Kirkbride School Celebrates New Playground & APPT Model

By Tim Gibbon for the Passyunk Post

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, Eliza B. Kirkbride School celebrated Back to School Night with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for their new playground, and the kickoff of their Academic Parent-Teacher Team model for grades K-3. The lively event was celebrated with a terrific turnout from Kirkbride families, community partners, and Councilman Mark Squilla. Breakdance and zumba performances, music, and food trucks contributed to a community festival atmosphere.

During the 2018-2019 school year, parents and teachers in grades K-3 will redefine the traditional parent-teacher relationship with the Academic Parent-Teacher Team (ATPP) model. The APTT model raises the bar on the traditional parent conferences by expanding opportunities for families and teachers to collaborate. The APTT model is grounded in the notion that schools thrive when families and teachers work together as genuine partners.

Kirkbride School hopes this parent engagement model will continue the academic successes of our students. Kirkbride has been named a “Peer Leader” in the School Progress Reports by the School District of Philadelphia for overall performance for the past three years, and a “Model” school for our climate and academic progress.

Kirkbride School has partnered with the Big Sandbox, Iowa State University, and General Recreation to design a three-phase playground for our 550 students in grades K-8. Through the hard work and dedication of our school community we have raised over $42,000 in the past three years to reach our phase one goal.

In early August the Kirkbride School Community came together for a Community Build playground project. Teachers, parents and neighbors gathered to construct new playground equipment on a rainy Saturday morning. In addition, the school has partnered with the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education to develop schoolyard greening plans. These plans were completed in early September and the schoolyard now features evergreen and flowering vines along the chain link panels and a garden area with native grasses, shrubs and flowers to attract birds and pollinators.