The First Day of School!

We can't wait to welcome everyone to the 2017-2018 school year!

Here is information for the first day of school (Wednesday, September 6, 2017) for children in preschool through 8th grade.


The children will come to school in two small groups for an intimate, short orientation morning. You will receive an email on August 16 letting you know which time your child should come to school: either 8:30-10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (Please contact Alison Fritz if you have not received that notification by August 19.) 

Preschoolers and their families will enter through the Schwartz Siegel building’s gates on 25th Street and head straight into the preschool classrooms through the porch; there will be staff members to help guide you. (This is how the children will begin school each morning.)

Kindergartners and their families will enter through the Schwartz Siegel building’s gates on 25th Street and gather at the kindergarten porch. You will be met by kindergarten teachers, who will escort you and your child into the classrooms. (This is how they will begin school each day.)

We ask that all preschool and kindergarten families do an in-person, face-to-face drop-off in the Garden, if possible, the first three days of school, no matter how confident your child may feel about getting to his or her classroom independently. It’s an ideal time to chat with teachers, to make that first face-to-face connection, and to connect with other families.

However, starting on Thursday, September 7, the supervised Early Risers program will be available at 7:30 a.m. in the Schwartz Siegel reception area. Please bring your child into the reception area. Regular drop-off begins at 8 a.m.; curbside drop-off (a staff member will assist your child out of the car and into the Garden) will start for kindergartners on Monday, September 11, and for preschoolers later in the school year.

Please note that after the first few days of school parking is not permitted in front of Schwartz Siegel; the area is only a drop-off lane.


The first day of school is a full day, and children should bring their lunch.  Primary Unit students and their families will gather in the Lombard Street Yard starting at 8:00 a.m. and be invited into their classrooms at 8:10 a.m.  This “meet and greet” will give both 1st and 2nd graders and their families time in the classroom to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with teachers and classmates. Teachers will ring their morning chime at 8:45 a.m., indicating that it’s time to say good-bye to your child so morning meetings can begin in the classrooms.

On Thursday, September 7, Primary Unit students will begin their usual routine of gathering in the school yard, playing with friends until it is time to line up and go inside as a class. The Early Risers Program will be available starting at 7:30 a.m. Yard gates open at 8:00 a.m., and children head into their classrooms at 8:15 a.m.


Wednesday, September 6 is a full day of school. The children should bring lunch. The Early Risers Program is available at the Lombard Street building starting at 7:30 a.m. The school yard gates open for all other students at 8:00 a.m. The teachers will be holding classroom signs, will greet you and your child outside, and will walk up to the classrooms with their students at 8:15 a.m. You should plan to say your good-byes in the school yard.  

Starting on Thursday, September 7, Middle School students will enter the building on their own at 8:10 a.m., and students in grades 1-5 will gather by unit in specially designated areas of the school yard and be escorted in by teachers at 8:15.


We encourage biking, scootering, and walking to school. There are bike racks at both school properties, where bikes and scooters can be locked. Please note that cyclists and scooter riders must wear helmets, and their vehicles must be walked through the school gates to the bike racks.


Bus service provided by the School District of Philadelphia begins on Thursday for students in grades 1-6 who are registered and live more than a mile and half from school. Contact Jill Feighan with questions about bus service.

If your child rides the school bus provided by the School District and you have not received information about your bus number, stop location and pick up time by August 30, please email Jill Feighan and she will assist you.


Your child's safety is our priority. At the end of the month you will receive a temporary dismissal plan form covering the first eight days of school, as well as a permanent dismissal form that will be due as soon as you have scheduled your child's after school activities (i.e., clubs, sports, music lessons).