In 2013, we invested $1.5 million in James G. Blaine Elementary School in North Philadelphia. Blaine is a district neighborhood school that received more than 100 new students as a result of school closings in 2013. The funding will be used to implement a transformation plan developed by the school principal and a team of teachers.
The Blaine School aims to be a beacon of excellence in its community and ensure that every Blaine student will achieve high levels of academic growth, engage in personalized learning, and prepare for success in high school, college and career. The school’s transformation team has developed a set of strategies that will to lead to higher levels of instructional rigor, student engagement and student academic performance. Their goal is to prepare every student for success in college or career through differentiated academic instruction, cutting-edge technology-integration and expanded enrichment opportunities.
James G. Blaine serves the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood in North Philadelphia. At the time of the grant, the school’s student population was 95 percent Black and Hispanic and 97 percent economically disadvantaged. As a neighborhood school, Blaine is open to all students in the surrounding community.
The school’s leadership team is committed to the comprehensive transformation strategies required to turn around high-poverty urban schools. Principal Gianeen Powell has led the school since 2009. She is laser-focused on improving instruction and has worked relentlessly to ensure that every student learns and succeeds. Under her leadership, student attendance has increased and the school academically outperforms schools in the surrounding zip codes.