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Community Cleanup Day in Frankford

Saturday was community cleanup day and I got an invite to go over to the Mastery Charter School formerly known as plain old Smedley Elementary to see what was happening.   Smedley is a big school and when I first pulled up and I only saw a few kids in front.  Jacob Waters a teacher there had sent me the email and he gathered all personnel for a picture.  Turned out there was a nice crowd of kids on hand and just when we got set up Tony Payton arrived.

I have been doing this long enough to know that Tony will usually turn up at community events.  He is the most present politician I have encountered.  Present he was and below we have the picture.  Three cheers for Mastery Charter School and the new Smedley Elementary.


Frankford Cleanup Day at Mastery Charter School - Smedley

I was off the check out Overington Park and when I went by the 4900 block of Penn Street I found these folks just out cleaning up.  I had to stop and get a video of them in action.


Finally saw I was early for Overington so I headed over to Wilmot Park.  I got a tip from Jason Dawkins that there would be a cleanup crew there too.  I found Raymond Grant of Philadelphia Cares unloading the equipment as his crew began to arrive.  All in all it was a cleanup day in Frankford.  But there was more than that happening and that will be posted tomorrow.


Raymond Grant of Philadelphia Cares

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Data Shows Smedley Mastery Charter School Turning Around

Good news coming out of Smedley over on Bridge Street.  Since Mastery Charter Schools took over the school in September, parents say they are happy with the turn around.

From Newsworks:

At long-suffering Smedley Elementary in Frankford, things are finally looking up.  Now a Renaissance school run by Mastery Charter, there are raised expectations for students. And according to new data released by Mastery and the School District, enrollment, attendance, and reading levels are all going up, too. The key, says Principal Brian McLaughlin, has been getting the entire school–even the kindergartners–to feel a sense of urgency.

From the Notebook:

“The [council] is thrilled with how Mastery has transformed the school,” said SAC chair Ninette Cooper.

Nice to see good things happening.

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Renaissance at Smedley

From the Notebook on the opening of the Mastery Charter Smedley Elementary School (1790 Bridge Street):

By 8:30 in the morning on September 1, all of the fourth and fifth graders at the new Mastery Charter Smedley Elementary School in Frankford were assembled in the sweltering cafeteria for a combination PowerPoint presentation and pep rally.

“On the screen, you see a big eraser,” preached Brian McLaughlin, Smedley’s energetic new principal who, at 27, is just a few years removed from a stint as a Teach for America corps members at Stetson Middle School.

“I want you to think of all the things from last year that may not have been things you liked,” said McLaughlin. “We’re going to erase those right now.” Mastery Charter banner at SmedleyPhoto: Benjamin Herold
Taking a breather on the first day back to school.

Mastery opened Smedley, Mann, and Harrity Elementary schools on September 1, and Young Scholars Charter School opened Douglass Elementary on August 31. For both, the focus of the weeklong head start is establishing a new school culture and new expectations.

The education of these children is the only hope we have.  See this link on the dropout rate in Philadelphia.

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Smedley School

The School Reform Commission has finally made a decision on the new management of the Smedley Elementary School, at 1700 Bridge Street.  Mastery Charter Schools will take over.  From the Inquirer:

“Great things are going to happen in the coming year,” said Gordon, whose Philadelphia-based company is known for turning around failing and violent schools.

His group will run West Philadelphia’s Harrity School, which is K-8, and Mann and Smedley schools, both of which serve grades K-5. Mann is in Wynnefield, Smedley is in Frankford.

It is about time.