East Falls Local

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Category: Schools (Page 1 of 4)

5 Reasons We Chose Mifflin

In a neighborhood where over 90% of parents send their kids to private/charter schools, Lynsey and her husband Dan Larson are thrilled to recommend Mifflin. 

We recently left behind two sets of grandparents and a bursting babysitter Rolodex in our home state of Delaware, and relocated to East Falls. In the past 5 months, this neighborhood has validated for us that home is where you hang your hat…and walk in the park, ride bikes with the neighbors, drink a tremendous amount of coffee, and enjoy a pretty sweet little life.

Just when we thought our parenting record couldn’t look any better, we struck gold. This is the story of why we chose to send our kids to East Fall’s neighborhood public school, Thomas Mifflin, and why we’d do it all over again.

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Deja Vu: 2nd New Charter School Proposed

Our unique demographic has attracted a charter school promoting rigorous language study and global citizenship.

Looks like we’ve got another charter school angling for the neighborhood – specifically, in Falls Center, in the space where Agora Cyber Charter was before they moved to King of Prussia.

Philadelphia Hebrew Public is a new Philadelphia organization that’s applying to open a K-8 school in the fall of 2019. They’re part of a network of schools including Brooklyn, Harlem, New Jersey, DC, San Diego, LA, and Minneapolis… This network was awarded a $5 million federal grant from the Department of Education to open new schools, which brings them to Philly.

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Chartering a New School for the Falls

Is East Falls ready for a charter elementary school? The founders of Design Lab High School see a need and offer a solution.

East Falls has a school problem — something like 90% of the families here send their kids to private school. Otherwise, they leave for the burbs before kindergarten. Our neighborhood public school, for whatever reason(s), is simply not a viable option for most parents.

Cristina Alvarez faced these issues in the 80/90’s when she & her husband raised their three kids here (they lived in the Hohenadel mansion!). As chief executive officer of Design Lab High School in Delaware, she’s now hoping to bring a high-quality, tuition-free charter elementary school here to teach innovative thinking & problem-solving to grades k thru 8.

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Wee Made It!

Finally! After four years of litigation, the kids of Wee Care Daycare can play outside again.

Hard to believe the “hostage situation” on Midvale Avenue is over at last!

The school’s children had been banned from their own play yard as lawyers wrestled over Wee Care’s right to land they legally purchased and then almost lost when the seller reneged on the contract. While the grownups duked it out in court, the kids were stuck inside all day, every day.

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DIG THIS: East Falls Squash Star Rises this Summer

Annnnnd they’re off! Team USA’s left for the 2017 World Junior Championships in New Zealand this July 19 – 29. Big cheers for East Falls’ own Elisabeth Ross (lower left), putting her training to the test across the globe!

Catch updates on USASquash.com, or watch the live feed from Tauranga where the best Junior squash players on the planet match skills & drive for the title of World Champion. Competition is fierce, but so are Fallsers — bring it home, E! We couldn’t be more excited for Elisabeth, making history in a sport that’s so connected to our past.

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Candid Cameras on Career Day

Our first Career Day at Mifflin did not go as planned — but what fun would that have been? We got schooled on social media when the kids turned our cameras on each other.

As bloggers, our goal for our first Career Day wasn’t just to teach the kids about blogging. We also wanted to get a blog post out of it, so we brought every recording device we owned (and one we borrowed!) in the hopes of getting enough pics and videos to showcase our experience.

With the exception of a stationary cell phone/webcam, Mifflin’s kids provide all the content in this post. They filmed and photographed each other, they interviewed each other using some questions we gave them, and also some they made up as they got comfortable talking on camera.

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YOU’RE INVITED: A Reality News Experiment at Mifflin

What do you get when you arm a classroom full of grade school students with cameras and interview questions?  We don’t know either, but this Wednesday we can all find out together when we take Mifflin Career Day to Facebook Live.

What kind of job is blogging? We like to say we’re not journalists but “reality reporters.” That is, we write about our experiences living and working right here in the neighborhood — like our little own East Falls reality show.

Our plan for Mifflin Career Day, then: create a blog post in real time, by interviewing and recording the kids while they interview and record us and each other. While the whole thing is recorded live on Facebook.

And introducing… THE  KID CAM!  

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Love Thy Neighbor

Fun Facts to warm your heart about St. James School in nearby Allegheny — from free community dinners to the most historic “Mannequin challenge” ever. 

(Image from St. James School’s Facebook page)

St. James the Less church and cemetery is a National Historic Landmark — it’s the country’s first pure English Parish-style church, and one of the finest examples of 19th Century American Gothic architecture.

Totally accidental, btw. The congregation here asked their English counterparts for the church plans they’d all discussed and agreed upon. Instead of those, someone sent entirely different plans, whoops.

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3 More Losses of Public Space

Education is not a game, but you’d never know it from the way the SRC played every trick in the book to turn Germantown’s Wister Elementary over to Mastery Charter. Local educator Robin Lowry helps us document & learn from their fight to stay public this year. 

GAME OVER text wister RESIZE POST

It is over.  The fight to keep Wister Elementary public has been lost. Cooke and Huey also lost on April 29th. Regardless of 7 months challenging the SRC’s credibility, use of bogus enrollment and achievement data, conflicts of interest by SRC members, lobbying and bullying by Mastery Charter company, repeated testimony that schools were starved of resources and supports to create a narrative of failure, and the questionable records of the winning charters, the fix was in.

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Kids At Play: An Indoor Gym for All Abilities

Your kid will have a blast at Kids At Play, a fantastic local resource for families with special needs children — or not. This indoor “multi-sensory playground” packs thrills for all skill levels with zip-line, ball pit, swings, slides, and more. Plus, support & education, too. Only in East Falls!

EastFallsLocal Kids at Play collage

For the uninitiated, Kids at Play looks like a McDonald’s play place on steroids. But marketing director Julia Singer Katz explains much more is going on than all the jumping and laughing around us — kids of different abilities are having fun together.

No one knows who has “special needs” or what those might be, everyone is simply enjoying the colorful, exciting space side-by-side. For many families, such normalcy can be a real treat.

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