Mastery Charter opening South Philly Elementary school

Mastery Charter Schools, the well-regarded charter operator, will be opening a new elementary school in the former Stella Maris building at 814 Bigler St.

Mastery is holding two more informational sessions at the high school it already operates nearby, the Thomas Campus at 927 Johnston Street. One is tomorrow, Sat. Feb 16 at 10 to 11 a.m., and the other is Thursday Feb. 28 at 9 to 10 a.m. Application deadline for Fall 2013 is April 1.

Sure, this is deep South Philly, so maybe it’s a little far for some of our readers’ little ones to walk to. And yes, this news might not be as flashy as, say, a premier restaurateur laying down roots here. But Mastery has a proven record of academic rigor and high expectations for its students, meaning that it might make more young families want to stay in South Philly once their kids become of school age.

Former Stella Maris, soon to be Mastery Charter’s Thomas Elementary

Back when we first chatted with Sam Sherman at the Passyunk Ave Revitalization Corp., we asked him what was holding back this neighborhood from its full potential. His answer, schools, or at least the perceived lack of quality options for young families to send their kids. So another quality option can only be a good thing.

That is not to discount the good work and progress being made at South Philly’s public schools by the EPX and Passyunk Square civics’ education committees at Southwark and Jackson Elementary, by the way. You can find out how those schools are lot better than you think they are by starting here and here.