May 2011 - The School District of Philadelphia by linxiaoqin


									                                         THE EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER OF
                                         THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA

                                        Core Team
                                                                                                                      May 2011

At the CORE of Our Mission
        Are Children
                                                      At the Core
                                                  Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman

                                                   A Call to Conscience and
                                                 Collaboration for the Children

                                                 A s we agonize over budget cuts and
                                                 struggle to deal with a growing number of
                                                 stress-related concerns at work and at
                                                 home, letʼs remember what really matters       speaking out in support of public
                                                 —Children Come First.                          education, we are making a conscious
     The School District                                                                        decision to put Children First and place
                                                 Even in these trying times, I am confident      their needs and best interests ahead of all
 of Philadelphia Core Beliefs                                                                   others. Thank you.
                                                 that our entire staff will continue to give
             Children come first.                nothing but the very best to support
                                                 student success. Every day, School             At the entrance to my office thereʼs a
           Parents are our partners.             District employees dedicate their time and     plaque with an inscription that reads, “The
                                                 effort, demonstrate their commitment and       ultimate measure of a man is not where he
  Victory is in the classroom and facilitated                                                   stands in moments of comfort and
       by a strong instructional leader.
                                                 compassion, and work hard for one
                                                 simple purpose: to make a difference in        convenience, but where he stands at times
        Leadership and accountability            the lives of our students—a difference         of challenge and controversy.” For a long
           are the keys to success.              that counts, a difference that helps them      time, itʼs been one of my favorite Dr.
                                                 to realize their dreams of a brighter future   Martin Luther King quotes. But now more
        It takes the engagement of the                                                          than ever before it has special meaning for
   entire community to ensure the success
                                                 and better days. There is no greater
              of its public schools.             reason for being and no better motivator       me because it reminds me that today we
                                                 for work than providing our children with      are standing in the midst of unprecedented
                                                 equal access to what they deserve—a            challenge and controversy. And yet we
                                                 decent, fairly funded public education.        are not standing still nor are we silent. For
     INSIDE THIS ISSUE                                                                          the children, for their constitutional rights,
                                                 As a parent, as a former teacher and           and for the education they deserve, we
Senior of the Month ....................3        school principal, and as Philadelphiaʼs        must and we will continue to stand
                                                 Superintendent of Public and Charter           together and speak out, and to collaborate
Desk Poetry.................................5    Schools, I am pleased and proud to             as colleagues, friends and concerned
                                                 extend my deepest thanks and sincere           citizens in heeding the call of conscience
Honor Roll...................................6   appreciation to all District employees, to     and following it with courage.
                                                 our parent and faith-based communities,
Faces and Facts..........................7       to our elected officials, to our many           Respectfully,
                                                 corporate and strategic partners, and to
                                                 people of good conscience everywhere
Where in the World......................8
                                                 who are fighting for the primacy of
                                                 childrenʼs rights over business-friendly       Arlene C. Ackerman, Ed.D.
                                                 budgets.      By coming together and           Superintendent
                                                                                                                                Core Team
                                                     Philadelphia Science Fest Puts
                                                        Technology Within Reach
                                                 Budding and experienced scientists alike participated in the inaugural
                                                 Philadelphia Science Festival, a city-wide celebration of science, organized by
                                                 the Franklin Institute, over a two-week period from April 15-28, 2011. The
                                                 festival featured lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a
                                                 variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all

                                                 “Students from across the city had the opportunity to witness science come to
 The STEM Secrets Science event brought          life,” said Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman. “Any chance we have to
 together innovators in science, technology,     encourage learning through fun, inspiring and relatable activities is something
 engineering and science                         we can all support.”
The goal of the Philadelphia Science Festival was to provide opportunities for all
Philadelphians to positively engage with and build community ties around science,
engineering, and technology by showing the role that each plays everyday in our city
and region.

As part of the two-week festivities, District students, teachers, parents and staff, as
well as people throughout the city, participated on April 15, 2011 in “The Big Jump,” a
mass-participation scientific investigation to see if the force of the cityʼs collective
energy could generate seismic activity. Participants at over 95 District schools, as well
as staff at 440 N. Broad Street, jumped for science for one minute. One of the goals          “The Big Jump" brought science to
of “The Big Jump” was to serve as a teaching moment for both schoolchildren and               life in over 95 schools across the
adults and bring the power of science to life.                                                District.
With over 100 events throughout the duration of the festival, most of which were free to the public, the Philadelphia Science
Festival sought to present science in an interesting, relevant and fun manner by engaging students in experiments, activities
and events. The STEM Secrets Science event, held at District Headquarters on April 21, 2011, served this purpose by
showcasing innovations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Organizations from varying fields exhibited
some of the most cutting-edge technology in robotics, unmanned vehicles, manufacturing and computers.

President Barack Obama has encouraged participation in the STEM fields through his “Educate to Innovate” campaign.
“Reaffirming and strengthening Americaʼs role as the worldʼs engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation is
essential to meeting the challenges of this century,” said Obama at the launch of the campaign on November 23, 2009.  “Thatʼs
why I am committed to making the improvement of STEM education over the next decade a national priority.”

The Philadelphia Science Festival will return in April of next year with even more events and activities for Philadelphians of
every age. Stirring the curiosity of participants, the festival hopes to turn the amateur scientists of today into the scientific
experts of tomorrow.

                                 I N             T H E                 N E W S !
  Greenberg Elementary Pushes to                   Hundreds of Philadelphia                      Local Educator appears on
            Next Level                         schoolkids tackle Chess Challenge                        ʻJeopardy!ʼ
The Philadelphia Tribune, May 10, 2011         Channel 3-CBS, May, 18, 2011                 South Philly Review, May 18, 2011
Since the 2004-05 school year,                 Over 300 student chess clubs                 “Answer: Elisabeth Raab. Question:
Greenberg has made Adequate Yearly             gathered at Lincoln Financial Field for      What English teacher at High School of
Progress (AYP) and is currently                the Philadelphia Youth Chess                 the Future finished third in Jeopardy!ʼs
recognized as a district vanguard school       Challenge, a partnership of the              first-ever Teachers Tournament?” Ms.
— a top performer with specific budget          Philadelphia Eagles and After School         Raabʼs intellect and dexterity afforded
and core curriculum autonomies.                Activities Partnerships (ASAP).              her a wild-card slot in the semi-finals
Principal Gina Hubbard                         Among the 4,680                              where she garnered the
cites this success as a                        student “queen, pawn                         guaranteed $10,000
result of focusing on the                      and bishop” wizards                          for semifinalistʼs share.
student and extending                          were chess players                           Congratulations
the curriculum.                                from Bache Martin.                           Ms. Raab!

Core Team, Page 2
 Crossan Students Put on Their Dancing Shoes                                                  Senior of
Moving their feet, shaking their hips and twirling their partners, students from              the Month
two fifth-grade classes at Kennedy Crossan Elementary participated in Dancing
Classrooms Phillyʼs 4th Annual Ballroom Dancing Competition on Friday, May 6,
2011. Led by teaching artist Steve Mesh and fifth-grade teachers Jennifer
Metzger and Lynette Wilson, the students practiced twice-weekly for 10 weeks
to prepare for the culminating event.
                                           “The whole goal of the program is for
                                           these students to become ladies and
                                           gentlemen,” said Mesh. “This is life
                                           lessons wrapped in ballroom dancing.”

                                           Part of the Arts in Schools
                                           Collaborativeʼs Dancing Classrooms
                                           Philly, a licensed ballroom dancing
                                           program for Philadelphia
                                           schoolchildren, students participated      Office Depot, May 2011
                                           for the chance to move on to the city-
                                           wide semi-finals, held on Tuesday,
                                                                                      Senior of the Month is...
                                                                                               Patton Vo
                                           May 24, 2011. Winners in the semi-
                                           finals will then move on to the finals,
                                           held at Temple Universityʼs McGonigle    Franklin Learning Center
                                           Hall on June 4, 2011. The goal of the
                                           program is to build social awareness,    Academics: Completed all of his State-
                                           confidence and self-esteem amongst        mandated credit requirements for
                                           participating students. It also          graduation in three years but is continuing
                                           encourages teamwork and helps break      in a fourth year at Franklin Learning
                                           down barriers between peers.             Center (FLC), taking Advanced
                                                                                    Placement (AP) courses in biology and
Formed in 2007, the program is the brainchild of Arts in Schools Collaborative      English literature and a Saturday AP
Co-Executive Directors Jane Brooks and Joyce Burd. Brooks, who is retiring at       course in calculus and statistics. Won a
the end of this school year, was in attendance at the Crossan competition.          silver medal in a bio-medical debate
“This has been such a tremendous experience,” said Brooks. “These students
and this school are exceptional.”                                                   Leadership: President of the schoolʼs
                                                                                    chapters of the National Honor Society
“When I started [this program], I felt nervous. Now, I feel confident,” said fifth-   (NHS), the Health Occupation Students of
grader Kevyahna Brame. Added fifth-grader Jessica Raskauskas, “Iʼve been             America, and the Asian Club.
waiting for this for two years; Iʼve loved every second of it.”
                                                                                    Service: Tutors students at FLC and
For more information on Dancing Classrooms Philly, visit their website at           Bache-Martin Elementary School with the                                                    NHS, carries out activities for senior
                                                                                    citizens with the Asian Club, and
                                                                                    participates in the local AIDS and Lupus

                                                                                    Future Plans: Will major in nursing at
                                                                                    Widener University.

                                                                                    Career Objective: To be a certified
                                                                                    registered nurse anesthetist.
                                                                                    The Office Depot Senior of the Month Award
                                                                                    is presented from November through June.
                                                                                    Each recipient receives a $500 stipend from
                                                                                    Office Depot and a Certificate of Excellence
                                                                                    from Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman. The
                                                                                    presentation occurs at a School Reform
                                                                                    Commission meeting.

                                                                                                             Core Team, Page 3
      Teachers from School District’s secondary schools
    honored with Lindback Distinguished Teaching Awards

On May 10, The Christian R. and Mary A. Lindback        Nancy Nayowith, Academy at Palumbo; Melissa
Foundation presented the fourth annual Lindback         Hogg, Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush; Bernadine
Distinguished Teaching Awards, and a stipend of         Waterman, Audenried High School; John Schaffer,
$3,500, to each of 66 District high school teachers.    Bartram High School; Beverly Tucker, Bodine High
                                                        School for International Affairs; Ronald Paulus, Bok
On hand to extend their congratulations at a festive    Technical High School; Charlotte Brickhouse, Carroll
ceremony at the Prince Music Theater were               High School; Joseph Dougherty, Carver High School
Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, School Reform           of Engineering and Science; Galeet Cohen, Central
Commission Chairman Robert L. Archie Jr.,               High School; Karin Robinson, Communications
Commissioner Johnny Irizarry, Philadelphia              Technology High School; Kathleen Melville,
Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan, State    Constitution High School; Frances Peagler, Dobbins
Representative Dwight Evans, City-Wide Student          Technical High School; Sean Ryan, Douglas High
Government President Emilio Garcia, and foundation      School; Carol Chatman, Edison High School; George
trustees Sheldon Bonovitz, chairman emeritus, Duane     Dufner, Fels High School; Nora Karasanyi,
Morris LLP, David E. Loder, Chair, Duane Morris LLP     FitzSimons Young Menʼs Leadership High School;
heath law practice group, and Reginald J. Middleton,    Linwood Stevens, Frankford High School; Richard
Vice President, Wells Fargo Co.                         Upshaw, Franklin High School; Christina Whitt,
                                                        Franklin Learning Center; Patricia Ternove, Furness
Assistant Superintendent of Academic Division I (High   High School; and Eleanor Boli, Germantown High
Schools) Linda Cliatt Wayman and Deputy Chief for       School.
Secondary School Reform Dr. Theodore Thompson, III
shared duties announcing the roll call of honorees.     Also Erica Lee, Girard Academic Music Program;
                                                        Linda Anderson, Gratz High School; Elizabeth
A spirited performance by the All-City High School      Harvey, High School of the Future; Jazmin Torres,
Choir, directed by Dorina Morrow with Lindback Award    Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High
winner Dr. Jerry Fluellen at the piano, accompanied     School; Kimberly Brandes, Kensington Culinary Arts
the opening procession of teachers. The inspirational   High School; Dr. Ilcedes Faro
performance of “Living the Dream” by the Philadelphia
High School for Creative and Performing Arts            Kensington International Business High School;
Dancers, with choreography by dance company             Sarah Rittenhouse, Kensington Urban Education
Director LaDeva Davis brought the program to a          Academy; Ross Hamilton, King High School; Edward
dramatic conclusion.                                    Love, Lamberton High School; Michael Hardisky,
                                                        Lankenau High School; Brian Wagner, Lincoln High
Cheered on by members of the Superintendentʼs           School; Olga Torres, Mastbaum Technical High
leadership team, and their assistant superintendents,   School; Nabeehah Parker, Masterman High School;
principals, friends and family members were the 2011    Alicia Williams, Motivation High School; Patricia
Lindback Award winners:                                 Ryan, Northeast High School; Melanie Keiper, Olney
                                                        East High School;

Core Team, Page 4
Lauren Vargas, Olney West High School; Amjad Ali,
Overbrook High School; Joshua Rothstein,
Parkway Center City; and Beverly Trimboli, Parkway
Northwest High School.

Also Dr. Jerry Fluellen, Parkway West High School;
Raymond Lackey, Pennypack House School; Dr. Malikah
Jenkins, Philadelphia High School for Business and
Technology; Cynthia Kulesza, Philadelphia High School
for Creative and Performing Arts; Alfred Hanssen,
Philadelphia High School for Girls; Jessica Melman,
Philadelphia Learning Academy North; Sarah Truitt,         Destiny, Our Predetermined Future
Philadelphia Learning Academy South; Judith Dunn,
Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson;                A true friend is one who walks in when the rest
Ariel Weiser, Philadelphia Military Academy at Leeds;               of the world walks out... ... ...
Benjamin Young, Promise Academy at University City
High School; Tracey Petty, Promise Academy at Vaux            I thought it was our destiny to be together
High School; Thomas McLaughlin, Randolph Career                   forever, but you canʼt plan forever...
Academy; S. Ryann Skraitz, Rhodes Young Womenʼs             It has to happen on its own, the story has to
Leadership High School; Carmelle Jean-Paul, Robeson                            write itself...
High School; Denise DiFrancesco, Roxborough High
School; and Theresa Maas-Anger, Saul High School for               No guessing should be done,
Agricultural Sciences.                                                    no fantasies either...
                                                                Let it all become reality, Our Destiny
Also Vendetta Smith, Sayre High School; Pia Martin,
Science Leadership Academy; Dean Coder, South             Letʼs stop trying to become something that weʼre
Philadelphia High School; Patricia Whyatt, Strawberry      not. Letʼs remember that weʼre human and we
Mansion High School; Alvah Smith, Swenson Arts and           have the right to make our own mistakes...
Technology High School; Bernadette Clapp, Washington
High School; Rainiel Guzman, West Philadelphia High        But as humans we must also realize we have
School; James Scanlon, Widener Memorial School; and         the power to smile and the power to cry...
Anthony Williams, Youth Study Center.                     We have the power to build someone up just as
                                                               much as we can break them down...
Philadelphia Learning Academy teacher Sarah Truitt is     We have the power to keep one person alive by
congratulated by (l-r) Sheldon Bonovitz, Superintendent               simply saying "Hello"
Dr. Arlene Ackerman and SRC Commissioner Johnny
Irizarry.                                                 As humans we must also remember the Power
                                                           we have, and the destruction it can cause...
                                                           We sometimes allow our own selfishness or
                                                            selflessness get in the way of our Purpose
                                                                        here on Earth...

                                                          We never fully understand that there will always
                                                           be that one person that is meant to be in your
                                                            life forever... That one person thatʼs always
                                                                  going to be there no matter what...

                                                          That one person that knows it is your destiny to
                                                             be together... forever... no matter what...
                                                                 ... It's your predetermined future

                                                                                          By Cherrell East
                                                                                                  Grade 10
                                                                     Imhotep Institute Charter High School

                                                                                            Core Team, Page 5
Young Artists 2011, a district-wide                Kensington CAPA became the latest           Students at Stearne Elementary
student art exhibition that began on               entry in the School District of             School had the chance to learn about
April 25 and exhibits throughout the               Philadelphiaʼs growing list of schools      various careers from the pros when
summer, is now on display at 440 N.                exhibiting sustainable excellence.          over 20 career professionals visited
Broad Street. This special art show                In a ceremony with Mayor Michael A.         the school for the 4th Annual Career
features over 1,000 pieces of                      Nutter on May 11, the school received       Day on Friday, May 20, 2011.
extraordinary student art. The theme               Leadership in Energy and                    Professionals included a doctor,
of this yearʼs show is "Exploring                  Environmental Design (LEED®)                firefighter, state trooper, radio
C r e a t i v i t y, I m a g i n a t i o n a n d   Platinum status, the highest level of       personality, newspaper editor and a
Innovation in Art Education" and                   recognition under the U.S. Green            small business owner. The goal of
features drawings, paintings, prints,              Building Councilʼs LEED Green               Career Day is to expose children to
photography, sculpture, ceramics                   Building Rating System.        With the     knowledge and insight on the daily
and textiles created by students in                certification, Kensington becomes the        responsibilities of each presenter and
grades K-12. A special reception                   first Platinum LEED public high school       provide students with new
was held on May 12 to honor the                    in both the State of Pennsylvania and       possibilities for the future.
many students and teachers that                    the United States.   
contributed their talents to the show.

              Deadline approaches for adoption of District’s 2011-2012 budget
 Public education stakeholders in Philadelphia
 and across Pennsylvania are looking to the                        Examples of Major Expenditure Changes
 legislature to restore some of the Stateʼs K-12
 education funding that was slashed in the budget                   Administrative support operations, at $98 million or 3% of the
 which Governor Tom Corbett presented on                            total budget, are down 44% from FY 2010-11.
 March 8. In the Governorʼs budget, aid to both
 K-12 and higher education was cut by $1 billion.                   97% of total FY 2011-12 expenditures of $2.8 billion is allocated
                                                                    to schools:
 The School District anticipates a shortfall of                #    - $2.2 billion to District-operated schools;
 approximately $629 million for 2011-2012. The                 #    - $649 million to District-funded but non-District operated
 Governorʼs proposed cuts to education funding                 #    schools;
 account for $292 million of that that figure.                  #    - $98 million for administration.

 In an update to the SRC on May 11, the School                      FY 2011-12 funding for District-operated schools, at $2.2 billion,
 Districtʼs Chief Financial Officer, Michael Masch,                  is down 11% from FY 2010-11.
 said that there have been years in the past
 where State education funding has remained                         Funding for non-District Operated schools, including charter
 flat, but there has never been a cut to this                        schools, non-public schools, and educational placements in
 funding—let alone one so deep.                                     outside institutions, will grow 15%, to $649 million, primarily due
                                                                    to charter school payments that are projected to grow 23%to
 The budget overview recently published by the                      $544 million.
 District states, “Philadelphiaʼs public schools
 face the prospect next year of extraordinary                       The budget anticipates a reduction in the Districtʼs workforce of
 reductions in state and federal aid, zero growth                   3,820 positions (16%), including 1,260 teacher positions (12%).

Core Team, Page 6
    in local school tax revenues, and unavoidable increases in
    costs for critical items such as employee health benefits,
    pension contributions, and state-mandated per-student
    contributions to charter schools.”

    The Districtʼs proposed budget which it presented to City
    Council on May 24 and 25, is balanced, as is required by
    law. The budget attempts to save as much as possible of
    the investments that have brought about positive
    improvements in public education in Philadelphia over the
    last nine years. However, the budget does include deep
    and painful cuts to programs and personnel that admittedly
    will impact the Districtʼs instructional program.

    For the latest details on the budget, visit the Districtʼs

    Examples of Major Revenue Changes                                              Barbara Melsch
         Total School District revenue is expected to decrease
         by $377 million, or 12%.                                                   Secretary I
                                                                        Promise Academy at Vaux High School
         Compared with the current FY2010-11 SDP revenue
         estimate, FY 2011-12 revenue from local taxes and the                 2300 W. Master Street
         City grant is projected to remain virtually flat.
         At this time, excluding retirement and Social Security         Barbara Melsch has been in the forefront in the first
         reimbursements, total revenue from the State is                year of the School Districtʼs Renaissance Schools
         projected to decrease by 19%, or $292 million                  initiative.

         Federal grants revenue, including recurring grants, plus       She had only been with the District since January
         non-recurring Stimulus funds, is expected to decrease          2010 when shortly after, the school where she was
         by $109 million, or 19%, due to the anticipated loss of        working, Frederick Douglass Elementary, was slated
         federally-allocated Stimulus funds under Title I, IDEA         to become a Renaissance Charter School. Melsch
         and Title II.                                                  moved on to Vaux High School in July 2010, which
                                                                        means she has been there from the very beginning
                                                                        of its conversion to a Promise Academy.
              FA CEB O O K - f ace b llyEd ucat i on
                                                                        Melsch carries out many of the traditional front office
          TWITTER           -   @PhillyEducation                        duties, including processing payroll, arranging for
                                                                        substitute teachers when needed, and keeping the
              BLOG      -                     principalʼs schedule. However, she also is an
                                                                        ambassador for the Promise Academy model,
    FLICKR       -                         coordinating tours of the school for interested
                                                                        individuals from near and far.

                                                                        Commenting on her schoolʼs transformation, Melsch
                                   said, “Iʼve learned an exceptional amount of
                                                                        information, and itʼs been refreshing to see the
Do you have a story that you want to see featured in Core Team?         change in studentsʼ interest and attitudes.”
Send your story ideas to You may also submit
photos and captions to accompany your story.                            FACTS:
Are you seeking publicity for an upcoming event?                        The current enrollment at the Promise Academy at
Submit a request form to the Office of Communications by visiting The    Vaux High School is approximately 350 students. The
Districtʼs website at                                  schoolʼs original namesake was Roberts (yes, there is

     Go to Sitemap - Communications - Forms - Publicity Request Form.   an “s” at the end) Vaux, who in 1818 became the head
              Fill out the information and click “save” to submit.      of the first city-wide school board in Philadelphia.

                                                                                                             Core Team, Page 7
  Where in the World is Bethany Cann,
  Music Teacher Extraordinaire?

   Ms. Cann composes harmony on a daily basis as a music teacher at Penn Treaty Middle
School. In addition to instructing regular classes, Ms. Cann also: directs the Penn Treaty
Drumming Group; accompanies the Penn Treaty Choir; assists with the annual Penn Treaty
Musical and International Fair; runs an after-school music club where students can come after-
school for group lessons and practice; and serves as co-sponsor of the Salsa/Bachata Dancing

   Also, when Ms. Cann is not creating symphonies, she is actively seeking opportunities to
acquire grants for musical equipment at
Penn Treaty School and serves as
Coordinator of the eighth grade
Moving Up Ceremony.
                                                                      Ms. Cann directs the
                                                                      drumming group rehearsal
                                                                      as they fine tune each note
                                                                      for several upcoming
                                                                      performances. Penn Treaty
                                                                      offers an acoustic guitar lab,
                                                                      electric keyboard lab and an
                                                                      assortment of hand drums.

 While working with 7th grader
 Breeyonna Rodriguez, Ms.
 Cann demonstrates that
 making music is something
 everyone can do--not just
 conductors, famous rock
 stars or music teachers.

                                    As Ms. Cann works with 8th
                                    grader Jasmine Gray, they
                                    practice cuts from current
                                    music. Ms. Cann believes that
                                    including modern music in
                                    lessons fosters an environment
                                    where students feel comfortable
                                    taking musical risks.

 Core Team

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