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School Founded On Second Chances Opens Soon In Kensington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Kensington school with a focus on helping struggling students opens for the first time next month.

The Liguori Academy applied to be a charter school two years ago, but was turned away by the School Reform Commission. That didn't deter school president Mike Marrone...

"Plan B was really Plan A, always from the beginning," he says.

On September 6th, the school at Allegheny and Emerald opens as a private high school, with 40 freshmen to start.

Marrone says the goal is to reengage struggling students:

"These are students who might have been grade levels behind in reading or math comprehension. Students who have not had success in traditional schooling."

He says most of each student's $8,500 tuition is covered by state Opportunity Scholarships from business tax credits.

The school's board includes Flyers legend Bernie Parent, D-A Seth Williams and Local 98 head John Dougherty.

Marrone is a former teacher at North Catholic and West Catholic High Schools. He is on a leave of absence from the priesthood. He says while his school is named for a saint, it does not teach theology or religion:

"We're not a Catholic school. However, we are rooted in the teachings of (St.) Alphonsus Liguori. Alphonsus was an Italian man who worked tirelessly for social justice."

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