Despite cuts, Sayre High will not lose promise

Sayre High School may not be a Promise Academy this year, as originally planned under former super Arlene Ackerman's administration, but officials at the school are moving forward nonetheless.

The school, located at 58th and Walnut streets, in West Philadelphia, will launch a health professions program for this coming school year. The Dr. BLJ Jr. Sayre Health Center, a partnership between UPenn and the district, will provide direct care to uninsured and underserved, regardless of their ability to pay.

Tomorrow, officials will host a noon lunch for all Sayre High School staff in its newly renovated health suite.

Devastating cuts to plug a multi-million dollar budget gap resulted in Sayre losing its Promise Academy status for this year. Ten others were supposed to join the list, but now only three will open this year.

Despite the "disappointment and upheaval," school officials said they, and Sayre Health Center, "remain determined and on track to launch an exciting health professions." 

"The partnership between the health center and the school is a unique model that allows high school students to develop a sense of responsibility for serving their community," officials said in a statement released this week.

"These students act as agents of healthcare change in their neighborhood and learn to solve complex community problems."

The program also aims to provide 10th and 11th graders at Sayre with intensive health curricula, internship experiences, clinical outreach and community health promotion and opportunities for medical assistant certification.

The noon event tomorrow will take place at the Health Center, where attendees will get a tour of the facilities, located at 59th and Locust streets.