Thursday, May 7, 2015

Camden School Board needs KIPP's final numbers pronto

Total enrollment numbers and building plans for the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy must be finalized soon so that the Camden Board of Education can move forward with its long-range facilities plan due to the state in April.

Camden School Board needs KIPP’s final numbers pronto

0 comments
Travel Deals

In case you missed it, I wrote Thursday about the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy’s group’s plan to build its first school at the site the state had reserved for the Lanning Square Elementary School and expand from there.

One of the issues surrounding this plan that I didn’t mention in the article is that the Camden Board of Education, in order to finish its long-term plan, must urgently work out what KIPP’s enrollment will be.

According to the Renaissance school project’s application, 2,800 students would eventually be educated within its five schools.

But the board is still awaiting a final number.

“We need to know what the ultimate enrollment is so we can do our work,” said board member Ray Lamboy, who is spearheading the district’s long-range facilities plan.

The Camden board is in the process of calculating how many students will continue to attend district schools in the next five years. The long-range facilities plan is due in April to the state Department of Education.

The district is also reaching out to current charter schools to get information on their expansion plans so it can better calculate its future, Lamboy said.

The district’s most recent long-range plan was completed in 2005 and revised in 2007.

“The student population is still the same,” said Wendy Kunz, who is director of facilities construction for the Abbott district, referring to the 18,000 students in Camden. “Charters have siphoned more of that population.”

The nine active charter schools in the city account for more than 3,000 of all district students.

Although no other Renaissance school projects are on the horizon in Camden, one of the masterminds behind the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy, George E. Norcross III, believes there are more to come. (See the disclaimer on Norcross and the Inquirer HERE.)

When I interviewed Norcross on the KIPP plans, he said that project would remain in the general vicinity of Lanning Square but that other Renaissance school projects could be built in the other three quadrants of the city.

That would almost entirely get rid of the current school district, I said. To which he contended that the school district has failed in its education mission and parents want alternatives.

“They might be pretty pleased,” he said.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to asteele@philly.com, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

Reach Allison at .

Allison Steele
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected