Philly district picks 20 schools for year-round, extended-day pilot

schools district Philly
The School District of Philadelphia plans to pilot year-round and extended-day programming at 20 schools.

The School District of Philadelphia has selected the 20 schools that will participate in a year-round and extended day pilot program during the upcoming academic year.

Teachers at the chosen schools began receiving messages from the district Monday inviting them to information sessions about the plan, staff members at several different schools said.

A virtual form included in the letter allowed teachers to select their school from a dropdown menu. Information shared with Metro shows the following 20 schools were included on that list.

  • Thomas M. Peirce
  • Joseph Pennell
  • Franklin S. Edmonds
  • Laura Carnell
  • Louis H. Farrell
  • Joseph Greenberg
  • Vare Washington
  • Southwark
  • Thomas G. Morton
  • George Childs
  • Add B. Anderson
  • Alain Locke
  • Samuel Gompers
  • Overbrook Education Center
  • Richard R. Wright
  • Edward Gideon
  • Solomon Solis-Cohen
  • John H. Webster
  • Juniata Park Academy
  • William Cramp

School district representatives declined to comment, saying only that there has been no announcement about the year-round and extended-day pilot. It is unclear how the schools were selected.

While running for mayor, Cherelle Parker promoted the idea of year-round and extended-day programming at schools, and it has remained a priority in the first year of her administration, with the mayor’s office saying funding was included for the pilot in the recently signed municipal budget.

Mayor Cherelle Parker speaks Thursday, April 11, at an event marking her first 100 days in office at Russell Conwell Middle School in Kensington.JACK TOMCZUK

Jermaine Dawson, the district’s deputy superintendent of academic services, in a letter to teachers obtained by Metro, said that “the focus of the first year of the pilot is to extend opportunities for students within the traditional calendar year.”

The message said that the schools in the upcoming academic year will see expanded after- and before-school opportunities and hours; more enrichment programs; optional winter and spring break programming; and the introduction of pre-kindergarten out-of-school time slots.

Dawson wrote that “teacher’s contractual requirements will not change for the 2024-2025 school year.” Officials from the teachers’ union are reviewing that claim.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President-elect Arthur Steinberg, in a statement Tuesday, said the union was “not made aware” of the district’s plan to launch the pilot in the coming school year.

“We have requested more information about the pilot and its potential impact on our members from Superintendent Watlington’s administration,” he said. “As we await communication from the District, we intend to have more information to share with our members in the very near future.”

The district invited teachers to attend one of two Zoom sessions, where administrators are expected to provide additional details. The meetings are scheduled for Thursday, June 27, and Tuesday, July 2.