By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More grants handed out today from an influential Philadelphia nonprofit organization aim to expand a successful charter school and to turn around two struggling Catholic schools.

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The Philadelphia School Partnership is giving $137,000 each to St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School, in South Philadelphia, and to St. Helena Incarnation, in Olney.

PSP executive director Mark Gleason says it’s an effort to turn around the two low-performing Catholic schools now run by Independence Mission Schools.

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“We’ve seen, in the team that the Mission Schools have put together and the approach they’ve brought to all of their schools, a real focus on academic improvement and a real ability to execute,” Gleason said today.

The PSP is also awarding $69,000 to plan the expansion of the Independence Charter School in center city.  Any increase in enrollment would need the approval of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.


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