In the past two months, as federal agencies and the City of Philadelphia have refined security and transportation plans for the visit of Pope Francis, we have paid careful attention to how those decisions will affect our community.
While our preference would be to keep school open, it has become clear to us that the logistical challenges parents, students and employees will face on the Friday, Saturday and Monday of the papal visit require several adjustments to the Penn Charter calendar.
It is our plan to be open on Thursday, Sept. 24, until the end of athletics practice and a home football game. However, we are adjusting the Penn Charter calendar as follows:
Penn Charter will be closed on Friday, Sept. 25.
Students will report two hours late on Monday, Sept. 28; Lower School child care will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on that day. Faculty and staff will report at 8 a.m. on that day for a two-hour Strategic Vision in-service session; this session will replace the late-start session scheduled for Oct. 22.
Lower School Back-to-School Night (and the Lower School Dinner for New Parents) will move from Thursday, Sept. 24, to Monday, Oct. 5.
Athletics: We are still making changes to the athletics calendar but can announce at this point:
- The Middle School girls cross country meet scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24 at Belmont Plateau will be rescheduled.
- No games on Friday, Sept. 25. We hope that the water polo team will be able to travel to their two-day tournament and will be contact water polo parents and players directly when we have finalized a plan.
- The varsity football game scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25, has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 24, with kickoff at 4 p.m.
- The Upper School boys JV and varsity soccer games have been rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17.
- We are working to reschedule the Upper School field hockey on Friday and the Saturday girls soccer games and will contact team players and parents directly when we have the new dates.
- Athletics practices and games resume on Monday, Sept. 28.
We think this is our final plan; however, we continue to monitor the situation and will make adjustments if necessary. We will change our online calendar to reflect these new dates, and I hope you will amend the paper calendar you received this summer.
Although I regret any inconvenience this causes for families, I think these adjustments are prudent. I hope that all of the advance preparations by individuals, schools, agencies and government officials will shine the best possible light on this great city during our time in the world spotlight.
Darryl J. Ford
Head of School