Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recyclebank Grant for Recycling

We won a Recyclebank grant ($2,245.50) thanks to our dedicated parents and staff (Adam Eyring, Haviva Goldman and Amy Watson).
Now we need to earn Recyclebank points. So if you are visiting this blog you support public schools so PLEASE help us out.

We need your points. Please join Recycle Bank and donate to fund the Jenks grant.

Remember; Recyclebank will award $1.00 for every 250 points donated to our school (J.S. Jenks).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Learn More about J.S. Jenks Elementary School

Kindergarten teas are informal meetings for parents interested in
learning more about J.S. Jenks. It is hosted at the home of a current
Jenks parent and offers the opportunity to meet with other current and
prospective parents to discuss Jenks as a school option.

When: December 6th @7:30PM
Where: 135 West Gravers Lane in Chestnut Hill

Please RSVP to

Saturday, November 12, 2011

First in Math

At J.S. Jenks the students have the opportunity to play a math based computer game First in Math (© 2011 Suntex International Inc) The program is played in schools all over the country.  Students earn stickers and awards as they complete levels of math. Students progress through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; there are even word problems and sudoku games.  It is the modern version of flash cards.  The contemporary advantage of First in Math is that the kids cannot advance until they master a section. Wow, learning to try again until succeeding, what an appropriate skill for the future.  The program also teaches students an international language that they must master if we as a country are to begin competing in science again.  The competition portion of the game has perks as well, such as learning how to lose gracefully or keeping focus to catch up to your colleagues.  In my opinion First in Math is a great addition to the school curriculum and will prepare our kids for their very technical future. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We're Making Music!

My youngest (Kid 2) has just started kindergarten at JS Jenks, so I now have a second child in the same school with the same kindergarten teacher as my eldest (Kid 1).  However the accommodation, acclimation and behavior between the children were very different.  Yet the result is equally positive; a happy child who is learning to be adaptable in a new environment and learning much. 

 One example is the experience of Kid 2 in music class. When I observed him in a monthly “Wee Sing” event, where parents come to class with their children, he was fidgety and a bit of an “attention-seeker”. I am sure his behavior is not entirely different when I am not present. However, he has absorbed the lessons of the class.  I learned this when my partner and I were frequently asked to attend “school” at home. Kid 2 would introduce himself as “Mr. G-Y”, grab his guitar and class begins. He sings and then we have to follow and join in. He stops class if we are not following properly; he wants us to learn the songs.  He sings, wants to play music and is basically excited for school each day. Thanks Mr. Kell!! And all the faculty and staff at J.S. Jenks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The positives of the SDP (being a SIMBY)

Spring and summer were a chaotic time in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).  Budget cuts from Harrisburg, testifying at both City Council and the School Reform Commission (SRC) kept parents, teachers and supporters very busy. Teacher layoffs and the resignation of Dr. Ackerman as Superintendent provided much anxiety prior to the start of the school year.
However, through the chaos, my resolve to stay in the district increased as I met amazing, smart and dedicated people adovocating for our city's public schools.  And if we don't, who will.  So in the age of NIMBY (Not in my backyard) or "moving to find a better backyard", I am a SIMBY. I will "stay in my backyard" and contribute to and advocate for my neighborhood schools.
Follow on Twitter: Newskag and ParentsUnitedPA
(Public Citizen's for Children and Youth) (

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Evening with the Arts

Wow did I see a great show last evening. Complete with an art show and music including strings, choir, concert band and bucket drums (my personal favorite). The children involved numbered more than 100 (almost a quarter of the school) and I am not including the wee sing group (our Kindergarten choir). The art and music instruction is exceptional. Ms. Fisher put on a spectacular art show.

The concert portion of the evening was wonderful. The children are talented and the music instruction is fabulous and includes Mr. Wesner (Strings), Mr. Franchetti (Concert Band), Mr. Kell (Choir), Mr. Leland (Select Voices and the JAM program) and Mr. Chuong (Bucket Drums).

What private school puts on this spectacular event you ask. Well it is our local neighborhood public school which is actually not very well funded but what a product. Thanks to the administration, faculty, staff, parents and the students.

So help support the future of OUR city. Come to the Rally for Education at the Trolley Car Diner on Sunday May 15th at 1:00 PM.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parents go Positive

Message: Cooperation, cool heads and innovation can result in change.

Setting: Cold, snowy and dreary January

Problem: Indoor recess consisting of no outdoor time and movies (not an issue to some parents but a huge concern to others- beauty of a diverse community)
Resolution: Before the issue continued to escalate and became an insurmountable problem, parents came together and discussed the issue at a Home and School Association (HSA) board meeting. Three parents then met with administration. During the conversation the topic of bobcats coming in and removing snow from the playground (blacktop) was mentioned, at first the idea seemed unfeasible but the idea then developed and a tentative plan of action was made. The issues discussed in the meeting were then reported back to other parents and within hours resourceful first grade parent, Stephanie Mayes, had coordinated the rental of a bobcat. The next day first grade parent, David Mednick (within hours) cleared the playground of snow. Over the weekend there was a bit of a thaw so more parents armed with shovels moved the slush and snow piles that might result in ice buildup on the playground. Monday AM came and the kids had morning announcements outside and then outdoor recess for two days UNTIL…..the extremely cold weather returned.

The kids may still have indoor recess but we are well prepared for when the warmer weather arrives. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!