march newsletter - Imhotep Institute Charter High School

State of the School
Imhotep Institute Charter High School is an African Centered science, mathematics and technology learning community whose
mission is to provide a standards driven, high quality educational program for urban learners grounded in the African Principles of
MA’AT and the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba. Imhotep aims to nuture lifelong learners who are valuable members of the world
March 2015
First Quarter
Letter from the
Interim CEO
Hotep Family:
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be
part of such exciting progress this year at our school.
Community service has been at the forefront of my
life and I have seen firsthand how a common cause
can unite and ignite a community toward positive
change. And there is no greater cause or service than
the education of the next generation.
Ours is a thriving and successful school, which
uniquely respects and honors our African heritage.
Now more than ever, our core beliefs based on the
Ma’at principles of truth, balance, order, law, morality
and justice help guide us so that we may contribute to
the success of our neighborhoods, our city and the
nation. There is an overwhelming sense of pride and
unity at Imhotep, which has made
my transition into the school’s
leadership position such a
rewarding experience.
Asante Sana,
Sister Cicely Peterson-Mangum
More inside!
Outstanding Teacher
Mama Titi
See page 2
Growing Academic
Academic achievement at Imhotep is headed in the right
direction. With the second highest academic growth rate
in the city, Imhotep saw a 67 percent improvement in its
overall score on the Pennsylvania Department of
Education’s School Performance Profile (SPP) for the
2013-2014 school year.
“Imhotep’s teachers and staff show daily dedication that is
met with equal enthusiasm by our students,” said
Principal Jeffrey Williams or Baba Jeff. “Our students
take pride in academic success.”
A major initiative contributing to that success is
Imhotep’s collaboration with the Montgomery County
Intermediate Unit (IU) to meet the school’s curriculum
needs. The IU helped develop a scope and sequence based
on state standards to provide teachers with a pacing
schedule for organizing and planning their lessons.
“Having clearer plans gives teachers greater opportunity
to focus on instruction and engagement,” Baba Jeff said.
Preparation for the state Keystone subject exams in
Algebra I, Literature and Biology is central and teachers
are using benchmark assessments and other performance
data to work with students on skill development to
achieve proficiency. Tracking data assists in aligning
individual students with support resources that would be
most beneficial.
The 2014-2015 school year marks the first time Imhotep
has created individual rosters outfitted to student needs so
that students can advance to the appropriate level and
fulfill Imhotep’s required credits.
It is also the first year Imhotep has offered an
Advanced Placement course. Seventeen students
are enrolled in AP Literature & Composition.
This semester there are also 10 students, both
g. 3 .
juniors and seniors, who are taking courses
French Teacher Helps
Youth in Burundi
For 20 years, Imhotep French teacher
Renilde Acholla, called Mama Titi, has
been recruiting volunteers and raising
funds to provide aid to the children and
school in the rural village where she was
raised and also open a new school in her
home country, Burundi, which is the
third poorest in the world.
“As a teacher, I know that a quality
education for children is the key to help
break the cycle of poverty,” Mama Titi
Mama Titi, who has been teaching
French at Imhotep since the school
opened in 1999, travels to Burundi at
least once a year. She is currently
fundraising and seeking faculty
volunteers to train teachers in the
Burundi schools during a two-week trip
in June.
To support their mission, send charitable
donations to the Harambee in Progress
Project at 306 Church Road, Jenkintown,
Pa. 19046. For more information or to
volunteer, visit
Imhotep Team Mom
Mama Cookie Ridley has been a team mom since her son, Imhotep senior
D.J. Moore, was five years old. He will be attending the University of
Maryland, College Park on an athletic scholarship after graduation, but she
plans to remain involved as long as the Panthers need her.
“We’re a family,” Mama Cookie said. “I’ve become a parent to all of the
players. They know they can depend on me.”
Mama Cookie is more than a fan.
She welcomes Imhotep teammates to stay over at her house before game
days to fix them nourishing breakfast and is there for the athletes to
provide hydration at half-time or sideline medical attention. She is
even on hand during summer practices to make sure the players have
whatever they need to do well on the field. Mama Cookie loves supporting
students to achieve their best and Imhotep appreciates such a special Team
through the Community College of
Philadelphia’s Advance at College (ACE) dual
enrollment program.
The Honor Roll pinning ceremony, which
Assistant Principal Jury Segers created, has become
a tradition. Seventy-seven students were presented
with a certificate and scholar pin on December 6,
With expanded academic opportunities, enriching
activities and its unique mission, Imhotep is an
increasingly popular choice for young adults in
Philadelphia. Enrollment season this year has been
one of the busiest in school history.
College Bound: Fairs, Sch olarships
and Acceptances
Message from our
Nearly 25 percent of Imhotep’s 136 seniors are already
committed to the college or university of their choice.
One student, Quadrese Glass, has received a full
academic scholarship to Dickinson College in Carlisle.
Three students also have received full athletic
“Our goal is for every Imhotep student to continue their
education after graduation,” Post-Secondary Transition
Director Michelle Wilson said. “By infusing this goal
into the curriculum and extracurricular activities,
students begin exploring their college options in their
first weeks as freshmen.”
In October, Imhotep hosted its annual college fair with
more than 40 colleges, universities and financial
planning organizations attending. Every student at
Imhotep attended the fair, which also attracted more than
100 students from Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter
School and
Career and
High School.
Seniors also
in Chester
County, and will
be taking advantage of other open
houses at local colleges this year.
Students enrolled in the before-school JAAMA
Empowerment Program through Corinthian Community
Center are making plans for their spring college tour
March 30-April 2.
Hotep Families,
The 2014-2015 school year has been off to a
robust start, due to our C.OY.A.L.
elections, football team, cheerleaders, track
team and mock trial victories. Umoja Karamu
festival and winter formal, the Winter Wave
for the Keystone Exams and our entire school
trip to see the movie Selma has been just of
few of the wonderful highlights of what has
indeed been an exciting and action packed
first half of the school year.
Since the beginning of the year, three new
teachers have joined our team. I would like
to welcome to the Imhotep Family: Sister
Kodi Johnson (Spanish), Sister Kerri
McDonald (Music), and Brother Ira Bond
(Rites of Passage, Males 9th and
12th). Each teacher brings to Imhotep a
wealth of experience and expertise in their
field and we are fortunate to have all of them
as a part of the Imhotep Community.
Parents continue to check Schoology for
regular posts regarding your child’s
assignments, school events, as well as
school closings and late starts due to
inclement weather. I look forward to seeing
all of you at our next parent conferences on
Friday, February 20, 2105 from 128PM. Remember, “When the Nation Shines
We All Shine.”
Lunch at Imhotep
Well-Balanced Meals and a Broadened
January started off with an energizing change in the
cafeteria. Every student at Imhotep is now eligible
to receive free breakfast and lunch.
By participating in the Community Eligibility
Provision Program, Imhotep staff administers and
oversees the National School Lunch Program for
all students to have convenient, nutritious meal
options. No paperwork is necessary to enroll.
“We are excited to offer the National School
Lunch program where all students can participate
at no cost to families,” said Dana Garnett, School
Lunch Director.
Meals are provided by Lintons Managed Services,
which was selected for its variety of delicious,
healthy menus in keeping with the national guidelines, as well as the
vendor’s interest in collaborating with students to create pre-plated entrees.
There are specific requirements for the National School Lunch Program. Each daily menu must
feature four food components (Bread/Grains, Fruit/Vegetable, Meat/Meat Alternate and Milk) that consist of five
food items. Participating students use their Imhotep I.D. to be served and should select three components, one of
which must be a fruit or vegetable. School menus and food options will be posted in advance, so that students can
In addition to free, well-balanced meal service, lunch at Imhotep has benefited from another positive change. This
year marks the first time since 1998 that lunch periods at Imhotep are not grade-specific.
“Lunch periods are intermixed, allowing students from different grades to interact as equals,” said Baba Jeff,
school principal. “It has broadened our environment.”
Moving forward to Charter Renewal
For 15 years, Imhotep has served as a hallmark in our community and a coveted school of choice throughout
Philadelphia. Our culturally responsive African-centered high school boasts a history of graduating more than 90
percent of our seniors, with almost 100 percent of those graduates pursuing higher education and career training.
In an effort to further strengthen the school to secure our charter renewal, Imhotep’s leadership is working to
identify a charter partner that is responsive to staff and student needs and respectful of the school community’s
character, vision and mission. Thanks to input from stakeholder surveys, Imhotep administration has developed a
framework for engaging potential charter partners to ensure that plans are informed by the community’s priorities
and interests, will honor the school’s philosophy and build upon recent academic strides.
After a review of information regarding Universal's recent academic turnaround efforts, the decision was made for
Imhotep to seek out additional applicants. The role of the Charter Schools Office will be to present the option
chosen by Imhotep to the School Reform Commission (SRC) with a recommendation based on academic
performance, organizational compliance and financial stewardship.
“A thoughtful and inclusive partnership will support Imhotep in continuing to innovate and prepare our students
for success,” Interim CEO Cicely Peterson-Mangum said.
Imhotep has convened a Charter Renewal Steering Committee, which will review proposals from qualified charter
partners in February. The committee includes representatives from the Board of Trustees, School Advisory
Council (SAC), Wazuri Parent Group, Council of Young African Leaders (C.O.Y.A.L.), Imhotep faculty and the
Philadelphia community. Their voices and perspectives will help guide the selection process.
Sports at Imhotep:
Success in the classroom and in the game!!
Imhotep student athletes continue to eclipse their competition. For the 2014 season, the Imhotep Panthers football team
finished as AAA Public League Champions with a 6-0 conference record. Imhotep’s cheerleading squad finished second
overall in the city-wide Public League category, and qualified for the state tournament for the third year.
Additionally, several members of the Class of 2015 have earned scholarships to play sports in college.
Deja Reynolds received a four-year scholarship from Temple University for
basketball and will play guard for the Lady Owls.
Football star Denniston “D.J.” Moore committed to attend the University of
Maryland, College Park on a four-year scholarship and will join the Maryland
Terrapins as a wide receiver.
Devon Liggeons, wing guard for Imhotep’s basketball team, accepted a
scholarship to Wagner College in New York and will start with the Seahawks
this fall.
“Our athletes use their extracurricular activities to foster academic growth,”
Athletic Director Andre Noble said. “It’s important that we see our young people
experiencing successes both in their sports and in their classes.”
Athletes are only 29 percent of the student population at Imhotep, but make up
about 48 percent of the school’s Honor Roll members.
Here are some of the highlights for the Panthers Track Team!
-The boys’ 4x200m relay team has been ranked top in the U.S. Their overall event time has placed the boys on the U.S.
National Elite Gold Standard list.
-On the boys’ team: Standard individual performances by Denniston Moore (Sr.), Ade Jones-Roundtree (So.), and Kristian
Marche (Fr.) has ranked Imhotep Boys’ Team as a U.S. #29 in the country. (source:
-The girls’ 4x200m relay team has broken school history. For the first time this school will send a girls’ relay to the
Pennsylvania Indoor State Meet.
-Both the boys’ and girls’ teams teamed up with Tabor North Childrens Services (57 East Armat Street, Phila, PA 19144) to
beautify its company’s site. The site provides innovative and high-quality supports and services for individuals and their
families. The tenet at the center of their mission is providing people with the supports they need for self-determination,
independence and a fulfilling life.
-The Panthers will conclude their Indoor season at the New Balance Indoor Championships in early March.
Multiple Intelligences
This year, Computer Applications Teacher, Sister Zenia Pearson came up with an idea to start a Future Business Leaders of
America chapter. The group meets monthly to plan activities that will expose them to real world business practices,
networking opportunities, and leadership roles. In their first competition, 15 students went to the Philadelphia Regional FBLA
Conference where they competed against students from various public and charter schools throughout the Philadelphia
area. Students Dahron Knuckles and King Davis-El received Accounting and Cyber Security Awards. The FBLA Leadership
Conference will be held in Hershey, PA from April 13th through April 15th, 2015. The group is working on several fundraisers
to cover their expenses of $3000. They have started a Go Fund Me Campaign at
Hyacinth Wood has been teaching science at Imhotep for six years. Second to her love for science, is her love for law. When
a group of students came to her with the idea of participating in Mock Trial she jumped at the opportunity. Four years later,
the Mock Trial Team is still running strong. Several students on the team have won accolades for being voted the best
attorney and best witness. Preparing for Mock Trial is not an easy feat. Students meet for an hour daily and receive coaching
from Leon Goodman, who is a practicing attorney. They've also had the experience of participating in a Saturday boot camp
sponsored by Temple University and the weekend long Blue and Gold Invitational sponsored by LaSalle University, winning
five out of eight ballots. Recently, the team learned that they were advancing to the second round of Regional Competition.
What’s the TEA?
Board Meeting every 2nd Thursday of the month
Parent Wazuri meeting every 4th Thursday of the
Interims Reports posted on Powerschool
Spring Break 3/30 – 04/06
Benchmark #3 Begins
Special Education Parent Training 05/01 10am-12pm
Report Card Conferences 05/01 12pm-8pm
If you know a teacher, staff member or dedicated parent that you would like to nominate as an
outstanding teacher, outstanding staff person or outstanding parent, please email
Sister Tara at: [email protected]
Imhotep Institute Charter High School
6201 N. 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19138