Skip To Main Content

Staff Shoutouts

Testing Resources

Dorothy Elstone
Testing and Accountability 
String Theory Schools

PSSA Dates

4/24/23 - 4/26/23

ELA Make Up Dates:
4/27/23 - 4/28/23

5/1/23 - 5/2/23

Math Make Up Dates:
5/5/23 and 5/8/23

5/3/23 - 5/4/23

Additional Make Up Dates:
5/3/23, 5/4/23, 5/9/23, 5/10/23

How to Prepare Your Student for the PSSAs Our students and teachers have been hard at work preparing for our important testing milestone, the PSSAs!

The PSSAs are standardized tests that Pennsylvania students in grades 3 - 8 take
annually. Everyone has been working diligently in school to prepare academically and mentally for these upcoming assessments. The PSSAs not only gauge student proficiency related to the academic standards, but also measure the success of a school based on student performance on these tests. Click the button below to view frequently asked questions about the PSSAs.

PSSA FAQs for students and families

Parents and guardians play a crucial role in a child’s life, and family support is absolutely necessary for a strong performance on the PSSAs. Click the button below to view information and helpful tips for families to help their students prepare for the PSSAs. Any support that parents and guardians can offer their students will give them an advantage on testing day. This includes:

  • Getting plenty of sleep the night before the test
  • Eating breakfast in the morning
  • Arriving to school on time
  • Having a positive attitude about the test

Please be in touch with the school or with me ( if you have any questions about the PSSAs.

Additional information may also be found on the Pennsylvania’s Department of Education’s website,, under the "Instruction" link.

Wishing all of our students the best of luck on this year's PSSAs!



Activator of the Month

Meet Dance Teacher, Theresa Pelicata!

This month's activator is Arts and Sciences Dance Teacher, Ms. Theresa Pelicata. Ms. Pelicata brings a wealth of dance experience and knowledge to her students from her years as a dancer and Rockette in New York and now as a dance studio owner. Check out this article to learn more about Ms. Pelicata, what her students have been up to this school year, and her plans for the Spring Concert at the Kimmel Center!

READ THE ARTICLE HERE! about Meet Dance Teacher, Theresa Pelicata!

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 


Community Events

Mayoral Candidate Forum

String Theory Schools worked with the Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP to plan Growing Philadelphia: A Mayoral Candidate Forum on Technology, Innovation and Public Education. The forum took place at Philadelphia Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, and was moderated by the President of the Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP, Catherine Hicks. Philadelphia 2023 mayoral candidates answered questions at the forefront of voters' minds, including their visions for the future of education in Philadelphia and how they plan to incorporate technology and innovation into their plans for the city. You can watch a recording of the forum HERE.

Top of the Class

Trip to New York and Masterclass with Broadway Star, James T. Lane

PPA, Vine Street Campus

Performing Arts Vocal, Contemporary Dance, Classical Ballet, and Theatre Majors traveled to New York City this month to see performer, James T. Lane, star as Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway. After the show, James went out into the audience to visit with the high school students and answer their questions. 

The following day, James traveled to the Vine Street Campus to give those same students a masterclass! It was a truly memorable learning experience. James is originally from South Philadelphia, and his ability to connect with the students and encourage them to pursue their passion in the arts and work hard was inspiring to everyone in the room. By the end of the class students were dancing and singing with confidence as they performed an excerpt from the number "All that Jazz" from Chicago.

You can find news coverage of the masterclass HERE.

Drive-In Movie Day 

Arts and Sciences

Dean of Culture, Ms. Erica Mack, started a fun, new tradition for kindergarten through fourth grade students at Arts and Sciences, Drive-In Movie Day! This event also served as a fundraiser for the upcoming Spring Concert at the Kimmel Center. Students were invited to bring in "cars" they made with their families at home to sit in while watching a movie at the end of the school day. There were also treats for students to enjoy during the movie, and staff members even wore parking attendant costumes! We are so impressed by the creativity of our students and their families who participated in this event!

Applied Arts and Mathematics


Students in Mr. Phillips' Applied Arts class are working on a project that has a great deal of underlying math. He explains that the project utilizes only a compass and a straightedge to sub-divide circles into equal parts of various quantities, all based on bisecting a line and various points of rotation. By using only these materials, students are emulating the work of ancient geometers. In a description of the project, Mr. Phillips writes, "There's a total of 12 exercises, culminating with the Golden Ratio / Fibonacci Series".  

The examples of the work shown  are that of School of Design students Kassidy, Karla, and Madison. Mr. Phillips explains, "These are preliminary exercises; practices toward a bigger design project that will involve using geometric patterns to design to a light screen and a floor mosaic. As part of the study, we will discuss Islamic architecture and its use of geometric patterns." He also adds that these students did excellent work and that "good line work isn't as easy as it looks".

An all around fascinating project, and we look forward to seeing the next phase of student work!

Mentorship and Sharing in the Performing Arts

Arts and sciences
PPA, west & vine street campuses

Connecting with and learning from peers is an important experience for young artists. This month, Arts and Sciences middle school dance majors joined classical ballet and contemporary dance majors at Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, for ballet and Horton modern classes. Performing Arts, West Campus, music majors also traveled to the Vine Street Campus for three days of sharing and performing for one another in strings, band, and vocal music classes.

Multicultural Fair

PPA, East & WEST CampusES

East and West campuses hosted their annual multicultural fairs this month. Students learned about different countries by reading books, creating projects, and making art and food. (Ms. Abbruzzi's class at the West Campus even made milk chocolates when learning about Switzerland!) The Multicultural fair is a celebration of the cultures of the world that our students and families look forward to every year!

East Campus
West Campus


Arts and Sciences

Arts and Sciences Innovations in Science, Visual Arts, Creative Writing, and French Majors shined in their STEAM Night presentations! STEAM Night is an annual tradition at Arts and Sciences where our creative arts and science majors put their talents and hard work on display. Everyone in attendance was blown away by the time, creativity, and skill students put into creating their STEAM Night projects.

Read Across America Week:
Wacky Wednesday

PPA, West campus

A week students across America look forward to every year, the students at West Campus went all out on Wacky Wednesday this month!

The Varsity Softball Team is Undefeated!

PPA, Vine Street Campus

The varsity girls softball team at Performing Arts is undefeated so far this season!

High school student and softball player, Gianna Masci, was also featured in the South Philly Review this month! Last month we shared that Gianna received the Philadelphia Coaches Association Female Scholar Athlete of the Year for the Public League. Read the article here!

Pi Day

arts and sciences

Science and Innovation teachers Ms. Angela Palumbo and Ms. Amanda Taggart organized a fantastic to celebrate Pi Day this month. Students not only studied up on the importance of the number π, but later got to go outside and through pies at their teachers! It was a messy but fun day filled with learning and laughter from students and teachers alike.