CAO & AP Messages
Hotep Students, Parents and Caregivers!
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! With all that is going on in the world we are grateful to see our returning families and look forward to meeting and developing relationships with our new ones. Although this summer has been like no other, we hope that you were able to stay safe, enjoy the time with your families, rest, and learn something new. We have been working hard to prepare for the new school year while keeping health and safety at the forefront of our decision making.
The substantial rates of Covid-19 positivity and community spread prompted us to deliver a full year of virtual instruction. Staff, students and parents played a critical role in helping us deliver rigorous instruction while offering support to meet the social, emotional and mental needs of our families. We concluded the previous school year with victories in many areas due to the hardwork and commitment of our students, parents, and staff. Some of the highlights included:
- Provision of instructional materials to students during each 9-week cycle to ensure a hands-on learning experience;
- The number of positive HERO points awarded and virtual assemblies to celebrate student success;
- Celebrating our students’ involvement in extracurricular activities;
- Student induction into the Waset National Honor Society;
- Expansion of dual enrollment partners and in the number of students earning college credits;
- Wellness Wednesday segments aimed at providing tips to support social, emotional and mental health coupled with Virtual Parent Support Groups;
- Free credit recovery programming to help students get back on-track for graduation;
- Safe social gatherings for students in each grade to end the school year including a Senior Prom;
- Three graduation ceremonies for 130 seniors; and
- Five-week robust summer programming that included academic enrichment, hands-on STEM experiences, team building activities, financial literacy workshops, cultural enrichment and recreation.
Last year we adopted Wazia Tena as our theme for the year which is Swahili for think again/reconsider. As we transition back to delivering in-person instruction, we will continue to think again/reconsider the impact that this pandemic has had on our students--academically, socially, emotionally, and mentally. We will also think again/reconsider how we provide professional development opportunities to our facilitators to ensure that they are poised to meet the needs of all students. Valuing the partnership that we have with our parents, we will think again/reconsider how we seek parent input to enhance parental involvement.
We realize that many of our students have experienced gaps in instruction due to the pandemic and that for some students remote learning presented another set of challenges. To ensure that we are able to identify each student’s strengths and opportunities for growth, we will be administering Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Testing in both math and English. MAP is a computer based adaptive test that will support teachers, administrators, students, and parents with identifying what students are ready to learn. This will allow teachers to make informed decisions that will promote students’ academic growth. Scores that are derived from MAP Testing will be uploaded to Exact Path to develop an individualized pathway that addresses students’ needs in math. Exact Path is a computer based program that supports student growth. Literacy scores from MAP Testing will be uploaded to Achieve3000 to tailor the complexity of informational texts for each student such that every student in class reads the same grade-appropriate content differentiated at their individual reading level, empowering all students to fully participate in whole-class instruction and discussions. It also has instructional materials to enhance college and career readiness skills and will be used in conjunction with Naviance to ensure that students are exposed to the College and Career Readiness Standards. Naviance is a computer based platform that helps students identify their interests, strengths, goals and needs to tailor support to meet their goals.
As it relates to students’ schedules, students in 9th grade will continue to have a double period of Algebra 1 and a double period of literacy which is broken down into two distinct courses: English I and Writing Composition. Students in 10th grade will also have a double period of math whereas their schedule will include Algebra II and Algebra Concepts--a course designed to prepare them for success on the Algebra I Keystone Exam. Similarly, they will also have English II and Literature--a course designed to prepare them for success on the Literature Keystone Exam. We have also added ELA and math interventionists who will work with students in small groups in conjunction with our Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) process. Administrative instructional support and oversight for students in grades 9 and 10 will be provided by our new Associate Principal, Mama Dr. Nakia Williams.
As it relates to our upper grades, students in grade 11 will have English III for the full year and SAT English Prep for half year. Similarly, they will also have a full year of Geometry and a half year of SAT Math Prep. Fully funded dual enrollment at any of our partner schools--Esperanza College, Community College of Philadelphia, Manor College, and Arcadia University--will continue to be available to students who meet the criteria for participation. Notices of eligibility from or Director of Post-Secondary Transition, Mama Michelle Wilson will be sent outlining the process to take advantage of the program. Finally, students in grade 12 will have Senior Seminar added to their schedule to help prepare them for success with their multidisciplinary Senior Exhibition. Administrative instructional support and oversight for students in grades 11 and 12 will be provided by our Associate Principal, Mama Carla R. Pitt.
Our school climate is something that we have always been proud of here at Imhotep. To ensure that students and families have a personalized experience, we will continue to rely on our grade specific Climate Leaders who will work with students and families to uphold our core values and Student Code of Character. I invite you to read over our Student & Parent Handbook to learn more about the aforementioned. To ensure a classroom environment that is conducive to learning, we will continue to use Yondr pouches for cell phones and or Smartwatches which will allow students to maintain possession of their devices while the magnetic lock will prohibit them from using them while school is in session. The magnet on each pouch will be released at dismissal and students will take their pouch home each day. Please review the enclosed letter from our Chief Operating Officer, Baba Andre Noble for additional details.
These final weeks of August will be very busy as we conduct our summer institute training for our new and returning staff. We will miss staff members who are no longer working directly with our students but remain embedded in our hearts. Please take a moment to welcome our new family members who are joining us this school year:
- Sharif Beyah, STEM
- Nicholas Cullen, Biology
- Wonder Lablah, Technology Support
- Reina Floyd-Jones, ELA Interventionist
- Lewis McKeliver, Technology Support
- George Schutte, Senior Seminar
- Terrell Williams, Social Worker
Parental involvement is a vital component in the education process. We hope that you will take an active role in your child’s education by joining our Wazuri Parent Association and attending virtual monthly Wazuri meetings which are via Zoom on the fourth Thursday of the month. (See the calendar for specific dates.) Be sure to log into PowerSchool to view your child’s grades which has an app that you can download on your mobile device. Below, you will find helpful information for the start of this new year as we continue the journey towards academic excellence!
First Week of School: School begins on Monday, August 30, 2021 for students 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 students 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 students in each grade, orient students to Imhotep’s culture and value systems, prepare students for baseline assessments which will be administered the week of September 6th and more. A breakdown of orientation sessions for students in each respective grade is shown below. The asynchronous assignment will be shared via email prior to the start of school.
School will be closed on Friday, September 3, 2021 and Monday, September 6, 2021 in observance of Labor Day. All students will report from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Note: Students MUST wear their full school uniforms as described below.
- Students 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 each. The Main Office will be open for dashiki purchases beginning August 16, 2021 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Instruction begins in all classes on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Students should come prepared with the following items in order to facilitate learning in every class. If additional materials and supplies are needed your child will be notified during orientation.
- 6 - single subject spiral notebooks
- 6 – folders with pockets
- 1 – 1” inch binder with college ruled notebook paper
- 3x5 cards
- Pencils and a sharpener
- Ink pens
Enjoy the remaining time you have in these last days of summer and ensure your child completes his/her asynchronous assignments and joins us for in-person orientation based on the schedule provided. We are continuing to reimagine how we engage and educate your child during the 2021-2022 school year and are excited for the school year to begin!
Yours in the spirit of Ujima,
Mama Jury Segers
Chief Academic Officer & Principal
P.S. Please mark your calendar for the following informative Parent Meetings:
- New Parent Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 6pm (Virtual)
- Nubia VI Senior Parent Meeting on Saturday, August 28, 2021 from 10am until 11:30 am (Last names: Abdullah - Johnson) and 1pm until 2:30 pm (Last names: Jones - Wylie) (In person)
- Back-to School Night on September 23, 2021 at 6pm (Virtual)