Item Coversheet

Action Item - 23.

Title: Memorandum of Agreement with The Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania - Henry C. Lea School ($4,082,500) Added 1.14.22

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration


The Administration recommends that the Board of Education authorize The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute and perform a Memorandum of Agreement, as follows: 

With: The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Purpose: To provide supplemental funding and support to Henry C. Lea School in order to further enhance and improve school operations, instruction, culture, and student achievement

Start Date:  7/1/2022

End Date:  6/30/2027

Penn contribution: Penn will be making a total grant commitment valued at $816,500, per academic year, totaling $4,082,500, a portion of which will be in the form of in-kind services.

Location(s):  Lea, Henry C. School 


The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), The School District of Philadelphia (District), and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) wish to emulate the success of the Penn Alexander School and desire to collaborate to support the Henry C. Lea School (Lea/School). The financial contribution from Penn to the District anticipated in this action item, a portion of which will be in the form of services provided by individuals who are paid by Penn, will further support the provision of the highest quality educational opportunities for children in West Philadelphia and Penn's desire to collaboratively support Lea.  Lea is a neighborhood elementary and middle school located in the Walnut Hill and Garden Court neighborhoods of Philadelphia, at 4700 Locust Street. The School currently serves a student body of approximately 500 children in grades pre-kindergarten through eight.

The District and Penn seek to bring greater innovation and flexibility to school operations, to further improve instruction and school culture, and to provide additional staffing and other supports with the objectives of maximizing student achievement; enhancing appreciation for racial, ethnic, economic, and other forms of diversity among students, teachers, and staff; providing a vigorous clinical setting for teacher professional growth and development; testing and refining effective instructional and curricular programs and practices through applied research, fulfilling or exceeding the District's curriculum standards; and undertaking research that will facilitate the opportunity to replicate and scale this model over the next five years. The District will annually report to Penn on or before June 30 on the progress made toward milestones established jointly by the District and Penn.

Primary operating support for Lea will be provided by the District, including support of personnel, a commitment in a manner that gives maximum flexibility in utilization of resources and that the Lea School receives at least the same amount of funding as would otherwise be available to similar schools; and the operating funds supplied by Penn are supplemental to, and do not substitute or supplant, federal, state, local, District, or third-party support.

This action item is in furtherance of the District's Goals & Guardrails.

 Office Originating Request: Superintendent