AllentownSchool District

Superintendent's Message: Middle School Transformation


December 13, 2019 

Dear Allentown School District Families & Community Members, 

At the beginning of my tenure, and on behalf of the Allentown School Board of Directors, a series of community meetings were hosted during the summer of 2017.  In summary, these meetings were designed to capture feedback and recommendations from you, our stakeholders, on what the District could do better, and what our families, staff, student and community partners believed we should prioritize within the District’s Strategic Framework. 

One resounding theme centered around the middle school experiences of our students, families, staff and community partners. The challenges within in our middle schools are multi-fold. Yet, through the rich dialogue between the community and ASD, it was clear that as a resource deficient school district ASD could not singlehandedly achieve the kind of drastic turnaround the district needed, nor what the community demanded. As a result, a we were able to convene a few local community partners to develop a plan to support ASD Middle Schools

As a result, the District has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and the Century Fund Trust to support improvement of the four middle schools recently identified through ESSA as Comprehensive School Improvement. It is through this innovative, philanthropic effort of local community partners in the Lehigh Valley, where a collective effort has aligned to support the improvement each one of our middle schools.

In addition to the collaborative group of partners who have rallied around our middle schools, perhaps even more noteworthy, is the philanthropic efforts of the Century Fund Trust. This local community partner has pledged, an unprecedented $2.8 million dollars over the next three years to ASD in support of our middle schools. 

To quote the adage, ‘it takes a village…” as the superintendent of the Allentown School District, I am humbled and inspired by the community support here in Allentown for our students.  However, please know the philanthropy and the strategic partnerships alone will not improve our middle schools.  As a community it is critical that our families, students, and staff join us on this journey to provide a first quality middle school experience within the Allentown School District.

Just as we hosted community meetings to garner input for the District’s Strategic Framework almost two years ago, beginning in the New Year, we will schedule additional community-based meetings to inform our families, students, staff, and community residents of the middle school transformation initiative.

Thank you,

Thomas E. Parker 
Superintendent, Allentown School District

Middle School Transformation Presentation

Middle School Transformation Video - Full Event