A case study of former students of Ivy Leaf: An independent African-American school

Charles Bolger, University of Pennsylvania


This research examines and describes the school history of ten former Ivy Leaf students from the time they enter nursery or K-5, to their graduation from Ivy Leaf's middle school. In depth information is provided on the students' experiences at Ivy Leaf. More general information is included about those students who didn't start their school lives at Ivy Leaf as well as information about the high school that each student entered after graduation from Ivy Leaf. A central question in this study is, does Ivy Leaf address the academic and social needs of its Africoid student body?^ The method used was to conduct a case study as a participant observer. Data collected during the year-long study included site documents, interviews with school administrators, interviews of ten former students, their parents, and their siblings if the siblings attended Ivy Leaf.^ Results of this study indicate that Ivy Leaf addresses specific needs of African Americans that are evidenced by the academic and social success of many of its students. The study also indicates that Ivy Leaf serves as an integral part of secondary public and private schools by qualifying 35% of its graduates for top ranked schools in the Philadelphia area.^ Some of the key characteristics of the Ivy Leaf School are difficult to replicate in different environments. However, environments such as the one created by Ivy Leaf should be encouraged and recognized for the unique service which it provides to the African American community in Philadelphia. Without schools like Ivy Leaf, many of these children would be lost to the streets. Instead, many of the students are self motivated, have high career goals, and are involved in positive activities. Ivy Leaf is therefore a valuable partner in the effort to improve the educational outlook for Americans of African decent. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Black Studies|Education, Religious|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Bolger, Charles, "A case study of former students of Ivy Leaf: An independent African-American school" (1992). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9227620.