Lower School Life

October 2018

Fall brings weather changes, family outings and pumpkin-flavored everything. Students are coming to school with pants and sweaters in lieu of shorts and shirts, enjoying their early mornings on the playground. Outdoor education has begun with gardening in our kindergarten playground, hikes along the Wissahickon, the fourth grade outdoor trip, and the camping trip with our fifth grade students. Students are experiencing learning in the most engaging ways.

Of course, there is also exciting learning happening inside our classrooms. In this issue of Lower School Life, we hope to give you a better understanding of the skills and competencies your children are learning in K-5 "specials" classes, which at Penn Charter include Art, Library, Music, Physical Education and Health, Science, Spanish and Technology.

During a walkabout in Lower School last week, I came upon a physical education lesson that I found particularly engaging. I stood in the entrance of the Activities Room and watched our Lower School physical education teachers, David Bass and Debbie White, deliver a multifaceted lesson to second grade students.

The activity had each student stand four squares apart from a partner and toss the beanbag each time they heard Ms. White read the word "toss" from a story she was sharing. Students were engaged, laughing, learning the value of teamwork, and the importance of listening skills.

At the end of the activity, teachers spoke with students about what contributed to their success and the challenges they experienced. Students reflected on how they might do things differently next time: One student shared the importance of eye contact, while another shared the importance of calling out a partner's name.

These important skills, along with problem solving, collaboration and reflection, are taught and cultivated in our specials program.

Our specials teachers have worked with Lower School Technology Coordinator Dan Stahl to create the following six videos, one for each grade, in which they explain the specials curriculum. They vary in length from 5 to 8 minutes. Please click on the blue button to watch the video that applies to your student, or watch them all!

Marcy Sosa, Assistant Director of Lower School

News You Can Use


Halloween Parade

Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 8:30 am

All families are welcome to attend our annual Halloween parade. The parade for grades K-5 will begin in Lower School at 8:30 am sharp near the science room and end at 8:50 am on the Lower School green. If it is raining, the parade will conclude after touring the Upper School, and children can meet their parents back in the classroom for final photos. See the parade route.


Pre-K students and their families should gather in the pre-K by 8:15 am. They will then walk over as a group and watch the parade from the kindergarten playground. Afterward, they will walk back to enjoy their own festivities. If it rains, they will not go to Lower School but will remain in the pre-K. They should follow the same costume guidelines (see next paragraph) as the rest of Lower School. Check the pre-K Hub page for more information.


All Lower School children who are participating in the parade should wear their costumes to school. As a Quaker school, we ask that students not wear costumes that are overly scary or violent, or military clothing such as camouflage or other depictions of war. We also ask that they do not carry toy weapons (swords, guns, etc.) or other violent accessories that may be part of their costumes.


Be sure your child brings a change of clothes to school. Children will change into school clothes following the festivities and should remove all face paint, etc. Regular classes will resume later in the morning.


Alternate Activity for Children Who Don't Celebrate Halloween

Out of respect for the diversity of our community, as we have done in past years, we will provide an alternative activity for children whose families do not celebrate Halloween. The activity will be held in the small conference room of the Upper School, and students can be dropped off as early as 7:30 am. To sign up for this option, contact Lisa Reedich (ext. 171) by Oct. 27.


We hope everyone has enjoyed the start of our school year and look forward to the upcoming weeks with Halloween and our classroom festivities.


Will you be able to correctly guess who the witch will be this year?


Charlie Kaesshaefer, Assistant Director of Lower School


McCallum Family Update!


Kate and baby Clark are doing well.


Clark is already up to 3 pounds 13 ounces, from 3lbs 1oz. The nurses are calling him an overachiever!


Kate and Chaz get to hold him each day and are looking forward to the next few weeks.

Social Media Insights


Instagram: PCLowerSchool



Important Calendar Dates


  • Tuesday, Oct. 23: Parent Introduction to Quakerism (Trask Library)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23: K-12 Absentee & Re-Take Picture Day
  • Friday, Oct. 26: Family Visiting Day, 8:30 am
  • Friday, Oct. 26: Movies that Matter: Wonder, 3pm (Kurtz Choral Room)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 31: Halloween Parade, 8:30 am
  • Friday, Nov. 2: Fifth Grade Parent Meeting, 8:15-9:30 am (Timmons House)
  • Monday, Nov. 5: No School
  • Thursday, Nov. 8: Fourth Grade Parent Meeting, 8:15-9:30 am (Timmons House)

3000 West School House Lane   Philadelphia, PA 19144