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Staff Shoutouts


Danielle Shylit
Director of Innovation
String Theory Schools

What is Activator Culture and how does it ignite innovation and creativity? As we explain in the String Theory Schools Design Elements, "Real learning connects students to the world, and the world to our students." So, in our constantly changing world, learning within and beyond our classrooms has to evolve to stay authentic to what students experience outside our walls and in their future careers. What does this mean for our young people? From trying out flying a plane on our flight simulator, to learning the ins and outs of hospitality and culinary arts, to publishing books for pre-school children in Rwanda to performing in professional spaces in our beautiful city, our students activate their learning by connecting it to their city and their world. After all, the best learning empowers success when the lesson is over.  

Activator of the Month

Teaching & Learning

Sign Up for Particle Pedagogy!

The 2022-2023 Particle Pedagogy Series focuses on innovative best practices in teaching and learning. Sessions are intended for all STS staff as well as educators outside our school network. Registration for these sessions is open and may be shared with others! Learn more and sign up for the April session below:

Particle Pedagogy Series
- Session 7 -
April 11th
Vine Street Campus
4:30pm - 6:30pm

Tech Tools: Distinguished Classroom

Stephanie Mann Minor & Stephanie Costello 


String Theory Academic Residency (STAR) Program

The STAR Program is a one-year alternate route certification program that prepares career changers, substitutes, aides, and other loyal members of our community in need of teaching certification to enter the classroom with confidence. 

STS would like to acknowledge the hard work of the individuals in the STAR program. Thank you for your dedication to the education profession!

A&S Campus
Candis Ambrose (Mentor - Nancy Malone)
Angel Guyton  (Mentor - Nancy Malone)
Sydney Mullan (Mentor - Samantha Berman)

East Campus
Cristina Benigno (Mentor - Nicolette Scalia)
Jennifer Novello (Mentor - Alana Apadula)

West Campus
Kristen Call (Mentor - Stephanie Saggio)
Shannon Scully (Mentor - Laura Anne DeCarlo)

Vine Campus
Matthew Wendelken (Mentor - Heather Weiss-Dembek)

The STAR residency program actively seeks change-of-career candidates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the teaching profession at an STS school. Email Dr. Thomas Mosca at to learn more!

Top of the Class

Featured Black History Month Project:
Black History Museum at Arts and Sciences

A favorite event at Arts and Sciences, the Black History Month Museum is part research assignment part interactive performance. Middle school students researched famous artists, and then presented their findings to younger students as if they were the artists themselves! Younger classes were invited to move throughout the theater and "visit" with the "artists".  During their presentations some of the middle school students even performed short pieces on instruments, sang, or danced! A fun and creative learning experience for all involved!


PPA - West Campus

Philadelphia Performing Arts, West Campus, has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania's BioEYES Program to develop engaging science projects for students. This month, fifth grade students participated in a week-long, hands-on aquatics lesson. BioEYES brought live zebrafish to the classroom to study cell biology, genetics, and the scientific method. Students found the project to be both interesting and a ton of fun!

PCE Performance

Arts and sciences

Ms. Bodek's Strings Majors at Arts and Sciences had an exciting "gig" at the end of January! Students performed for charter school administrators and leaders at the annual luncheon for Philadelphia Charters for Excellence (PCE).  Artwork by Visual Arts majors was also included in a student art exhibit. We are so proud of they way students represented Arts and Sciences, and thank them for sharing their talents with the Philadelphia charter school community!


PPA - East Campus

It might still be cold outside, but these beautiful sunflower projects created by some of our first grade students certainly give us the feeling of a sunny spring day! The first graders have been studying Vincent Van Gogh, and the project is inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night and Sunflowers.

Snowflake Dance

PPA - Vine Street Campus, Middle School

Middle Schoolers had a fantastic time at the annual Snowflake Dance! Students came ready to dance and have a wonderful night with friends. 

Black History Month Art Show

PPA - Vine Street Campus, HIGH SCHOOL

Advanced and Intermediate fine arts student projects for Black History Month. Click HERE to view the complete slide deck of student work.

With Love To Ukraine at the Kimmel

PPA - Vine Street Campus, HIGH SCHOOL

Concert choir and string quartet took their With Love To Ukarine performance to the Plaza Stage at the Kimmel Center to commemorate the one year anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This moving performance was opened by remarks from President and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Matías Tarnopolsky, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia, Iryna Mazur, and the Deputy Secretary of International Business Development, David Briel. The following video is a clip from the first piece of the concert, a reading of the poem Contra Spem Spero (Against All Hope I Hope) by Lesya Ukrayinka and read by theatre major Maleeka Lawrence and  accompanied by student Olesia Skorets performing Etude 1 on bandura.

You may also click HERE to hear interviews with students Olesia Skorets and David Kozyrkov.


School Celebrations

Valentines Day

Kindergarten Special Persons Brunch
Arts and Sciences

Valentines Dance
PPA - West Campus

Vocal Majors Singing Valentines
PPA - Vine Street Campus

Eagles Pep Rallies and Parties

Thanks for a great season Eagles! Our students and staff had so much fun taking part in school celebrations and pep rallies this month. Click the links below to check out videos from these fun events.