C.E.O. Message

August 8, 2022



Hotep Family!

I am so excited to welcome our new families and welcome back our returning families. Hopefully, you have read the communication from our principal, Mama Jury, detailing pertinent information regarding the return to school. If you have not, you can access it on our website at  www.imhotephighschool.com. Returning students can access the letter on Schoology as well. While Mama Jury’s communication focused on all the awesome things happening at Imhotep, I want to focus on important school safety and climate expectations. The school safety of our community is of utmost importance to all of us at Imhotep Institute Charter High School. Historically, school safety has been a valuable strength of our school and we plan to continue that tradition.


One of our first responsibilities to you and our community is our commitment to everyone's safety. I am sharing with everyone an overview of our Health and Safety Plan as presented to our School Board for this school year. Our School Board approved our Health & Safety plan at our August 8th School Board Meeting. In developing our response, we reviewed the CDC and Philadelphia Department of Health (PDOH) guidance. We also held a phone conference with a representative from the PDOH and conducted a school wide survey for communal input. While we have a plan, we will make revisions if necessary. In fact, we will continue to make data informed decisions and seek communal feedback about our Health & Safety Plan.


The key changes of the Health & Safety plan are as follows and will be reviewed with all of our students when we return to school:


Imhotep will use a 2 phase approach delineated by red or green. The Red Phase is a 10-day mandatory masking phase. The Green Phase is a mask optional phase.

Red Phase

The Red Phase will be enacted using the following criteria:

1.  After any vacation or school break that has created Covid 19 spikes in the previous school years. Currently, this includes Summer break, Umoja Karamu, Winter and Spring breaks.

2.  If our school's active Covid cases reach 2.5% of our school community (18 cases), we will automatically return to the Red phase.


Note, the Philadelphia Department of Health is using a 5% threshold to establish a mandatory masking period.

Green Phase

The Green Phase is any school day outside of the Red phase. Masking is optional during the Green Phase.

Close Contacts


Close contacts can either follow the Mask-to-Stay procedures or quarantine at home and virtually participate in instruction via Zoom. The Mask-to-Stay procedures require the staff/student to mask for 10 days. If a student is a close contact and fails to follow the Mask-to-Stay procedures, he or she will resume instruction virtually via Zoom until the quarantine period has ended.


You can view a complete copy of our Health & Safety Plan on our website at w ww.imhotephighschool.com


Next, I would like to share with you a few important procedures and or policies around attendance, entrance in the building and our Yondr Program. We ask that you partner with us around each of these key areas so we can ensure your child’s safety and success.


Attendance. One of our greatest climate concerns is attendance. While Imhotep has traditionally had good attendance, good is not excellence. To have the academic impact and growth that we want our scholars to have, we need them present every day! Our goal is for all of our scholars to be present over 95% of the time. If your child is absent from school, you will receive an email from our attendance coordinator. Furthermore, our attendance policy precludes scholars who miss more than 10% of the school days during a marking period from earning a grade higher than 76% when these absences are unlawful. We have also added a mandatory same day recentering for unexcused lateness to school for the 2022-2023 academic year. The recentering will be held from 3:35pm to 4:10pm. If a scholar fails to attend an assigned lateness recentering, he or she will be given a mandatory parent conference. While we have interventions in place to address attendance and lateness challenges, it is our hope and expectation to spend much more time and resources celebrating the attendance success of our scholars.


Entrance in the building. In the middle of last school year, we changed our entrance procedures for our scholars. This school year we will continue to use the same student entrance procedures that we used to end the school year. Scholars will enter the building from the back gate entrance on Laveer Street. Students will have their Yondr closed, bags checked, ID scanned and pass a security check. Parents and staff will use the main entrance for school entry.


Yondr Program. To foster an optimal learning environment, we have adopted a phone-free space using a system called Yondr. We first introduced the system in 2019 and over the years we have noticed that learning and social behavior improve drastically when students are fully present and engaged with their teachers and classmates.


In fact, Yondr surveyed over 400 school partners in 2019 to measure the effects of their phone-free learning environments. These schools achieved notable progress in multiple areas:


  • 69% of schools saw an improvement in academic performance
  • 84% of schools saw an increase in student engagement in the classroom
  • 80% of schools saw a decrease in behavior referrals


Yondr is currently used across the world in over 1,000 schools, at concerts, comedy shows, weddings and special events of all kinds. The goal of these spaces is to encourage people to engage with each other and their surroundings.


The Yondr Program employs a simple, lockable pouch that stores a cellphone. Every student will secure their phone in a personal Yondr pouch as soon as they arrive at school each morning. They will maintain possession of their phones, and will not use them until they are unlocked at the end of the school day.

Students are required to bring their Yondr pouch to and from school each day and are responsible for their pouch at all times. If a student does not use their Yondr and instead turns in their phone, Imhotep Charter High School will not be responsible for any lost phones. We will begin using Yondr procedures on September 6, 2023. Yondr will only be successful if we have family support. In an effort to best serve your child, we appreciate your full support in adoption of the Yondr Program at our school.


Finally, I am resharing information that Mama Jury shared in her Welcome Back Letter that pertains to the start of school.


First Week of School: School begins on Monday, August 29, 2022 for scholars in grades 9 through 12. To ensure a smooth transition into the building we are implementing both synchronous (in-person) and asynchronous (virtual) orientation sessions. It is imperative that scholars adhere to their designated orientation sessions as this time will be used to review health and safety protocols, issue student identification cards and lockers, meet the team of educators who will be working with scholars in each grade, orient scholars to Imhotep’s culture and value systems, prepare scholars for baseline assessments which will be administered the week of September 5th and more. A breakdown of orientation sessions for scholars in each respective grade is shown below. The asynchronous assignment will be shared via email prior to the start of school.



Monday 8/29/22

Tuesday 8/30/22

Wednesday 8/31/22

Thursday 9/1/22

9th Grade

8:30am - 1:30 pm

In person

Asynchronous Assignment

10th Grade

10:30am - 3:30 pm

In person

Asynchronous Assignment

11th Grade

Asynchronous Assignment

8:30am - 1:30 pm

In person

12th Grade

Asynchronous Assignment

10:30am - 3:30 pm

In person


School will be closed on Friday, September 5, 2022 and Monday, September 7, 2022 in observance of Labor Day. All scholars will report from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.


 Note: Scholars MUST wear their full school uniforms as described below and captured in our Handbook.


Uniforms: Scholars are required to wear loose fitting black bottoms (pants, sweats, jeans, skirts), and a dashiki.  Dashikis can be purchased at the school and cost $15.00 The Main Office will be open for dashiki purchases beginning August 8, 2022 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.

Enjoy the remaining time you have in these last days of summer and ensure your scholar completes his/her asynchronous assignments and joins us for in-person orientation based on the schedule provided. We are excited to begin this new school year and in the spirit of umoja (unity) and ujima (collective work and responsibility) let’s harambee!


In the Service of Our Youth,


Baba Andre Noble CEO



P.S. Please mark your calendar for the following informative Parent Meetings:

  • Parent Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 5:30pm
  • Songhai VI Senior Parent Meeting on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 12pm until 2pm
  • Back-to School Night on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 6pm