CAO & AP Messages
Hotep Students, Parents and Caregivers!
Welcome to the 2020-2021 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 enjoy the time with your families, rest, and read a few good books. We have been working hard to prepare for the new school year and can’t wait to “see” you!
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we transitioned in March to online learning. Staff, students and parents played a critical role in helping us finish the school year strong in spite of having to shift to a new learning environment. 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:
- The number of positive HERO points awarded;
- Celebrating our students’ involvement in extracurricular activities;
- Red Cross Blood Drive Donations;
- JEGNA mentoring program between our 9th and 12th grade students;
- Student induction into the Waset National Honor Society;
- Individual graduation ceremonies for 114 seniors; and
- AWARDED A 5-YEAR CHARTER RENEWAL!!!!
We have spent much of this summer meeting and planning to ensure that we will be able to provide rigorous instruction in the safest environment possible. We held committee meetings, focus groups and town halls with our staff, parents and students to share our thoughts and gather input from our school community. All of the work we did was centered on three main goals:
- Develop a model for reopening our building prioritizing health and safety of staff, students, and parents.
- Develop a plan for the delivery of rigorous instruction.
- Reach out to various segments of the community so that the plan is responsive to the needs of students, parents, and staff.
After careful thought and consideration our Board of Directors approved a plan to reopen the 2020-2021 school year using a 100% Cyber Model meaning that students and staff will not report to the building to deliver or receive instruction. The table below highlights key features of the model.
We believe that the 100% Cyber Model is the safest way for us to open school within the present conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the event that conditions change and are able to meet the following criterion we are prepared to transition to a hybrid model. The criterion for transition to a hybrid model are:
- Moderate or Low Risk for community spread as articulated by the Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health
- Two weeks of declining cases of COVID as articulated by the Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health
- City declaration of being in the Green Phase without modification
In the event that the criteria are met and we transition to a hybrid model parents will still have the option to continue 100% cyber instruction. Details of the hybrid model are posted on our website and will be shared during a Parent Townhall prior to a shift from the 100% cyber model.
Our theme for this year is Wazia Tena which is Swahili for think again/reconsider. We have been challenged to reimagine:
- how we will deliver instruction in the age of covid-19;
- the educational opportunities that we wish to expose our students to
while at the same time continuing to:
- Increase academic outcomes for all of our students
- Become reflective practitioners of our craft and take ownership of all responsibilities as they relate to our roles
- Encourage our students each and every day with not only empathy but heshima and love
- Deepen the relationships with our families to nurture them into being the resources and partners we need to develop our students.
As we reimagine our educational programming we are excited about
- Expansion of partnerships to include Esperanza College, Arcadia University, Manor College, and Community College of Philadelphia for 11th & 12th grade students allowing them to participate in fully funded dual enrollment courses
- Additional funding allocated for college and career readiness opportunities
- Cross institutional courses and professional development
- Opportunities to collaborate with students across the globe
- Programming that supports students’ social and emotional health with opportunities to engage with peers, guest speakers, lecturers, professionals, etc.
- Ways to leverage our full-time cadre of student supportive services that include virtual sessions with our school counselor, behavior specialist, school nurse, speech therapist, case managers, ELL specialists, and more
- Adoption of weekly virtual clubs/workshops/electives for all students that cover an array of high interest topics/content areas
- Provision of manipulatives to support a robust menu of course/club offerings
Our school climate is something that we have always been proud of here at Imhotep and we will continue to connect with our families in the virtual environment. Climate Staff will support our students as Village Parents by:
- Checking our student’s grades, reminding them of important upcoming assignments, and keeping track of participation;
- Communicating with parents weekly on their student’s progress; and
- Communicating with students for mental and physical health checks and making referrals for specialized supports when necessary.
Each of our students will be well equipped to fully engage in our cyber model. Every student will be issued a chromebook to connect with their facilitators and online resources. Students will also be provided with manipulatives and instructional materials that will make their online experience engaging and relevant. So, make room on the dining room table for your biology student to participate in a dissection, your art student to paint a canvas, and students in yoga to sprawl across the floor!
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:
- Justin Corona, Science
- Tom McCloskey, Literature
- Christyn Mitchell, Director of Student Support Services
- Mia Thistle, Math
- Terrance Qualls, Science
- Julia Yanoski, Science
- Anna Winder, School Nurse
- Maxime Darbouze, Math
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 Day of School:
Students will participate in orientation beginning Monday August 24, 2020. Please review the attached orientation schedule for details of your child’s virtual reporting times and sessions. Passwords, Usernames, and Zoom Links will be shared via email on Friday August 21, 2020.
Note: Students MUST wear a dashiki during the online Zoom sessions. Full school uniforms as described below will be required should students report back to the building under Imhotep’s hybrid model.
- 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 17, 2020 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
Imhotep is providing all students with a chromebook to access facilitators and instructional materials. Instruction begins in all classes on August 31, 2020. Students should log into their courses prepared to engage in instruction with their items readily available.
Enjoy the remaining time you have in these last days of summer and ensure your child logs in to his/her Zoom classes ready to meet and exceed expectations of academic excellence. We are reimagining how we engage and educate your child during the 2020-2021 school year and excited for the school year to begin!
Yours in the spirit of Ujima,
Sister Jury Segers Mama Carla Pitt
Principal/Chief Academic Officer Associate Principal
P.S. Please mark your calendar for the following informative Virtual Parent Meetings:
- Kemet VIII Senior Parent Meeting on Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 5pm.
- New Parent Partnership Meeting on Thursday August 20, 2020 at 6pm or Saturday August 22, 2020 at 11am
- Wazuri Parent Meeting on August 27, 2020 at 6 pm. Come meet our administrative team and teachers!