Founded in 1999

The Pacs Pledge

As a PACS student,
I pledge to participate in daily activities with a positive attitude.
Accept responsibility for my actions.
Continue to do my best and follow the Code of Conduct.
Start and end each day with a smile.

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The Rising Sun Chair was crafted by John Folwell (circa 1779) and is curated in the collection of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA. The chair has a number of iconographic carvings. Cornucopias flank the sun, often used to symbolize abundance and fertility, in a nod to rebirth, or possibly recognizing the state’s agricultural abundance, wheat rises up the back splat to the crest rail. George Washington used this chair for nearly three months of the Federal Convention’s continuous sessions. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I know that it is a rising sun.

Philadelphia Academy Charter School was founded in 1999 and serves a Kindergarten through 8th grade student body. Our population of students encompasses all levels of learners, and PACS is continually evolving to address the needs of each of our students through data driven instruction and on-going communication between students, parents, teachers, and administration. Our teachers are committed to challenging students daily to work toward their highest level of potential.

In addition, PACS strives to stay on top of the rapidly expanding world of technology. Students are engaged in learning via interactive whiteboards, two computer labs as well as laptop carts and iPad carts for each community. Our expectation is for all students to challenge themselves to reach higher levels, and academic rigor is our foundation for learning.

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Philadelphia Academy Primary offers a full day Kindergarten, reduced class size, early intervention, advanced technology and center based learning with a focus in literacy and math. Literacy instruction focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, writing, vocabulary development and comprehension. Our math program offers hands on experiences for real life situations. Our students also receive instruction in Art, Dance, Gym, Library, and Technology.

Philadelphia Academy Intermediate offers small class size, advanced technology and center based learning with a focus in literacy, math, social studies and science. Literacy instruction focuses on developing a strong vocabulary with fluent readers who can comprehend and apply a variety of reading skills and strategies. Using Bloom’s taxonomy of higher level thinking, we challenge our students to interpret, analyze and compare and contrast fictional and nonfictional text. Writing is intertwined throughout, concentrating on sound organization, ideas, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. Our social studies and science programs further develop our students’ nonfiction sense with role playing, explorations and hands on activities that encourage cooperative learning. The Everyday Mathematics program offers concrete experiences for real life situations that promote problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration covering the following Assessment Anchors: Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Algebraic Concepts and Data Analysis and Probability. Monitoring our students’ progress through DIBELS (3rd grade only) and the 4Sight Benchmark Assessment helps our teachers identify strengths and weaknesses to better prepare our students for our yearly state assessments: PSSA Reading & Math, PSSA Writing (Grade 5 only), PSSA Science (4th grade only). Ultimately, our teachers create environments in which our students become independent, responsible learners who are equipped with the necessary tools to be successful in the middle school.

Philadelphia Academy Middle School offers advanced technology, accelerated math and reading classes as well as targeted instruction and intervention to ensure success for all students with a focus on literacy, math, social studies and science. Students complete their PACS years with continued instruction in Spanish, music, art and physical education. All students in grades 3 through 8 are invited to participate in our highly successful annual school play. Our reading and writing program challenges students to interpret, analyze, compare and contrast fictional and nonfictional text. Students demonstrate a variety of writing styles concentrating on building vocabulary, developing thesis statements and exploring the writing process. Critical thinking skills are developed through the use of novels and the Prentice Hall Literature Series. Our science program consists of hands-on learning in the classroom as well as weekly experiments in our science lab. Students develop algebraic and geometric skills and concepts throughout middle school culminating in both pre-algebra and algebra courses in 8th grade. In social studies, students explore cultures around the world and relive United States history with highly interactive programs. Ultimately, our teachers create environments in which our students graduate as independent, responsible learners who are well-equipped with the necessary tools to continue their success in high school.

Philadelphia Academy Charter School provides instruction in creative and performing arts, technology, foreign language and physical education in an effort to complete our students’ education.
All students from Kindergarten to 8th grade attend multifaceted art classes that feature a variety of techniques, styles and media. Classroom music instruction in grade K 3-8 allows students to develop their listening skills, read music and perform vocal and instrumental music from many different time periods and cultures. Students in grades K-4 take dance classes to develop kinesthetic awareness and coordination. Media classes in grades K-5 expose students to computer technology and library. Technology classes in grades 6-8 give students needed skills in many relevant computer applications. Physical Education classes are offered in all grades K-8 allowing students to develop coordination, build teamwork, and develop skills to help them maintain a physically active and healthful life. Health is offered in grades 5-8.

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PACS offers academic and enrichment programs from Monday through Thursday. For all programs, students enjoy a snack and water provided by the school and homework help. Monday and Wednesday students receive focused remedial work in the areas of reading and mathematics.

Students at PACS have the opportunity to participate in musical theatre productions appropriate for their grade level. Through these productions, students gain self-confidence, skills in music and theatre techniques and learn low hard work pays off to produce a great end result!

Students in grades 1 & 2 practice after school to perform a 30 minute musical play each fall. Students are given the opportunity to audition for small speaking or solo parts. All students who participate dance in a group, and sing with the full cast in the chorus. Typically, 60-70 students participate in this musical each year.

Students in grades 3-8 are welcome to audition for the spring musical each year. They may choose to be a part of the chorus, or audition for a speaking or singing role, as well as featured dance parts. In the past, our productions have exposed students to historical musicals such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Guys & Dolls” as well as more modern musicals, like “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and “Suessical”. Main parts are double cast as to give students more opportunities to develop their talents. Through working as a member of the stage crew, an usher, or being on stage as an actor, around 150 students participate in the 3-8 musical each year.

Student Council is a wonderful way for students at Philadelphia Academy Charter to become more involved in their school. These students work hard to ensure that every student has a voice and concerns are communicated to administration. Student Council is composed of students in sixth to eighth grade. This 16 member group works diligently to promote unity among the student body and increase awareness of global concerns. Student Council has been actively involved in fundraising for charities such as Aid for Friends, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Participants meet monthly to share ideas about how to best meet the needs of our students. These meetings offer opportunities for students to gain valuable skills in the areas of leadership, collaboration, problem solving and responsibility.

PACS offers a before care program from 7am-7:45am for a competitive fee to accommodate working families. With a limited number of spaces available, this program fills up quickly.

Pennsylvania Alternative Assessment 2017 – PASA

The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) is a statewide alternate assessment designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Specifically, it is intended for those who are unable to participate meaningfully in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) even with accommodations. By administering the PASA to students with severe disabilities, schools achieve compliance with federal laws and the Pennsylvania School Code that require that all students participate in the statewide accountability system.

The PASA is an individually administered test given each spring to students by their teacher or another certified Test Administrator who knows the student well. Test administration can be adapted so that even students with the most severe disabilities can participate in the assessment and receive a score. The test, administered to students in the equivalent of grades 3 through 8 and 11, consists of 25 test items aligned with reading standards; 25 test items aligned with math standards; and, for students in grades 4, 8, and 11, approximately 25 test items aligned with science standards. Each test item represents an authentic, relevant, and age-appropriate skill related to reading, mathematics, or science. There are three levels of difficulty within each grade for all three content areas. Level A contains the least complex reading-, math-, or science-related skills. Level B consists of intermediate skills, and Level C consists of the most complex skills. Like the PSSA, the PASA is designed to take a snapshot of student’s typical performance on a small sample of academic skills derived from the PA Academic Standards.

Student performance is video recorded and submitted for scoring to the contractor at the University of Pittsburgh. Teams of scorers (comprised of practicing teachers, administrative school personnel, and college/university faculty) are trained to use a scoring rubric to evaluate student performance. Once scoring has been completed, aggregated results are submitted to the state for inclusion with scores from the PSSA. In addition, PASA reports are generated at the state, home district, service provider, and student levels.

PASA 2017 Testing Window

Reading/Math Test Window: February 13 – March 24, 2017

Science Test Window: April 10 – May 5, 2017