In 2013, we invested $1.5 million to support the transformation of William D. Kelley Elementary School in North Philadelphia. Kelley is a district neighborhood school located in North Philadelphia that received more than 150 new students as a result of school closings. The funding is supporting the implementation of a transformation plan developed by the school principal and a team of teachers.
The transformation team at The William D. Kelley STEM Academy is working on a set of strategies that will to lead to higher levels of instructional rigor, student engagement and student academic performance. Their aim is to develop in every student the character traits, love of learning, and academic knowledge and skills to be successful in high school, college and life. The school will use extended learning time and a blended learning instructional approach to ensure personalized learning opportunities and targeted instruction. The goal is to accelerate learning and reach each individual student’s achievement goals.
William D. Kelley is focused on serving the Brewerytown neighborhood in North Philadelphia. At the time of the grant, the school’s student population was 96 percent Black and Hispanic and 96 percent economically disadvantaged.
The school’s leadership team is committed to the comprehensive transformation strategies that are needed to turn around high-poverty urban schools. Principal Amelia Brown has led the school for the past four years. She has set high expectations, held teachers accountable and worked relentlessly to identify resources for their schools. During her time at Kelley, the school culture has improved as truancy declined and parent engagement increased.