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Ever Been to a School Board Meeting?

Why not go?

The Philadelphia School District hosts monthly Action Meetings where the Board of Education formally votes on new policies and procedures and where the public can attend and register objections.

To add your voice to the discussion, go online to fill out a speaker request form — available from 4pm on the Monday before the meeting — or call (215) 400-5959 to register with Board staff. District students are welcome to register to speak too.

This document (from 2021) describes how procedure progresses in these meetings.

To attend virtually (you won’t have a chance to speak) you can watch the live stream

Upcoming Action Meetings in 2024:

  • May 30, 4–7pm
  • June 27, 4–7pm
  • July 11, 4–7pm
  • August 22, 4–7pm
  • September 19, 4–7pm
  • October 24, 4-7pm
  • November 21, 4–7pm
  • December 5, 4–7pm

Here’s more information on how to contact the Board of Education and its members.

Check out these

Orgs dedicated to Philly students and teachers

Have a look at more than 20 philanthropic education organizations in Philadelphia focused on improving our schools and supporting our students and teachers. Find out what they do, and then volunteer or donate to make a difference!

Philadelphia Teachers We Love

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re revisiting some of the fabulous Philly educators we’ve featured through the years.

Philadelphia Teachers We Love

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re revisiting some of the fabulous Philly educators we’ve featured through the years.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10), and without going into the old “Two! Four! Six! Eight!” cheer — it’s so tempting though — The Philadelphia Citizen humbly presents to you a few of the fabulous Philadelphia teachers and erstwhile educators we’ve profiled over the past few years.

We can’t give these very special people a day off, but we can give them props, feature their smiling faces and brilliant quotes, and let you know what they’re up to now.

Also: Got a Philadelphia teacher you love and think we should celebrate? Please, let us know! Email us at [email protected].

“Goooo … Teachers!” during Teacher Appreciation Week

Carlos Aponte, former history teacher at One Bright Ray Community H.S.

Carlos Aponte (kneeling) and his We Love Philly organization

“Entrepreneurship is more like the syringe, while the medicine inside the syringe is that social emotional learning that I didn’t get growing up in Philly, and that a lot of students in Philadelphia are still not getting.”

Where Aponte is now: We Love Philly, where he develops after-school programs to help students embrace potential beyond what they expect of themselves.

Sharif El-Mekki, CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development and former principal of Mastery-Shoemaker

Sharif-El-Mekki, founder and CEO of The Center for Black Educator Development.

“You can’t reach racial justice unless educational justice is part of the calculus. The purest form of activism is teaching Black children well.”

Results: In 2018, the Center reached 81 teacher participants in PA. By 2024, they’ve reached more than 10,500, in a couple dozen states.

Where El-Mekki is now: Increasing the number of prospective Black teachers year over year over year.

Richard Gordon IV, former principal of Paul Robeson High School

Header photo courtesy Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders

“Everything is not about academics every moment of the day. We are investing in people. And that motivates them to want to work hard and do their best.”

Result: All his graduates applied to CCP. Many went onto other colleges and careers. None will forget how he told them “I love you” on the hallway.

Where Gordon is now: Assistant superintendent at the School District — where he leads other principals.

Atiyah Harmon, founder of Black Girls Love Math

Atiyah Harmon, founder and executive director of Black Girls Love Math, stands outside a classroom at the St. James School in North Philadelphia.
Atiyah Harmon outside a classroom at the St. James School in North Philadelphia. Photo by Johann Calhoun.

“I decided that I wanted to incorporate and create a program after school for girls who excel in math and continue to push them forward to get into a STEM career.”

Result: Black Girls Love Math works in Philadelphia and Camden schools to inspire Black girls to believe in themselves — and to help these kids know they can be good at math.

Where Harmon is now: Still at it, to the tune of 300 students per year.

Tom Quinn, social studies teacher at Central High School

Central High School teacher Thomas Quinn
Photo by Elena Paz Quinn Camacho

“Voting is something students are aware that they should do … As teachers, we’re in a perfect position to reach kids when they’re learning about government, about to go to college or to work, and are first eligible to vote.”

Result: Still running Philly Youth Vote, a nonpartisan effort to register every eligible high school senior in the city — about 8,000 turn 18 this year.

Where Quinn is now: Prepping for Election Day 2024.

Shaquita A. Smith, social studies curriculum specialist for the School District of Philadelphia

Shaquita A. Smith, social studies curriculum specialist for the School District of Philadelphia

“I want students to be empowered to start eradicating poverty and inequities — not just inequalities, but inequities that exist in the education system and the workforce and across the nation.”

Result: Year after year, Philadelphia schools have been held up as examples for not banning books, for teaching Black history.

Where Smith is now: Working on her tenth year leading teachers toward truth.

Indy Shome, CTE teacher at Dobbins (former)

Photo by Sabina Louise Pierce

“I try to respectfully listen to young people. As a student, I was in their shoes, and the few teachers who really saw what I needed and were able to meet me there really changed my life.”

Result: Taught kids how to make films, launched Future Visions Lab, a paid, after-school leadership program where students identify an issue in their community and develop a project around it.

Where Shome is now: Working on communication, fundraising, storytelling and education at the Philadelphia Orchard Project, an org that plants community orchards in vacant lots across the city.



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