The Philadelphia School District on Tuesday began telling parents from the embattled Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School how to transfer their children to other schools.

The district sent letters and made automated calls even though a hearing is scheduled in Common Pleas Court for Wednesday on the school's emergency request for $1.4 million from the district.

"It could be shut down any time now," said district spokesman Fernando Gallard.

The district had to act after Palmer officials announced on Sept. 16 that the school was in imminent danger of closing because it was running out of money, Gallard said.

The K-12 charter has 1,290 students on campuses in Northern Liberties and Frankford.

After learning of the district's communications Tuesday, Walter D. Palmer, who founded the school that bears his name, said, "They didn't need to do that."

He said Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. had pledged in letters to parents in May that the school would remain open for the current academic year, even though the School Reform Commission is moving to revoke its charter over alleged academic and financial problems.

In Tuesday's letter, Hite saidPalmer parents could enroll children in their neighborhood school at any time.

And from next Wednesday through Oct. 10, parents can use an online application on the district's website,, to select a district school outside their neighborhood.

The district has scheduled information sessions for Palmer parents at Ludlow School, 550 W. Master St., at 4 p.m. Monday and 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, and at Frankford High School at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.