Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Roxborough now gets about twice as many applicants as it can accept, but it may get even more in the future.
In Northeast Philadelphia, Fox Chase Elementary is poised to become perhaps the country’s only agricultural elementary school.
Principal Rob Caroselli said that some parents had been surprised by the idea, but that now there is enthusiasm about it and support from the agricultural community. The school was one of three chosen by the District in December to receive a two-year School Redesign Initiative grant.
Saul principal Tamera Conaway said she hoped to work closely with Fox Chase to develop it as, in effect, a feeder school.
“The possibilities are endless with agriculture,” said Caroselli. “The teachers are aware that they can do lessons about what the kids are eating and how it’s tied into health.”
The school is near the District-run Fox Chase Farm. Caroselli said that, for example, math classes could incorporate lessons about the slope of land and what can be grown on it.
The school is about to introduce wheeled “grow-carts” in classrooms, and Caroselli said he hopes to soon start a farm-to-table market at the Fox Chase SEPTA Regional Rail station.
“It would be cool to have a kid go home and say, ‘What I had for lunch was growing in our garden,’” Caroselli said.