This Elementary School Is Going on Day 5 of No Water

glenwood elementary

L: Photo courtesy of Glenwood Elementary | R: Photo via Slobo/

Students and staff at a Delaware County elementary school have been without running water for four days.

Officials at Glenwood Elementary School in Media restricted water use last Wednesday after noticing a “slight rust color” in the school supply, Rose Tree Media School District Superintendent James Wigo told Philadelphia magazine.  Read more »

Pa. Senate OKs Bill That Would Allow Teachers to Carry Guns

guns, catnap72

The Pa. Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow teachers and other school employees to carry guns on school property.

After a heated debate, legislators approved Senate Bill 383 in a 28-22 vote. It would allow workers with concealed carry licenses to possess guns in schools if they meet training requirements and pass a psychological evaluation.

The legislation garnered harsh pushback from state senators who believe arming school employees would only exasperate gun issues and create dangerous situations.  Read more »

This Is Our First Big Winter Storm Without KYW’s School Closing Numbers

Dan McQuade playing in the snow

The author, in front of his parents’ home in Northeast Philadelphia, during an early 1990s blizzard.

I grew up in the city, so I didn’t have a school number when I was a little kid. But when the snow started falling in Philadelphia, I did turn up KYW 1060 and listen for nine magic words: “All public and parochial schools in Philadelphia are closed.”

Still, I felt a twinge of sadness when I read the news earlier this year that KYW would stop broadcasting snow numbers. When I ended up going to a private school in the suburbs for high school, I did get a snow number. I’d wait until anchor hit Bucks County, turn up the volume on the radio and wait until I heard the number. (It has been lost to the sands of time. 510? 610? Something like that.)

It’s snowing — well, in the city, sleeting — today, so this is the first big winter storm in Philadelphia where KYW won’t be reading out school numbers.

When it got to the number for my high school, I cheered. And regardless of whether I learned from a sentence or a number, my snow-day ritual was the same: I’d go over to friends’ houses and try to find people to build a makeshift igloo with, or maybe organize a huge snowball fight. That is, if I could find my friends before I was pressed into shoveling service.

After freezing our butts off, we’d end up back inside, playing video games, drinking hot cocoa and figuring out when it would be fun to go outside again. It was great. And it seemed to all stem from that moment of waiting by the radio to find out if we didn’t have to go to school. Read more »

Philly Charter School Had 9,190 Applicants for 96 Spots

MaST Charter

MaST Charter School (via Google Street View)

By all accounts, MaST Community Charter School is a success.

The Philadelphia school opened in 1999, and eventually consolidated all its grades into an old steel factory on Byberry Road in the Far Northeast. The “MaST” in the school’s name stands for Math, Science and Technology, and it has been recognized as an excellent school on numerous occasions.

The school serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and even opened up a second school in September on Rising Sun Avenue in the old St. William’s school building in Lawncrest.

As such, people want to send their kids to MaST. And so there were almost 9,200 applications for the 2017–18 school year. MaST has room for just 96 kids. Read more »

The “Girl” in Pennridge High School Assignment Uproar Is Maya Angelou

The Pennridge School District has apologized after a hybrid math/English question about Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings caused an uproar on the internet.

The fill-in-the-blank question, part of a homework assignment, read: “Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s ___ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing.” (The correct response is “boyfriend.”)

But the question wasn’t from a literature class; it was actually a math problem. To find the correct answer, students were supposed to solve for x and y in two equations. Read more »

Philly Public Schools to Dismiss Early on Friday Due to Heat

Philadelphia School District headquarters

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Classes began on Wednesday, but Philadelphia public school students are already getting a little time off — all district schools will dismiss early on Friday due to heat.

Temperatures are forecast to be 90-plus degrees for the third straight day, and most city schools do not have air conditioning. Nearby cities like Trenton and Reading have closed schools early this week as well. Read more »

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