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District will ask for another day off during pope's visit

By Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks on Aug 6, 2015 04:03 PM

When Pope Francis comes to town, it could mean three days off from school for Philadelphia students.

Spokesman Fernando Gallard says the Philadelphia School District is asking the School Reform Commission to approve two days off specifically for the papal visit.

Beyond burnout: One teacher's trip back into the classroom

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Aug 5, 2015 09:47 AM

Tim McAleer's day job is part stand-up comedian, part host to hordes of sunburned tourists aboard Philadelphia sightseeing buses.

It's a pretty big departure from his last gig, as a middle school English teacher in West Philadelphia.

District's Charter Schools Office gets a permanent head

By Dale Mezzacappa on Aug 4, 2015 09:51 AM

After more than two years without a permanent leader, the School District's Charter Schools Office has a new executive director -- DawnLynne Kacer, who most recently had a similar job in New York City.

Kacer, who will start her job on Aug. 14, has a background in education and health policy. Before serving as the executive director of charter evaluation and policy, she was the New York district's senior director of strategy and policy and a resident at the Broad Institute for Educational Leadership.

After Waldron Mercy firing, supporters hope for a bigger conversation in Catholic Church

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Aug 4, 2015 09:30 AM

In June, Margie Winters, the director of religious education at Waldron Mercy Academy in Lower Merion, was let go.

The ostensible reason? Winters is in a same-sex marriage with her long-term partner, Andrea Vettori.

Summer activities for kids and families | Week of Aug. 3

By Michaela Ward on Aug 3, 2015 12:24 PM


Don't let the torrid heat keep you from enjoying all the family-friendly activities Philadelphia has to offer this week. Some highlights include the Peddler’s Village Peach Festival, outdoor movie nights, and lots of chances to get kids involved in arts, science, and movement activities for little or no cost.

Text messaging: A proven strategy for parental engagement

By Fabiola Cineas on Jul 30, 2015 12:24 PM

It was near the end of the school year, and parent Heather McFadyen thought her honor-roll son Jonathon was doing fine as he cruised toward finishing 8th grade at LaBrum Middle School in the Northeast. 

But then her phone lit up with a text message from his teacher, Sandra Knight.

Pa. early-childhood programs stretched to financial limit, study finds

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jul 29, 2015 11:35 AM

Common sense might suggest that the best early-childhood programs would do better financially.

But a new study finds that providers in Southeastern Pennsylvania have little fiscal incentive to reach for high quality.

Addressing childhood trauma takes a village

By Lauren Wiley on Jul 29, 2015 10:45 AM

Have you watched the Notebook documentary, Glen’s Village? Were you moved by the story of Glen’s journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the University of Pennsylvania?

The Philadelphia Public School Notebook is seeking to bring Glen's Village to a wider audience – particularly to education professionals and advocates who work with children affected by trauma. We are raising funds to distribute the film by launching our first crowd-funding campaign at

Glen’s Village, produced by the Notebook and 5th Borough Films, immerses viewers in Glen's West Philadelphia neighborhood and the nearby Penn campus in University City. Although just a few blocks apart, the two communities might as well be separated by oceans. Glen's journey from being a 9th-grade troublemaker dealing crack cocaine on the streets to attending an Ivy League institution is filled with bumps, bruises, and redemption.

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