Thursday, September 3, 2015

Attendance sparse on frigid day

Attendance sparse on frigid day


Frigid weather and old buildings, many of which are in poor repair, wreaked havoc in some Philadelphia School District schools.

Edison High, in North Philadelphia, was closed Monday and Tuesday due to flooding and water damage in 25 classrooms.


Bethune Elementary in North Philadelphia closed early on Tuesday, district spokesman Fernando Gallard said. The school's heating system was on the fritz, and though crews were dispatched to repair it, the building had grown very cold and its principal decided to send students home.


McCall School, in Center City, was chilly, one teacher reported - temperatures in the 50s in some classrooms.


At South Philadelphia High, at least one part of the building was without central heat, with space heaters fired up in classrooms.


One of Southern's boilers failed, Gallard said, but it had been repaired by late morning, and the heat was being restored. The school did not send students home.


One of Forrest Elementary School's buildings had heat problems; one teacher said students were kept in the cold for a few hours. Gallard confirmed that the Mayfair school had problems with heat in one building, but said the students in that building had been moved to the main school, where the heat was fully functional. 

Staffers reported low attendance in many schools around the city.


At John Welsh Elementary in Kensington, a teacher reported that 10 of 26 students were present in one classroom. Most students walk to school, and many parents apparently opted to keep their children at home.

At Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, attendance was at about 21 percent during first period.


At nearby Kensington Urban Education Academy, attendance was at 16 percent early in the day.


School of the Future, in Parkside, reported only about 40 percent of students showing up.


At Bache-Martin Elementary in Fairmount, attendance was spotty, with some student advisories reporting as few as 23 percent of pupils present.

At the Career and Academic Development Institute, a district alternative school in Chinatown, about 35 percent of students had shown up.

Did you send your child to school today? For school staffers, what were attendance/building conditions like?

Stay warm!

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About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.

Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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