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String Theory Schools


As a nonprofit education design and management organization, we are committed to bringing the arts to the children of Philadelphia.

Our first school opened in the Fall of 2000 with the goal of offering students an arts immersive curriculum that would allow them to thrive academically and artistically. After a successful twelve years of growth, String Theory Schools was created to bring the mission of our original charter to more students and their families in Philadelphia. Today, String Theory Schools operates two charter schools that offer students a comprehensive educational program that emphasizes equally academic and artistic excellence. We are passionate about honoring each student as an individual and educating all students so that they reach their highest potentials.

Our mission

To Inspire. To Be Inspired.

Philadelphia Performing Arts: Top 10 Pennsylvania Charter Elementary School

Philadelphia Performing Arts has the largest charter in Philadelphia and is one of the only K-12 schools in the city. We are also the only school with an arts-integrated curriculum designed for elementary school children.

Apple Distinguished School

Philadelphia Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, is recognized by Apple as an Apple Distinguished School. 

Dedicated to the Arts and Innovation

We believe in the profound positive impact that exposure to the arts has on a child's creativity, confidence, self-discipline, and greater understanding of the world. Starting in Kindergarten, our students have seven additional arts classes woven into their daily schedules each week. Once a student enters fifth grade they begin their own artistic and academic journey in our unique Majors Program.

Philadelphia Performing Arts: Recognized as a Top Public High School

Our high school is located at our Vine Street Campus, a state-of-the-art 265,000-square-foot facility. This building promotes project-based learning and interdisciplinary instruction with a motion capture studio, a 200-seat theater, two ballet studios, four science labs, four music studios, two fine arts studios, an engineering and robotics lab, a culinary test kitchen, a recording studio, and a student-run cafe. Our middle school is also housed at Vine Street Campus.

Authentic Learrning Experiences

From performing at professional venues to working at our student-run coffee shop, Café Vine, to internships with our Incubator Fellows, our students have access to a variety of exciting real world experiences.

Learn more: Incubator Fellowship

Our School Community

We view each child as an individual learner with their own unique talents and strengths. As per the philosophy of String Theory Schools, we believe in providing all students with equal opportunities for learning, discovery, and development of their potentials. This philosophy creates a supportive environment where students can shine.

In the News

Café Vine Opens to the Public

Café Vine is the student run coffee shop located on the first floor of the Vine Street Campus. A favorite of students and staff alike, Café Vine not only serves as a fun, hands-on internship for high school students, it also supplies fantastic pastries and coffee to faculty, staff, and students throughout the school day. After years of success, and the addition of a New Pastry and Baking Program that adds an exciting new dimension of student involvement, Café Vine is now opened to the public. The café is operated by students over the summer who work as paid interns. The public can purchase beverages and pastries through a take out window and outdoor seating is available. Check out some of these great features by local news stations then stop by on a weekday morning for a coffee and croissant!

Masterclass with Broadway Star, James T. Lane

Dance, theatre, and vocal music majors at Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, participated in a masterclass with James T. Lane earlier this week. James, who is currently performing "Chicago" on Broadway, is a South Philadelphia native and started his career in Philly before heading to Broadway. Students went to New York to see James perform on Broadway the weekend before the masterclass, and had the opportunity to meet him after the show. This was not only a fantastic educational opportunity for our students, but also a truly inspiring experience. James was gracious enough to spend time after the class sitting with students and answering their questions about how he made it to Broadway and what advice he could offer them about a career as a performer. View news clips and photos of James and the students in this post.

The Performing Arts Concert Choir and String Quartet Perform on the Plaza Stage at the Kimmel

On Friday, February 24th, String and Vocal Majors from Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, performed on the Plaza Stage at the Kimmel Center to commemorate the one year anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This concert was ahead of the Philadelphia Orchestra's matinee performance, which was also dedicated to Ukraine. Opening remarks where given by Matías Tarnopolsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Iryna Mazur, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia, and David Briel, Deputy Secretary of International Business Development for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The concert program featured two students from Ukraine, Olesia Skorets and David Kozyrkov. Listen above to the KYW interview with the students on their experiences in the United States so far and their thoughts on the one-year anniversary. 

KYW Newsradio Interview: Supporting Our Students from Ukraine

By Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio. 

In this interview, Mike DeNardo speaks with Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, school translator Kate Guns, ESL Teacher Daniel Betekhtin, ESL coordinator Damon Bennett, and Ukranian student Yurii Bohrebniuk.

You may also read the interview on KYW's website here.

Performance Spotlight

Spring Dance Performances

Philadelphia Performing Arts
The Classical Ballet Department and high school Contemporary Dance Department had their annual Spring Performances at our Vine Street Theatre.

The Adams Family

String Theory Players
From the Philadelphia Performing Arts archive: featured photos of a school favorite from 2018.

The Annual Spring Concert

Arts and Sciences
First through eighth grade students let their talents shine at the Annual Spring Concert! Special guests included A&S alumni who performed alongside current students in musical ensembles.

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