NW Philly students head back to school on Tuesday

Kids in the Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls neighborhoods will soon be trading in their swimsuits and sunscreen for No. 2 pencils and textbooks. For many, this Tuesday marks the first day of school. So, we decided to reach out to some of the principals at those schools for the inside scoop on what’s new at school this year.  Here’s what we came up with.  

Please note that some calls went unreturned but we still included the contact information as a resource. If you have information on a particular school that you’d like to include, please email newsworks@whyy.org or leave a comment at the bottom of this article. 

Academy in Manayunk

Address: 169 Conarroe Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19127

Principal: Pat Roberts

Contact: 215-483-2461

Website: http://www.aimpa.org/New/index.shtml

The school will be moving to a new location in Conshohocken in January 2012.

The AIM Home and School Association donated iPads to the Upper School students for their science and technology lab work as well as all of their advanced coursework at Cabrini College. Each of the school’s Upper School students also has a Macbook loaded with research-based assistive software.

AIM continues to partner with Cabrini College for qualifying seniors and honors juniors to become dual enrolled and receive up to six credits per year. Additionally, the school provides support in the following critical steps to successful college acceptance: test preparation, resume building, interview skills, application process and essay writing.


Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School

Address: 201 E. Salaignac Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Karen Thomas

Contact: 215-487-4463

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/c/cookwissahickon/news–events

The school will participate in October’s Philly Cares Day by inviting the families of students in for school beautification efforts.

Eighth grade students will help clean up the environment throughout the year by collecting wrappers, ceral boxes and cell phones to send in to Terra Cycle, which will pay two cents per wrapper/pouch to recycle them into other products.


Eastern University Academy Charter School 

Address: 3 Falls Center, Suite 2, 3300 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia Pa. 19129

Principal: Omar Barlow 

Contact: 215-769-3131

Website: http://www.euacademycs.org/


Green Woods Charter School 

Address: 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

CEO: Jean Wallace  

Contact: 215-482-6337

Website: http://www.greenwoodscharter.org/

The school is currently in the process of finding a new location and Wallace has said they are exploring a possible move to Germany Hill.  


Holy Child Catholic School 

Address: 242 Hermitage St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19127

Principal: Michael J. Patterson

Contact: 215-487-2796

Website: http://www.holychildmyk.org/node/413


James Dobson Elementary School

Address: 4667 Umbria Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19127

Principal: Patricia Cruice

Contact: 215-487-4460

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/d/dobson/contact-us

Fun Friday will take place every other Friday during the last period of the day. Each student can choose an activity that they’d like to take part in. Students must earn Fun Friday by accumulating enough tickets. Super Bucks are given to whole classes for following the Dobson School Rules. Some super bucks activities include snacks and a movie, game time, extra recess and a picnic.

Students in first through third grades can participate in the Arts in Education afterschool program which celebrates multicultural literature and art. Children will read different stories from around the world and create art projects around the theme. The students will put on an art show for their parents on the last day of class.

Students in the Carver Science Fair Club will learn the components of the scientific method by conducting a sample experiment. They’ll also compete in the district-wide and nationwide competitions.


Lankenau High School

Address: 201 Spring Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Karen Deen

Contact: 215-487-4465

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/l/lankenau/

The school will be hosting a technology fair again this year

There are still some slots open for the White Williams Scholarship, a program providing financial support for honor roll students with financial need. Eligible students must have at least a B average.

Youthworks will be offered for service learning and career related opportunities for students.


Randolph Career Academy 

Address: 3101 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Dr. Jose Lebron

Contact: 215-227-4407 

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/r/randolph/


Roxborough High School

Address: 6498 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Stephen Brandt

Contact: 215-487-4464

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/r/roxborough/

The school has a new “family center,” which was renovated this summer by volunteers, for parent resources, computer access/online textbook access, FAFSA information, safety information and other tools for parents.

The school will offer newly revamped Career and Technical Education programs including the Business Academy, Web Design and Cinemetography. The Business Academy will be working with Virtual Enterprises Inc. to run a virtual business from the school. The participating students will compete in New York City.

Principal Stephen Brandt will host a meet-the-principal event on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at 6148 Ridge Avenue.

One third of the freshman class will participate in the new AVID & GEAR UP programs which are launching this year. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is an elementary through post-secondary college readiness system designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. GEAR UP, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is designed to increase the number of low-income students in post-secondary schools. GEAR UP provides six or seven year grants to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools and through the first year of college.


Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences

Address: 7100 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Wendy Shapiro

Contact: 215-487-4467

Website: http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/saul/


Shawmont School

Address: 535 Shawmont Ave., Philadelphia, Pa 19128

Principal: Michael Graff

Contact: 215-487-4466

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/s/shawmont


St. Bridget School 

Address: 3636 Stanton Street

Principal: Susan Canio

Contact: 215-844-4126

Website: http://teacherweb.com/PA/StBridgetSchool/SchoolHomePage/apt1.aspx

First day of school is on Wednesday, Sept. 7. 


St. James School

Address: 3217 West Clearfield Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19132

Principal: Laura Hoffman-Dimery

Contact: 215.226.1276

Website: http://www.stjamesphila.org/contact/index.php

The school will ceremonially unlock the gate to welcome its founding class of 17 fifth grade students on Tuesday at 8:15 a.m.

The property on which the new school is seated has been tranformed from its roots as both a historic church grounds first established in 1864. The bells from the Wanamaker Tower on the cemetery grounds of the historic Church of St. James the Less (which last rang constant in 2009) will chime once again in this neighborhood.

The school is a non-tuition driven school modeled after the NativityMiguel Network of schools.


Thomas Mifflin Elementary School

Address: 3624 Conrad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19129

Principal: Leslie Mason

Contact: 215-951-4007

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/m/mifflin

The first day of kindergarten is on Sept. 12. There will be an outdoor parade at 8:45 a.m. that day in which the entire student body cheers the students on as they are given balloons on their way into school. Principal Mason says they get to be “superstars” that day.


William Levering School

Address: 6000 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128

Principal: Glenn Douglas

Contact: 215-487-4462

Website: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/l/levering

Students will take part in the First in Math Online Program, a classroom staple since 1988. Online games range from addition to multi-step algebra, and are organized into skill sets.  

The school will host Student of the Month breakfasts

A science fair is planned for February

Arts performances are scheduled for Spring 2012.


William Penn Charter School

Address: 3000 West School House Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19129

Head of School: Darryl Ford

Contact: 215-844-3460

Website: http://www.penncharter.com/

A number of renovations have been made on buildings throughout campus this summer including repair work on the bell tower, exterior painting on the Timmons House and the creation of new display areas for the visual arts.

A strategic plan which addresses enhancements to Penn Charter’s educational program will be presented to Overseers in September with expected approval and public presentation by December.

Check out more from Headmaster Ford in the 2011-2012 welcome letter


Wissahickon Charter School 

Address: 4700 Wissahickon Avenue

Co- CEOs: Kristi Littell and Jamal Elliott

Contact: 267.338.1020

Website: http://wissahickoncharter.org/wp/


Meg Frankowski and Damian Biniek contributed to this report. 

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