Students bear brunt of delayed overhaul at West Philly High School

    The ever-changing status of West Philadelphia High School could bring about a teacher shortage next fall, and staff at the beleaguered high school are on edge.

    The ever-changing status of West Philadelphia High School, 4700 Walnut Street, could bring about a teacher shortage next fall, and staff at the beleaguered high school are on edge. The high school was set to be overhauled until plans were delayed several weeks ago. Now students could be the ones bearing the brunt of the turmoil.

    WPHS teacher Neil Geyette says knowledge of the school’s situation varies from student to student. The school was set to become a Renaissance School – a failing school designated for a major makeover inside and out. Most students knew that meant they would have had to stay for longer school days and attend summer school – not a popular plan. But few knew it meant at least half the teachers would be fired. Now, fearing the worst, many veteran teachers have jumped ship for other district schools.

    Geyette says the real losers in all this are the students.

    Geyette:
    Their success has been based upon individuals working with them for a year, two years, three years, and the kids’ initial response to ‘oh you’re not going to be here next year? Well I quit.’ You know, like I’m giving up on myself because I have nobody here to make sure I do this stuff.

    As many as 31 of the school’s 76 teachers may not return next year.

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