Office of School and Community Engagement

The Office of School and Community Engagement connects Penn GSE with the broader Penn and Philadelphia community. It builds partnerships to facilitate collaboration, research, policymaking, and practice activity that responds to current issues in urban education.

The Office of School and Community Engagement focuses on:

  • Networked engagement projects that enable Penn GSE to scale impact in a specific group of schools or communities
  • Leadership development that builds capacity within individuals, schools, and systems for sustainable change
  • Cross-disciplinary teaching and training for educators that leads to effective engagement with urban communities and schools

Our Model

The Office of School and Community Engagement oversees a number of projects that:

  • Are responsive to a request or need from the community
  • Utilize existing internal resources that enable us to be more efficient, timely, and sustainable
  • Leverage cross-university relationships to add value
  • Provide opportunities for sustained impact and increased capacity within an institution that serves children, youth, and families
  • Have an existing mechanism for monitoring impact and outcomes
  • Provide opportunities to replicate lessons learned in other contexts or help implement proven research
Philadelphia Heat Map

Philly Map

The Penn GSE in Philadelphia heat map displays Penn GSE’s school partnerships and community engagement activities. From teaching in classrooms in Philadelphia schools to providing mental health counseling to victims of violence, Penn GSE is committed to active engagement across the city to better address the challenges of urban education and contribute to the growth and wellbeing of the city’s citizens.

Penn Partnership Schools

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School (“Penn Alexander”), the most successful K-8 public school in the city, is a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia School District, and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Penn GSE also leads the university’s partnership with Henry C. Lea School, a community school, and is implementing a longitudinal evaluation of the partnership process and outcome.

Alliance for Field Practice

School District of Philadelphia logo
Penn Nursing logo
Penn Social Policy & Practice logo
Penn Graduate School of Education logo

 The Penn Graduate School Alliance for Field Practice is a collaboration between several Penn schools with the Kensington Health Sciences Academy, a Philadelphia public high school, to develop and support a “whole child/community” model of professional learning.

Networked Improvement in Mathematics Instruction

Through a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia Learning Network 2 (West Philadelphia), Penn GSE is working to build capacity in mathematics instruction and achievement in grades 3-8 with the Responsive Math Teaching project.

Advisory Board

Penn GSE: Gerald Campano, Anne Pomerantz, Diane Waff, Dean Pam Grossman, Harris Sokoloff

University of Pennsylvania: Rogers SmithCory BowmanHeather KlusaritzTerri LipmanDaniel Miller-Uueda, Jeff Cooper, Joann Mitchell

School District of Philadelphia: Naomi Wyatt, Vicky Ellis, ShaVon Savage, Michael Farrell, Rashene Davis-Bowie

External Advisors: Steven Wagschal, SamLyn Capital, NYC; Sara Lomax-Reese, WURD Radio, Philadelphia


Contact Us

Caroline Watts
Director of School and Community Engagement
(215) 746-4584