November 2, 2018

All School

Turn Back the Clocks

Sunday, Nov. 4

Daylight Saving Time ends early this Sunday. The Penn Charter wall calendar mistakenly lists it as next week. Don't forget to "fall back" before you go to sleep on Saturday night!

Final Fall Open House

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 8:30 am
Ask your friends to vote and visit! Penn Charter's second and final fall admissions Open House is Tuesday, Election Day. If you would like to assist us with our annual efforts to attract talented students and great families:


  • It's never too late to put out a lawn sign! 
  • Spread the word to your network.


We were very pleased with the huge turnout for the Saturday Open House and hope for another large crowd. The Admissions Office thanks you for your support of Penn Charter.

Service Opportunities


Thanksgiving Food Drive for Widener Families
The PC community will be donating Thanksgiving dinner meals to families of the Widener Memorial School. The Parent Quakerism Committee is coordinating the effort, with a lofty goal of 50 dinners by Nov. 16. We need the following from families:

Oct. 31 - Nov. 15: Non-perishable food items, placed on the shelves in the lobby of each division.

Nov. 15: Sort meals in the cafeteria, 3-4 pm. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served. 

Nov. 16: 50 frozen turkeys (ideally!) delivered to school in the front circle during morning drop-off.

Nov. 16: Help deliver food to Widener in the morning and/or assist in distribution at Widener after school.

Sign up to donate a turkey, volunteer and/or see a shopping list. Questions? Contact Rachel Dyer.


Winter Coat and Winter Accessories Drive
Through Friday, Nov. 9

Penn Charter's Service Council is asking for your support in donating winter coats and winter accessories to Depaul House (a homeless shelter in Germantown) and St. Francis Inn (a social service organization and soup kitchen in Kensington). New and gently used coats, warm clothing and accessories are needed for men, women and children of all ages and sizes. Details in flyer. Questions? Reach out to Sharon Ahram.

Moving Homeless Families

Sunday, Nov. 11, 12:30-2:30 pm
On Nov. 11 we need volunteers to move families experiencing homelessness from  Unitarian Universalist Church of the Resurrection to Germantown Mennonite. All ages and grades welcome! Signup and details

Depaul House Requests Support

Sunday, Nov. 11, 10 am-12 pm

Depaul House, a homeless shelter in Germantown, has opened its doors to all grades at Penn Charter for the purpose of learning and serving. They have asked for our community's support in building an outdoor communal library, similar to the one we have in Chigwell Close. This will be a two-phase project. Phase one, on Nov. 11, will be an orientation session at Depaul House with Depaul's employees and residents. We will brainstorm community library design ideas and create a plan of action. Phase two, on Nov. 17, will be in the Idea Lab, alongside Depaul's residents and staff, creating the library. No building experience is necessary and all ages and grades welcome!  

Parent to Parent: Weekly Update


Next week, don't miss a very special tour of the new Discovery Center, a special and unique venture between the Audubon Society and Outward Bound. You won't believe that this is place is in the middle of our city unless you see it for yourself! You can also join other parents on a tour of the campus learning gardens, go on a horseback trail ride next weekend, or take a hike in the Wissahickon (new date!). In December, join Leslie Stillwagon and learn to host the holidays in style! Learn more hereSign up. Contact Jennifer Fiss with ideas. Supply fee request.

Breakfast with the Head of School

Wednesday, Nov 7, 8:30-9:30 am; Head's Residence
Head of School Darryl J. Ford welcomes parents to join him in an open discussion about Penn Charter. Unlike a Parent Community meeting with a set agenda, the discussion at the head's breakfast is guided by the interests of participating parents. The talk can range from academics to athletics, to discussion of the latest in educational research. Please contact Peggie Murphy (ext. 102) if you will attend.

Diversity Parent Program: Transgender Youth with Samantha King


Wednesday, Nov. 7, 7 pm, Kurtz Center 
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is proud to present an evening lecture and discussion with Samantha (Taylor) King, clinic coordinator and director of education at the Gender & Sexuality Development Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Samantha helps coordinate care for families as well as providing information to schools, behavioral health professionals and medical teams. She also coordinates and leads trainings for schools on how to support gender nonconforming students and how teachers and supportive school staff can create gender-inclusive classrooms. If you are planning to attend, RSVP.

Parent Community Meeting

Friday, Nov. 9, 8:15 am, Timmons House 
Please join us for our next Parent Community meeting to hear Alyson Goodner, director of the Center for Public Purpose, and Sharon Ahram, assistant director of the CfPP. They will share with us the mission and current work of the center. Please come early to enjoy a cup of coffee and some socializing with other parents. 



Saturday, Nov. 10, Germantown Academy
Don your blue and yellow, and come out to cheer for our fall athletes! Food trucks, snack carts, a moon bounce, face painting and an art display round out the day for the entire family. Details and schedule. Go Charter!


PC/GA Day Shirts for Sale

Another annual tradition: Student-designed PC/GA Day shirts will be on sale Monday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Nov. 2, every day during Middle School and Upper School lunch, as well as in the Lower School after school every day until 3:45 pm. Long sleeve T-shirts are $20. Check out the front and the back of this year's design.

Eco-Corner: Hikes and New Bike Train


  • PC Hikes: Please check out our school team, which has been involved in Friends of the Wissahickon's All Trails Challenge! We are currently the largest team, and we have raised the most amount of money, but the challenge ends in November! There is still time to donate as well as join up and add some team miles.
  • Bike Train: The Parent Community is offering our first bike train to school on Wednesday, Nov. 7. See the route and meet-up places to join on this bike ride to school, and if you are interested you can register. All parents are responsible for children and bikes, but we hope the company is helpful in trying a bike commute to school. Any questions can be directed to Michael Moulton.

Shopping Night at Skirt

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6:30-8:30 pm; Skirt (212 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia 19103)

Skirt Rittenhouse, a women's boutique, is hosting a Penn Charter shopping night, with 10 percent of the evening's proceeds benefitting the PC Parent Community. All in our community are welcome to mingle, eat and shop! The event is free. See more. And RSVP to Joy Chaffin.

Student Participation in the All-School Musical

This year's all-school musical will be Disney's My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto's Musical Tale with performances on Feb. 22, 23 and 24, 2019. We are looking for students in grades 4 through 12 who can sing, dance and act for the cast of this show.

For Middle and Upper school students who sing and Middle school students who act, please access more audition information and the appropriate Signup Genius. Auditions will be Tuesday, Nov. 6 and Wednesday, Nov. 7, with callbacks on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Questions? Please contact EvaKay Noone.

All-School Book Fair


Nov. 12-15. Monday and Wednesday 7:30-4:00; Tuesday 7:30-6:00; Thursday 7:30-3:30; Old Gym
The Man of Steel will be there … will you? Come and see what all the excitement is about. This book fair has improved every year, in no small part thanks to our wonderful parent volunteers. Please sign up now. Students in Lower School and Middle School will visit the Book Fair with their teachers. There will be books for all ages, and proceeds benefit the Penn Charter libraries.


New eWallet and Online Store
This year, the book fair will offer an online eWallet to families, which allows parents to set up an online account with a set limit for their children. No more misplaced change or cash, and once the fair ends, any unused funds are released back to the credit card on file. To set up an eWallet for your student, please visit the book fair home page. Can't make it to the fair but want to preview or buy some books? The online book store will open on Nov. 7 and run through Nov. 20.

Upper School Play Tickets on Sale


Friday, Nov. 16, 7:30 pm, and Saturday, Nov. 17, 2:30 pm; Kurtz Center
This year's production includes two one-act comedies. The production runs approximately 75 minutes (including one intermission). See the poster.


It's Not You, It's Me, by Don Zolidas, explores the painful art of breaking up through comedic, awkwardly realistic characters This series of wildly hilarious scenes is sure to make you feel relieved not to be on the receiving end of those five fatal relationship words.

13 Ways To Screw Up Your College Interview, by Ian McWethy, follows two college recruiters at a prestigious university who need to fill one last spot to keep their jobs. What seems like a simple task turns into a nightmare when the applicants turn out to be a reality TV star, a practicing vampire, an amateur magician and others that are much, much worse. Each applicant's interview hilariously illustrates what not to do at a college interview.


Buy tickets online. You may also purchase tickets in the School Store. $6 students, and $8 adults. Seating is NOT general admission. We can't wait to see you in the audience.

Grace Fund Game Night

Saturday, Dec. 1, 7-10 pm, Phield House, 814 Spring Garden St.
What will Grace Fund Game Night: Blue vs. Yellow be like? Corn hole, dizzy bat, beer, ping pong, auction, food, over/under relay, wine, contests, s'mores, fun, music, raising funds for the Grace Fund and much more! Buy your tickets now! Also, earn points for your team now by sending Carrie Boxer the answer to this question: What year did the tradition of Color Day begin? See you there!

Upper School

US Parent Forum

Monday, Nov. 12, 8:15-9:15 am; Overseers Room (Main Building)
Save the date for the next parent forum and join Erin Hughes for a discussion of issues relevant to Upper School students.

Social Innovators Program

Application deadline: Nov. 4
The Social Innovators Program allows students to learn about entrepreneurship and experience it firsthand while earning a certificate in social entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania. During the 13-week program, students learn how to launch ventures of their own that create value and have a positive impact on society. The Social Innovators Program is a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice, Penn Charter and Schoolyard Ventures. It has both in-person and virtual components. Applications are due by Nov. 4. Additional program and application details.

Middle School

Middle School Family Night: New Date!

Sunday, Nov. 4, 4:30-7 pm, Wissahickon Environmental Center
Due to the expected rain on Friday, we are rescheduling our Middle School Family Night for Sunday evening. We had a terrific response to this event, so we hope that you can still join us for a guided night hike, food, campfire and s'mores. All siblings are welcome. RSVP again for Sunday so we know how many will be attending.To support the Widener Thanksgiving Food Drive, we encourage families to please bring these food items to the event!

Lower School

Full-Day Child Care

Monday, Nov. 5
The After-School Program offers age-appropriate full-day child care for Lower School students on non-instructional days for the convenience of parents/guardians. On Monday, November 5, (faculty work day) child care will be available for grades pre-K to 5, 8 am-6 pm. In order for a child to attend, the parent/guardian must complete the online full-day child care contract. Please e-mail Kathy MacMurray with any questions. Please note that Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 are full-day child care days also.

3000 West School House Lane   Philadelphia, PA 19144