School Year 2016-17 Focus Schools


The School District has been partnering with each school since October to develop a recommendation to improve academic outcomes for all students. As part of this process, each school completed a school quality review to assess the school’s strengths and challenges. Each school also hosted focus groups and community meetings to get input from students, parents, teachers, and community members. The District then reviewed school data and the stakeholder feedback to develop a recommendation for improving student academic outcomes.
Starting in school year 2017-18, seven of these schools will begin exciting and ambitious academic intervention plans. The interventions are based on each school’s specific needs with the goal to create rapid academic improvement. These schools will receive investments of up to $1 million.
Consistent with Anchor Goal 1 of Action Plan 3.0 our high schools must provide opportunities for students to become prepared for college and career and for life. To better prepare Philadelphia students for the ever changing job market, we are increasing our focus on our comprehensive high schools. Four high schools will become initial participants of a plan that increases focus on comprehensive high schools. In the coming 2017-2018 school year, these four high schools will receive added investments and additional resources intended to better prepare students for college and career and for life. The District will announce further details on the school investments and the next steps in their plans to focus on comprehensive high schools in the coming months.

School-based Improvement Plans

Bartram HS

A technology-driven, blended learning model with targeted small group instruction and collaborative and engaging student projects.

Improve instruction and student engagement

  • Blended learning curriculum
  • Assess CTE interest and class offerings
  • Regular professional development including an academic coach
  • Keep and hire the best teachers for the new model

Improve school climate and student attendance

  • Maintain current climate staff

Improve graduation rate

  • Ninth grade academy model


Technology and personalized learning to accelerate student achievement.

Improve instruction and student engagement

  • Blended learning model to support daily small group instruction and independent work
  • Assistant principals to support instruction, accountability, and climate
  • Additional school-based teacher leader

Improve school climate and student attendance

  • Full implementation of a positive behavior intervention and support system
  • Continued partnership with City Year

Expand and improve family engagement and support

  • Increased collaboration with families and community stakeholders and training for the School Advisory Council

Better support teachers through expanded professional development opportunities

  • High quality, collaborative professional development


Accelerated student achievement through consistent use of small group instruction, reduced class sizes, and dedicated staff focused on increasing attendance and better supporting bilingual families.

Improve instruction and student engagement

  • Daily use of small group instruction targeted to student needs
  • Reading specialist support for early literacy
  • Technology to support targeted small group instruction
  • An academic coach to build instructional capacity

Implement a team leadership approach

  • School turnaround professional development and training

Expand and improve family engagement and support

  • Full time bilingual counseling assistant
  • Parent ombudsman to support family engagement


Accelerated student achievement through high-quality instructional practices, better support families experiencing attendance challenges, and resources to serve the needs of students in two separate buildings.

Increase instructional rigor and engagement through intensive teacher development

  • Collaboration with Jounce Partners on high quality teacher professional development
  • Summer professional development institute
  • Regular professional development throughout the year
  • Keep and hire the best teachers for the new modelExpand and improve family engagement

Expand and improve family engagement

  • A school-wide attendance improvement plan and additional staff, including a parent ombudsman

Additional support staff to better operate two separate school buildings

  • Administrative and support staff to adequately operate both campus, including an additional AP and counselor

Entering Turnaround Network



John Marshall

Accelerated student achievement through a highly-structured approach grounded in research and focusing on the essential elements of successful school turnaround.

Identify and cultivate great turnaround leaders

  • Selection of a principal who exhibits turnaround competencies
  • Assistant principal to support school transformation

Establish a teaching and learning continuous improvement process

  • Analysis of student work in three week intervals
  • Monthly data meetings at the network and school level
  • A reading and a math content coach
  • Blended learning strategies to support personalized learning
  • Class size reduction at the K-2 level to 20 students

Build instructional capacity

  • Additional growth opportunities and job-embedded support
  • Annual summer turnaround institute
  • Cross network learning sessions

Support a healthy and safe learning environment

  • A dedicated social worker and counselor
  • Advisory to support students in grades 6-12
  • Research-based behavior and support programs

Engage school community in the turnaround process

  • Quarterly School Advisory Council meetings
  • Philanthropic partnerships aligned to academic goals
  • Quarterly community engagement opportunities

High School Intiative

Ben Franklin HS

Kensington HSA

Overbrook HS

Fels HS

School improvement through a focus on 9th grade, engaging stakeholders involved in college and career readiness efforts, and creating new opportunities to implement high school improvement plans.

School year 2017-18 Investments

  • Additional resources intended to foster academic improvement that will better prepare students for college and career