Your guide to the first days of school in Germantown and West Oak Lane

It’s time again for Germantown and West Oak Lane neighborhood students to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer and hello to a new year of school. The official first day of class, an early dismissal day, for the Philadelphia School District is Friday, Sept. 7, but not all area schools will open on that date. We reached out to schools in the area to give notice of their schedules, and what’s coming up this school year.

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 Brian Hickey at or leave a comment at the bottom of this article.


Anna L. Lingelbach School

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Principal: Richard Raisman

Phone Number: (215) 951-4001

Address: 6430 Wayne Ave.

For the 2012 to 2013 school year, Lingelbach has a new picnic and garden area at the school, which includes an outdoor classroom and walking trail. The school will also continue their inter-generational tutoring program and students will be able to join a Dragon Boat Racing team. Fifth-grade students are able to participate in ballroom dancing. Community partnerships with Mt. Airy Schools Committee and the Unitarian Society of Germantown will also continue this school year.

Germantown Friends School

Head of School: Dick Wade

Phone Number: (215) 951-2300

Address: 31 W. Coulter St.

Lower School: Students will continue to go-green and work on stormwater management on campus. They will also participate in “Feedback,” a program which asks students to express and share their feelings and ideas with each other.

Middle School: To mark the beginning of the school year, GFS sixth and seventh graders go on a camping trip that encourages “team-building” and helps to them to “get to know their classmates and teachers in a less formal setting.” Eighth graders participate in a camping trip at the end of the school year. There will also be an opening school year pizza party.

Upper School: On Sunday, Sept. 9, GFS’s senior class will attend a Senior Tea social gathering. The Upper School is excited to continue college visiting days.

Germantown High School

Principal: Margaret Mullen-Bavwidinsi

Phone Number: (215) 951-4004

Address: 40 E. High St.

This year, Germantown High boasts a new graphic-design program for students. They are excited to continue clubs like photography, theatre, knitting and the school newspaper. There is also a new “Students Run Philly Style” running group.

Greene Street Friends School

Associate Head of School: Wilson Felter

Phone Number: (215) 438-7545

Address: 5511 Greene St.

Lower School: The school will continue their “Science Fusion,” “Life Skills” and “Tweens” programs. They will also participate in field trips throughout the year as part of their “Experimental Education” initiative.

Middle School: The school will continue their “Costa Rica Exchange Program” and learn about the culture as they write to pen pals in Costa Rica. Students will travel to Washington, DC and New York City in May.

Jay Cooke Elementary School

Principal: Judy Seibert Burns

Phone Number: (215) 456-3002

Address: 1300 W. Loudon St.

Cooke is excited to continue its Villanova University Mentors program as well as a Robotics Club and the “Nu Sigma Beacon” afterschool program.

John Wister Elementary School

Principal: Donna Smith

Phone Number: (215) 951-4003

Address: 67 E. Bringhurst St.

This school year, Wister boasts a remodeled library complete with new books, technology and other materials and a recently updated science lab with new equipment. The school will continue class trips to Grumblethorpe, John Wister’s home and other historic Germantown sites.

PA School for the Deaf

Principal: Valerie Houser

Phone Number: (215) 951-4700

Address: 100 W. School House Lane

Elementary School: The school will continue “FUN Friday,” a day of fun rewards for good work habits. They will also participate in Chick-Fil-A’s “Core Values Program” in which students are rewarded with a trip to the restaurant.

Middle School: The school will continue to be pen pals with a deaf school in the Dominican Republic. Last year, they collected clothing donations for the school.

High School: The school will continue their collaborative program with nearby Mercy Vocational High School. Students may attend classes for fields in business education, carpentry, cosmetology, culinary arts and more.

Robert Fulton School

Principal: Dr. Jala Olds-Pearson

Phone Number: (215) 951-4005

Address: 60 E. Haines St.

This year, the school is encouraging students to practice for the PSSA online. They will also have many clubs and sports available for students.

St. James School

Principal: Laura Hoffman-Dimery

Phone Number: (215) 226-1276

Address: 3217 W. Clearfield St.

The school will continue its “Urban Blazers” leadership education program as well as their “Faith-In-Action” program. As the campus focuses on going green, students will learn about gardening, environmental education and healthy lifestyles.


HOPE Charter School

Principal: Eric Worley

Phone Number: (267) 336-2730

Address: 2116 E. Haines St.

The school will continue to offer monthly parent meetings called “Partners in HOPE” and a “Getting Results” school improvement plan. They also offer therapy and conflict resolution for students and their families.

Hope Church School

Principal: Dr. Suzette Ajedho

Phone Number: (215) 927-6650

Address: 6707 Old York Road

For the 2012 to 2013 school year, Hope will continue to offer creative arts including drama, mime and dance as well as field trips. They continue to offer SAT Prep and college placement for students.

John L. Kinsey Elementary School

Principal: Deana Ramsey

Phone Number: (215) 276-5266

Address: 6501 Limekiln Pike

This year, the school is excited to be a part of the QZAB program as each class will receive an interactive whiteboard and a mobile laptop cart. They are also proud of their newly remodeled library and will continue the “Trophies Reading Series” for students.

MLK High School

Principal: William C. Wade

Phone Number: (215) 276-5253

Address: 6100 Stenton Ave.

This year, MLK students will continue to participate with Seeds for Learning, a farming and entrepreneurship program. They also encourage their students to participate in their mural arts program and other activities like Project Citizen and sports clubs.

Samuel W. Pennypacker School

Principal: Wendy Baldwin

Phone Number: (215) 276-5271

Address: 1850 E. Washington Lane

This school year, Pennypacker has a brand new Home and School Association. They are also cracking down on bullying and cyber-bullying in the school. A partnership with Temple University called the “Temple Experience Corps” is another highlight of the school year.

William Rowen Elementary School

Principal: James G. Murray, Jr.

Phone Number: (215) 276-5251

Address: 6841 N. 19th St.

This school year, the school will continue to focus on initiatives against anti-bullying and cyber-bullying.

West Oak Lane Charter School

Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Debbera Peoples-Lee

Phone Number: (215) 927-7995

Address: 7115 Stenton Ave.

With the new expansion of the school completed last spring, WOL Charter is excited to begin the 2012-13 school year with plenty of new space that includes a parent center, new classrooms, new offices, new computer labs, a math center, a literacy center and more.

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