Weeks into the job, new Philly schools boss Watlington checks in with district families

‘I’m learning a lot from the insights and opinions that you have shared,’ he said

By: - July 23, 2022 6:30 am
School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr.

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. (Philadelphia Tribune photo).

By Chanel Hill

PHILADELPHIA — School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. has given district families an update of his progress as an administrator over the last month.

In a letter to families, Watlington states he has completed more than 20 listening and learning sessions.

The sessions, which are a part of Watlington’s 100-day plan, has the school district administrator meeting with Philadelphians as he continues to get to know the city and the school district.

Watlington will be participating in more than 80 listening and learning sessions. His listening sessions will focus on five priority areas including student and staff well-being; engaging stakeholders and building trust; teaching and learning; assessing district leadership capacity and alignment; and assessing district operations, facilities and finances.

“I’ve completed 25 total sessions with students, principals and assistant principals, other [district] staff, parents and community members,” Watlington said in the letter.

“I’m learning a lot from the insights and opinions that you have shared,” he added. “I look forward to hearing from more of you as more family sessions are scheduled through August.”

In Phase II of his 100-day plan, Watlington announced his transition team of more than 80 members of the Philadelphia community.

The transition team is co-chaired by president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia Andrea Custis and president of Community College of Philadelphia Guy Generals.

Philly education advocates weigh in on new city schools chief Tony Watlington Sr.

The pair will help lead five sub-committees, who will provide expertise in fives areas including student achievement, operations, anti-racist district culture, community engagement and communications and well-round school experiences.

The sub-committees are made up of more than 80 principals, teachers, parents, union leaders, among others.

The third phase of Watlington’s 100-day plan will be a new strategic plan for city schools. Community members can continue to track and monitor Watlington’s progress during his 100-day plan at www.philasd.org/100days.

“I have also been meeting with city and state elected officials, union leaders, District staff and many other Philadelphia leaders and community members to discuss a shared commitment to the hard work ahead to improve outcomes for all of Philadelphia’s public school students,” Watlington said.

Watlington was introduced in April as the replacement for William Hite, who led Philly schools for the past 10 years.

Watlington comes to Philadelphia after leading the Rowan-Salisbury Schools System in North Carolina. He is the first superintendent selected by a local school board since David Hornbeck in the 1990s.

Chanel Hill is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.

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