South Philadelphia: Nebinger School on the Rise]
Faced with low test scores and gentrification in South Philadelphia, Ralph Burnley became the new principal in August of the George W. Nebinger School. The South Philadelphia school, which is located at Sixth and Carpenter streets, lies on the cusp of the up-and-coming Bella Vista and Queen Village neighborhoods.

Despite the recent underperformance of the school and inconsistency of test scores, Burnley is optimistic about where the school is headed and has started working on both his short- and long-term goals for the kindergarteners through eighth graders.

“My short-term goal was to motivate teachers and to take ownership for the academic achievement level of the children,” Burnley said. “My long-term goals are that we not only become a good school, but we become a great school. We want to also strive to become a Blue Ribbon school.”

Poster board at Nebinger School

Blue Ribbon schools are nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and also by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Blue Ribbon schools excel academically and socially. Burnley hopes to become one in the upcoming years.

Artwork in the hallways of Nebinger School

He is making strides at Nebinger with many new programs and changes.

“The most recent exciting initiative is the revitalization of our playground area where we have a number of community members, teachers and parents coming together to revitalize the area located in the rear of our school yard,” Burnley said.

Under Burnley’s direction the future of the Nebinger School looks bright.


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