An Important Change in the Official School Calendar for Wednesday, February 2

Wednesday, February 2, will be a regular school day for all students and staff. This is an opportunity to make up one of the three instructional days the District missed due to recent snowstorms.

Staff and students are to report to school, as usual, and assume regular class and work schedules. All services and supports normally provided to schools and students will be in effect. The Professional Development programs regularly scheduled for that day will be re-scheduled.


Parents Camp Out for Kindergarten Spots

As if it wasn't clear enough that parents in the City crave quality schools, here's a great story about parents camping out in the cold for spots in... kindergarten:


Open Houses and Coffee Hours

Many Philadelphia schools now offer Open Houses and Coffee Hours where parents can find out more information about a potential school. If you have any information about upcoming events, please post them below. I'll also be posting as I find out information.


Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration for the upcoming school year (2011-2012) opens for many schools on Monday, January 24, 2011.

(Note: According to anecdotal evidence, schools have some discretion with respect to this date. I don't know whether this is true. I do know that this is the first day of registration at my school and several surrounding schools. If you're not sure, check with the school in your catchment for the specific date.)

In order to attend kindergarten in Philadelphia public schools, your child must be five years old before September 1. If your child is six years old by September 1 but hasn't attended a full year of kindergarten, you can request that you child be assigned to kindergarten instead of first grade, if space is available.

To register, you'll need:

  • Proof of child's age, such as, in order of preference: Official Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, Passport of Foreign Board Child, Other Document Evidence (adoption papers, court placement record, hospital record, institutional home record, social service agency record, or alien number and I-94 number)
  • Proof of address, such as parent’s driver’s license, voter’s registration card or recent utility bill.
  • Immunization records

It might be helpful to call ahead to find out what you need and the best time to stop by to register (I would suggest, for example, that Monday morning as school opens is not the best time).

You can also check out the SDP web site for more info about new students.

Students Run Philly Style

Did you want to sign up for the Broad Street Run and miss the cut off? Did you think to yourself that you wanted to do something a little less ambitious? Consider Generation Run!

Generation Run is either an 8k run (that's about 5 miles) or a .8k walk (about a half mile).

What does it have to do with Philadelphia schools? gener8tionrun is the signature fundraising event of Students Run Philly Style, the only program in Philadelphia that helps youth go farther through mentorship and long distance running:

  • Almost half of Philadelphia’s children are overweight or at high risk for becoming overweight. Students Run students addresses childhood obesity by getting students off the couch and into a healthy lifestyle.
  • In a city where almost 7,000 juvenile arrests were made in Philadelphia last year, Students Run combats soaring youth violence by providing students with a safe after-school activity led by strong adult role-models in the form of our running leaders.
  • After training for something as difficult as a marathon, getting an A in History doesn’t seem so impossible anymore! The self-esteem, goal-setting and discipline our youth learn through running translates into improved performance in the classroom. Now that’s something to be proud of!

So what are you waiting for? Help out this great cause by running or walking in April. It's just $35 to run or $15 to walk (other rates available for teams and pairs)


8K run starts at 8AM
.8K walk immediately follows 8K start

I hope to see you there!


Imagine Great Schools

From the SDP:

Today, the School District of Philadelphia announced the second round of community meetings as part of the “Imagine Great Schools” facilities master plan. This initiative, which is a key component of the District’s five-year strategic plan, Imagine 2014, was created to provide a roadmap for the District to review its educational program offerings and facilities to determine necessary rightsizing adjustments and help guide where future investments need to be made.

During the first phase of the “Imagine Great Schools” plan, the District looked to a diverse group of stakeholders to participate in feedback sessions and community meetings to comment on the “must haves” for all schools in the areas of educational program, facility improvements, and safety, comfort, and cleanliness. More than 700 people attended the seven community meetings generating a great deal of feedback in each area of discussion. All resulting comments were compiled and closely analyzed by the District.

Simultaneously, the District initiated a comprehensive process of gathering a variety of data, completing demographic and enrollment projections, and drafting guiding planning assumptions and principles. As a result of these processes under the first phase, the District determined that it must take four critical actions:
  1. Review educational and program offerings to identify inequities and disparity. Determine a strategy for future program delivery supported by academic rationale and data;
  2. Begin reducing the number of “empty seats” through building closures, program consolidations and co-location;
  3. Develop a future capital program that addresses deferred maintenance in existing District facilities; and
  4. Develop a plan for surplus real estate and opportunity for community engagement.

The second phase of community meetings seeks to delve further into “must haves” for all schools, initiates the process of prioritization among stakeholders, and begins to build the roadmap for addressing these four critical actions. Similar to the first round, the next ten meetings will take place in various regions of Philadelphia in an effort to accommodate as many community members as possible.

Dates, times and locations for the first seven meetings are as follows:

Tuesday, February 1st
Penrose School
2515 S. 78th Street
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Wednesday, February 2nd
Kensington CAPA
2051 E. Cumberland Street
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Thursday, February 3rd
Germantown High School
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Saturday, February 5th
High School of the Future
4021 Parkside Avenue
9:30 am: Registration
10:00 am: Meeting begins

Tuesday, February 8th
Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences
7100 Henry Avenue
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Wednesday, February 9th
South Philadelphia High School
2101 S. Broad Street
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Thursday, February 10th
Samuel Fels High School
5500 Langdon Street
5:30 pm: Registration
6:00 pm: Meeting begins

Dates and locations for the last three sessions will be announced at a later date. If the District is closed on any of these dates due to inclement weather, the meetings will be rescheduled. For more information, please visit the District’s “Imagine Great Schools” initiative web site at www.philasd.org/fmp.