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P.C.P.D. april 2018

Penn Charter Professional Development

April 2018

Published monthly by William Penn Charter School in the interest of our faculty and staff.


News to Know




Julian Guindon has successfully completed the final course of intense training, challenged-based learning, and peer review to become a JAMF Certified ExpertJAMF, which is used by Penn Charter, is the software of choice for Mac/Apple based academic institutions to manage their fleet of laptops.

Cory Moy led a workshop on "Comprehensible Input Teaching Methods & Applications for the Chinese Language Classroom" at this year's Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association's (PSMLA) Immersion Day. The workshop was given in Chinese for other Chinese teachers as a way to give our program more exposure and share teaching methods with our region's Chinese language teaching community.

Tom Rickards earned recertification as an American Mountain Guide Association Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI). The CWI program certifies individuals who facilitate climbing experiences, instruct climbing skills and/or monitor climbing activities in indoor and artificial climbing walls and structures. He also earned recertification of his credentials for the National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Aid (WFA). WFA certification prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills to make sound decisions in emergency situations when an EMS response is expected to be eight hours or longer from a wilderness setting.

Congratulations and special thanks to the many PC colleagues who shared their expertise by teaching TLC workshops and /or mentoring faculty during March: Kevin Berkoff, Julian Guindon, Judith Hill, Corey Kilbane, Imana Legette, Michael Moulton, Kristen Ostendorf, Tom Rickards, Pam Shannon and Kristin Swoszowski-Tran.


News and Notes

Sarah Aguilar-Francis and David Brightbill attended a Global Scholars Program Workshop on March 17. Former PC faculty member Sarah Sharp was involved in the planning of the workshop, which was hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. During the workshop, the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Global Philadelphia Association and other institutions introduced the GSP model, presented resources available for schools interested in starting their own GSP, and led a discussion on how a school might implement such a program.


Choose Your Summer Reading Book!

It's that time of year when we start thinking about our professional development summer reading. The Committee on Teaching and Learning is excited to announce that we have tweaked the format a bit this year. We have more book choices with topic-based discussions! There are several choices for each topic, and those who read the various books under one topic will be put together for the back-to-school discussions. If you opt to choose your own book, we encourage you to choose a book that fits with one of the topics to enrich that discussion. We hope that this new format will lead to more follow-up about these topics and continued conversations after the book discussions in the fall.

Please use this link for Summer Reading 2018 to view the options in a slideshow. Once you decide on your book, click on the “Go To Form” button. The deadline is Thursday, April 12.


Overseers Dinner—Save the Date!

The annual Overseers Dinner will be on Tuesday, May 8, at 6:00 pm, in the tent outside Timmons. Click here for a list of faculty and staff who will be honored for their service to Penn Charter.


Faculty and Staff Changes

All current openings at Penn Charter can be found on this page of the school's website.


The Eco Corner
by Tom Rickards

Hosting FEEN
Just a quick reminder that Penn Charter will be hosting FEEN: Friends Environmental Educator Conference on April 19-20. A schedule of the two days can be found here. Please welcome guests and let me know if you are interested in attending any of the events. Thursday afternoon offers three options: a tour of the Philadelphia Canoe Club and potential (weather depending) paddle on the river, with possible cost will be around $25; a tour of Fairmount Water Works, including deck tour of the river, visit to New Mussel Hatchery, and history of Fairmount providing access to our drinking water; a guided hike in the Wissahickon to the Kelpius Cave.

Earth Week
This year we will celebrate Earth Week April 23-27. We will be adding more events in the next few weeks, but you can see a schedule for each division here. A few cross divisional highlights include:

  • Our second annual E-waste Drive. Bins will be available in each divisional lobby starting on Monday the 23rd. We have a pick up on Friday the 27th and we can accept some of the following electronic products: PAR Recycle Works.
  • Tuesday the 24th and Thursday the 26th we hope to have seedling giveaways! There will be a table set out front of Lower School at the end of the school day (3:00-4:00) where families can pick up free seedlings and get information about the PC Learning Gardens.

Green Energy
Prior to spring break, Penn Charter signed onto 100% Renewable Energy for three years starting July 1st! While our PECO power supply does not change, we are participating in PA’s Alternative Compliance Payment program in which we are purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) that fund solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of low carbon renewable energy sources. A big thank you to our own Hal Davidow (give him a high five when you see him!) for making this commitment.

Follow Along!
Remember that you can see upcoming environmental happenings by following this Google Calendar. Our social media feeds include Twitter and Instagram as well. As always, let me know if you would like to be involved!


Notes from the TLC

by Ruth Aichenbaum 

Welcome back! I hope you had a lovely spring break and are refreshed and ready to learn at the TLC! We have exciting workshops planned, which you can sign up for using this SignUp Genius link. Offerings include sessions about:


  • Pros and Cons of Student-Generated Knowledge
  • Making Learning Connect: The Sixth-Grade Food Insecurity Experience
  • What Can We Learn from Finland? Homework, Project-Based Work, School Hours and Happiness
  • Learn about Zones of Regulation/"Pup-Up" Social Learning
  • Students as Thought Partners: Working as Critical Friends Groups
  • Understanding by Design
  • Journaling: Part Three—Looking at Student Work
  • Creating Lifelong Learners: Discussing the Student Skill of Lifelong Learning
  • LS Math Workshops—new bi-weekly offering!

Understanding Students ... Our School...Ourselves...and the World

  • Entrepreneurship at PC
  • Pop Lunch Lecture: "Crypto, Blockchain, and AI (Your Future Job Doesn’t Even Exist Yet)"
  • Poem Down  
  • Discussion about Teaching Tolerance Webinar—Teaching Digital Literacy
  • PC Faculty/Staff Book Club


  • Seesaw: an Online, Student-Driven Digital Portfolio that Empower Student to Independently Document their Learning with Built-In Creative Tools
  • One-to-One Mac Help
  • IdeaLab Help

Wellness / Stewardship / Enrichment

  • Mindful Yoga
  • Morning Swim
  • Déjeuner en Français—new bi-weekly offering!

I also invite you to take advantage of the rich programming at Jefferson University. There is a Talking Teaching discussion each Wednesday, as well as other workshops that will be posted on the SignUp Genius.

Please know the TLC is here to meet your needs, whether you’re looking for a specific type of workshop, class visit, webinar, reading group, one-to-one mentoring session and/or Critical Friends Group. Please send me an email or schedule an appointment on the front page of our TLC website to let me know how the Teaching & Learning Center can best serve you.

Once again here is the SignUp Genius link to sign up for a TLC and Jefferson University workshop. If there’s a TLC session you’d like to attend, but the timing doesn’t work, please email me (, and I can set up a one-to-one session.

Hope to see you at the TLC!


Professional Development News

PAIS Biennial Conference: Call for Proposals

Mark your calendars! The 2018 PAIS Biennial Conference is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. Plans are underway for a comprehensive conference program and PAIS is looking for presenters for this all-day conference of high-quality, focused professional development for faculty, administration and staff! Proposals are being accepted through May 11, 2018, and are open to all administration, faculty and staff of PAIS member schools. Submit your proposal using this form. Please note that proposals will be reviewed by a committee and notification of proposal approval will be sent via email. Proposal acceptance is confirmed with school registration. For more information, please contact Michele Oswald at or by phone at 610-567-2960.

Professional Development Funds

Penn Charter’s policy regarding the allocation of professional development monies is prioritized so that money will be awarded to those requests that present the greatest intersection of institutional, departmental and personal needs that focus on the professional growth of faculty members. Monies will be prioritized for projects that best meet the goals of the Strategic Vision, including excellence, innovation and collaboration. In general, requests for equipment (computer cords, iPads, charging cables, etc…) should be directed to department chairs. Such expenses are not eligible for professional development funds.

As in past years, each full-time faculty member is guaranteed (but not required to spend) $250 per year for professional development. If faculty find that they need funding beyond the annual $250, they may apply for additional monies. To apply for additional funding, faculty need to first obtain approval of their division head in the Lower School or their department chair in Middle and Upper School, and then contact the academic dean to see if funding is available. The academic dean must give final approval for additional funding. Please note that, starting in the 2017-2018 school year, the $250 annual amount allocated for each full-time faculty member cannot be carried over to the next school year.

Please direct any questions regarding professional development to David Brightbill.

Professional Development Opportunities

Registration is open for Friends Council on Education’s 2017-2018 programming. Check out the FCE website for more details.

Click here for more information on upcoming professional development opportunities. Please remember to fill out the Request for Professional Development Funds Form and attach it to your registration.

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Leadership is building a bridge that connects the vision with the purpose, in order to empower those who are around us.

David Walker, African-American abolitionist (1796-1830)









Penn Charter

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