Significant changes continue at the Philadelphia School District, with Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announcing a number of personnel shifts, hires, and other moves Wednesday to reshape the system.
Hite expanded the number of "learning networks" - groups of schools arranged by geography or theme - from eight to 13, and hired assistant superintendents to oversee them.
The shifts provide more support for classrooms and a greater focus on equity, Hite said.
He said the moves were not dependent on the district's fiscal situation, which is up in the air as long as lawmakers have not passed a state budget.
The total financial effect of the changes was not immediately clear, a district spokesman said.
In addition to the new hires, Hite is also shuffling his cabinet. Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn recently announced his resignation and will not be replaced.
Among the changes is that Naomi Wyatt, former human resources chief, will become chief of staff, a new position. Fran Burns, the chief operating officer, will add duties as "executive sponsor for finance" after chief financial officer Matthew Stanski's departure.
Sophie Bryan, who had been special assistant to Hite, among other roles, is now chief external relations officer, replacing Rodney Oglesby, who left a few months ago.
Evelyn Sample-Oates becomes director of the Office of Advocacy and External Engagement. Karyn Lynch, the chief of student services, will oversee the Office of Parent and Family Services.
Hite also made interim appointments. Wayne Grasela, former senior vice president for food services, will become acting deputy chief operating officer. Amy Virus takes over Grasela's former job.
Kendra-Lee Rosati, who had headed recruitment for the district, becomes acting human resources chief.
And Karen Kolsky, a former assistant superintendent, will be acting chief of the neighborhood learning networks.
Most assistant superintendents are paid $145,000 a year.
The salary changes for the other new and recast employees were not yet available, said Fernando Gallard, district spokesman.
But for the new assistant superintendents responsible for learning networks, the net cost to the district's operating budget would be $150,000 because officials were able to repurpose some funds and use grant dollars to cover other salaries, Gallard said.
Hite said the additions were a refreshing change from what has dominated the other summers of his superintendency.
"I'm excited about having this conversation now, instead of a conversation about what we take away from schools or if they're going to open on time," Hite said.
Still, if Harrisburg does not come through with new money, schools will feel the pinch, the superintendent said.
"The resources," he said, "will impact our ability to support turnarounds."