Get on the bus

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Need a ride to college? The District has a new initiative aimed at keeping its graduating students focused on college through the summer and getting them there in the fall.

Called “Get on the Bus,” this program is a four-week summer seminar for high school seniors who have been accepted to a college or university. Students who participate and finish will be provided transportation free-of-charge to their respective schools.

“If you look at the numbers from the national clearinghouse of the universities that our kids go to, they all go to the same places, but some students never show up. So basically through this summer coaching session, for those who have been accepted, we will try to keep kids engaged around going to,” said Ted Thompson, deputy chief of secondary school reform.

“After they go through the seminar successfully, then we will have some coach buses here at 440 destined to the universities that they are attending.”

Thompson said staff from the District’s success centers and the Office of Secondary School Reform will accompany the students to campus to get them oriented and to help with housing and any other tasks required on that first day.

“This is really a support for parents who, based on extenuating circumstances, cannot provide a means for their students even though they are well intended to get them to school,” he said.

Information about this initiative and other District college-going supports will be made available through a series of community sessions to be held in early June, Thompson said.

“We will explain to parents and the community all of the possible supports at a particular school, and parents and students will get contact people they can call for information around various programs.”