Building Community

The active engagement of Penn Charter parents and caregivers enhances the experience of every family. From scheduled get-acquainted conferences with advisors to student performances to social opportunities created by the Parent/Caregiver Community, the fabric of our community becomes tightly woven.

Middle school students in discussion in a classroom

Back-to-School Night

Held in the early weeks of the school year, Back-to-School Night is an opportunity for parents/caregivers to meet their child's teachers, divisional administrators and other parents/caregivers. Families hear from teachers about how the school day progresses, about curriculum, and about the myriad opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities. Parents/caregivers also hear from ambassadors from the Penn Charter Parent/Caregiver Community about opportunities to connect to the life of Penn Charter, including social gatherings for parents/caregivers.

Get-Acquainted Conferences

These parent-teacher conferences happen early in September and establish the relationship between parents/caregivers and the student's advisor. These conferences are not just for new students, but instead for every child, every year. Parents/caregivers can talk about social and academic goals for the year and advisors hear about the student through the lens of the parent. At a get-acquainted conference, parents/caregivers and advisors can talk about communication strategies, about hopes for the school year, and the home-school bond is strengthened. 

Student Showcases and Concerts

In Middle School, every sixth grader participates in band and performs in the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert. Seventh and eighth graders participate in various ensembles and perform in the Small Ensemble Concert in January. Families, caregivers, friends and older siblings pack the Ball Theater in the Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts to hear the bands and choruses perform. 

Each Middle School grade has a major project with a presentation opportunity. In sixth grade, parents are invited to the capstone presentation of the year-long study of food insecurity. In eighth grade, students construct cars based on specific specifications and compete in the Physics 500, an event just for students. The race route lined with cheering students is a Penn Charter rite-of-passage for all who complete Middle School.

A student-made car that raced in the Physics 500.

The Parent/Caregiver Community and Social Opportunities for Parents/Caregivers

The PC Parent/Caregiver Community helps to make the Penn Charter experience engaging and meaningful for parents, caregivers and families. The group creates opportunities for parents/caregivers to engage with the life of the school in ways that suit PC parents'/caregivers' individual schedules and interests. Parent/caregiver socials are come-as-you-are pop-ins, like the Drop-and-Stops on the first days of school or scheduled evening social events. Parents/caregivers can volunteer to run an event, attend a parent-to-parent workshop on flower arranging or auto mechanics, or stop in to drop off a plate of cookies for a bake sale. Whatever your interest, talent or time, there's a place for you at Penn Charter. Learn more about the Parent Community

Adults mingle at a party outside

Parent/Caregiver Meeting for Worship

The Parent/Caregiver Community organizes a morning Meeting for Worship in the Meeting Room in Upper School, usually on the first Thursday of each month. Parents/caregivers are welcome to gather in silence in the manner of Friends (Quakers) for half an hour of worship or reflection, interrupted only if someone is moved to speak. These gatherings offer the opportunity to experience Quaker Meeting, but also to connect with other parents/caregivers both in Meeting and before or after.

The Parent/Caregiver Community organizes Introduction to Quakerism, a workshop led by the national body Friends Council on Education, to offer education and insight into Meeting for Worship, Quaker practice and values, and Quaker education. Dates of this workshop are announced in Parent Post, PC's weekly e-newsletter sent on Friday mornings.

Middle School Family Visiting Day

Penn Charter welcomes Middle School parents, caregivers, grandparents and friends to campus for a morning in April. Guests experience a day in the life of their Middle School student. This event strengthens the home-school connection, and can be helpful in establishing new jumping-off points for conversations and questions more focused than, "How was your day?"