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Elevate 215 Launches a New Vision to Support Education in Philadelphia

Elevate 215 Launches a New Vision to Support Education in Philadelphia

Announcement Follows an Extensive Listening Tour and Strategic Planning Process to Identify New Set of Core Priorities for Next Decade to Elevate Student Outcomes


[June 7th, 2022] Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia School Partnership Board of Directors today announced a new strategy and name, Elevate 215, as a part of a long-term plan to better support and elevate effective practices that contribute to improving student outcomes in Philadelphia schools. 

Elevate 215 leaders spent the past 10 months examining what strategies help schools improve and make a lasting impact for students. The process included listening to and engaging with school partners, community leaders, and experts through dozens of one-on-one meetings; a rigorous research initiative analyzing student outcomes locally and nationally; and convening local school leaders across all sectors to determine how to better support them. 

“This moment offers an unique opportunity to reimagine the learning experience for our kids and to transform education in our city,” said Dr. Stacy Holland, who was appointed Executive Director in 2021. “If we can work together and rely on the evidence about what works and what doesn’t in making great schools, we can elevate all schools and put more children on a path to a better life by providing them with a chance to thrive in the classroom and beyond.”

Elevate 215 intends to be a catalyst for preparing students for the future by modernizing the learning experience in Philadelphia schools today. To make it happen, the organization will: 

  1. Invest in and support schools to create more modern learning environments; 
  2. Create conditions for school success across the city; 
  3. Set and hold a long-term vision for school quality; and  
  4. Change the narrative about what is possible across all school sectors – district, charter, private and parochial – in the K-12 education system for Philadelphia students.

“We’ve learned a lot from our efforts over the last decade,” shared Mike O’Neill, Chairperson of the Elevate 215 Board of Directors. “We’re laser focused on every child in Philadelphia having access to a great school as soon as possible, and Elevate 215 is ready to roll up our sleeves with educators and leaders from across the city to make sure that all children have that opportunity.”

Elevate 215 will advance this work in phases over the next 10 years, beginning with an immediate investment in schools that are currently beating the odds for low-income and minority students. The organization will support these schools while working to spread their successful practices to other schools across the city. At the same time, Elevate 215 will work with city leaders and education partners to replicate student and school success by sharing the practices that work and advocating for the conditions required to support expansion of these practices.  

“Elevate 215 is committed to maximizing the opportunities to create better outcomes for all students in all schools, and we agree with this approach,” said Otis Hackney, Chief Education Officer for the City of Philadelphia. “I look forward to working collaboratively with them to create dynamic learning environments where all students have the opportunity to flourish.” 

Elevate 215 has identified a framework to guide conversations and investments moving forward about core school practices, and recently held a convening with local school leaders to share this framework and collect feedback on what types of support their schools might need in different areas. The areas discussed include:

  • Rigorous instructional approaches 
  • Creating a comprehensive talent pipeline and development for educators 
  • Learner-friendly and tech-smart facilities 
  • Parent and family engagement 
  • Social emotional supports 
  • Youth development and after school programs 
  • 21st century operating systems 
  • Real-time assessment and data systems. 

“Stacy and her team are right on target with ‘Elevate 215,’” said Pedro Ramos, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “The time is right for a new, broader conversation that elevates our expectations and our resolve around both the needed supports and expected educational outcomes for children and adults in Philadelphia schools.”

The Philadelphia School Partnership has served Philadelphia schools and families since its founding in 2010. In 2021, the Board of Directors hired Dr. Holland as Executive Director to lead the organization into its next phase. The new name for the organization represents a strong commitment to focus on the needs of children and families in Philadelphia and to work collaboratively with all stakeholders who are dedicated to supporting quality educational options for children across the city. And in doing so, to elevate all schools in Philadelphia so that more children are in a position to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

“I believe we have to  change the conversation about education in Philadelphia,” said Ryan Boyer, Business Manager of the Laborers’ District Council. “And my recent engagement with Elevate 215 through the Philadelphia Equity Alliance shows me that there are broad areas of agreement in education that leaders from across the city can work together on to create better schools for all of our children.”