AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Hosts Middle School Transformation Kickoff Event, Featuring Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera

Allentown School District Hosts Middle School Transformation Kickoff Event, Featuring Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera
Posted on 12/13/2019

On Friday, December 13th, the Allentown Chamber of Commerce hosted the official kickoff of Middle School Transformation within the Allentown School District. To commemorate this innovative, historic event, Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera (PA) joined Allentown School District Superintendent, as well as the Lehigh Valley United Way at the Miller Symphony Hall to make the announcement.  Just as noteworthy, is the generous philanthropic funding of this initiative by the Century Fund Trust. Established in 1985, the Trust seeks to fund arts/cultural, education, conservation, human services, and community development projects throughout the Lehigh Valley.

During the development of the District’s Strategic Framework, in the summer of 2017, families and community residents participated in a series of community-based meetings designed to capture feedback and input on what the District could do better under the leadership of the ASD School Board of Directors and Superintendent Parker.  Among the themes that emerged from our families and community members centered around our middle schools.

“Hundreds of students, families and community members came out excited to meet the new Superintendent but also have their voice be heard. One resounding theme was the dire need for more support in ASD middle schools,” said Parker. Realizing the resources and support needed to improve middle schools could not be solely leveraged by ASD, Mr. Parker began to convene local and state-level partners to develop what we are here to announce this morning.

“I applaud the trustees of The Century Fund and the Board of Directors from the Allentown School District for collectively committing to addressing the needs of our children,” continued Parker. 

Middle School Transformation is a core deliverable in the district's Strategic Framework. The robust Middle School Transformation model will have many components including the identification of a local business as the school’s transformation partner who will help provide wrap-around services to students and staff. Schools will develop corporate and community councils, to support continual partnership and sustainability. A dedicated college and career and counselor will work to engage students with partners such as the Workforce Board, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Lehigh Carbon Community College.

During this process, each school will also become a full Community School, expanding an already robust partnership ASD has with the United Way.

“Congratulations to the Allentown School District on becoming the first district in Pennsylvania to adopt the Community Schools model across all of its middle schools. At United Way, we fight every day for equity for our students,” said David Lewis, President, and CEO, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. “

Expanding the full community school model to Harrison Morton and Trexler Middle Schools will allow for further development of supports that foster improved social-emotional growth and development in all students.

Lee Butz, Century Fund Trustee states, “Allentown School District's Middle School Transformation addresses the needs of its students at the time when they are most vulnerable and is sure to have a positive impact on their classroom performance and, ultimately, their lives.”


Middle School Transformation Presentation

Middle School Transformation - Full Video