PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The new Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, Dr. Tony Watlington Sr., addressed a crowd comprised of educators and education-interested individuals at the National Constitution Center on Thursday morning.
It was the opener of Philadelphia Education Fund's Education First Compact, the non-profit's 10-month speaker series.
"We're really excited to have him join us for what we're calling 'Back To School with Dr. Tony Watlington,'" said Farah Jimenez, PEF President and CEO.
"I wanted to be able to talk directly to these individuals, to find out more about what they actually do to support the school district, so that we can figure out how to scale up that work and build stronger people partnerships," said Watlington.
In June, when Watlington was sworn in, he announced a listening and learning tour across the city. More than 80 sessions were planned with students, staff, union leaders, parents, and organizations, asking what the district does well and where it needs improvement.
"I've heard lots from our community about the extent to which we need to work together, build greater trust and transparency," Watlington shared.
Attendees heard some of the takeaways, could ask questions and take the first steps in establishing relationships with the new superintendent.
"We have a group here that is committed to really helping Philadelphia students succeed, and any chance we get to interact with the superintendent in an informal way is an opportunity for us to be stewards and supporters of a vision he may have," Jimenez said.
In the coming weeks, the superintendent plans to share the full findings of the tour and then develop a long-range plan.