District’s school-closing plan now spares two Northwest Philly elementaries

A pair of Northwest Philadelphia public schools may stay open after all.

On Tuesday, the School District of Philadelphia removed 10 schools from its list of recommended closures, including John F. McCloskey Elementary in Germantown and Jay Cooke Elementary in Logan.

 If approved, McCloskey would become a K-8 school. It currently stops at sixth grade.

As part of its Facilities Master Plan – an effort aimed, in part, at addressing an ongoing budget crisis – the district announced in mid-December that it wanted to close 37 buildings at the end of the academic year.

Two schools, M.H. Stanton in North Philadelphia and Beeber Middle School in West Philadelphia, were added to the closure list, bringing the total to 29 buildings.

“After evaluating feedback from the community meetings, alternate proposals, projected utilization and savings goals, the Superintendent has issued a set of revised recommendations for consideration and action by the School Reform Commission,” reads an updated master plan.

The district led four citywide information sessions and more than a dozen citywide community forums around its plan.

Tuesday’s announcement also included recommendations that Lankenau High School in Roxborough remain at its Spring Lane building and that Roosevelt Middle School’s building on East Washington Lane in Germantown be completely shut down.

The district had originally recommended that Lankenau co-locate at Roxborough High School on Ridge Avenue. Roosevelt was scheduled to close and become the site of a new high school comprised of the city’s two military academies, Leeds and Elverson.

The two academies will now merge at Elverson’s building in North Philadelphia.

Germantown High – a school that students, parents and alumni have rallied to keep open since news broke in December – remains on the chopping block. Robert Fulton Elementary in Germantown and John L. Kinsey Elementary in West Oak Lane also remain on the closure list.

Starting Thursday, the district will hold a trio of public hearings on all building and program closures. Each will be held at district headquarters at 440 N. Broad St.

The city’s School Reform Commission is scheduled to vote on each of the district’s right-sizing recommendations March 7.

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