(Courtesy of the School District of Philadelphia)
The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) granted Roxborough High School a $1.1 million grant, according to a release from the School District of Philadelphia on Monday.
The grant will go toward helping the school implement a three-year academic plan focused on better integrating its STEM career training program with its core courses, said PSP spokesman Jacob Waters. That STEM career program is known as career and technical education classes, or “CTE,” and trains students in fields like web design, biotech and entrepreneurship.
“In some schools with CTE programs, general education and CTE are basically siloed off from one other, and so students don’t get the most out of their high school experience, either by not being completely prepared for CTE courses or graduating with academic deficiencies in other areas,” Waters wrote in an email
CTE was brought to Roxborough High School and a handful of other District schools by Philadelphia Academies, Inc, the education nonprofit led by Lisa Nutter, wife of former Mayor Nutter. (Philadelphia Academies is involved with other tech-focused work, too: in May, it launched a Knight Foundation-backed “Teen Tech Fund” designed to bring coding and entrepreneurship programs like Coded By Kids and TechGirlz to schools.) We last reported on CTE during the Comcast franchise agreement negotiations last year, as the agreement included a goal of Comcast hiring 50 to 100 students from the District’s CTE program.
Additionally, the PSP grant will help fund new technology, new curriculum, improvements to facilities and a permanent “in-house” substitute teacher for the school, according to the release. Roxborough will also be counseled by Dr. Michelle Wilcox, a consultant from the education consulting company Steele Dynamics.
PSP also donated a $150,000 incubation grant last year to support professional development at Roxborough and the formation and planning process of the three-year plan.
The School District of Philadelphia has received about $16 million from PSP, making it the District’s largest private funder, according to the release. The organization has often granted money to schools that have a STEM focus: three years ago, it invested $6 million to expand the STEM-oriented Workshop School, Science Leadership Academy and Hill-Freedman Middle School.
PSP has invested more than $57 million in Philly schools during the past five years. About $34 million in grants has gone to charter schools, $16 million to public schools and $6 million to private schools, according to the release.