Partnership School

The Community Partnership School project was initiated in 1999 and formally approved by GA’s Board of Trustees in October 2004. The mission is to create an innovative Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade independent school program for talented inner city children. The goals of the program are to develop well prepared applicants for admission to challenging public, independent, religious and charter middle schools, while creating a national model for educational outreach that other successful independent schools can emulate. We are also establishing a demonstration school for graduate level research on best teaching practices for urban elementary aged children.

“My dream for Germantown Academy is that, as a school community, we do some good in the world by educating students for leadership and by becoming educational leaders ourselves. In Fort Washington we are clearly accomplishing the former. With the Community Partnership School we have found a vehicle for fulfilling both the former and latter by elevating the status of GA itself to educational pioneer. In the end, a good reputation is all that matters for either a person or a school. With the advent of the Community Partnership School, the Germantown Academy name becomes more widely recognized and acclaimed and thus grows inevitably stronger. By doing some good in the world outside our walls we, in the end, do a world of good at home in Fort Washington. It is in celebration of that truth that I ask you to join with me today in welcoming the Community Partnership School into our lives and in sharing the good news of its birth with all those who will hear.”

Germantown Academy Head of School James W. Connor 1760

FAQ

Q

What is the Community Partnership School?

A

The Community Partnership School is a Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade elementary school located in the north/central part of Philadelphia. The Partnership School is designed to connect the visions of two successful non-profit organizations, Germantown Academy and Project H.O.M.E. (Housing. Opportunity. Medical. Education), which is to try to break the cycle of under-achievement and poverty that is the usual consequence of a poor education. The founding goal was to develop a new independent school that will be a prototype that can be replicated, encouraging other strong schools to share its intellectual resources with those who live in less privileged environments.

Q

Why did GA want to enter this partnership?

A

GA, which reinvented itself with a risky move to Fort Washington in the 1960’s, has prospered ever since. As a school that has made good, we feel an obligation to reach back into the community and create the kinds of opportunities that will help others take the same journey. Our “reaching back” should include Philadelphia, where GA was founded 250 years ago, and which is in dire need of viable educational alternatives for talented students. One of my frustrations with independent schools is that we, who provide the best educational process in the world, can serve only a handful of qualified students. With the Partnership School, GA can reach back into the city of our founding by the exporting of our educational process into one of Philadelphia’s most underserved areas.

Q

What will are the expected benefits to GA from this partnership?

A

·Role-modeling for our students, at the institutional level, GA’s stated mission to “educate students to become leaders in a global society.”

·Gaining a central focus for community service work.

·Benefiting in college admissions from GA’s heightened name recognition.

·Entering larger funding circles, especially including foundations and corporations who would not normally contribute to independent schools. Such exposure to external major funding sources is of particular importance as we enter into a major capital campaign in the next few years to fund our master plan for projects on campus.

·Boosting internal morale as well as our ability to attract excellent teachers into our hiring pools. Our faculty and student trustee representatives spoke enthusiastically in favor of The Partnership School project at the October 19 Board meeting, understanding that national recognition for GA is good for all of us.

·Preparing students from low-income neighborhoods to become viable Middle School applicants for GA, as well as for all of the other independent, charter, religious, and elite public schools. Their viability fits our Strategic Plan’s commitment to GA becoming better known as a school that values racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic diversity in general.

·Benefiting, especially our Upper School students, by providing a life-long lesson in both the entrepreneurial and the philanthropic process.

·Complementing and elevating GA’s reputation beyond being known for our strong curricular and extra-curricular programs and for having a beautiful campus.

Q

What exactly does GA “export” to The Partnership School?

A

GA provides a framework for the curriculum that is based on our Lower School program. The Partnership School’s Head, Eric Jones, is responsible for managing the daily curriculum and parent and community relations, as well as a majority of the fund-raising duties in conjunction with the Director of Development of The Partnership School.

Q

What are the funding restrictions under which the Partnership School project can move forward?

A

All funding must come from sources external to GA and otherwise not available to GA. No GA tuition or budget dollars will be used in founding or monitoring The Partnership School. Corporations and foundations are the most likely source of funding. A number of them are keenly interested in supporting innovative educational programs that have a high likelihood of success.

Q

What does Project H.O.M.E. provide for the partnership?

A

To be successful in a new environment, GA needs a partner who is trusted in the neighborhood. Project H.O.M.E. is an award winning social service agency that knows North Philadelphia quite well. The Honickman and Comcast Technologies Learning Center is a state-of-the-art, 40,000 square foot teaching facility that, because the Project H.O.M.E. education programs are all designed for after school, will be available for use during the school day. These classrooms are already equipped for young children. Project H.O.M.E. has offered to rent a portion of these facilities to The Partnership during the school day. The Community Partnership School is currently searching for permanent facilities.


Community Partnership School
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The Community Partnership School visited GA several times during the school year to learn about creatures in the creek. They visited Mr. Newberger’s classroom to see the animals in the aquariums and to learn about what creatures live in the Wissahickon Creek. Then Mr. Newberger took them outside to the creek and they caught creatures with their nets and put them in tubs to be identified.
 

Opening the CPS