Wednesday, May 15, 2013

J.S. Jenks Elementary School: Top 5 Things That I Appreciate

My family’s time in Philly is drawing to an end.  We are sadly leaving our school community and heading to California. As a final post I want to share my top 5 things that I appreciate about J.S. Jenks Elementary School.

I will miss the school community but not the yearly School District drama and budget woes.  I hope Philly will realize the importance of public education and fund the schools and communities without the politics that seem to play out each spring.

1.      The Teachers

During our 5 years at J.S. Jenks, my children have benefited from excellent teachers.  They have nurtured, challenged and mentored my children, providing them a first-rate academic environment.

Thank You All…….

Kindergarten: Ms. Tish
1st Grade: Ms. Smith, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Glanzmann
2nd Grade: Ms. Mucerino
3rd Grade: Ms. Amir, Ms. Williams
4th Grade: Ms. Walsh, Mr. Burgwald

2.      Administration and Programming

The staff, administration, teachers and Ms. Lynskey (Principal) have not allowed the draconian yearly cuts stop them from moving forward with new ideas and programs.  The specials have remained intact; Computers, Flex (Language Program), Music and Physical Education (Art was lost last year but Mr. Green, parent volunteer and retired Art teacher keeps the program running)
In addition the JAM (Jenks Art and Music Program) continues to grow. Music Jam has performed many times this year and they have been to the World Café Live three times to experience the music of different trios.

3.      Music and Arts

Thanks to Mr. Wesner for providing an exceptional experience for my daughter on both the violin and cello.  The exposure to music at J.S. Jenks is unparalleled.  The kids can audition for strings or band in 2nd grade.  My 4th grader started with violin and is now playing cello.  As a result of her strings experience at Jenks she had the opportunity to play with the Strings Project at Temple University (part of the Community Music Partnership)
Thank you Melissa Douglas and Ms. Parente for a great year.

4.      Parents and Community

The parents, guardians and community have proved to be tireless advocates for public education in Philly.  In addition to an active Home and School Association, parents and supporters have expanded funding for the school.  The Friends of J.S. Jenks held its inaugural fundraising event last year raising over $8000 and on June 1st it will host “Oh, The Places We’ll Go”  

The Jenks Beautification Committee has been growing each year and is transforming the front garden of the school, thanks to parents Adam Eyring and Angela Stewart

There has also been a long history of welcoming and introducing families to the school.  Current parents host "Kindergarten Teas" which are informal gatherings where families can learn about the school.  Join the Potential Parents list

The entire Northwest Philly region works together to support public education. The Mount Airy/ Chestnut Hill Teacher’s Fund provides small grants for teachers (my daughter’s class received an apple TV system). This fund was founded and is organized by the Trolley Car Diner.

5.      The Rhythm of the School Year

Even with the constant struggle for funding and resources for public education in Philadelphia, our school has many traditions that carry us through the year.


Back to School Night: A positive night full of potential and possibilities.

Harvest Ball: A festive night filled with happy kids, families, friends and teachers.

Thanksgiving Feast: A complete feast for the kids put on by parents and the Home and School.

Winter Concert: A night filled with music and song, the majority of the students are involved with choir, strings or band.

Winter Break: A welcome break for students and teachers!


Book Fair and Report Card Conferences: Nice to catch up with teachers and buy a few books to support the school and our kids. 

Musical: This year was the "Sound of Music". In preparation the entire school learns the songs during their music classes.  The ENTIRE school could break out into song which I think is very cool. (Thank you Mr. Leland and Mr. Kell)

Spring Concert: A night of music and song by even BETTER musicians.  (Thanks to all the music and instrumental teachers)

Color Day: The kids are excited when they hear the color (Blue or Gold) that their class will wear this year. A day filled with lots of activity and fun. Thanks Coach Whitney.

Last Day of School: Report cards and room assignments for the next year….always exciting.

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