Philly charter school agrees to close after next year; what happens beyond that unclear

Mike DeNardo
June 13, 2019 - 3:01 pm
The future is unclear for students at the Charter High School for Architecture and Design.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The future is unclear for students at one Philadelphia charter school now that the School Board Thursday approved the school's offer to surrender its charter.  

Rather than endure a long and expensive hearing process after a non-renewal recommendation, the board of the Charter High School for Architecture and Design, or CHAD, offered to surrender its charter after next school year.  
 
The school board has now unanimously accepted that offer.  

The district has agreed to work with CHAD to determine what happens to the school and its 600 students at Seventh and Sansom streets. 

"September 2020, we do not yet know whether there will be a continuing school or program, where that will be. That's part of what will be worked out," said Naomi Wyatt, the superintendent's chief of staff.

Wyatt told the board that CHAD has freshmen enrolled for this fall. 

"Depending on what gets worked out, there may be a class. There may not be a class. It maybe part of another program or school. So that's a TBD at this particular moment," she said. 

Related: One of Philly's oldest charter schools agrees to give up its charter next June

Board member Mallory Fix-Lopez was uneasy about the timeline. 

"My concern is that if we're not giving ourselves the time to do it right, it will not be successful," Fix-Lopez said. 

But board member Chris McGinley pointed out that the resolution mentions only exploring options, and doesn't guarantee that there will be a district-run CHAD-like school, nor that it would be ready by September 2020.