Germantown Academy, one of the region's most successful independent schools, and Project H.O.M.E., a nationally-recognized non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness, established the Community Partnership School to attend to the educational needs of children from an underserved North Central Philadelphia neighborhood. This neighborhood, located in the 19121 and 19132 zip codes of Philadelphia, is characterized by high rates of poverty, unemployment and crime. Most students in the neighborhood do not graduate high school on time, and many drop out before receiving a diploma.
Behind the Community Partnership School lies a simple belief: With a top-notch education—the type delivered at the country’s best independent schools—inner-city children can achieve at the same level as their more affluent suburban peers.
Community Partnership School is now an independent 501(c)3. Although the founders of CPS do not provide financial support to the school, Germantown Academy helps guide the core curriculum and offers its academic expertise, and Project H.O.M.E. provides other services to many CPS families. The Community Partnership School also hopes to create a model for partnering other suburban independent schools with community-based programs to bring new educational opportunities to children in low-income urban areas. At the same time, the school seeks to establish a demonstration program illustrating best teaching practices for urban children.
The Community Partnership School opened in September 2006 with 34 children in grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. Today, CPS serves 88 children in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth. The school's first class of fifth graders graduated in 2011 and have successfully transitioned to top middle schools like Penn Charter, Springside School, KIPP, and Norwood-Fontbonne Academy.