SSL Certificate


December 2016

From the Director's Chair

Dear Lower School Parents and Families,

I trust you know by now that I have decided to step down from Penn Charter as director of Lower School at the end of this school year. My seven years at Penn Charter have been wonderful years and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Lower School. Sharing in the educational journey of your children and families has been a source of constant joy and inspiration for me; working alongside our gifted faculty has been a great privilege. The Lower School is an outstanding Quaker educational program and our next director will have the good fortune to lead us in the years to come. 

As for my next steps: My wife and I are poised for new adventures. Given the right opportunity, we both would like to continue to serve Friends education. This might take the form of helping in a smaller Friends school in some capacity that would be time-limited. We are ready to travel and help with needed service work, too. We will spend time this year getting our plans together and I will keep you posted.

Of course, during these days of decision making, I’ve been thinking a lot about our Lower School program. One of the aspects of the program that has been somewhat unsung is the programming that happens outside of the classroom and that gives our students a chance to explore other interests and passions. Of course, the Enrichment program for fourth and fifth grades immediately comes to mind. Offerings include programs in specific sports, music and dance, crafts and art, and science and technology. Enrichment offers our students and teachers time to share their mutual passions in a fun and caring manner. The 3:00-4:00pm Enrichment hour is one of much laughter, joy and insight. Please note: Choice forms for the January Enrichment period will go out to students this week.

Outside of Enrichment we have added several other terrific programs. We have run our third grade Math Club for the past two years. Fourth grade has been the home of our Lower School Green Club for the past three years. This year we added a chess program for grades 3, 4 and 5, as well as Girls on the Run (pictured here) for girls in grades 3, 4 and 5. Each program is staffed by dedicated faculty, or instructors, and serves a loyal group of students who give their all. This full set of programs adds immeasurably to our students’ experience in Lower School. 

It is the process of being one’s best self and doing so within a multi-faceted, caring community that is at the heart of Friends education. Such a learning community creates daily opportunities to grow beyond one’s own notion of oneself. I know I am thankfully different than I ever expected because of my years in Quaker schools. This nurturing process of continual growth is why I love being here each and every day. Our Lower School offers a full learning environment and our students, your children, thrive through their passionate engagement.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe winter break and enjoys bringing in the New Year.

All the best, 
David Kern
Director of Lower School 

News You Can Use

We are making the most of our classroom time in the weeks leading up to winter break, and we have events and community projects to look forward to.

Winter Concert, Friday, Dec. 16, 1-2 pm; Kurtz Center

Our concerts are always a joy to behold. We hope you can attend. Please refer to Parent Post for specifics about dress and pickup.

Bake Sale, Tuesday, Dec. 13; Dining Hall @ lunchtime
Please consider sending your children to school with a $1 for the bake sale. The PC faculty and staff will host a lunch-time bake sale to raise funds for the family of Hanne and Brian Duncan; Hanne is a former PC art teacher and crew coach. 

Poinsettia Sale, Thursday, Dec. 15, and Friday, Dec. 16; Kurtz Center
Purchase your winter poinsettias from the Parent Community and pick them up at in the Kurtz Center on Thursday, Dec. 15, and Friday, Dec. 16. The plants are in 6-inch pots and are $10. You can preorder here. Proceeds benefit the Penn Charter Parent Community.


Gift-Giving Policy


We hope this reminder of holiday gift-giving in Lower School is helpful. The Quaker testimony of Simplicity should guide gift giving. In December, small, individual handmade gifts are the appropriate expression of thanks. We strongly encourage you to include your children in the creation and giving of these gifts.

Photos on Flickr

Parents enjoyed coffee and donuts with their morning paper – that would be the fourth grade's recently published newspaper. More photos.




Opening night focus on student voices about gun violence.
Girls champs at Easterns, Reece Swimmer of the Meet.
Ceremony honors student-athletes and their families.

Calendar Events

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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