Saving Strawberry Mansion High School: One of The Most Dangerous Schools In the Nation

Strawberry Mansion High School is located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. It’s considered one of the most dangerous high schools in the country. At the beginning of the 2012 school year, 435 students were enrolled.

With 94 cameras, six school police offers and two metal detectors, ABC’s Diane Sawyer gives viewers an inside look at what life is like for these students.

The current principal is Linda Cliatt-Wayman. She is the fourth the high school principal they’ve had in four years. Before coming to Strawberry Mansion, she was an assistant superintendent of high schools for the Philadelphia public school system.

“I could not find a principal who was suitable to handle this school,” Cliatt-Wayman said. “Therefore, I said to myself, because I love these students dearly and I knew the community … I would just volunteer to be the principal.”

Since she started last fall, the number of incidents have been cut in half. There have been 49 incidents from fires to teacher attacks reported in or near the school. In the report, ABC News’ cameras captured students fighting in the cafeteria and being bullied, as well as students who shared their dreams of going to college.

Despite the fear and daily violence, many bright students emerge from the bunch aspiring to achieve more in life.

You can watch the rest of the report here.

Here’s more information on how you can help the students at Strawberry Mansion High School.

Photo from ABC News


School Cracks Down on Leggings

A junior high school in California is cracking down on leggings. Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, Calif. is enforcing a dress code that states that girls wearing leggings without something covering up with shorts, skirts or dresses will not be allowed on campus.

The school says they’re trying to prevent students from showing up to class in see-through clothing.
“The concern my staff and I have is basically seeing underwear,’’ Kenilworth principal Emily Dunnagan told “With girls, leggings can be very, very thin, and leggings are fine as long as there is something over the top of them. We want to keep the learning environment distraction-free.’’

Dunnagan says she’s received two dozen phone calls and emails from parents supporting the new dress code, and about seven from parents who were against it. The school has more than 900 students.

Girls who violate the dress code won’t be sent home, but instead sent to the main office to change into pants or shorts. If boys wear baggy pants that expose underwear, they’ll also be in violation and will be given a rope to pull their jeans up.

Recently, a high school in Washington DC made headlines after a principal told a student that her outfit was inappropriate. The student’s shirt wasn’t longer than finger-tip length.

Tuition Freeze at Purdue University

Here’s some welcome news for my fellow college students dealing with expensive tuition! Purdue University is freezing tuition costs for the next two years in response to the nation’s weak economy. Temple University, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Main and all public colleges in Arizona are among other schools that have already implemented a tuition freeze. The Daily Nebraskan is also reporting that the University of Nebraska is proposing a tuition freeze for in-state students.

The cost of basic in-state tuition for students at Purdue’s main campus will remain about $10,000 until the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in a statement “in this period of national economic stagnation, it’s time for us to hit the pause button on tuition increases.”

He says Purdue’s students and families “deserve a high-value education that they can afford.”
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The Journal & Courier reports that under the freeze, the current base tuition for Indiana and out-of-state students on the West Lafayette campus will remain unchanged for two years.

Purdue will announce a savings plan with a focus on administrative efficiency.

In other great news for Pudue, the school received a $65M anonymous donation last month.  Purdue Board of Trustee Chairman Keith Krach and Provost Tim Sands previously said the university donor base and potential new donors were excited by Daniels becoming president and that large gifts were likely to follow.

Purdue spokesman Chris Sigurdson said, “The anonymous couple pledged the money as an estate gift that will go to the school following their deaths.” Mr. Sigurdson says the gift is worth $65 million, but that will continue to grow.

The money will come to the College of Agriculture without any restrictions, so the college can decide how the money is spent.

Manhattanization of NYC Real Estate

Manhattan is feeling another Manhattanization of itself. In a city where real estate is fiercely competitive, there’s nowhere to go but up. The city is coming up with new ways to build but also develop land in New York City. It’s all part of the New York City Educational Construction Fund (“ECF” of the “Fund”) which aims to build mixed-use real estate projects with residential buildings and new school facilities . Developers build over out-of-date schools and increase the number of seats in the public school system and taxpayers don’t pay a cent.
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At a time when schools are in high demand, The New York Daily News reports that waiting lists for kindergartners are up at zoned public schools in Queens. Principal of Public School/Intermediate School 49, Anthony Lombardi, in Middle village says the poor economy has led parents to pull their kids out of private or parochial schools.

The newly-constructed Middle School 114, accepted more than 530 students into the public school for strong academic performance. The school was revamped with computer labs and new air-conditioning units next door near the Azure residential building. The $46 million facility was built by the Azure developers, the Mattone Group and DeMatteis Organizations, who built mixed-use properties next door.

The Mattone Group and DeMatteis Organizations agreed to build the school and residential building as part of the ECF project. The partners acquired the air rights for the Azure tower for a period of 75 years with an option to purchase the land or renew the lease for an additional 50 years.

As of last month, Azure on E.91st St. is 70 percent sold.