Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School

String Theory Charter
Mission Statement:
To educate each student so that learning and growth are united; to integrate the developing mind and body of the student with academics and the performing arts and sciences; to ensure each student’s excellence in core and academic skills; to awaken and preserve the spirit of students through the classical arts, science, and technology; to nourish this spirit and curiosity so that students continue to flourish long after the end of formal training.
Accredidations and Awards:
Apple Distinguished School and leading Pennsylvania Department of Education's move toward writing the state curriculum standards in iTunes U; teams of students competed successfully as Finalists and First & Second Prize Winners at three University of Pennsylvania Wharton competitions; dual enrollment programs with Drexel University, University of the Arts, Cabrini College, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, and Community College of Philadelphia; Coded by Kids course, teaches coding; state music festival championship awards; students received two gold medals and one certificate of recognition in Le Grand Concours (National French Contest), 2015.
AP Courses:
English Language & Composition, Music Theory, US Government & Politics
Other Special Academic Offerings:
S.T.E.A.M. School (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and an Apple Distinguished School. Every student receives an iPad, and faculty and staff develop courses through iTunes U, where students have immediate access. There are no textbooks. Teachers develop pedagogy and assessments to accommodate individual students’ strengths and need for improvement. Curriculum is aligned to state and Common Core standards. Dual-enrollment courses, honors classes for high school students; all students select an art- or science-specific major along with academic courses.
Measures for Positive, Safe Learning:
We maintain a low student-to-faculty/staff ratio and encourage students/families and staff to participate in the school community. We provide ongoing training to our faculty and staff on safety and security issues. According the school’s SPR, the school has received high scores for school climate. For the 2018-2019 school year, the school has implemented full Restorative Practices with all staff members trained in this proactive and community-oriented approach to maintaining positive school culture.
Parent Involvement:
Family Association Committee, School Activity Committee, Building Committee, Graduating Student Committee
Arts Activities and Classes:
Students are required to enroll in a Major, which is a rigorous discipline of study either in the Arts or the Sciences. Majors include: Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Vocal Music, String Orchestra, Concert Band, Drama, Musical Theatre, Television & Broadcast Arts, Creative Writing, Fine Arts, 3D Character Design & Animation, S.T.E.M., Life Sciences & Biotechnology, and Engineering & Robotics. As students develop within their Majors, internships and other opportunities exist to work with professionals in their chosen fields.
Activities and Special Programs:
Students are elected to Student Council and selected for the National Honor Society. The High School’s more than 16 Activity Associations and Clubs include: Animé Club, College Prep Club, Environmental Club, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Pennsylvania Math League, Rock Band, Science & Robotics Club, Spirit Club, Stage Crew, String Theatre Players, Video Game Club, Workout Club, and Yearbook. Students from many Majors participate in the Madrigal Dinner of song, dance, instrumental music, set design and theatre. In our Entrepreneurship Zone, students run a coffee, tea, and refreshments shop called Cafe Vine, where students manage ordering, roasting coffee beans, making refreshments, working the register, and balancing the books. Students worked across majors in our Theatre productions, including “Annie” and “The Laramie Project” and dozens of other performances in our 225 seat theatre. Students do Internships in venues including The College of Physicians, Comcast, Hahnemann Hospital, Tierney Communications, and WESGOLD. Students perform hundreds of hours of Community Service for deserving groups including veterans, food kitchens, senior citizens, and the sick. Students give volunteer performances at city venues.
Boys Sports:
Basketball, Baseball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball. Students exercise in our on-site Fitness & Health Club. We are an NCAA approved school.
Girls Sports:
Basketball, Softball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball. Students exercise in our on-site Fitness & Health Club. We are an NCAA approved school.
Septa Routes:
2, 4, 16, 17, 27, 31, 32, 33, 38, 43, 44, 62, 78, 124, 125, Broad Street subway, Regional Rail
Contact Information
1600 Vine St., 19102
Aaron Gerwer, Head of School
Enrollment and Demographics
Type of School:Charter
Enrollment: 715
Grades Served: 9-12
Admission Reqs: Lottery application for Philadelphia residents. Application available for PA residents living outside of Philadelphia, but applicants placed on separate waitlists from the lottery waitlists for Philadelphia resident applicants.
ELLS: 1%
Special Education: 14%
Receiving free or reduced priced lunch: 63%
Waiting List? Yes, 1,122 students
Racial Demographics:African American – 38% Latino – 7% Asian – 5% White – 41% Other – 9%

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