PSP is increasing the number of high-performing schools in Philadelphia and creating the conditions for great schools to thrive. We invest in the creation, growth and improvement of quality schools for low-income students.
The schools PSP invests in, which we call portfolio schools, range in type with most being public (charter and district), while others are private (Catholic and independent). All portfolio schools have similar and important characteristics:
- Mission-driven, determined, and resourceful leadership
- High expectations for all students
- A focus on serving predominantly low-income and minority students
How does PSP invest in portfolio schools?
PSP has a school investment team made up of former school leaders, each with years of experience leading and teaching at high-performing schools. Through a rigorous vetting process, the school investment team identifies schools of all types (district, charter and private) that demonstrate the ability to produce outstanding results for underserved students. PSP then invests in selected schools in four main ways:
- Incubating new school ideas: We award Incubation Grants to talented teams, individuals and organizations so they can develop plans for new school ideas.
- Opening new schools: PSP awards Startup Grants to proven leaders with fully developed plans so they can open new schools.
- Transforming struggling schools: We award Turnaround Grants to school operators with a strong track record of successfully turning around or operating quality schools.
- Expanding high-performing schools: PSP awards Growth Grants to expand or replicate existing successful schools so they can serve more students.
How else does PSP support schools?
PSP supports school leaders and educators by offering technical assistance and professional development opportunities:
- Direct school support: In 2017, to ensure portfolio schools remain high-quality as they grow in size, PSP started providing direct programmatic support to a targeted set of schools. This initiative, named Target School Support Initiative (TSSI), helps schools build capacity in strategic planning, teacher development, data-driven instruction, and student support structures, ultimately leading to better outcomes for students.
PSP also provides direct support to schools through technical assistant grants. These grants help to increase
- Communities of Practice: PSP sponsors working groups, called Communities of Practice (CoPs), where practitioners can learn new skills and share resources in a supportive environment. PSP offers CoPs in six high-impact areas: data and assessment; math systems; instructional coaching; literacy; talent management; and special education. Based on the principle that two heads are better than one, we believe teachers are better prepared to help students when they share experiences and learn from each other.
- Technical Assistance: Technical Assistance grants are small awards made to active and non-active Philadelphia School Partnership portfolio schools. The goal of this funding is to increase network or school capacity, through a specific initiative, that will ultimately result in increased student achievement gains.
What has been PSP’s impact?
PSP has invested in more than 65 schools across Philadelphia and has increased access to great schools for families:
- Over $65 million invested: Since 2011, PSP has awarded over $65 million to schools of all types to improve educational outcomes of children in Philadelphia.
- Over 65 schools: PSP has invested in 66 schools across the city.
- Opportunities for students: As a result of PSP’s investments, high-achieving schools have expanded their enrollment by more than 26,000 students.
To learn more about PSP’s impact, download our annual reports: