On the Friday before Martin Luther King Day, J. Jondhi Harrell, Executive Director of The Center for Returning Citizens, spoke with middle and upper school students in the Race Street Meetinghouse. Harrell delivered the keynote address for Friends Select’s first-ever Martin Luther King Teach-in, which upper school students arranged to honor King’s legacy of activism and leadership in the civil rights movement.
The overall goal of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning committee is to develop a comprehensive and contemporary teaching master plan. Already it has been instrumental in the process of hiring a Director of Equity and Inclusion and a Director of City Curriculum. These two senior administrators work with students and parents, faculty and staff, promoting cross-cultural competency and connecting the Friends Select community with the larger community of Philadelphia and our society. In addition, this committee has facilitated other committees such as City Curriculum, Student Voice and Agency, Professional Development and Ongoing Discovery, Quakerism, Wellness, Visual and Performing Arts and Athletics, and Equity and Inclusion, which reflect the school’s core principles.
This committee continues to implement a strategic plan that:
• Ensures best practice through ongoing discovery and professional development.
•Enhances cross-cultural competency and experience.
•Defines the role of athletics and the visual and performing arts in the program.
•Provides structures and leadership opportunities that elevate the student voice and agency for change.
•Sustains a strong commitment to Quaker values, social justice, and a culture of inclusion and respect.
•Leverages external partnerships to meet teaching and learning goals.
Recently, lower and upper school Mandarin students from Friends Select School performed in the capstone event for the STARTALK Chinese Teacher Advancement Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
When I opened my office door on August 1 the room was completely empty. Completely. I knew it wouldn’t take long for that to change because all of my stuff was on its way from the suburbs, but I took a moment to look around and imagined how I would set things up and just what I could do with this wonderful piece of real estate in our cozy building.
Being “in the city and of the city” is deeply connected to our Quaker values. It’s who we are; it’s what we know how to do best. Advance Friends Select, our strategic plan, provides a path for us to follow in order to develop external partnerships to meet teaching and learning goals. Our Center City location provides unending opportunities to leverage these partnerships in order to create authentic learning experiences for our students.