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October 7, 2015 / olneypost

School District wants to make Cooke Middle School into a charter.

Superintendent Hite wants to make Jay Cooke middle school into a charter. The SRC votes on confirming that. Photo courtesy of buildgreatschools.wordpress.com

Superintendent Hite wants to make Jay Cooke Middle School into a charter. The SRC votes on confirming that. Photo courtesy of buildgreatschools.wordpress.com

Jay Cooke Middle School at 1300 W. Louden Street will become a charter by the end of the school year, says the school district superintendent.

Superintendent Dr. William Hite Jr. spoke to local media and said multiple schools would be closed, converted to charter schools and created to improve education for young Philadelphians.

Jay Cooke was referred to as one of the school district’s “low performing” schools and would be run by a yet unnamed company as a charter.

According to the Philadelphia School District website, Cooke was at full 500-student enrollment during the 2014-2015 school year. In the 2013-2014 school year, only grade 4’s reading and grade 8’s math and reading PSSA scores were at or above the school district’s average, reports the school district.

Superintendent Dr. Hite also mentioned plans for a high school most likely in North Philadelphia run by Big Picture in a closed and unused school building. Olney does have the shuttered Incarnation Middle School building on 425 W. Lindley Ave. and the old Cardinal Dougherty High School building at 6301 N. 2nd St.

Big Picture, which operates El Centro de Estudiantes in Kensington, runs 52 schools in the United States and puts an emphasis on internships and personalized learning/projects for students that have dropped out of traditional schools.

All of Hite’s plans need to be voted on by the School Reform Commission to be passed.

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