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Artwork by Ms. Shelley's 8th Grade Digital Design students at PPA, Vine Street Campus
(Student artists clockwise from top left: Azyah, Shane, Ella, and Cathy)

Staff Shoutouts


Stephanie Costello
Academic Dean of Technology & Innovation
Philadelphia Performing Arts

PPA, Vine Street Campus

NEW: Digital Citizenship Series As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in the lives of our children, it is important to educate ourselves in Digital Citizenship. This series by Stephanie Costello, Academic Dean of Technology and Innovation at PPA, Vine Street Campus, will cover some Digital Citizenship tips to help students and parents navigate this ever-changing environment. Click HERE to view an important graphic that gives you a sense of how prevalent screens are for young people!

This month's tip: Don't post anything to social media when emotions are high. Encourage your children to take a step back from social media when they are feeling angry, stressed, overwhelmed, etc. What we post is forever, which can be difficult for young people. A simple question that students can ask themselves is "Would I say this in person?"


Activator of the Month

Meet Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts Alum, Nasir Mack!

This month's activator is Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts alum, Nasir Mack. A recent Temple University graduate living in New York, Nasir is a professional marketing consultant with a passion and talent for music. Earlier this month Nasir received the Diamond Excellence Award from Temple University. Read this article to learn about Nasir's experiences at A&S and PPA, what he has been up to since graduating college last year, and how he views the role of alumni in giving back to school communities.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE! about Meet Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts Alum, Nasir Mack!

Teaching & Learning

Keeping Track of Student Data and Success: PowerSchool, Canvas, and Seesaw

By Dr. Thomas Mosca, Director of Teaching and Learning, String Theory Schools

While our teachers and students work hard in the classroom during the school day at Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts, a lot goes on behind the scenes managing systems that keep track of everything from a student’s emergency contact information to monitoring their academic growth. When used together, these systems help students, families, and teachers gain a comprehensive view of student learning and achievement throughout their time at our schools. This article will give you an overview of our top programs: PowerSchool, Canvas, and Seesaw.

Read More about Keeping Track of Student Data and Success: PowerSchool, Canvas, and Seesaw

Top of the Class

PSSA Pep Rallies

Arts and sciences
PPA, Vine Street Campus

PSSA testing started at the end of the month at Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts West and Vine Street Campuses. Students have been preparing academically for these important assessments throughout the school year, but our teachers know that confidence and a positive mindset can help students feel more at ease during the PSSAs. 

To give our students encouragement (and some fun!) before the PSSAs, teachers and administrators at Arts and Sciences and Performing Arts organized pep rallies and brought in inspirational speakers.

The Arts and Sciences PSSA Pep Rally had a live DJ, performance by the A&S cheerleaders, games (like a life sized version of "Hungry Hungry Hippos"!) and speeches by school leaders.

Ms. Caiola invited Clothing Designer and Musician, Marquise Freeman, to speak to Performing Arts middle schoolers at their Crown Forum meetings. Marquise sat down with Mr. Miller and shared his story and inspiring message of believing in yourself and your dreams. He also performed his original song, "Dream Big". 


Autism Appreciation Panel


High School teacher, Mr. Ramos, invited a panel of young people with autism to share their experiences with students in his psychology class. One of the individuals on the panel was PPA's own, Matthew Cramer. Matthew's mother, Dr. Julie Cramer, also attended the presentation and participated in the conversation surrounding autism and communication. In addition to hearing from the panelists, Performing Arts students were invited to participate in activities designed to build empathy for experiences that Autistic people encounter in their everyday lives. In one of these activities, students used chopsticks to pick up small beads and compared the number of beads they were able to collect with the number they could using their fingers. This simulated what it feels like to have apraxia. Then students imagined what it must feel like to have their bodies and emotions not functioning at the same speed as others. The panelists also expressed, through the use of assisstive letterboards, exactly how neurotypical people can interact best with Autistic people to create bridges and community. 

Kindergarten Earth Day Shop

Arts and sciences

Kindergarten is full of memorable and creative events for students and their families to enjoy, but one of our favorites is definitely the Arts and Sciences Kindergarten Earth Day Shop. Students sell flowers, lemonade, fruits and veggies to their families and staff at this outdoor spring market complete with homemade wooden stands that the students decorate with their own art!

Kindergarten Earth Day Art


Enjoy these pictures and beautiful words about taking care of our planet by kindergarten students at Performing Arts, East Campus. This artwork is currently on display throughout the hallways at the East Campus. Great job students! 

High School String Quartet Performs at the Pyramid Club


Mr. Rosa and his String Quartet were invited to perform at the annual C-CAP event at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia. Swipe to see images and watch a video of the students from the event. Another elegant and professional performance!

Masterclass with Rock West Director, Etienne Diaz

PPA, Vine street campus

Intermediate and Advanced Ballet Majors at Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, took class from professional dancer, Etienne Diaz. Mr. Diaz is a dancer with Philadelphia Ballet and the Director of the Rock School for Dance - West, and has had an incredible career in the world of ballet. At the end of the masterclass, Performing Arts dancers performed choreography for their upcoming Spring Concert for Mr. Diaz. Click the image to view a video compilation from the masterclass!

5th Grade Choir Performs the National Anthem at the Phillies Game

PPA, West campus

A moment these students won't soon forget! This month Ms. Micaela Hickey took her 5th grade choir students to perform the National Anthem at Citizens Bank Park before the start of the Phillies game. Congratulations on a great performance students! Be sure to check out the video below.

In the News

Performing Arts Athlete, Christopher Valerio, Featured in the South Philly Review!

PPA, Vine Street Campus

Another of our high school students at PPA, Vine Street Campus, was featured in an article this month! These students are truly exceptional, and we could not be more proud of their hard work. Congratulations to Christopher and his family on the great writeup!

Read the article about Christopher Valerio here!

Photo by Mark Zimmaro

Technology Pop Up Classroom

PPA, Vine Street Campus

Ms. Costello hosted her annual Tech Pop Up Classroom for teachers at PPA, Vine Street Campus. This year's theme was "Another Day In Paradise" and teachers and student volunteers showed staff how to use a variety of apps in their classrooms to enrich their lessons. This interactive, island themed professional development concluded with homemade tropical gelato! Special thanks to the students who came in on their day off to participate in the event!

Watch the news coverage here.