwest High School in Mt. Airy co-locate at Leeds Middle School in nearby Stenton.

For the past 20 years, the School District has leased space for Parkway’s program from New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, which has a campus on Germantown Avenue.

The latest agreement, a three-year deal, cost the District more than $700,000 annually, according to district officials. That lease ends on June 30, 2013.

As part of the Facilities Master Plan, the district has looked to shed its leases at non-district buildings wherever possible.

Principal Ethyl McGee of Parkway-Northwest was not available for comment Friday.

Leeds Middle School, currently a 7-8 institution, will remain at its Mt. Pleasant Avenue building, but will add fifth and sixth grade students.

The Military Academy at Leeds will move out to make room for Parkway’s program. It will combine with Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson to form a brand new military high school. The program will be located at Roosevelt’s building.

James J. Elverson Jr. Elementary School is slated to close.

Roxborough High 

Roxborough High School will remain on Ridge Avenue, but will start sharing its space with students from Lankenau High School in Upper Roxborough. The district has recommended the schools co-locate at Roxborough High.

Roxborough High School may also receive students from Germantown High School. If the Haines Street school closes, students may transfer to either Martin Luther King High School or Roxborough High.

Roxborough Principal Stephen Brandt was not available for comment on Friday. 

The city’s School Reform Commission has the final say with regards to the school district’s recommendations. They are scheduled to vote on each one in March following a series of citywide information and community forums.

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