Scenes from the first day of school in NW Philadelphia [gallery]

Throughout the city and in Northwest Philadelphia, Philadelphia public school students headed back to school. 


“It’s not real until they walk in the door. [The students] make the place come alive without them we wouldn’t be here,” said newly-minted principal at Roxborough’s Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School, Melanie Lewin.

“We are really excited for this school year to begin, and what made me excited to be here, in particular, is that Cook-Wiss is a very cohesive and dynamic group of teachers and dedicated family and community members, so there’s no better place that I’d rather be,” she continued.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

At Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane about a dozen freshmen milled around a parking lot in black polo shirts and khaki pants at 7:30 a.m.

Some quietly chatted with one another. Others just picked a spot to sit down and waited silently until being beckoned into the building’s first floor, where the 9th grade wing sits.

That happened shortly after 8 a.m., when a security guard emerged from a set of mud-brown doors to tell students to start removing their belts and electronics for a walk through the single metal detector perched just inside a long, narrow hallway.

By then, dozens more freshmen had showed.

Slowly, but surely, though, the crowd went through security, got their homeroom assignments from a lamented list on the wall, and started their first day of high school, their first day as a Cougar.

Aaron Moselle and Lauren Gruber contributed to this report.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal