PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia’s new principal has unveiled the key findings of his just-concluded Hear and Learn tour.
dr Tony Watlington spent his first 100 days on the job visiting schools across the district and hearing from students, teachers and administrators.
In a news conference on Tuesday morning, he said a common theme was security.
“Many of our children have told me during our listening and learning tour that they are not well,” said Watlington. “Some are afraid to go to their neighborhood and play, others are afraid to walk to and from school.”
Watlington said restoring a sense of security will be a top priority going forward.
He also announced that five people with ties to Philadelphia have been appointed to leadership positions.
Together, he says, they will focus on four areas: science, facilities, communications and customer service.
Watlington said there is clearly a “crisis of confidence” in the district at this time.
“I’ve heard loud and clear that too many of our facilities are not conducive to learning. This came as no surprise to me, knowing the myriad of challenges faced by school district facilities. Our community wants to work with us to make decisions that will help us get better,” Watlington said.
He says some steps have already been taken, including introducing before and after school care for students.
According to Watlington, only 36% of students currently meet state standards in reading and just 21% in math – statistics he called “unacceptable”.
Watlington’s transition team is scheduled to present its findings, along with an action plan, to the school board on October 20.
For a full report of the listening and learning tour, visit PhilaSD.org/100Days.
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https://6abc.com/school-district-of-philadelphia-superintendent-tony-watlington-listening-and-learning-tour-safety/12294454/ School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington unveils takeaways from 100-day ‘listening and learning’ tour