City Celebrates ‘SLAMS’, A New Cutting-Edge Model Of Education

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new Philadelphia public school is open this fall, one that extends a cutting-edge model of education to a neighborhood middle school.

“We started a school. Isn’t that fantastic? How about a round of applause for that!”

Principal Tim Boyle kicked-off a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Science Leadership Academy Middle School, or “SLAMS.”

It’s modeled on the SLA high school, a well-regarded magnet school. Boyle says the concepts can also translate to younger students from a neighborhood catchment.

“The core values stay the same, no matter what age group it is. We try and make everything as developmentally appropriate as possible. But the idea that kids start their learning with questions and end their learning with a project, a demonstration of what they learn that cuts across. That’s a zero to 99 thing.”

The school opened with a nearly $2 million grant from the nonprofit Philadelphia School Partnership. There are 90 fifth graders to start, and the school will add grades each year.

It’s open in a building on the Drexel campus in the Powelton neighborhood. It’s a temporary home.

The plan is for the SLA Middle School to move into a building at the site of the former University City High School.

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