Virtual Red Folder
March 1, 2018

Building Bridges: A PMFS Community Group Dedicated to Building Community Through Social Action

Thursday, March 8, 6:30 pm
PMFS Library, Emerson Building

We invite the school community to think with us about how we can bring our PMFS values into the world in the form of social action, strengthening our PMFS community while we build bridges to communities that face different challenges than we do. In this first meeting, we’ll define our goals and explore ideas for a spring project. This group will be politically neutral; all viewpoints are welcome. If you have questions or if you can’t come but want to be involved, contact Rebecca Heider ( or Trina Berk (

Curriculum Redux on the Plymouth Website

What a time to feature Central Experiences!

The journey that children take through the PMFS program is filled with both small, meaningful moments and momentous milestones. There are numerous traditions that students consider to be “uniquely Plymouth,” those central experiences that build for children as they anticipate them, learn through them, and reflect back on them, often for many years. Middle School alumni continue to ride the unicycles they learned for the circus. High school and college age alumni return for the Thanksgiving Program and join easily in singing the school song. Adult alumni keep in touch with their Mexican “buddies” from the Mexican Exchange Program.

Beyond the anticipation and the remarkable memories, what do our students gain from these collaborative projects? They develop confidence, understand the power of working together, and experience the satisfaction of hard work that pays off through sustained effort and attention. They gain a sense of their capacities in ways that give them the courage to stretch themselves and take risks to learn and grow. They learn how to bring their best to both their individual work and a group goal, whether it’s reading a book with their reading buddy, organizing a school-wide collection of supplies for refugee families, or sharing their designs and prototypes at the “Invention Convention.” Each year at PMFS holds anticipation and accomplishment, as students are proud to reach touchpoints that once seemed beyond their reach. They excitedly grow into these central experiences, support one another in their place in the journey, and leave a trail for those who follow.

Click here to read more on the website about our Central Experiences at each grade level Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.

Given the timeliness, we’ve pulled out the Fifth Grade Mexican Exchange Program here:

Mexican Exchange Program (two weeks hosting, two weeks in Mexico) – PMFS Fifth Graders participate in intercultural exchange program with students from Colegio Williams de Cuernavaca in Cuernavaca, Mexico; the program is now in its 48th year. Students from both schools take turns as they travel to another country, live with a host family, and are immersed in life in another culture for two weeks, forging lifelong connections and understanding of similarities and differences. Unusual for this age group, this fifth grade program successfully challenges children to view themselves and the world differently and forever changes them as a result. As guests, students learn to view and celebrate differences, find similarities, and differentiate trends versus isolated happenings. As hosts too, students are guided to identify and develop skills, such as empathy and putting someone else’s needs first. The PMFS program prepares students for this exchange in a variety of ways throughout their years, from Spanish classes that steadily increase a child’s communicative abilities, to art classes that celebrate Mexican culture, to an intentional series of overnights.

Oh, and the Fourth Grade Circus is right around the corner:

The Circus! – At three performances in March, students put on a polished show for a packed house, complete with unicycling, juggling, skits, songs, wire walking, and trapeze (and more!). Many months of physical preparation are obvious, but equally important is the collaboration and planning that have gone into students’ writing the various skits, imagining the set, and breaking down physical challenges into manageable pieces.

Tickets for performances on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 at 7:00 pm are on sale now. E-mail to get yours.

African Studies in Kindergarten

Kindergarten’s thematic social studies curriculum is often inspired by the students’ interests and is enriched through involving students’ family members as resources for learning. The class’ most recent study of Africa was sparked by one student’s expertise and experience of living together with his family in Ethiopia over the last school year. Sami’s dad Ermias, who grew up in Ethiopia and Eritrea, shared stories, photos and videos, as well as musical instruments and traditional Ethiopian foods with the class. Georgia’s aunt Colette, PMFS `96, shared photos from her visit to Rwanda and told Kindergartners all about silverback gorillas. On Tuesday, Kindergarten welcomed members of the modern dance company Danse4Nia, who led the students in an African dance and storytelling workshop. Our students loved acting out Anansi folktales, playing their own homemade instruments, dancing, and singing the welcome song “Funga Alafia Ashe Ashe.”

Ermias Sharing with Kindergarten (left) and Colette Presenting to Kindergarten (right)

Dancing with Danse4Nia

And They’re Off!

Fifth Graders, accompanied by Leann, Genevieve, and Joyce, departed this morning for two weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for Part 2 of the intercultural exchange program, now in its 48th year. Students see this as a time to connect with their buddies, who were in Philadelphia last month, and their host families””but we know it offers so much more. Experiencing similarities and differences between families and cultures firsthand, stretching themselves to communicate and make connections, being flexible and adaptable as new situations occur, this group of students is embarking on an adventure that will develop their minds and spirits and be something they will never forget. ¡Buen viaje!

Here they are at the Philadelphia airport right before their departure early this morning!

Parent Coffee and PTO Meeting Tomorrow

When: Friday, March 2, 8:00 – 9:15 am (brief PTO Meeting to immediately follow)

Where: Annie H.

Who: All Current PMFS Parents (and we’ve invited some folks who can lend some experience on the topic)

Topic: Life After PMFS

Head of School Search Update: Signup to Share

Hello PMFS Community,

This is a quick update to let you know that you can now sign up to share in person about your experience at PMFS with School Committee members (now through March 16). You can access the online sign up sheet here:

Sign up to share about your experience at PMFS.

You can also share about your experience in writing (also through March 16) by using our online form available here:

Share about your experience in writing.

For more details about this opportunity, you can read our announcement here.

And finally, if you run into any problems with these online forms, or you have questions about them, feel free to e-mail Tom Hoopes, clerk of School Committee.

Thank you,
Your School Committee

Community Event of Interest Featuring Our Own John B

Music Teacher John B is co-directing and performing in a gospel music event for WXPN next Thursday. Click here for more information and to reserve tickets.

Save the Date! Thursday, March 22, 2018

Grandparents and Special Friends Day is happening Thursday, March 22, 8:30 am – 11:15 am, starting in the Steinbright Building.

Please look in your child’s Red Folder this week for a paper invitation for your child to decorate and give to their grandparent or special friend. Click here for a printable version of the invitation.

GPSF Day begins with registration and welcome at 8:30 am in the Steinbright Building on the lower campus: coffee, tea, and treats are available. After a brief program, PMFS volunteers and students will direct guests to their classrooms. The short reception allows guests to enjoy a warm beverage and learn more about each other and PMFS, while the teachers and students make their final classroom preparations for their visitors.

Please contact Ralph Henninger, at or 610-828-2407 to reserve special needs parking or answer additional questions.

Seedlings Summer Camp 2018

Registration is now open! 

June 25 – July 27 ·
Five 1-week sessions

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). Additional weekly activities will include 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.

$350 per week ($280 for four-day week of July 2)

June 25 – June 29
July 2  – 6 (closed july 4)
July 9 – 13
July 16 – 20
July 23 – 27

8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Lavner Camps will not hold camps here at PMFS for summer 2018. Dayna has great ideas for our own camp for children 6 years of age and up, and we need some more time to develop them. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to offer additional camp options for next summer, but for now, Seedlings will be our only camp on campus this summer.

Spring Trimester End-of-Day and Ex-Day Forms

What is your child doing at dismissal during the Spring trimester (April-June)? Riding the bus on Monday? Getting picked up on Tuesday? Staying for Sound Scapes class on Wednesday? Please sign up online or by dropping off your End-of-Day/Ex-Day enrollment form in the Main Office. Forms are due by March 12. Click here for the Spring Ex-Day Class catalog.

Vacation Care Signup!

Vacation Care will be open from March 26-March 30 and on April 3. Click here to sign up!

Students in the Early Childhood program and through Second Grade will enjoy the beauty of our campus while exploring the woods and finding treasures big and small.

Students Third through Sixth Grade will leave campus for part of the day and explore Philadelphia. Excursions include: The Reading Terminal Market, the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, the Wissahickon and more!

Upcoming @PMFS

Thursday, March 1
Mexican Exchange Program, Part 2, begins: Fifth Grade leaves for 2 weeks in Mexico

Friday, March 2
Parent Coffee: Life After Plymouth, 8:00 – 9:15 am

Wednesday, March 7
Open Library, 3:15 – 4:15 pm

Friday, March 9
Sixth Grade “A Wrinkle in Time” movie trip

Thursday, March 8
Meeting for Worship, 8:30 am
Building Bridges, Community Meeting, 6:30 pm

Looking Ahead:
Thursday, March 15
Fifth Grade returns from Mexico

Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17
Fourth Grade Circus, 7:00 pm
Click here to reserve tickets

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

Quick Links

NEW! ONLINE PMFS Directory and ONLINE Student Information Updates
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