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P.C.P.D. february 2017

Penn Charter Professional Development

February 2017

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


News to Know


Thought & Practice: Where Vision and Possibility Meet

Follow this link to read the latest posts on Penn Charter's education blog. Recent entries include an article on the IdeaLab and Penn Charter's eBook, A Field Guide to Campus Trees.



In January, Lisa Reedich organized a workshop for the Pennsylvania Society of Clinical Social Work titled "Racial Literacy for Therapeutic Encounters: Reducing Racial Stress with African American Children, Youth and Families" presented by Howard C. Stevenson at Lankenau Hospital. Stevenson's workshop taught therapeutic approaches to enhance well-being during racially stressful encounters and helped participants navigate face-to-face racial conversations and experiences to move beyond racial fight, flight or fright reactions.

Congratulations and special thanks to the many PC colleagues who shared their expertise by offering December and January TLC workshops: Sharon Ahram, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, David Brightbill, Wilson Felter, Brooke Giles, Julian Guindon, Judith Hill, Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, Debbie Kaesshaefer, Corey Kilbane, Imana Legette, Lee Payton, Marianne Master, Ruth McGee, Sara Moses, Orit Netter, Eva Kay Noone, Brooke Stratton, and Doug Uhlmann.


News and Notes

In January, Ruth McGee attended “SAY THE WRONG THING: Workshop on Racial Justice and Authentic Community Using the Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T.” at Buckingham Friends Meetinghouse in Lahaska. The workshop, led by Amanda Kemp, was sponsored by the Bucks Quarterly Meeting.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is running an exhibit called "Waging War: 100 Years of Action." It is being presented by American Friends Service Committee from Jan. 14 to April 23.


Faculty and Staff Changes

Xuedan Yang will be teaching Mandarin Chinese in the Upper School for the remainder of the academic year. Xuedan, who also goes by her English name, Snow, is replacing Lea Ekeberg, who recently relocated to Pittsburgh with her family. 


Penn Charter will post all current available positions on this page on the school website.


Technology News: Gmail Phishing Attack

A recently discovered gmail phishing scheme has been fooling even the technically proficient into giving up their Google account password.

This attack on gmail accounts is particularly effective because it convincingly sends emails from people you know with a familiar subject line and an attachment you have previously seen. The attacker will gain access to an account and look through the sent folder for an email containing an attachment. They will then generate a new email from that account with a logical subject heading and an attachment that looks the same, but is in fact a link to a faux gmail login page asking for your password. Once you enter your password into this page the attacker has it and can use your account to broaden their attack. Because these emails are coming from people you actually know and contain information you recognize it is very difficult to spot them as a phishing scheme.

Here is an example of how this plays out. The attacker went into one student’s account, pulled an attachment with an athletic team practice schedule, generated the false attachment, and then paired that with a subject line that was tangentially related, and emailed it to the other members of the athletic team.

If you click an attachment and it brings you to this google login page:




Check the URL, it should NOT say “data:text/html” at the beginning.


This is how it should look:

Note the green padlock and https at the beginning. This indicates that the connection is secure. You should never enter a password, credit card or any other important information into a website that does not have https at the beginning of the URL.

Looking for the correct URL is an easy thing to forget. That is why Google offers two step authentication. This requires your account to receive more than just a password to gain entry. Using two-step authentication will help prevent against this and many other types of attacks on your account. It is recommended that everyone use two-step authentication. Here is information on enabling that feature: Setup Two-Step Authentication.

For more information on the gmail phishing attack visit this site.


Faculty and Staff Announcements

Godspell, based on parables from the Bible and the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the first show written by three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz. Using a large dose of comedy and a variety of storytelling techniques, Godspell's themes of kindness, tolerance and love come to life. Hit songs from the show include the widely popular “Day by Day,” in addition to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.” (This production will be the 2012 revival version.) The Upper School performances are on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30pm and Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2:30pm.

Faculty will be notified via email about how they can reserve their complimentary ticket, but additional student and adult tickets can be purchased through the Performing Arts page of the website.


Green Corner
by Tom Rickards

Writing Instruments
Don’t throw out those dried up Expo markers! We are looking to “upcycle” all those markers, mechanical pencils, pens, dry erase markers, highlighters and all caps! There is a Terracycle bin for all writing instruments in the lobby of each division or you can drop them off on my desk in room 135.

Dead Batteries
There is now a bin in the front lobby of the Upper School for dead batteries. We do have to pay to properly recycle these, but given our requests, I wanted to make this receptacle available.

Garden Boxes
Just a reminder that if you are interested in a raised garden bed for gardening work with our students, please be in touch with Tom Rickards and/or Lisa Turner. These should be available by early March.



It’s not too late to apply for a VITAL grant! VITAL proposals are due on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Take a look at our VITAL TLC page to read about past VITAL projects and view a short movie about VITAL. On this page, you’ll also find a link to the application and the criteria the VITAL Selection Committee uses to evaluate proposals. Feel free to direct any questions to the VITAL Selection Committee co-clerks, Ruth Aichenbaum and David Brightbill.


Sabbaticals, 20-Year Grants and Summer Work Proposals

Sabbaticals and 20-Year Grants
If you are interested in applying for a sabbatical or a 20-year grant for next year, please submit a letter with a description of how you plan to spend your time and a timeline for your work. Copies of your letter should be sent to Darryl Ford, Beth Glascott and David Brightbill. The Personnel Committee of the Overseers will make the final decision. The due date for sabbaticals applications is Tuesday, Feb. 21 and the due date for 20-year grants is Monday, March 6. Additional information can be found on the TLC website.

Summer Work
Summer work proposals are for work that will take a day or two and that is directly related to enhancing existing curriculum. Per diem rate is $125. The proposal form can be found online at the TLC website. The due date for summer work proposals is April 7.


Summer Reading

Last call for summer reading suggestions! Click here to recommend a summer reading title. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 6.

Also, please let the CTL know if you are interested in organizing or being involved in any of the following summer reading options this summer:

  1. Forming an affinity group of people reading different books on same subject. This group could even begin meeting before the summer.

  2. Forming an affinity group of people reading the same book that would meet in an ongoing fashion during the following school year.

  3. Suggesting a book that you personally would like to lead a discussion about.

If you are interested in pursuing any of these options, please email Ruth Aichenbaum or Marianne Master to get the conversation started.


Notes from the TLC

by Ruth Aichenbaum

The Teaching & Learning Center is offering both old favorites and new diverse workshops in the coming months with hopes of meeting your teaching and learning interests and goals. Offerings include:

  • Café y Español
  • Making a Document Camera Work Wonders for You and Your Class, led by Michael Moulton
  • Cuba: People-to-People
  • Affinity Group to Discuss Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools by Ron Ritchhart
  • Let’s Dive DEEP! An Introduction To Design Thinking
  • Executive Function-Metacognition: Learn about Helping Your Students Develop Their Metacognition Skills
  • One-to-One Mac Help
  • Discussion about Teaching Tolerance Webinar and Resources: Gender Savvy--Creating an Inclusive School
  • Morning Swim
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Learn to Climb or Belay
  • and more!

Here is the link to sign up for a workshop. If there’s a 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.

If you haven’t heard, Philadelphia University is once again offering two Talking Teachings opportunities each week with new times. On Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:00pm there is a Talking Teaching with no set agenda – just come and chat about education. On Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:00pm there will be a "Topical Thursday" talk with a short reading to jumpstart the discussion. In addition, each week, Philly U is offering a workshop. February workshops at Philly U include:

  • Creativity-based Problem Solving Exercises to Teach Multi-Disciplinary Team Process
  • Incorporating Video Sources into your Course
  • Making Science Sensible by Avoiding Spherical Cows
  • Apps in Teaching: What NOT To Do!
  • Managing the Grade Center
  • RefWorks3 (new version) for Faculty – Managing, Organizing and Formatting your Research Papers
  • Finding the Large Narrative that Invests the Student
  • The Balance of Facilitation and Student Agency When Implementing Participatory Action Research
  • Open Access Publishing for Faculty
  • Providing Feedback to Students

Time and location of these workshops are listed on our TLC SignUp Genius Link.

Please let me know if there are other workshops, learning groups, or one-to-one sessions that you'd like me to schedule in future months. Also, stay tuned for options of many TLC sessions to choose from during an hour of our Feb. 17 in-service day. Anyone interested in leading a session or who has an idea for a session they'd like offered should contact Ruth.

Hope to see you at the TLC!


Professional Development News

MCRC@ADVIS presents a screening and discussion of André Lee's film I'm Not Racist...Am I? on April 28 at the Penn State Great Valley Conference Center in Malvern. Click here for more information. Visit the MCRC@ADVIS website for information about other upcoming programs.

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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What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and it's grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible.

—John Lewis









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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