Virtual Red Folder
January 18, 2018

Head of School Search Update

Over the next 18 months, the School Committee will be posting periodic updates on what is happening with the search for, and transition to, our next Head of School. In this inaugural post, we want to start by thanking Sarah for giving us the gift of time to conduct a thorough and professional search. Sarah continues to give so much of herself to PMFS, and this is just another example of her love and care for our community.

The optimal timeline for a Head Search begins in January and ends with the announcement of a new Head of School in late fall. In the coming weeks and months, please watch this space for announcements on opportunities to participate in the early stages of the process.

One such opportunity available now is to be a member of the Search Committee. This will be a committee of about 12 people representing our community’s many constituencies. Their job will be to work with our search consultant to solicit applications, conduct interviews, and identify finalists for the job of Head of School. After our entire community has a chance to meet the finalists and provide their feedback, the Search Committee will make a final recommendation to the School Committee. The School Committee will then make the final decision on who will be our next Head of School.

In order to ensure broad participation, the School Committee has appointed a Naming Committee to identify community members for the Search Committee. The Naming Committee will consider all names they receive, and then submit their list of recommendations to the School Committee for final approval.

If you would like to be considered for membership on the Search Committee, or you know someone who should be considered, please contact the clerk of the Naming Committee, Ralph Henninger at Ralph is joined on the Naming Committee by the following members and friends of our community:

  • Gillian Pokalo: Current PMFS Art Teacher
  • Anne Javsicas: Former PMFS Head of School
  • Andrea Morales Hanratty: Current PMFS Parent and Alumna
  • Martha Wolf: Current PMFS Early Childhood Education Teacher
  • Will Starr: Current PMFS Fourth Grade Teacher

We hope to have chosen the full Search Committee by mid February, so please make your nominations soon.

As Sarah said in her letter, this is a bittersweet time, but we are very pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with the PMFS community on the important work we have to do over the next 18 months.

Your School Committee

Announcing: This Year’s Circus and Musical!

Drum roll, please… this year’s Fourth Grade Circus is titled, “Believe!,” an exploration into finding one’s true identity, believing in oneself, and making good choices. Tickets will go on sale in two weeks, so get ready! Excitingly, the Circus will be a prequel to this year’s Sixth Grade Musical, which is based on the ancient Egyptian story, “The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor.”

Here are some photos from Circus practice as a teaser:

Sixth Graders on Number Sense

In true Plymouth fashion, a duo of Sixth Graders were found in a stairwell of the Main Building, rehearsing a class presentation on number bases. Watch the video to hear what they have to say about the concept.

The Sixth Grade math program stresses versatility and math literacy. Centered on the middle school Course 1 of the Math in Focus program, students develop a deep understanding through real-world application of mathematical concepts and class discussion; they articulate their own processes and selection of strategies in problem-solving. Click here to read more about Math at PMFS.

Calling All Yearbook Ads!

Join the Sixth Graders in creating the story of 2017-18 by sending in a message for us to include in the yearbook.

Here’s what you need to know:

Click here to download the parent letter,
and click here for your order form,
and …check this out… if you like visuals, click here for the size options.

Food Program Orders: Due NOW

On January 8, 2018, the Spring 2018 Food Program Order from came home in your child’s backpack; please click here to download a copy, if needed. Orders are due by tomorrow, Friday, January 19. However we can accept orders until Monday, January 22, at the latest. The new program starts on Monday, January 29. We are excited to offer a few new options, while keeping our tried-and-true favorites. As always, we cannot accept late orders due to the complexity of the program. So, please make sure you have your orders in by Monday January 22!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Nicole Armstrong at or Kris Boward at

Join Us This Weekend as We March

Join a group of PMFS families at the Women’s March on Philadelphia this Saturday, January 20 (not just for women!). A PMFS group organized by Rebecca Heider and Trina Berk will take the R7 train (last car) that arrives in Suburban Station at 9:40 am and others will be meeting up with us later in the city. E-mail or text us if you want to meet up with us!

Rebecca: 267.349.7543 or; Trina: 646.279.7133 or

March Schedule:

10:30 am “” Gather at Logan Square

11:00 am “” March to Eakins Oval

12:00 pm “” Rally

MLK Jr. Day of Service and Justice: Social Justice and Community

Parents, students, faculty, and staff came together on Monday morning to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We learned about, were inspired by, and took up different roles that are part of social justice movements. Highlights include the silk screen by Jodi Rice and Roman, which were a hit, and assembling 350 breakfast bags for donation to ACLAMO. One First Grader remarked on the day, “Believe in what you do and love it.”

An extra special thank you to Hedie Kelly, Nicole Armstrong, and Tisha Robinson-Daly for organizing and managing a very successful event for the PMFS community.

Welcoming Our Friends from Mexico

We simply cannot wait to welcome our friends coming to us all the way from The Williams School in Cuernavaca, Mexico for Part 1 of the Mexican Exchange program! They fly in this afternoon, and our Fifth Grade students and their families will be very enthusiastically greeting them. The Buddies will stay with their Fifth Grade host families for the next two weeks, taking trips with them and their classmates, exploring the Philadelphia area and the United States, and learning about the culture firsthand.

Click here to read more about this unique intercultural exchange program, now in its 48th year.

Save the Date: Parent Talk

Challenges and Trauma: How to Talk to Your Children
Presented by PMFS School Social Worker Phyllis Ivey
January 31, 6:30-7:30 pm
Followed by PTO Meeting

In light of the extremely challenging times our children are growing up in, Phyllis will provide guidance and discussion for developmentally-appropriate ways to talk about difficult and upsetting issues in the news, in our neighborhoods, and in our society.

Upcoming @PMFS

Thursday, January 18 – February 1
Mexican Exchange Program: Part 1

Friday, January 19
DUE: Food Program orders (second half of year)
Mexican Exchange Welcome Breakfast
First Grade goes to the Elmwood Park Zoo

Saturday, January 21
Early Childhood & Kindergarten Applicants Visiting Day

Tuesday, January 23
Fourth Grade Mold Symposium

Wednesday, January 24
Open Library, 3:15 – 4:15 pm
Basketball Game: Home Game vs. Friends School Haverford

Thursday, January 25
Meeting for Worship, 8:30 am

Friday, January 26
Fifth Grade only, no school
First Session of PTO Food Program Ends

Monday, January 29
Second Session of PTO Food Program Begins

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