We are writing to follow up on the survey that was sent to you last week. Members of the Environmental Subcommittee have reviewed responses and would like to address some of the most common concerns. We understand the school district has not provided an update since their November 8, 2019 letter. This lack of communication regarding the progress status is an early theme in the survey responses. We want to provide a few updates based on our meetings and correspondence:

 At the November meeting of the SLA Home and School Association, a motion was passed to create an environmental subcommittee. Moving forward, all task force work will be done through this subcommittee and we will refer to ourselves as the Environmental Subcommittee of the HSA.

 We currently are attending weekly Friday School district construction meetings and will continue to advocate for our school community and bring the concerns we are hearing forward. We have been pushing many of the concerns in the survey already. This meeting includes the two school communities, representatives of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) and their environmental consultant, along with school district staff.

  • We will be providing frequent updates over the next month as we zero in on the exact move back date. The next few weeks will be critical in zeroing in on the timing. Right now we can say a January move-back date is not considered a viable option.

Current Location

  • Improvements to the auxiliary room in 440 are scheduled to begin the week of December 17 and will finish over winter break (real walls, carpet, drop ceilings for sound improvements). This will give us four additional functional classrooms. While the room will not be useable for one week before the break, any disruptive construction activities will occur at night and the room is isolated from all other learning areas currently being used in 440.

  • Rodeph Shalom will be vacated over the break and all 11th grade classes will be relocated, bringing the entire SLA student body/faculty of SLA together in 440.

  • Coat racks are being added to every room so kids can store coats in their advisory rooms.

BFHS and SLA Co-Location (550 N. Broad)

  • Official School District updates may be found here: https://www.philasd.org/capitalprograms/bfhs-sla-project/

  • Our weekly meetings allow for tracking of progress and we continue to push for the earliest, safe, non-disruptive move-in date to support our educational needs.  We have been sharing, and will continue to share concerns we are seeing in the survey regarding the poor past communication from the school district, our justified lack of trust in the school district, and the necessity to do this right.  Both school communities are represented at these meetings.

  • The subcommittee will be meeting with PSD December 13th and hopes to establish a firm date/move-back plan with the  clarity that was not provided in the November 8th PSD communication.


  • Save Our Schools Rally on December 18th  to end toxic schools: Parents, teachers, students, union and community members will travel to Harrisburg to demand that Governor Wolf and state lawmakers bring emergency funding to remove the lead, asbestos and toxic conditions from all of our city schools.

  • We are encouraging the HSA to join the Healthy Schools Initiative and will present this motion at the December 18th meeting.

Share This