In a gymnasium packed with exited students and teachers, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone wanted to hear what the all-school theme for 2016-17 was going to be!
The Class of 2017 revealed the theme in a skit they wrote about a new student named Jumbalaya who needed to be prepared for entry into the TPS City Country Classroom. Equipped by fellow students with all he would need to survive and thrive – a map of Philadelphia, a book about Philadelphia history, a SEPTA pass, a water bottle, a pencil, some paper – Jumbalaya was ready!
"From Surviving to Thriving in the City, the Country, and the Classroom" will be our all-school thematic focus this year!
Wondering how all-school themes are decided? The first step consists of work done in the spring of the previous year by rising 8th graders. Guided by Middle School teachers, students learn about the criteria for a strong all-school theme. Specifically, students consider ideas that will develop academic and social skills, that are supported by literature at appropriate levels, and that provide opportunities for interdisciplinary integration, multi-aged activities, and use of city and country resources.
After spirited discussion and research, the students choose five topics that are later presented to the faculty and staff during the June in-service. Faculty and staff whittle the topics down to three and then form three groups, each discussing one of the topics and then advocating to the entire group on behalf of that topic.
The final step is the dramatic vote! And here we are, looking forward to the year's all-school theme activities in our classrooms, at The Schuylkill Center, and in the city.