By providing an equitable and purposeful learning experience that pushes us to build a just community, we ensure that all students are prepared for a vibrant future, responsible to each other, our city, and our world. Our school serves as a learning hub of professional practice for Philadelphia educators seeking to maximize their own and their students’ growth, and a space for our school community to come together to grow and learn.
The school’s educational mission is to maximize the academic and personal competence of all its students to become successful life-long learners and productive citizens in a diverse and highly technological society. A Challenging research-based instructional program leads children to mastery of fundamental ideas, skills, and learning strategies, and prepares them to meet the highest academic standards. At the same time, the school strives to develop students’ abilities to be independent and self-directed in pursuing high standards of learning. The school is organized into smaller units whose structures and approaches respond to children’s changing developmental needs and build community among students and staff. These small communities ensure that all children have ample opportunities to form positive bonds with adults and other students in a climate that models respect for learning, promotes appreciation for the unique qualities and needs of each child, and engages students in active participation and learning. Because it is a community school, the local neighborhood serves as a laboratory and text for learning. There are also extensive opportunities for children to participate in learning experiences through extended day programs, and for parents/guardians and other adults in the community to volunteer their talents and time in support of the educational program. As a center for professional development, the school models a learning community where staff regularly engage in activities to advance their knowledge and skills. Team-teaching, mentoring teachers in training, graduate study, and research with Penn faculty are regular aspects of professional life at the school. Research and curriculum development conducted collaboratively by staff from the school and the University yield innovative approaches that ensure that all children succeed to the highest academic standards. Through a wide range of learning opportunities provided for teachers throughout the West Philadelphia and University area, the school will be an active site for cross-school collaborations, on-site residencies, study groups and other professional activities for teachers and school leaders. The community at large understands that many special features of the school will be implemented over a multi-year period.
Learning- We are creators and builders of our education; this is our priority.
Collaboration- We work together and we have much to learn from one another.
Equity- Everyone matters, everyone is included, everyone listens, everyone leads.
Responsibility- Our words and actions matter; they create our community and our world.
Reflection- We are lifelong learners seeking continual growth.