By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The School Reform Commission is making plans to improve the environment and academics at one South Philadelphia school.

Parents complained to the School Reform Commission last week about Alcorn Elementary at 32nd and Dickinson streets.

Activist Vernard Johnson called conditions there “criminal.”

“Children were in that building all year long with the stench of urine,” said Johnson.

And parents said Alcorn’s record for safety and academics were so bad that the school deserved to get an overhaul as a district “Promise Academy.”

SRC member Wendell Pritchett agreed that conditions at the school were “unacceptable.”

“My sense of many of the problems at the school in terms of the facility is in my view, leadership, management and culture, because it is not rocket science to clean a bathroom. And it’s not rocket science to keep trash off the floor,” said Pritchett.

The district is bringing in an additional principal at Alcorn to oversee the creation of smaller (K-6 and 7-8th grade) learning communities in an effort to improve the school climate and academic performance.

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