Virtual Red Folder
June 7, 2018

Spreading Wings: Letter from Sarah

Dear PMFS families,

In these final days of the school year, I feel a strong parallel to our graduating class, as we are each getting ready to leave a supportive and caring community to spread our wings in new communities; to apply what we’ve learned here at PMFS in the broader world, while taking with us the warm connections and growth cultivated here at Plymouth.

In July, I will take up a new role as Head of School of Greene Towne Montessori School, in the Logan Square neighborhood of Center City Philadelphia. With nearly 200 students from age 18 months through Kindergarten, Greene Towne is a local leader in the Montessori tradition, and a forward-thinking school that is grounded in solid approach and love of early childhood. I am intrigued by the many areas that Friends education and Montessori have in common—respect for children, trusting a developmental pathway for learning, and empowering children by building on their natural curiosity— and, I am also excited to dig in and learn more about the Montessori approach.

Here at Plymouth, we have all enjoyed having incoming Interim Head of School David Kern at school with us this week. I have known David for many years through the Friends school network, and I am thrilled that he is stepping into this important role for the Plymouth community for the next year. As you know, the head search is underway with a committee that represents a full breadth of experience and roles within our community. The committee will be in touch with opportunities to share priorities and meet candidates as part of their process over the coming months and into the fall.

In these past months, as I get ready to go, I have seen with new appreciation and gratitude Plymouth’s powerful “norms”: the time we spend together in worship and reflection; the opportunity to play, rest, work, and learn amidst the beautiful trees, flowers, insects, birds, and woods that is our school; and the clear blessing it is to be in a community that values lifelong learning, giving your best, supporting one another through challenges, and being open to all the gifts that each of us have to offer.

I will miss it and will always have Plymouth as a part of me, and as a part of my family. I am very optimistic for the next cycle of growth for PMFS. I am confident in the good hands and strong hearts of the School and Meeting, and that the Plymouth spirit is as strong as ever. I feel such deep gratitude to the Plymouth community—to our students, families, faculty and staff, grandparents, meeting members, and our alumni family, for all of the ways that you have supported me in my role as head of school, for the commitment that you have to our shared mission, and all that you contribute to sustain this rich and deep community. Have a great summer, and I’ll see you soon!


Administrative Leadership Team Plan, Summer 2018

From Tom Hoopes, Clerk of PMFS School Committee

During the period between Sarah’s departure and Interim Head of School David Kern’s arrival (June 15 – August 15), there will be a three-person administrative leadership team, consisting of Joyce Colzani, Genevieve Schmidt Camacho, and Ralph Henninger. Joyce will have primary accountability for Admissions and the Academic Program; Genevieve will have primary accountability for Faculty, Parent, and Camp relations; and Ralph will have primary accountability for overseeing daily operations, budget, and physical plant matters. When Joyce or Genevieve are unavailable, Ralph will oversee those areas. Ralph will be your point person If you have any questions about who to contact until David begins in August.

Please join me in expressing our gratitude to Joyce, Genevieve, and Ralph for their commitment and dedication this summer.

Forecast Finally Favorable = Fantastic Festival

After checking the weather forecast dozens of times during the prior week, the Strawberry Festival was declared a GO. We’re so glad that the sunshine rewarded us by cooperating, because it was a truly phenomenal day! The children’s performances were amazing, often uplifting, and even a bit emotional at times. From the very youngest Caterpillar to the Sixth Grade, every routine was full of energy.

When the Strawberry Festival opened to the public, all fears about turnout were put to rest as more and more families streamed onto campus. We counted at least 68 alumni who stopped by for a free piece of strawberry shortcake. The tree dedication ceremony for Debbie Bakan was so moving, there were quite a few tears and lots of hugs. Every aspect of the event went smoothly, and everywhere you looked people were enjoying great food, toe-tapping music, and warm friendships.

We are deeply grateful to all our volunteers, especially Festival Chair Ali Conlon. Ali and many other parent volunteers make the Festival possible, and it is not only a critical fundraiser for PMFS, it is also an important way in which we reach out to our community, inviting them to get to know us and learn what a fun place Plymouth Meeting Friends School is! Whether you donated a book, made a shortcake, or grilled burgers you helped us accomplish this critical mission, so THANKS!

How is YOUR child going home on Tuesday?

Please let us know how your child is going home on Tuesday, June 12 at 12pm. Click here and tell us if it’s bus, camel, pick up, etc.

Returning Families: Last Call for Family Info and Busing Request

We sent out an eblast on May 25 with details about how to request busing and update your family information online. If you have not done so, please complete that information now! Contact the Main Office with any questions ( or call).

Your PTO

A huge thank you to this year’s Parent-Teacher Organization. Your spirit, enthusiasm, and organization have kept us going:

  • Co-Clerks Andrea Hanratty & Kim DeFilippi
  • Co-Treasurers Kim Wheeler & Cecilia Dee
  • Recording Clerk  Carla Pagan

We also welcome the PTO officers for 2018-19:

  • Returning Co-Clerk Kim DeFilippi
  • Co-Clerk Tasha Martin-Peters
  • Returning Co-Treasurer Cecilia Dee
  • Co-Treasurer Jennifer Mullen
  • Recording Clerk Jana Dean Gunby

Our thanks also to Nicole Armstrong and Kris Boward for their ongoing work (2017-18 AND 2018-19) with the PTO Food Program. They are looking for others interesting in climbing on board the food program train, as another set of hands and eyes. Please reach out to Kris and Nicole if you are interested at  or

Thank You Volunteers!

Staffing News

We are sad to share that our super admin-of-many-hats Dayna Muniz will be leaving PMFS this summer. Dayna will be returning to work in higher education. Dayna’s wonderful administrative skills and experience with progressive education have strengthened our extended day and vacation care programs, as well as our Main Office. We have such gratitude for her care and creativity this year, and wish her and her family all the very best.

Here’s our last ExDay blurb!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our preview week of No Fee til 4! It was a joy to have some newcomers in our group and try out new ideas for our program next year. Some of our highlights included a parent/faculty game for Ultimate Frisbee, soccer class with Super Soccer Stars (look in your student’s backpack for a treat from them!), a great Yoga session with Jana, creating with Leigh and Barbara and lots of time on the bikes (in the slideshow, can you find the parking spaces that were created and dutifully used?).
Reminder: The last day of ExDay is Monday, June 11.
Thank you for sharing your kiddos with us, it has been a pleasure to get to know them in ExDay. Have a great summer!

Last Meeting for Worship

Fifth Graders used the process of consensus to agree on the final query at Meeting:

If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be and why?

In addition, students presented a final report on this year’s Meeting for Business, a time when representatives from each class come together to discuss matters of school-wide interest. Click here to read their report.

So, do the kids DO anything in the last week of school, anyway?

Um, yeah… They are reading and giving state presentations and knitting and painting benches and giving “person who made a difference” presentations and trading lemonade for nature treasures and finishing still life drawings and writing and having guest speakers and connecting with their buddies in different grades and more…

Seedlings Summer Camp @PMFS

Register here!

For Campers 3 – 6 years of age (entering First Grade)

Directed by Kate McInerney-Rowley, PMFS Early Childhood Butterfly Teacher & PMFS alum, Seedlings summer camp is open-ended exploration and nature and water play on the playground, in the woods, and on the fields. Campers experience the joy of spending their days outdoors in a supportive play environment in a program designed specifically for children 3-6 years of age (entering first grade). Weekly themes are enhanced by activities including children’s yoga, dance and movement classes, and fun group games throughout our beautiful campus. Open to all– tell your friends and neighbors!

Join us for any or all five weeks.
Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. $350 per week ($280 for four-day week of July 2)

  • Week 1 — June 25-29 — Music & Mud
  • Week 2 — July 2-6 (closed July 4)– Wild Wild Nature
  • Week 3 — July 9-13 — Monster Makers
  • Week 4 — July 16-20 — Animals
  • Week 5 — July 23-27 — Dance

Upcoming @PMFS

Friday, June 8
Kindergarten & 5th Grade go Bowling
6th Grade returns from Echo Hill

Tuesday, June 12
LAST DAY of SCHOOL, 12:00pm dismissal
6th Grade Graduation & Reception, 7:00pm

Want more info on happenings at school? 
Go to, where you can subscribe to the PMFS Public Calendar.

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