EFCC Meeting 3/9: Schoolhouse Talk!

EastFallsLocal school choice FEATURE 3

UPDATE: Based on a revised EFCC agenda (received 3/9), there will be only five schools represented at tonight’s meeting: 

            Thomas Mifflin School
            St. James School
            Greene St. Friends School
            Germantown Friends School
            Penn Charter School 

(String Theory, Wissahickon Charter, Eastern University Academy Charter, and Immaculate Heart of Mary have now been removed from agenda)

An EFCC meeting to discuss school choice? We’re happy to see it in this month’s agenda.

We’ve talked to plenty of parents who would love to hear about their charter and public school choices. For quite a few, it doesn’t get much more serious — either get their child into a good school or move out of the Falls. And it’s no less serious for the community, which needs all the families it can hold on to.

So we hope that Monday’s meeting will be the constructive and informative discussion we all need. We’re looking forward to it, even though a quick glance at the agenda has us scratching our heads a bit:

Updated agenda.3.9

Why String Theory?
(Editor’s note: Although no longer on the agenda, we’re still puzzled why String Theory was included on the original 3/4 agenda, given that the SRC decision rejecting ST was announced in mid-February.)

Why invite a school that was denied by the SRC? They may appeal to Harrisburg, but it’s going to take a loooong time for that to shake out. For all practical purposes, they’re out of the picture. Given the heat stirred up on both sides of the charter/public school debate by String Theory, inviting them probably won’t generate constructive discussion.

Why These Schools?

The agenda lists five schools: Mifflin, Penn Charter, Greene St. Friends, Germantown Friends, and St. James.

It’s a good list, but why these particular schools? If it’s based on proximity to the Falls, there are some names missing. Perhaps the biggest is Green Woods Charter (whose catchment area includes Mifflin).

But what about others? Mercy VocationalWB SaulA. Philip Randolph? These schools are as close (or closer) to the Falls as Germantown Friends, for example.

Maybe EFCC invited other schools and they declined? Maybe there isn’t enough time to discuss them all?

Maybe this is the first of several school choice meetings? (We’d love to hear more about the schools that didn’t make the list). Perhaps we’ll find out more on Monday.

Why Now?

It seems late in the year to start investigating school options. Most local parents with school-age kids have likely already researched, vetted their choices, and submitted applications for Fall admission by now.

We know parents who have already been promised spots in their third or fourth “safety schools” and are now hoping to hear good news from the top of their lists. Perhaps they’re the exceptions?

Any parents out there who haven’t started the search yet? (We’d love to hear from you in the comments section).

PLUS:  Beer!

We might be a bit skeptical about the agenda, but we’re looking forward to being pleasantly surprised on Monday night.

In fact, we’re all set to talk it out afterwards… with beer! Join us after the meeting at Billy Murphy’s to chat about the agenda, education in East Falls, or anything else you want to get off your chest.

Can’t make the meeting? Here’s a great way to catch up socially & informally with other community-minded neighbors.

If your child’s educational path is at a “junction,” hook up with other concerned parents this Monday night to find the right track in East Falls!

Eastfallslocal.Conjunction Junction2

 

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