For more than 35 years, Temple University has been involved in the operation of local public schools in many different ways.
Five area schools currently have partnerships with Temple.
They are the Ducker-Tanner, Dunbar and Ferguson Elementary Schools and the James Elverson and John Wannamaker Middle Schools.
Two of the schools, Dunbar Elementary and Wannamaker Middle School, are in close proximity to the main campus.
Joe DuCette is the acting Dean of the College of Education at Temple, and is on the board in charge of the school operations.
He revealed that support for the schools comes in several forms.
“There are a few different programs that Temple implements in the schools,” DuCette said, “We provide student teachers to the schools, as well as some curriculum guidance and material support.”
The University would not reveal the cost of the programs because committees in charge are still planning and evaluating each school’s allocations for the 2002-03 school year.
University officials, including Temple President David Adamany, have been meeting and brainstorming with the schools’ administrations for the past few months.
“In the early part of the process this year, we’re holding official meetings with the [school] administrators and are assessing exactly what the schools will need,” DuCette emphasized.
“Plus, we’re using the time to build trust between the new University [administration] and the schools.”
The partnership between Temple and the schools is not new, but it has changed over the years.
The schools have reported an overall positive tone, and they have all been benefiting from their respective partnerships.
“This year has gotten off to a smooth start. We are currently laying out what needs to be done this year,” said the principal of the James Elverson Middle School, Bruce Ryan said.
“Dr. Adamany and the University have done an excellent job with their involvement here, and we hope to continue the progress.”
Perhaps nowhere has the impact of Temple’s partnership been felt to a greater extent than at the Tanner Duckrey Elementary School, located on the extreme northwest corner of the campus at 15th and Diamond Streets.
It came under the supervision and guidance of the Fox School of Business on June 21, 1988.
For whatever reason, the relationship between the two institutions dissipated over time until the new principal of Duckery, Ruth Anderson, made efforts to renew the relationship.
The results have been noticeable and encourage continuing participation from Temple.
The addition of newer computers to the Duckrey classrooms was a welcome addition to the decade-old Apple II-E computers the school was originally using.
The Fox Business School donated the computers.
“Almost all of the technical support for Duckery is provided by the Fox School of Business,” Anderson said.
“In fact, they are coming in sometime this year to wire our school so that it can connect to the Internet.
I can’t begin to tell you how much their involvement has helped the school.
Our original computers were so old that many of them couldn’t even connect to the Internet. Temple has changed that.”
Apart from the computer support, the school receives numerous reading tutors and coaches, all of whom are students from Temple.
The results of this effort have been higher reading scores on the annual PSSA tests.
“Most of the kids that have had reading tutors have gone on the perform better on Statewide tests, and it also excites the children so much for someone to be supportive in their reading education,” Anderson said.
Anderson said that the students that come to help are the greatest assets to the revitalization of the school.
“The student help has been tremendous. They clean the outside of the schools a few times a year- we don’t even ask for that. Plus, they help out with the tutoring. It’s been wonderful.”
Eric Raible can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org