Philadelphia Councilwoman Visits KAPS Program
Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, a strong advocate for public education funding, recently visited Camelot’s KAPS (K-7 Alternative Pupil Support) program in the city’s Germantown neighborhood.
She toured the campus with the school’s executive director, Carolyn Abele, as well as Brian Bienkowski, executive director of Camelot’s KAPS and therapeutic programs in Pennsylvania. On the tour, the councilwoman learned about Camelot’s $1 million investment to renovate the building and about the programs housed on campus.
“Students here struggle with reading, writing and math…but a lot of our students also have backgrounds full of trauma, a lot of abuse and neglect,” Ms. Abele told Bass. Abele described how students love attending KAPS because it offers them an education adapted to their learning style, but moreover, it offers students a holistic education based around Camelot’s model of social-emotional learning, behavioral remediation, therapy, and academics. Added Mr. Bienkowski, “Because of the great strides students make with their academic and behavioral progress in our program, the student’s IEP team often counsels parents to consider having the child stay here. It’s the first time they’ve found success.”
A high point of Councilwoman Bass’s visit was meeting with students in Mr. Luke’s music class. She explained to them how Philadelphia City Council works and invited them to visit City Hall. She also watched and was amazed at the quality of a music video students had created. That prompted her to ask how they’d feel about having her in one of their videos. She joked that judging by the response she wasn’t so sure they were thrilled with the idea. She also said she hopes to come back later in the school year and left them with words of encouragement.
“I’m just really, really proud of the work you all are doing, and it’s just so nice to get to know you. You are doing a great job. Thank you so much for having me here today.”
The Camelot KAPS program in Philadelphia serves about 150 students from public charter schools ages 5 to 14. On a different floor in the same building, Camelot operates a therapeutic day school for School District of Philadelphia students in 6th through 12th grades.