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By Othella, Dan, Koby, Khalif, Anthony, Ryan, and Shakoya

Sesaons greetings School District,

Happy New Year! We have worked so hard on improving our schools that we should take time to relax (thou short lived) and reflect.

So… as we are all equal contributors of the Philadelphia School District (students, teachers, PSD Officials, and community members) here’s what we should be both reflecting upon and working on for the New Year.

Our First New Year Resolution, as a united school district, should be to get at the root of safety issues and school climate, by ending the school-to-prison pipeline. How do we expect students to want to learn if they feel they’re going to a jail anyway?

Secondly, we should invest in schools, and not shut them down. Other things we can do instead are: improve the student to teacher ratio, lower the class size, and renovate the schools that need them most.

Our Third Resolution should be to make sure that all of our teachers are qualified, relatable to students, and really care about improving the classroom by using new tools and proven methods. For example, invest in the Grow Your Own program, which helps people from the neighborhood become teachers in their neighborhood schools. Also, we should make sure that students’ interests are truly reflected in the teacher contract.

We need to…. NEED TO TAKE A HARD LOOK at the school curriculum. Some students need more time to really learn one subject, and classes shouldn’t push us to move on before we really get it. From what we have seen the curriculum can be very restricting to great teachers whom have come up with great ways of teaching. This means we need a curriculum for liberation, not domestication.

Our last resolution should be a commitment to real community and student empowerment. We need to let our voice be heard, and ensure transparency in our decision-making. Therefore, PSU must be allowed to organize in every school, so that we can make sure we are keeping on track to our commitment for “community involvement.”

Happy Holidays, School District of Philadelphia! This is a time that we need to be beside the people we love and trust most, thou these great days should not be isolated to just one time of the year. We as the School District of Philadelphia need to ensure the feeling of love is given throughout the year by ensuring everyone gets the best possible education.

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