Authors, Authors!

Two of our staff members have written chapters in a soon-to-be-released book The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys.

Director of Diversity Brian Johnson wrote the chapter "What Are We Doing To Address 'These' Students? Brian discusses the Equitable Classroom program, an initiative he introduced at TPS to identify and address specific, often self-identified obstacles that are keeping learners from reaching their academic and social-emotional potentials.

Junior Unit teacher David Stills wrote a chapter, titled "Black Excellence and White Privilege," about his experience growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in the town of Lima, in upstate New York.

The book, which contains chapters by 50 diversity practitioners and scholars, was co-edited by Eddie Moore, Jr., Marguerite W. Penick-Parks, and Ali Michael. Ali has worked closely with the TPS faculty and staff on our diversity efforts.

The book can be preordered online at

Graduation 2017: The Video

Here it is!  The Class of 2017 Graduation video was filmed by Thomas Flanagan and members of the student video production crew.



PEN Conference Presenters

Three members of the TPS faculty and staff will be presenting at the Progressive Education Network (PEN) conference in Boston this October. The conference's theme this year is "amplify students’ voice, agency, conscience, and intellect to create a more equitable, just, and sustainable world." Attendees will include teachers from around the nation. 

Diversity Director Brian Johnson will lead a workshop on the Equitable Classroom Program he has piloted in several classrooms this year. The initiative uses survey data from participating students, as well as from their teachers/advisors and their parents, to help us understand how they are experiencing school and what strategies might best help them overcome identified academic or social-emotional barriers. The overall goal is to develop a responsive system of support for student achievement and a greater sense of social-emotional belonging. As capacity for self-advocacy is nurtured and personal goals have been met, the children transition out of the program.

Seventh grade teacher Jake Hunter and Communication Director Lois West will lead a PEN workshop on student issue-based activism. They will highlight their middle school Intensive course "Let's Go Lobbying," where students learned how to advocate for their stances on such issues as reproductive rights, transgender bathroom access in schools, sanctuary cities, pay equity, stronger background checks for gun purchases, and public school funding. And they put their learning into action, speaking to legislative staff in Senator Casey's and Toomey's offices in Philadelphia and to Pennsylvania state representatives in Harrisburg.

Teachers Keep on Learning

Faculty and staff just finished up a week of in-service work. We voted on the all-school theme for next year (of course, it's a secret), did some work on our instructional standards, engaged in diversity work, spent time looking at the alignment of curricula across the grades, cleaned our classrooms, welcomed back members of the Class of 2013 to celebrate their high school graduations, celebrated Marco's birthday, and said good-bye to departing colleagues.

Thank you, Mr. Bill

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Bill Bond, a TPS friend, passed away on May 30. Bill and his bus ferried children back and forth from our country classroom and from field trips for more than 30 years.

Until fairly recently, when the School District of Philadelphia changed bus vendors, Bill drove one of our morning and afternoon routes, making sure our children got safely to and from school every day. He was the "go-to" driver for classroom and ASEP trips - teachers knew to put in a request for Mr. Bill.


And we cannot remember a single TPS Thanksgiving Feast at which Bill was not present. Although he was a special guest, he took on the role of a family group leader, serving up lasagna to the kids sitting with him.

We will miss Bill terribly. TPS is planning a special tribute to him in the fall.

Making a More Fair USA

Third graders spent the year looking at issues of social justice in the context of US history. Their work culminates in the long-standing TPS tradition of the Third Grade Plays, written by the students with the support of their teachers and the guidance of staff from Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

We invite you to watch a few snippets (or the whole thing!).