Bittersweet last day for Philadelphia public schools

June 21, 2013 2:30:27 PM PDT
Friday marks the last day of classes in Philadelphia public schools. With 23 schools closing for good because of budget cuts, for thousands of students, it's bittersweet.

"I was at every SRC meeting with the teachers," said Dave Joseph.

Joseph fought to keep Lamberton High School in Overbrook open.

However when he enters 10th grade next year, it will be at Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

Friday marked the last day of class at the high school and for a school community which many students describe as a family.

"When I came from Jamaica I thought I'd be bullied. Teachers welcomed me with open hands," said Joseph.

Students were hoping their high school would be taken off the chopping block, but in the end the decision to close came down.

It's one of the 23 schools in the cash-strapped district closing its doors for good.

"It's depressing. We've watched each other grow up pretty much. It's not a school really, it's a family," said Leslie Brooks.

"It's sad, It's heartbreaking. I've been here since 6th grade. I've built up a family, a bunch of friends," said Syair Taylor.

While students and staff are excited to see the start of summer, there are certainly mixed emotions.

"I understand that the school district is facing major problems. Our school is small and they are going to offer other opportunities for kids at other schools," said Marla Travis Curtis, principal.

Curtis said goodbye to her high school students and parents but says she's confident of the futures her former students have ahead of them.

"I'm very optimistic for our children, our staff is optimistic for our children, and they know they always have a home here at Lamberton School," said Curtis.

Meanwhile Lamberton does have a lower school, which will remain open next year.


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