THE BILL and Melinda Gates Foundation put its preliminary approval yesterday on the city's "Great Schools Compact," which aims to increase the number of high-performing schools in the city.

At a news conference at Stetson Middle School in Kensington, the foundation said it would give the Philadelphia School District a $100,000 grant as it competes for a share of more than $40 million from the foundation next year.

Under the compact, Mayor Nutter, district leaders and charter-school operators say they will work together to focus on replicating and sustaining the most successful school models, regardless of how the schools are governed.

The compact was approved by the School Reform Commission last month and has been signed by Nutter, SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos, Acting CEO and Superintendent Leroy Nunery and organizations representing all but six of the city's charter schools.

The Compact Committee, consisting largely of representatives of charter schools and the district, will begin meeting next month to formulate recommendations to the SRC for an improved school accountability framework.

The committee also will make recommendations for increasing collaboration between the district and charters in serving special-needs students, facility planning, developing school leaders, and aligning enrollment schedules and practices.