November 30, 2018

All School

It's Game Time for Game Night!

Saturday, Dec. 1, 7-10 pm, Phield House, 814 Spring Garden St.

The auction is live—and new items have been added—so check it out and buy tickets for Game Night! It's going to be a blast! Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I be part of the fun? Buy a ticket and come!
Why? To have a good time and raise money for the Grace Fund while we're doing it!
What should I wear? Sporty casual—and wear your color! (There's cornhole, relays, cheering on your team and tons more … wear whatever you want!)
Will there be food? Yes! Cheesesteaks, dogs, fries, salads (for the healthy peeps) and more.
Will there be beverages? Beer, wine, water and the specialty drink: "Stateside Earth Quaker."
Where? The Phield House at 814 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, 19123. Parking is limited, so consider using Uber, Lyft or public transportation.
What should I expect? Music, food, fun, auction and a great time with this amazing Parent Community.

See you all there!

Giving Thanks for Giving Tuesday


Thank you for your participation in Giving Tuesday! Penn Charter raised $11,118 from 65 donors across our community of parents, OPCs, grandparents, friends and more. We are grateful for your generosity!

Queen Lane Station Shuttle

Because of the increase in ridership this year, we will send two vans to the Queen Lane station to meet the 7:30 am train from Center City. Questions or concerns? Contact Director of Safety and Security Jim Behr.

Safety and Security Update

Now that the winter sports season has begun, we have hired a Philadelphia Police officer for after-school crosswalk duty between the main campus and Strawbridge Campus. The officer will be on duty from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. to cross students, coaches and spectators on their way to the Kline & Specter Squash Courts. The officer's car will be parked near the crosswalk, which may have a traffic-calming effect on School House Lane drivers.

Service Opportunities

Moving Homeless Families

Sunday, Dec. 2, 12:30-2:30 pm
We need volunteers to move families experiencing homelessness from Germantown Mennonite to Germantown Jewish Center. All ages and grades welcome! Sign-up and details


Share Food Program

Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 am-12 pm; 2901 W. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia 19129

Penn Charter is signed up to volunteer at Share, a nonprofit organization serving a regional network of community organizations engaged in food distribution, education and advocacy. We are going to package food boxes that will be distributed to local food pantries and elderly people. All ages and grades welcome. We will meet at Share at 9 am. Sign up.

Monthly Parent Meeting for Worship

Thursday, Dec. 6, 8:15-8:45 am; Meeting Room (Main Building, 2nd floor)

Join other parents and the Parent Quakerism co-chairs in a silent Friends Meeting for Worship, similar to what our children experience each week. Come experience 30 minutes of silent reflection (interrupted only if someone is moved to speak). Parent MFW is usually held the first Thursday of each month. Center your soul, reflect on what is really important, find inspiration in silence to keep things simple before the busy holiday season.

Volunteers Needed: Enable Basketball Tournament

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8

Penn Charter is excited to host the annual Enable Sports & Fitness Invitational Basketball Tournament. Enable Sports & Fitness is a local Philadelphia nonprofit founded by Bob Rosania OPC '82 and his family. Enable provides meaningful athletic and fitness opportunities for youth and young adults who need additional support. All proceeds from the tournament will support Enable.

We need PC community volunteers to support with ticketing, concessions, set-up and clean-up on both days of the tournament. Details and sign-up. This would be a great opportunity for the whole family to come out, volunteer, support a local Philadelphia organization doing great work in our larger community and cheer on PC basketball!

Questions? Email PC's Center for Public Purpose. Find us on Instagram & Twitter @PCPublicPurpose

Eco-Corner: Holiday E-Waste Drive

Monday-Friday, Dec. 10-14
We will be collecting broken electronics during the week before winter break. There will be bins in each divisional lobby starting Monday, Dec. 10 and ending Friday morning, Dec. 14. Items that can be accepted. We cannot accept large-back (CRT) monitors, TVs, air conditioners or large appliances. Our e-waste recycler is PAR Recycle Works, which responsibly recycles metals and electronics as well as providing employment and support for returning citizens. Watch a brief video about their work and growth. Please contact Tom Rickards with questions.

Parent to Parent: Weekly Update


Next week, we have two great opportunities to connect with fellow parents. On Tuesday, join Lower School mom Megan Miller to learn how to keep your home safe from chemical cleaners. On Wednesday, join our diversity and inclusion liaisons, Yolanda and Reggie Banks, for a fireside roundtable discussion about ways to support, enhance and expose our children to diverse and varied experiences in an effort to develop their leadership capacity. Learn more. Sign up

Please consider sharing your talents and passions with other parents in the new year. Contact Jennifer Fiss with ideas. Supply fee request.

Upper School

Holiday Gift Drive

Donations due Monday, Dec. 3.
Once again it is time for the holiday gift drive! Focused on community, we will be working together to raise funds, encouraging Penn Charter families to contribute as they are able. In the past, families have given $10-$20.

Students should give monetary donations to their advisor by Monday, Dec. 3. Students will be working with the advisories to purchase and wrap gifts that will be delivered before winter break. Again this year, gifts will go to families through our longstanding partners, Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network and Taylor School. Our partners at PIHN and Taylor report the holiday gifts bring great joy to their families and are deeply appreciative of our community partnership!

More information on the holiday drive will come later this month for all divisions. Please contact the Center for Public Purpose with any questions or if your family is also interested in supporting a partner family directly.

Upper School Band & Choral Concert

Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 pm; Kurtz Center
This year, Charter Singers hopes to dazzle with the electrifying musical dance,"Trepak" from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Next, to the big screen with an orchestrated arrangement of John Williams' "Somewhere in My Memory" from Home Alone. Then, an awesome Old Testament selection, followed by a cherished evergreen "O Holy Night," closing with excerpts from Joe Fitzmartin's "Fantasy of Carols." The Quakers Dozen will add a festive touch with two of their holiday favorites. Symphonic Band will explore contrasting musical genres with holiday favorites "Ukranian Bell Carol" and "Rollicking Hanukkah," followed by hits of the stage and screen with "Nessun Dorma" and music from Black Panther. The Jazz Band set includes a variety of styles from big band, ballads and Latin, including "When the Saints Go Marching In" and the Sinatra hit "The Way You Look Tonight." 

Concert Dress Code for Middle and Upper Schools  
Parents are reminded to please be sure your student has the appropriate clothing and shoes for the winter concerts. For all band and choral concerts, students are required to wear all black. Girls are to wear black pants or slacks with black dress shoes. Prohibited attire includes black jeans, leggings, spandex pants, flip flops, boots, casual shoes, dresses and skirts. Girls may choose to wear a solid black polo shirt, blouse or top that meets school dress code criteria (no sheer or lace fabrics). Tops may not be sleeveless or have capped sleeves. Boys are to wear a black button-down shirt or polo shirt with black pants, shoes and socks. Boys will also need to tuck in their shirts. All shirts and tops need to be without logos, decoration or other colors.

Winter Dance (Semi-Formal)


Saturday, Dec. 8,  7:30-10 pm; Old Gym; cost: $10
All Upper School students, grades 9-12, are invited to the Winter Dance. No need to get too fancy; don't buy anything new. Just put on some nice duds and boogie on over to the Old Gym. Each PC student is permitted to bring one guest of high-school age from another school—if registered with the assistant director of Upper School by 3 pm on Friday, Dec. 7. (PC students and their guests must arrive to the dance together.) Students and families should be aware that times before, during and after dances are considered "official school-sponsored events." (See the "drug and alcohol policy" and the "off-campus behavior policy" in the Student Handbook for more information.) The dance starts at 7:30 pm (students must be in the door by 8:30 pm) and is over at 10 pm sharp. All students must leave the parking lot (or be picked up) no later that 10:15 pm. Once students enter the dance, they may not leave early.

Middle School

Middle School Band & Choral Concert


Monday, Dec. 10, 7 pm, Kurtz Center
Middle School students are working hard to polish their pieces for the concert. To be sure your child has the appropriate attire, please read the dress code details above, under Upper School.


Pre-Concert Pizza
Students participating in sports or staying for sanctuary have the option to purchase slices of pizza ($1 each) to eat prior to the concert call time. Please indicate the number of slices each child is purchasing and have your child bring the money to the dining hall before the concert. You must sign up for pizza by noon on Friday, Dec. 7, or your child will not be guaranteed a slice. Volunteers are also needed to help distribute the pizza.
Sign up for pizza and/or volunteer to help.

IdeaLab Opportunities for Middle School Students

We are excited to offer these sessions in our IdeaLab for Middle School students. Please email Diane Kane in our Middle School office to reserve your space. Enrollment is limited in each session and special consideration will be given to students whose schedules limit their availability in other sessions. Our aim is to provide sessions that all students can attend and still enable them to pursue their other passions in athletics and arts. If you have any questions about the sessions, please contact Eve Schwartz or Corey Kilbane.

Fundraising for Holiday Gift Drive


Tuesday, Dec. 4
In an effort to raise money for our annual Middle School holiday gift drive, we will hold a dress-down day and bake sale next week. We are asking students to provide baked goods and to bring in $2 to participate in the dress-down day. All money raised will be equally split among advisories for our gift drive. Baked goods will be sold during morning recess and lunch.

Lower School

Breakfast with Your Child

Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30-8 am; Dining Hall (Main Building)
Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast with your Lower School child – and fellowship with other families! Hot choices available for purchase.

Lower School Winter Concert


Friday, Dec. 14, 1 pm, Kurtz Center

As you probably know, your children have been working hard to learn music for the winter concert. Concerts are "special dress" days for all students, K-5, including the Bell Choir. The attire for special dress days is blouses or shirts with collars (tucked in), long dress pants, skirts or dresses. Jeans and sneakers are not permitted. 


In the interest of creating a positive and courteous community atmosphere, we would like to remind you of a few important guidelines:

  • No drinks or food in the Ball Theater.
  • We ask that you not set up video or camera tripods in the aisles. Additionally, please do not come forward to take your child's picture while they are performing. This will allow the concert to flow smoothly, as well as model respectful audience behavior for all of our children.
  • We encourage you to stay for the entire concert. If you must leave early, please choose a seat in the back of the seating area so that you will not disrupt others' enjoyment of the concert when you depart.


After the concert, the children will be dismissed to their classrooms. Parents may pick them up at that time or they will be dismissed at regular dismissal time. There will be regular bus service and After-School Program for those students who normally utilize those services.

Chess Club (Grades 2-5)


Fridays, Jan. 4-March 15, 7:15-8:05 am; Lower School After-School Room
Lower School is offering another session of Chess Club for interested students in grades 2-5, taught by chess coach Ross Colby. Cost is $75 for 10 weeks. Contact Charlie Kaesshaefer to reserve a space. This chess club will be part of a local independent school league, and participants can choose to play in tournaments once a month (usually on a Saturday). All levels welcome. Following session is April 5-May 31 ($50). 

3000 West School House Lane   Philadelphia, PA 19144