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713. FACILITIES RIGHTSIZING POLICY


Date Adopted: August 17, 2009

1. Purpose
 

  1. The School District shall employ rightsizing measures to ensure the equitable distribution of resources, programs, and facilities throughout the school system aligned with the actual census of students.

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2. Definitions
 
  1. a) Rightsizing: An alignment of capacity and programs that results in combining facilities, adaptive re-use, and/or expansion.
  2. b) Consolidation: A realignment of student population to meet the minimum enrollment guidelines per school facility in order to better serve the educational needs of students.
  3. c) Expansion: The addition of grades to an elementary or middle school program or the replication of high quality academic programming
  4. d) Closing: The elimination of an academic program and/or school facility.
  5. e) Reconstitution: The complete restructuring of a school which may include replacement of some or all of the school staff, provision of additional instructional and noninstructional resources to support academic improvement, or partnering with an external organization.
  6. f) Conversion: The re-purposing of an academic program.
  7. g) Co-Location: Sharing underutilized space for appropriate educational or administrative functions.
  8. h) Relocation: Movement of an educational program to another facility.

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3. Criteria
 
  1. a) Enrollment Trends and Demographics The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when a school has experienced significant and consistent growth or decline in enrollment. Feeder school patterns and demographic data will be studied to determine if the pattern of increasing or declining enrollment is likely to be reversed, if there are development initiatives underway or likely to be implemented in the near future, if a significant number of students who attend the school reside within the school's boundaries, and the capacity of surrounding neighborhood schools.
  2. b) Educational Adequacy and Equity The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when a school is surveyed for its educational adequacy, which is the facility's effective capacity to house and support its educational program, including an appropriate number and configuration of classrooms and the existence of appropriate ancillary spaces that are required to meet contemporary educational standards, and the facility is determined to be inadequate when applying those criteria.
  3. c) Academic Performance The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures to expand or close a school based on its level of academic achievement, its ability to reach and maintain Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and the rigor of its educational program.
  4. d) Capacity Utilization The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when a school has a large number of empty seats and enrollment is significantly less than building capacity. When a school exceeds its building's capacity, the School District will consider changes to the enrollment boundary, opportunities to lease additional space, and the potential for altering the school's capacity through the capital improvement program.
  5. e) Annual Operating Expenses and Cost of Capital Improvements The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when the costs to repair, maintain, and/or operate a facility are excessive relative to all other District facilities.
  6. f) Space Availability The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when there is sufficient space in other public schools to receive the students without imposing an undue burden on the physical and instructional capacity of the receiving school and it is not necessary as a result of the closing to transport students an unreasonably long distance, relative to the travel times to and from school experienced by other students in the District.
  7. g) Safe and Orderly Environment The School District will consider employing rightsizing measures when schools have been determined to be persistently dangerous for a substantial period of time and the District's best efforts to change these conditions have been unsuccessful.

  8.  

    However, rightsizing measures shall only be employed when the following conditions are met:

    • Significant true net savings are achieved after the costs of closure, consolidation, or relocation are fully
       incorporated into the analysis.
    • Receiving schools have developed a transition plan to create a unified learning community.
    • Receiving schools have at least comparable of not better instructional programs and facilities.
    • An opportunity for substantial public input and community engagement has been afforded.
    • Senior District management has consulted with the City of Philadelphia to determine whether any major new
       residential developments are underway or anticipated that might change demographic patterns.
    • Rightsizing measures will not terminate or disrupt a successful educational program that has been increasing
       student achievement levels consistently and substantially.
    • All actions being considered by the School District are consistent with applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania
       Public School Code and all applicable laws.


  4. Implementation of this Policy

     References:
 

     All actions taken by the School Reform Commission shall be consistent with all applicable
     provisions of the Pennsylvania Public School Code.