In the past two months, as federal agencies and the City of Philadelphia have refined security and transportation plans for the visit of Pope Francis, we have paid careful attention to how those decisions will affect our community.
While our preference would be to keep school open, it has become clear to us that the logistical challenges parents, students and employees will face on the Friday, Saturday and Monday of the papal visit require several adjustments to the Penn Charter calendar.
It is our plan to be open on Thursday, Sept. 24, until the end of athletics practice and a home football game. However, we are adjusting the Penn Charter calendar as follows:
Penn Charter will be closed on Friday, Sept. 25.
Students will report two hours late on Monday, Sept. 28; Lower School child care will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on that day. Faculty and staff will report at 8 a.m. on that day for a two-hour Strategic Vision in-service session; this session will replace the late-start session scheduled for Oct. 22.
Lower School Back-to-School Night (and the Lower School Dinner for New Parents) will move from Thursday, Sept. 24, to Monday, Oct. 5.
Athletics: We are still making changes to the athletics calendar but can announce at this point:
- The Middle School girls cross country meet scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24 at Belmont Plateau will be rescheduled.
- No games on Friday, Sept. 25. We hope that the water polo team will be able to travel to their two-day tournament and will be contact water polo parents and players directly when we have finalized a plan.
- The varsity football game scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25, has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 24, with kickoff at 4 p.m.
- The Upper School boys JV and varsity soccer games have been rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17.
- We are working to reschedule the Upper School field hockey on Friday and the Saturday girls soccer games and will contact team players and parents directly when we have the new dates.
- Athletics practices and games resume on Monday, Sept. 28.
We think this is our final plan; however, we continue to monitor the situation and will make adjustments if necessary. We will change our online calendar to reflect these new dates, and I hope you will amend the paper calendar you received this summer.
Although I regret any inconvenience this causes for families, I think these adjustments are prudent. I hope that all of the advance preparations by individuals, schools, agencies and government officials will shine the best possible light on this great city during our time in the world spotlight.
Darryl J. Ford
Head of School
The Middle School curriculum consists of required courses that develop important skills through a progression of content. While providing academic building blocks for future study, the Middle School curriculum is equally concerned with meeting the social, emotional, and physiological needs of pre-adolescents. These needs are addressed by the Middle School advising system as well.The academic year is divided into trimesters of approximately 12 weeks.The school operates on a rotating system of blue and yellow weeks so that a given subject occurs at different times each week. Middle School classes meet for 40 or 60 minutes, providing opportunities for a range of teaching approaches. Students receive reports from teachers at various times during each trimester.
Middle School students are helped to become:
• Effective communicators
• Independent learners
• Creative problem solvers
• Critical thinkers
• Engaged readers
• Technologically skilled
• Aesthetically confident
• Spiritually aware
Middle School Learning Support
The integrated learning support team in Middle School includes a learning specialist, counselor, nurses as well as a Writing Center and Math Center.