SSL Certificate

Summer Courses

This summer, five courses are being offered to Upper School students. These five courses fulfill Penn Charter graduation requirements and receive full academic credit. Course grades will be included on a student’s transcript and calculated into the GPA of semester 1 in the 2018-2019 school year. Courses will not run if we do not reach a certain number of participants. 

A sixth course, Delaware River Sojourn, is also being offered to Upper School students. While this course does not fulfill any graduation requirement and does not receive traditional academic credit, it can be used to help fulfill requirements for those 11th and 12th graders aspiring to earn the Certificate for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. Please see more in the course description below.

Enrollment for these courses is separate from the 2018-2019 course planning process. Please contact the course instructor for more information about a specific course. To enroll in a course, print and complete the registration form listed below and return it to Rose Mary Cavalcante in the Upper School office.



This course, which focuses on Euclidean geometry, emphasizes, encourages and challenges students to discover geometric ideas through investigative activities and technology. Topics include the foundations of geometry definitions, inductive and deductive reasoning, the nature and development of a mathematical system using axioms, proof and theorems, the close study of a wide variety of geometric figures, right triangle geometry, basic isometries, area and volume. Students make use of the IdeaLab to supplement and clarify concepts. This course is only open to Penn Charter students entering grade 10 who have earned credit for Algebra 1. The course is rigorous, as it covers an entire year of Geometry, and is therefore not appropriate for all students. Approval of the Math Department Chair is required. Registration form.

Cost: $1000
Meeting time: 8am-12pm weekdays, beginning Wednesday, June 13, through Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Class will not meet on Wednesday, July 4.



This course examines the nature and extent of poverty primarily in Philadelphia but will also compare other major cities in the United States. We will focus on how poverty is defined and measured—exploring how conceptions of poverty are socially constructed and historically bounded. Throughout the class, we will examine what the causes and effects of poverty are and discuss how these are complex and interwoven; showing how people can experience poverty at different points in their life—some groups experiencing poverty more than others. This course will discuss how the role of labor markets, family structure and social organization shape poverty. And finally, it will explore how social policies seek to ameliorate poverty in our city. Students will engage with the course material through a combination of different mediums (readings, films, images, class discussions, lectures, guest speakers, field trips and service). Course materials will also draw from a variety of disciplines that may include economics, education, political science, psychology, philosophical and religious ethics, public policy analysis and social work. This course requires five students and is limited to 10 students. Prerequisite: Quaker Principles and Practices. Registration form.

Cost:  $500
Meeting time: 8:30am-12:30pm weekdays, beginning Wednesday, June 13, through Friday, June 29, 2018



This course is for students interested in the art, history and practice of costume design. Line, form, color, scale, texture, pattern, period costumes, functionality on stage, and the effects of stage lighting on fabric will be explored. Students will learn basic hand and machine sewing stitches and techniques, which can be applied to their daily lives. Students will research, design and build a costume for a character of her or his choice. No prior experience with fashion design, sewing or figure drawing is necessary – just a love of fashion and clothes from different periods and cultures with a passion to create art that is worn on stage. This course requires five students and is limited to 10 students. (Rising 10th, 11th, & 12th grades.) Registration form.

Cost:  $500
Meeting time: 8:30am-12:30pm weekdays, beginning Wednesday, June 13, through Friday, June 29, 2018



The Art of Hip Hop is a multifaceted course designed to explore the creation of socially conscious art and texts through the lens of graffiti and rap. The course will begin with an exploration of the historical foundations of the hip hop movement through texts, movies, music and art. Students will then explore fundamental art and design principles en route to using traditional graffiti mediumsincluding chalk, charcoal, stencils, spray-paint and wheat pasteto create their own social-based artworks. Students will also examine rap and spoken word as texts before working to create their own poems and lyrics. Participants will deepen their understanding and appreciation of the arts and the interdisciplinary and influential role hip hop plays in our global culture today. Through discussions, listening sessions, critiques and analysis, students will cultivate the emotional, intellectual and technical skills for creating and comprehending controversial, explicit and meaningful art, design work, music and cultural trends. This course will require outside reading. This course requires five students and is limited to 10 students. (Rising 11th and 12th grades). Registration form.

Cost: $500
Meeting time: 8:30am-12:30pm weekdays, beginning Wednesday, June 13, through Friday, June 29, 2018



This studio course will introduce participants to the fundamental techniques and practices of drawing from observation. Three-dimensional forms in space will serve as subjects to be translated onto the two-dimensional page. Line quality, figure-field relationships, composition, perspective, and visual language comprise the core concepts that will be addressed daily in the production part of class. Participants will develop and refine competencies with the perceptual skills necessary for creating effective observational drawings and the design skills necessary for the thoughtful investigation and expression of ideas. Visual language communication skills will be integrated and honed via studio participation, field work, class discussions and critiques. Portfolios will be maintained by all students. This course requires five students and is limited to 10 students. (Rising 10th, 11th, 12th grades.) Registration form.

Cost: $500
Meeting time: 8:30am-12:30pm weekdays, Monday, July 9, through Wednesday, July 25, 2018


This summer course experience will bring students on the annual summer Delaware River Sojourn which is a week long camping and paddling event. Students will learn about the history, the ecosystem, and the cultural and environmental importance of the Delaware River. Students will learn that 17 million people rely on this river for drinking water, it is the longest undammed river on the east coast, and yet the upper Delaware is still subject to issues of urban development, natural gas exploration (fracking), and other issues, including climate change. Students will paddle, attend talks and programming, and camp for four nights, five days along the river. Students who participate will not receive academic credit, but can choose to count this for one of the following:

  • 20 of their 40-hour activity credit
  • To create a project for the Certificate in Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

This course requires five students and is limited to ten students. (Rising 10, 11th, 12th grades.) Registration form.

Cost: $500
Meeting times: June 18-22: 5 days, 4 overnights:
Students will leave Monday, June 18, morning and return Friday, June 22, afternoon. They should bring their own sleeping bags, clothes, and personal items, but all food, paddling equipment and other gear will be provided.

Please contact Tom Rickards for more information. 

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Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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