School for foster kids launched in Philly

    Philadelphia now offers a school option no other place in the country does, a charter school designed to serve children in foster care.

    Philadelphia now offers a school option no other place in the country does, a charter school designed to serve children in foster care. School officials say a more structured, supportive education environment will help teens who often face challenges adjusting to new schools and new classmates when they change homes. Wednesday school officials, supporters, and students gathered at Arise Academy Charter High School for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
    Caption: Students gather for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Arise Academy Charter High School

    Listen:
    [audio: 090909lfariseacademy.mp3]

    Some girls show off new hairstyles, and up front some very attentive students line the seats.

    The big difference between these students and others becomes clear when the school’s board president, Jill Welsh Davis, asks how many schools they’ve been to. When she counts to 6, kids still have their hands up.

    Davis: 75.2% of kids in foster care have dropped out of high school. Everybody here has been hand picked based on their passion and their feeling about these kids, and there will be behavioral health supports. Many of our teachers have been in foster care or they’ve had members of families that have been in foster care.

    One sophomore says students at his first school gave him a hard time when they found out he was in foster care. He says the similar family situations at the school put him more at ease.

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