at 1100 E Erie Ave, Philadelphia, 19124 United States
Our mission is to effectively serve urban youth in search of a positive school experience in a supportive environment.
537 FB users likes Community Academy of Philadelphia CS (CHS), set it to 65 position in Likes Rating for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in School category
Currently, 35th Anniversary pics are posted on CAP-Alumni FB page only.
Thanks to everyone who have been commenting and "Like"ing our first round of 35th Anniversary pics. Next week, we'll have a bunch more and continue all year through June 2015. If you have some school pics you would like posted send them to Mr. P at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also when CAP gets our new website up and running in late September this year (2014), send us a picture of you at work, school or at home. So we can have a true "Where Are They Now? section on an Alumni page of the website. We think that would be informative: you can decide how much info is included by writing the caption yourself. Send it to the same email, and also say if you want it posted on this Alumni fb page, as well. We all hope you had a great summer, and we love our alumni! — feeling emotional at CAPCS 1100 East Erie Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124.
GOOD MORNING AND HAPPY FRIDAY! The CAP High School Choir will be singing on the court at a 76ers game! The performance is Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 at the Wells Fargo Center, 76ers vs. the Charlotte Bobcats. The students will be singing "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray. The students are singing pre-game, so please be there before 6:30. Tickets will be available at the School Store beginning Thursday, March 6. Tickets are $25 each, payable by cash or credit card ($1 processing fee applies). This is a discount from the $30 face value of the tickets. Hope to see you there!
We did not receive enough registrations for tonight's FAFSA completion session so we had to cancel. Parents who registered for the event were contacted and students were informed of the cancellation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Kibler at 215-533-6700 x504.
The Faculty Talent Show, scheduled for Wednesday, March 5th, has been postponed until next WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12th. Students in the Elementary Division who paid, submitted a permission form, and were planning to attend have been sent home with memos regarding the change. Student Ticket Sales will be extended through the week until the date of the show. Please remember, all proceeds benefit the Darnel Baez Memorial Faculty Scholarship. All currently enrolled students and ALUMNI are invited to attend next week. Alumni planning to attend- tickets are $4.00 at the door!
CAPCS will be closed 1/7/2014 due to dangerous weather conditions.
THE SRC WILL HOLD A VOTE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17TH TO TRY TO NOT RENEW OUR CHARTER. WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF APPEALING AND SUING THE SRC. CAP WILL NOT CLOSE. THE DEBATE WILL GO TO HARRISBURG AND THE COURTS. THE SRC IS NOT THE FINAL WORD. WE WILL BOYCOTT THEIR ABUSIVE, POINTLESS, PRE-DETERMINED MEETING. THEY HAVE SHOWN NO FAIRNESS OR OPEN-MINDEDNESS; SRC MEETINGS ARE CHAOS DURING WHICH THE MEMBERS PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE SPEAKERS. WE WILL NOT BE PART OF A KANGAROO COURT. WE WILL PROCEED TO FAIR AND NEUTRAL HEARINGS WITH THE CHARTER APPEALS BOARD AND THE COURTS. October 16, 2013 Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends, The SRC has notified us they intend to vote on the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to not renew and/or revoke our charter on Thursday, October 17th at the regular meeting of the SRC. No matter how they vote Community Academy will not close; we will continue our appeal of the February 2011 vote, and we will immediately appeal any action taken on Thursday. We will proceed to fair and neutral arbiters in the Department of Education and the Commonwealth’s court system. THE SCHOOL WILL REMAIN OPEN. The SRC has sent us a resolution based on the unfair hearings run by a friend of the Corbett appointed SRC chairman. This makes a mockery of due process. We were rushed to finish; denied opportunities to present witnesses; denied an opportunity to present the defense we believed told our story; were presented with misinformation from the charter school office and not permitted to rebut it; were slandered with false financial information by a SDP auditor who never audited us and testified to the wrong bank holding our bonds. Worst of all, there were no rules for the hearing, the Chairman’s friend made them up as he went along, and we were not permitted “discovery,” the ability to know what data and background information was being used by the SDP against us. It was a game of “gotcha.” One time, the chairman’s buddy allowed the SDP lawyer to copy a bunch of PSSA reports from public schools at lunch time and then present them to our witness and question her with no time to prepare…gotcha! Far from objective, the hearing officer’s final report includes data analysis that was denied us at the hearing and supplied to him by the SDP. It is not hard to figure out who helped with his report; we know who paid his bill. Using out-of-date data fed to him by the SDP, the hearing officer erroneously concluded: “Consistent failure to meet State standards is a serious deficiency, but one admittedly shared by the School District as a whole. Below average performance is also undesirable, but unless all schools score exactly the same, some will always be below average. Thus, I am persuaded more by the fact that better results are consistently achieved by schools that most of Community Academy’s students would otherwise attend. Community Academy is beginning to achieve measurable improvement, but not enough to bridge the gap within the foreseeable future. Accordingly, unbeknownst to them, it is likely that Community Academy’s students would receive a better education elsewhere if the charter is not renewed or revoked.” The “Unforeseeable” Future: Last Year 2012-13* Well, “unbeknownst to (him)” the SDP’s scores continued to go down as they ricocheted from the cheating scandal, and CAP’s scores continued to go up. He might, also, have considered that No Child Left Behind had not been reauthorized for years as it stumbled toward the ridiculous “magic year” of 2014 when 100% of all children in America were supposed to be proficient in Reading and Math to make AYP. So, according to PDE in 2013, sorry Mr. Hearing Officer, but it “ain’t so!” PDE reports that all the public high schools surrounding CAP are in the bottom 5% of schools in the State using the new PA School Performance Profile and Federal Accountability System, the official system to measure school performance. Those schools that performed worse than CAP and would be the schools CAP students would be sent to if it closed are: Edison, Fels, Frankford, all the Kensingtons; and Aspira Olney CHS. In fact, CAP performed better than 75% of the remaining SDP neighborhood high schools after closures based on the information we have now. Also in the bottom 5% are Roberto Clemente MS, Penn Treaty MS, and Memphis Street Academy @ John Paul Jones. (A full list is attached below) The PDE only released the bottom 5%, the full list will be released in January after some corrections are done for Keystone test results in the SPP section. We not only bridged the gap, we put up the Golden Gate Bridge, and that was done before he wrote his report in July; however, his SDP advisors didn’t warn him what was going on. * These scores and any others mentioned here are based on last school year 2012-13, the unforeseeable future! Dealing with the SRC: Blindfold and Gags in Chaos It is pointless to deal with the current SRC, which gives lip service to community input and makes decisions behind closed-doors only to come out to the “public meeting” to rubber stamp pre-arranged, self-serving actions. When denied by the hearing officer access to the information required to find out who, what, where and when decisions were being made about CAP, we made a Right-to-Know request. The SDP denied it. We tried again and they denied it again, so we went to the State appeal board, and we won. The State ordered the SDP to hand over the documents we requested regarding how the decision was made to not renew our charter after the previous SRC had been in favor of renewing our charter. When the 30-days ran out for the SDP to deliver the documents to us, we received a letter from their lawyer saying they were appealing to Common Pleas Court, and they would not hand over the documents the State ordered them to give CAP. The SRC operates in secret, and believes they are above the law. Philly.com reported that the SRC’s Parent Engagement meeting this Tuesday resulted in the members getting “an earful,” as the picture showed the stone-faced chairman. Parents were quoted saying: “You’ve undermined whatever people have tried to build…” and “Don’t make decisions in secret.” The SRC’s Code of Ethics and the Perception of Fairness In fact, the very lawyer who was our hearing officer was a member of a panel called by his friend the current SRC chairman to review SRC ethics. His appointment as our hearing officer and the behavior of the SRC in denying us access to the documents the State ordered the SRC to turn over to CAP gets the SRC a big “F” according to his own recommendations: “Recognize that the perception of integrity is no less important than the reality and increase transparency for ethical aspects of all the District’s operations.” Perhaps, too, the chairman has failed to “recognize that perception of integrity is no less important than the reality,” when after leading the SDP to its first disaster of the 21st Century and the State take-over, he returns to helm the District into union-busting, lay-offs, plummeting test scores, alliances with right-wing groups, and finds his boutique law firm merged with one of the largest law firms in the United States: the coincidence of perception provides for a very lucrative post-chairmanship career. In an encounter with a former political official who was making an attempt to open doors for negotiating a way out of this mess, the chairman told him that it is a “problem” when the “founder” of a school hangs around too long, an interesting comment from a guy who was president of the School Board 15 years ago. Of course 15 years ago, as a leader of the charter school movement, I was a critic of that same school board president. All Things Are Not Equal In his September article in the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, SRC member Joe Dworetzky makes it clear that due process was for the SRC but a burden when exercised by charter schools. A strange thing to argue for a lawyer who swore an oath to uphold the constitution and whose law firm represents charter schools verses PDE. Hey, when there’s money to be made! Remarkably, when he visited CAP before the 2011 vote, he recommended we add programs to increase our PSSA scores, using a large Philly-favored charter school provider as a model. When I noted that the SRC planned to cut funds to charter schools, he had no answer to how we would add programs. Interestingly, that “favored charter school provider” now has four (4) schools in the bottom 5% of the State on the Federal Accountability System. Consistency is not a strong point for this SRC Chair of the Charter School Committee. Mr. Dworetzky supported another charter school with similar scores to CAP for charter renewal and grade expansion after voting “No” on CAP, and now in a recent Inquirer story, that same school reported it had a School Performance Profile (SPP) of 40.9 while CAP’s uncorrected SPP is 59.2. Charter schools with restrictive admissions policies and high expulsion rates, and therefore, higher PSSA scores got slaps on the wrists, but slid through charter renewals. We objected to being compared to these schools. There has been a culture of looking the other way at cheating overtly, like the public schools that were caught and others that account for the huge drop in test scores the past two years as strict enforcement of testing has gone into place, and those indirectly cheating like admissions skimming and thinning the student body in charter schools. Our scores were compared against inflated scores and the hearing officer refused to consider the possibility, proving that following the rules in Philly is often the worst thing you can do. However, as you can see in some cases it has caught up to the cheaters, and CAP has shown slow but steady growth. See below the list of Philly schools in the bottom 5% of schools according to the Title I Federal Accountability System and PA School Performance Profile that has replaced AYP. Mr. Proietta CEO & Founder of CAP A comparison of Community Academy of Philadelphia CS to other Philadelphia Title I Schools as reported by the PDE using the SPP The Pennsylvania Department of Education released a list of the bottom 5% of all schools in the state scoring on the new PA School Performance Profile (SPP) and Federal Accountability System. We are proud, but not surprised, to say that CAP was not one of them. The bottom 5% schools were given a federal designation of “priority,” and more than half of these schools were in Philadelphia. Because the state will not be releasing the final scores for all schools until January, we can only say that CAP performed better on the SPP than these schools, but we know that we performed better than many other schools, SDP and charter, as well. Looking at this list it is easy to see that Community Academy and its fellow independent charter high schools are the only real choices for families living in Juniata, Kensington, West Kensington, the River Wards and Lower Northeast. The schools in bold are the SDP supported schools in our neighborhood. Public High Schools in Lowest 5% of School Performance Bartram; Edison HS/Fareira Skills - Promise Academy; Fels HS; Frankford HS; Franklin HS; Furness HS; Kensington – Creative and Performing Arts HS; Kensington – International Business; Kensington Health Sciences Academy (formerly Kensington Culinary Arts Academy); Kensington Urban Education Academy; King – Promise Academy; Overbrook HS; South Philadelphia HS; Strawberry Mansion – Promise Academy; and West Philadelphia – Promise Academy. Charter High Schools in Lowest 5% of School Performance Arise Academy CS; ASPIRA Bilingual Cyber CS (K-12); ASPIRA – Olney CHS; Imhotep CHS; Mastery – Gratz CHS; and Universal – Audenreid CHS. SDP Elementary and Middle Schools in Lowest 5% of School Performance Ethel Allen; John Barry: William Bryant; Cayuga; Roberto Clemente MS – Promise Academy; Stephen Douglas; Robert Fulton; Leslie Hill; Samuel Huey; William Kelley; John Kinsey; Alain Locke; Morton McMichael; Penn Treaty MS; Philadelphia Learning Academy-North; Philadelphia Learning Academy-South; Theodore Roosevelt MS; William Sayre MS; Walter Smith; Stanton Hall; Allen Stearne; Widener Memorial; and Richard Wright. Charter Elementary and Middle Schools in Lowest 5% of School Performance Mastery CS-Hardy Williams Academy (formerly Renaissance Advantage); Mastery CS-Cleveland Elementary; Memphis Street Academy CS @ John Paul Jones (American Paradigm Schools); People for People CS; Universal-James Alcorn Renaissance School; and Mastery-Francis P. Pastorius Renaissance School. Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education Chart: School Performance Profile: Title I Schools with Federal Designation 10/8/2013
All Alumni/ae, The SRC has posted the public comment period for the charter renewal. We ask that you send a email to the SRC telling the SRC that YOU want them to renew the charter and why, particularly mentioning our mission and leadership, if possible. Don't be afraid to be personal and tell your story and what CAP means to you. Please send a copy of your email to email@example.com, if you wish, so we can keep track of how things are going. This is their notice: "The public hearing before the School Reform Commission of The School District of Philadelphia on the recommended nonrenewal of Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School's charter has been completed. Formal action on the recommended nonrenewal shall be taken by the SRC at a future public meeting. Meanwhile, the public has thirty (30) days to provide comments to the SRC, beginning on Thursday, June 27, 2013 until Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Comments may be submitted in writing, addressed to the SRC, Suite 101, 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, or by email, addressed to SRC@philasd.org. All comments received will be made part of the record of the non-renewal hearing." If possible, share this information with fellow alumni, friends and family, pastors, imams, and rabbis, community leaders and politicians, and ask for their support, as well. Please help your school this very important!
Today is ZERO DAY! For many of you, I'm sure this day is full of many fond and nostalgic memories. We are about to welcome 140+ new members to the CAP/CHS alumni. They are all dressed up in Blue and Gold, very exited, having fun, but tomorrow...EXAMS! Biting bagels... — feeling Anticipation.
Woo-Hoo, the faculty caps and gowns have arrived. That means the 33rd grad class and new alumni are just around the corner. Graduation, June 11. — feeling great.
As the Bible says in Exodus, Chapter 23, Verse 1, "Thou shalt not accept a false report; extend not thy hand to the wicked, to be an unrighteous witness." There's been a lot of that going around in official circles lately, but your school is strong and the Truth is obvious. CAP is — feeling blessed.
Using all the same arguments from the hearing yesterday, I recommend in the name of Philadelphia taxpayers, that the School District close it's doors in June. They have repeatedly stated that they have been running a financial deficit and have very poor academic scores. Moreover, they have been unable to retain a CEO to the end of a contract. They are seriously understaffed if all enrolled students actually came to school. They are about to cut vital student support services, advanced placement courses, and security protocols. Surely such an institution should not be attempting to remove a splinter until they remove the plank from its own eye. From a friend of CAP
Whatever happened to common sense? The School District’s testimony against CAP grossly fails the smell test of common sense. If the problems existed in the manner in which the SDP says they do, then how could CAP produce the outcomes it has for the past seven years? The press is reporting the SRC’s ACCUSATIONS without any filter of common sense, and in the case of Channel 6, on Monday night May 6th, just plane incorrect reporting (we‘re not one of the public schools “slated to close in June”). Let’s look at the facts: The SRC says our test scores are too low, and yes, they are low. However, we counter that the PA Department of Education’s Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment Scores (PVAAS) show steady growth above the city average. Our graduation rate, they admit, is higher then their neighborhood schools; the percentage of CAP students going to college and staying in college is higher than the SDP’s average, and our averages for Latinos/as and African-Americans is higher than the SDP’s and the State’s. Common sense…Look at the outcomes. We are the best open admissions school in Philadelphia, better than Frankford, Fels, etc., and the public middle and elementary neighborhood schools our students would attend if they didn’t go to CAP. They even admitted that they compared our scores to schools that the State is investigating for cheating; the same schools whose PSSA scores dropped like a rock last year. They claim our financials are bad because we managed the school in a way that we couldn’t pay bills until it got better the last two years. Duh! Common sense! You are talking about the past and guess what? In those past years the SRC is talking about, CAP paid its bills, and got “clean” audits that were submitted to the SDP for their review. Did they have a problem? They didn’t say so. CAP went from year to year without missing a beat: no bills were unpaid; no salaries were paid late; there were no complaints; our bond payments were timely. Common sense! Then they dared say we cut $1.0 million from instruction. No! No! No! Governor Corbett, who appointed Chairman Ramos, cut $1.0 billion from the education budget, causing us to cut our budget, and CAP did not cut instruction, it cut administration and froze salaries. We even added to instruction, bringing in a national expert to improve math instruction in grades 3-8. (We have since included the whole school and added literacy skills.) That’s when we combined the Lower and Middle Schools, and your teacher’s accepted a salary freeze. They deserve a big thank you, not a big LIE, because they personally sacrificed because they believe in CAP and your children. That’s the common sense of CAP. CAP is about outcomes.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to the CAP Alumni who came out to the SDP building this chilly Monday morning to cheer for CAP! Your love and support is what makes CAP the special place that it is. — feeling wonderful.
SDP official says it's fair to compare CAP PSSA scores to SDP when 53 of 250 SDP schools were caught cheating, and that's the one's that were CAUGHT! These people have no shame. When they improved security, their math scores grade 3-11 went down -55.9% and ours went up +6.2%. How dare they go after us. Fix your own house, SDP. Where is the City Council, the State? Why aren't there hearings for the SDP?
For a raining Monday, CAP is having a wonderful day. Keep CAP in your prayers as the SDP tries to make us look bad. We know the truth!