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RPS to vote on Patrick Henry’s Charter Renewal

On the school board’s agenda for tonight, March 4, at 7pm, is a vote to renew Patrick Henry School’s charter agreement. We need the state maximum of 5 years in order to secure financing for the rest of the building’s renovations. Please take a moment to write your school board member or to come to the meeting to show your support for this school.

Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts has now been in its permanent home for a full year, and is in the middle of their third year in operation. As a fledgling school, it still needs a lot of community help as it grows. They currently do not have access to the third level of classrooms or the beautiful auditorium or the additional classrooms in the basement. The school was able to complete the first phase of renovations completely debt free and was able to secure Historic Tax Credits. These credits will be applied to further renovations, once additional financing can be secured. PHSSA has requested that the building be surplussed back to the city so it can be used as collateral for loans or at least leased on a longer term basis.

Some of the things that differentiate PHSSA are: a separate governing board;  a “Yearly Progressive Calendar” which means a shorter two month summer vacation, but additional breaks spread throughout the year; Uniforms are worn by the children; and parents must sign a commitment to volunteer 6 hours a quarter. The STEM based curriculum was recently posted on its website for download.

On a personal note, I’ve really appreciated having a vibrant school on that corner rather than the abandoned building that sat there previously, vandalized and falling apart. Many children in the Forest Hill and Woodland Heights neighborhoods can walk to school there. The Principal Sabrina Beamon is really great and the school will only get better and better. To all who have shown support in the past, thank you. So many have volunteered their time and expertise to the building of this school. It really is a community school!

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